1. Trust your instincts
Family, friends and professionals will all give you advice. They may know a lot about babies in general or a lot about their baby, but you know a lot about one baby — your baby.
Remember that most advice is just a suggestion. An option or a tool you can add to your kit bag and try out. If it works for you - great! If it doesn’t, thats ok because something else will.
A lot of the early days are trial and error while you work out what your baby likes. Trust your instincts, you will recognise when they are happy and find the strategies that work best for both of you.
2. “Fit your mask first”
Looking after yourself is critical and shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Eat well and keep hydrated. Drink lots of water - especially if you are feeding your baby breastmilk. If people offer to bring you meals, graciously accept. Your job right now is looking after your baby.
Sleep when the baby is asleep. While this is easier said than done, remember that the housework and other jobs will wait. Even if you can't sleep when your baby is sleeping, resting with your feet up is still beneficial.
Go easy on the housework. There will always be a job you could be doing, but spending time with your baby and allowing yourself to rest is your main focus for this period of your life. Cook easy meals that you enjoy eating. Batch cooking and freezing extra is helpful for days that don’t quite go to plan. Let your partner help around the house — you don’t have to do it all on your own.
Make time for yourself. Find time for a shower. Read a book or a magazine or spend some time doing something else you enjoy. Take a walk. Exercise is good for your mental health and most babies enjoy a ride in the pram or in a front pack. If that feels too hard, just opening your door getting some fresh air for a few minutes can make the world of difference and give you a renewed bump of energy to tackle the next task.
3. Don't try to be perfect
Being a mum is one of the hardest jobs — but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Be kind to yourself and try not to feel discouraged if you don’t achieve a goal you set. If you fall down, get back up, and try something else. Ask for help if you need it. Remember — it takes a village.
Do you have any amazing nuggets of advice to share? Pop them in the comments below.
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We recommend booking as early as possible in your second trimester to ensure you can get your preferred date as we do have a limited number of sessions available each month. This is to ensure everyone gets our very best.
Christchurch newborn, baby and children’s photographer Kirsten Naomi Photography