When you’re up to baby number four, you know a thing or two about parenting. Some of it, you’ve learnt the hard way and some of it just makes sense. All of it is valuable information, and for those of us who are still at the starting gate in the motherhood stakes, we need to be taking notes!
Which is why we should all be listening to Mel Watts, mum of four and the brains behind The Modern Mumma, when she talks about her parenting truths. Now she shares her top six tips for new parents:
1. Dishes, laundry and vacuuming can wait
“Don’t feel the pressure to have to have a clean house when you have a baby. People will come over and visit, those people who don’t mind – they’re the ones you want to be friends with!” Mel says. “You’ll often find they’ll even watch bub while you have a shower. Take advantage of your friends and family.”
2. The lowdown on the awesomeness that are onesies
“They are totally appropriate clothing attire for your babies first ten (or 12) months of life. Seriously, people asked me if Sonny owned clothing other than onesies,” Mel says laughing. “He did, I just felt like onesies were easier for me to dress him in and much more comfortable than a button up shirt and jeans for him. Go for comfort.”
3. It’s OK to step outside for a sanity check
“If you’ve followed SIDS cot recommendations and safe sleeping area then your cot is a safe zone for your baby. If your baby is having one of those days and you need two minutes feel free to put bub in the cot and walk away. Go outside and do some deep breathing,” Mel advises. “Sometimes babies can be totally overwhelming and often when they get in a really upset state, they don’t even know what’s wrong. Just take a moment, collect yourself and start the long list of ‘what’s upsetting my baby’ again. Babies feed off our emotions.
“There have been many moments where I was getting so frustrated and didn’t know what to do, I had to put my baby in her cot and just leave the room for a moment. I would go get a drink of water, take some deep breaths and remind myself that they don’t mean to upset you. They’re only small and are trying their best to communicate with you. Just that two minutes was enough, and if it wasn’t, I would go in and take a peek and if she was fine, I would take another two minutes.”
4. It’s just as important to look after yourself
Mel has discovered probiotics to help build a healthy immune system, for herself and her children.
“Where probiotics are concerned, I’m often quite lazy and forget to take them after day three. Many have to be kept in the fridge, and before I know it, they’ve worked their way to the back of the fridge never to be seen again.
Because Life-Space Probiotics don’t have to be kept in the fridge, Mel shares a simple tip that ensures that her kids get what they need each day – she simply keeps the probiotics next to Sonny’s and Indie’s milk bottles, which works as a visual reminder. “It’s easy enough for me to remember to put it in once a day. Another quick tip, you can use it any time of the day,” she says. So smart!
5. Don’t be afraid to use people
Here’s a true story: “Christmas 2012, Ivie was a few weeks old. We had a really hard time with her and she wouldn’t sleep. We went to Christmas lunch around the corner from our house to my brother-in-law’s. They offered to keep Ivie and we could go back home for a sleep. We felt awful but we also felt like crap!” Mel remembers.
“We went home after them not taking no for an answer and slept for a few hours. We felt so much better. She was perfectly fine and slept the whole time (of course). When we got her again you could feel the different energy we had with her. We were exhausted and sometimes that makes our babies act up.”
6. It’s okay to not always like motherhood
“Motherhood is repetitive; it’s like groundhog day, but with a baby who you can’t just leave behind. Sometimes you may feel like you just want a break and that’s okay. Ask someone to help you.” Mel recommends. “If you have no one around to help strap baby into the pram and go for a walk. Not even a fitness walk, like a slow sloth like stroll with some head phones in will make you feel a little better.”
This post was sponsored by Life-Space Probiotics