Arghhhhhhh 😩😩😩 there is so much advice out there for mummy’s to be and new mummy’s…
…on forums, from friends & family, from strangers (who asked you?!), in books (unless you read these pre-birth, good luck finding time after!), from classes (I did NCT – met some super gals but remember nothing else, basically paid for friends 👌🏼), from health professionals, old wives tales, tv shows, (One Born Every Min 😱 ), apps…arghhhhhhh my head is about to explode just listing the sources!!!
…now ironically this blog is my advice on all of this 🙄🤔🤓 but do feel free to ignore 😝
In the early days I remember Googling one of the many questions I had, usually around things like baby acne, specific sounding cries, lack of poo, too much poo …the list goes on (I was, and am a hypochondriac) and reading articles on forums for hours on end. I’d read one and take it as gospel, and tell James everything I had learnt and all the new stuff we were going to try in order to help us get through those first few weeks of chaos. Then a few hours later I’d read another telling me something completely different and I’d change everything I was doing as surely this one must be true. Looking back, most of the things I googled were just standard new born traits, but at the time I was pretty sure there was something wrong and I wasn’t going to take any risks with my littles bundles well being, so with the thought process of knowledge is power I thought the more I know and read the better (bad shout in this particular case).
But at then end of the day I was basically reading people’s opinions and experiences, and to expect a one size fits all when it comes to babies is ludicrous (haven’t used that word in a while – I like it though, I’ll use it more often 🤓) as they are inevitably all completely different (in weight, metabolically, personality, age…).
That said, when you have exhausted all options (that you know of) as to why your baby won’t sleep, you are in search of a glimmer at the end of the sleepy tunnel of exhaustion so will believe everything and try anything (I mean if someone had told me that doing a headstand naked whilst feeding would work I probs would have given it a go).
If the internet and all its forums isn’t enough of a mine field there’s also the books…now I haven’t read too many (I read bits of two) but for good reason. One school of thought tells you to practice controlled crying to teach your baby to self soothe, the other to follow your babies lead and comfort the crying. There are suggested routines a plenty, which as a first time mummy you believe to be the correct thing to do – but in reality when you follow them you realise that at 7 teeny tiny weeks you’re best off just enicotine the evening cuddles as opposed to spending hours going in and out of your room to calm your crying baby. But if you’re like me you get scare mongered into thinking if you don’t start a routine early, there’s just no hope for you later down the line. For me, the routines have come naturally after getting used to having a baby – forcing them early on stressed me out a lot (I mean I only tried for about three days before sacking them off) and I thought I’d never get there and blamed any failure on myself, when really my baby just wasn’t into it at the time, my boobs were just too snuggly to pass up so inevitable falling asleep on them was his obvious preference. That said I know it works for some, and I absolutely think you just do what feels right for you and your baby at the time (here here to all the babies that will sleep from 7-7 I’m secretly jeal of you all) – as opposed to reading all the info and feeling a failure if it doesn’t work for you.
My absolute ultimate advise bug bear is from strangers or friends who don’t know you or your baby’s routine/little traits yet feel the need to explain to you the best way to get them down at night 🙄 Granted this advice is coming from a good place but reaaaallllllllly “shhhh” now, I know my baby best – they do not have wind, they are not hungry or cold and they have not suddenly contracted colic.
I think the self doubt that comes with being a new mummy goes hand in hand with the amount of “advice” there is out there ready to bamboozle and confuse your brain – a lot of which contradicts one another leaving you completely unsure as to which one to believe to be true.
My advice to any new mummy’s is to just go with your instinct, read the info if you want but read it all with a pinch of salt and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work for you – what’s failed for me may be ideal for you and vice versa so just try roll with it. NB…this is easy for me to say now my baby is 14 weeks, if someone had said this to me week 4 I’d have told them to nob off – in hindsight I wish I’d chilled out a touch and worried less about all the things I read that told me what should be happening at that time…much easier said than done though, especially with your first baby when you have no idea what time it is let alone how to rear a child!