This Summer I’m going to become a Nan for the first time and I can’t wait. My oldest daughter Helena will be having her first baby around Mr. C’s birthday. Double celebration? Who knows! Whatever though, I’m already on the case looking at all the adorable baby girl and baby boy clothes and scratching my head over the bamboo bowls on offer!
As a parenting writer, Mum of 3, Step-Mum to 2, Aunt and former Editor of TheBabyWebsite, I can’t help but notice the various differences and obvious similarities between having a first baby now and back in the late 80s and early 90s.
Obviously babies are babies whenever they’re born and the same fundamentals apply. They all need to be fed, changed, cuddled and loved and they need to be kept warm and safe. However so many of the little ‘rules’ and ‘recommendations’ have changed over the years.
With my babies, it was a question of how long should I swaddle my baby. Mums-to-be today are wondering whether or not to buy a bamboo swaddle or some other kind of baby swaddle blanket! We were told to bath our babies every day but now the new baby skincare advice suggests otherwise. Babies are weaned later now too, at around 6 months. And the baby car seat rules seem to change every two years. All brilliant when it comes to a new baby’s welfare but the ever-changing rules are grist to the mill when it comes to a new mother’s worrying! And oh do we Mums like to worry!
Is Baby too hot? Too cold? Hungry? Wet? Teething? Comfortable? Tired? Shall I buy organic baby clothes? Do I need to buy baby vests if I have a Summer baby? What’s the difference between baby sleepsuit and babygrows? If I don’t buy organic cotton baby clothes, will my baby get eczema? We worry about everything you possibly can and then if we’re not worrying, we wonder if we should be!
Helena’s journey hasn’t been an easy one.She’s 26+ weeks pregnant now and fingers crossed all’s going well. However she lost her first baby and you can read about the whole horrendous experience over on Helena’s Blog. I went through multiple earlyish miscarriages myself and know how awful the whole thing is and so it’s been lovely seeing how happy she is now. She’s been reading all manner of baby and pregnancy books and readily admits to being paranoid she’s going to do something wrong. But then that’s Mums and Mums-to-Be all over.
A mother’s instinct is pretty much spot on most of the time. Forget about the books and other people’s advice, just go with the flow! Inform yourself, by all means. But don’t stress over little things. Love your new baby and everything else will slot into place.