10 things that maternity classes don’t teach you about being a new parent
Becoming a parent for the first time is a busy time. As part of the preparations, you will receive lots of advice from family members, friends, health visitors, doctors and even pre-natal classes aimed at equipping you with everything you need to know about becoming a parent. It takes approximately 30 seconds following the birth of your newborn to realise that there are some things that you can’t be offered advice about and that you can only learn through experience.
1. There are new working conditions in place and it is your baby that decides them.
Those long nights of unbroken sleep, morning lie-ins will be long gone when the new regime kicks in. From now on you are operating on baby time, which means 1am food calls, 3am nappy changes, 5am annoying cries for no reason, 6am wants to wake you up with a gurgle simply because they can.
2. Baby likes messing up their cot a great deal.
Whether it’s regurgitating milk, leaky nappies, dribbling mouths due to teething, snotty noses or worse, baby takes wonderful delight in messing up the beautiful cot and particularly the mattress. Buy a mattress from The Mattress Factory and you not only get a great price, but a 12 month guarantee!
3. Your clothes are equally useful as tissues
A new £80 cashmere jumper? Perfect for a snotty nose or milk filled burp to be belched over the shoulder! Baby has no compunction about using your clothes as their own personal tissues, or their own clothes for that matter. Or the dog, or the sofa, carpet or any siblings.
4. Food has many uses and can be stored in unconventional places
As your child progresses onto solid food, they are innately aware of its many uses. This can be decorative, as in giving your kitchen walls a new look, or smearing it liberally over their face. Alternatively, it can be stored in a variety of places; the slot on a videocassette recorder, for example, is a perfect place to store unwanted toast.
5. Toys are ok, but not-toys are better.
You may have spent hundreds of pounds on the latest educational, child-friendly toys, but while your child may enjoy them briefly, they will find not-toys more exciting. Whether it is eating your laptop, chewing the dogs ear, spending hours playing with the wrapping paper at Christmas rather than the presents, Children have an innate understanding of what they should not play with, and disregard it completely.
6. The mouth is for exploration
Whether it is new food, their shoelaces, mud from the garden, next doors cat or a siblings finger, if a baby wants to explore the world, they do so orally.
7. Just because the nappy is off, doesn’t mean they’ve finished…
When baby needs to go, they go and their current state of dress, or lack of it, plays no bearing on this decision. It doesn’t matter if mum or dad is in the firing line, when baby has to go, they go and you have to deal with the consequences.
8. Your baby will appear perfect to everybody else, but only you know the truth…
Your precious bundle of joy will appear to be the perfect child to your friends and family and they will fiercely resist all your attempts to persuade them that the angelic bundle you are holding, has the potential to be more annoying than Timmy Mallett.
9. Kiss goodbye to your social life
A night down the pub or two? Forget it! Baby comes first. Even if you are fortunate enough to have wonderful babysitters, as soon as you head out for some ‘baby-free time’, your thoughts will turn to your baby and if they are ok. Then you’ll text to check…then you’ll call, then you’ll leave the pub at 9.30pm to get back as its getting late…
10. They turn your world upside down and they don’t care
Babies have a knack for turning your life upside down initially. What was normality, seems a long-forgotten dream. Yet the real miracle of birth is that despite this monumental upheaval, the struggles and tiredness, you would not have it any other way because despite all of this; your baby is perfect.
The Mattress Factory