18 months into motherhood, so here’s the truth

It’s been 18 months since Bubby was born and I became a mummy.

The advice from everyone and their dog before and after he was born might be best described as an avalanche. I copped most of it, but the SO wasn’t immune.

The advice ranged from simple (always use nappy balm of baby’s butt), debatable (shave his head for thicker hair), potentially dangerous (don’t vaccinate) to ridiculous (don’t eat crabs while pregnant, or baby will have itchy fingers).

While we’ve never been given advice maliciously, not all the advice is equal and we’ve found some truer than others.

So here’s the truth (and more unsolicited advice)…

Bubby's growth - 1 week to 3 months

Everyone has advice (accept it with grace)

The SO is much better at this than I am.

Like I mentioned before, we have never found anyone offering advice with ill intent. They have always come from a place of love – it might be for the baby, not you – but there is love.

So whatever the advice is, from whoever is offering it, and regardless of whether you think it’s good or complete hogwash, accept that it is coming and repeat after me:

“Thanks! We’ll consider that.”

 

Bubby's growth - 5 to 11 months

No one has it all (so count your blessings)

No baby is a brilliant feeder, amazing sleeper, perfect teether, genius speaker, athletic crawler/walker and graceful toilet trainee. N-O-O-N-E! Bubby walked really early and hasn’t relinquished his love for boobie juice yet, but we count our blessings that he isn’t a colicky or sickly child.

And those first-time mums at your mothers-group catch-ups with perfect hair, manicured nails and immaculate clothes? They have sleepless nights, deal with poo-explosions, mop up tsunami spitups and have bad days, just like you.

If you cannot help comparing yourself or your baby to others, remember – no one really has it all.

 

Bubby's growth - 12 to 17 months

Technology is your BFF

I’m NOT even kidding. Save your pennies for these gadgets and apps.

  • A touchless/in-ear/forehead thermometer

    Unless you plan to keep baby in a sterile bubble, germs are everywhere and baby will eventually fall sick. Wrestling a sick crying uncooperative baby with a traditional thermometer several times a day to monitor their temperature is the last thing any parent wants to deal with. Do yourself a favour and get a touchless/in-ear/forehead thermometer, so you can just concentrate on getting baby better.

  • A cordless vacuum

    The AUD$400+ we spent on our Dyson V6 Handstick Vacuum Cleaner is the BEST money spent. Our floor got a quick vacuum every morning before baby gets tummy-time. Toddler spills cornflakes on the floor (or the car)? No problem. It doesn’t have to be a Dyson (quite pricey, even on discount), just cordless.

  • An electric toothbrush

    The dental hygienist told me to get one before I popped out Bubby. When you’re already struggling for time to take a piss (or heaven forbid, poop), taking good care of your teeth might be the furthest thing on your mind. Switch to an electric toothbrush to cut down the minutes without sacrificing your gums.

  • Great apps

    There’s an app for that! When you’re breastfeeding or running after a toddler, your mobile phone can quickly become your lifeline to everything.

    • Tracking growth/feeding/sleeping schedules is a challenge when you’re sleep deprived. I’ve found Mammababy is one of the best tracking apps. It’s reassured me countless times things are progressing as they should be (and that I was clocking 8+ hours of breastfeeding a day).
    • The Wonder Weeks is an award winning app and provides a personalized calendar of your baby’s development. Staying informed about the (mental) leaps and corresponding fussy phases of your baby helped us prepare and manage expectations.
    • If you’re in Australia and already on the Bubhub forums (if you’re not, get on it), download the Bubhub app. It’s a little clunky, but when you’re stuck breastfeeding or lying on the couch for a break, it’s much easier to read on your mobile. Same goes with Facebook.

And if you don’t listen to any piece of advice…

At least remember these. They have formed our foundation for baby survival:

  • Do what you feel is right/what works for you and the baby.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help (or tell people to piss off).
  • Enjoy your baby!
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