First time parent jitters are a real thing. After all, it is a fragile human being that you will have to be responsible for for at least the next 20 years. You’ll probably be worried if you’re feeding them enough, whether they’ll sleep through the night, or if you’re carrying them the right way. Here are some advice from mummies who have gone through this phase and what they wish they knew before they had their first child.
Children Are Sound Sleepers
My husband and I used to tiptoe around our first child, Lauren, whenever she was asleep but she would wake up if even the slightest noise broke the silence such as the rustling of plastic bags or even cutlery clinking. It was only much later that we realised that she slept better with constant noise, regardless of how loud it was. She even managed to sleep through an entire outing!
– Michelle Hon, mum of three
Saying No Is Okay
We were staying with my mother-in-law right after Kylie was born and she had visitors coming every day to see her new grandchild. This meant that I wasn’t able to get the rest I needed in the day. It was especially tiring as I had no confinement lady, so I was taking care of my little one throughout the night as well. I remember being so exhausted and even angsty when my friends decided to come over to give me a birthday surprise. I wish I knew it was okay to ask for a little privacy so that I could get some rest and recuperate properly!
– Esther Rachel Lai, mum of two
Read Deeper Into Their Cries
Babies can’t speak, so they use different types of cries to express themselves. Adults often generalise it as crying, but if you listen carefully there are differences — high and low pitches, and soft and loud whining. Learning how to differentiate their cries is tremendously helpful as it helps you figure out why they are crying. Do note that the same cry may mean different things for different children. For example, my son whimpers when he is tired and wants to go to bed, whereas my daughter throws a bawling fit when she is tired, even until today and she’s already 20-months-old.
– Fiona Treadwell, mum of two
Let Sleeping Babies Lie
Newborns can sleep a lot, up to five hours at a stretch if you’re lucky! Let sleeping babies lie, you don’t have to wake them to keep to a strict three-hour feeding schedule unless there’s a good reason to, e.g. slow weight gain or a medical condition.
That said, the idiom “sleep like a baby” was probably not coined by a parent. Your little ones will fidget, frown, smile and whimper, or even take catnaps that last all of 20 minutes before they’re up again. While it may be tempting to gaze at their pretty sleeping faces, try to sneak in some shut eye if you can — they’ll be up again before you know it!
– Lynn Toh, mum of two
They’re Not As Fragile As You Think
Though they look fragile, babies are a lot hardier than they look. Their necks get sturdy very quickly and quite a number of babies can support their heads before they turn a month old. That’s not to say that you should just throw them around, but rather cut yourself a bit of slack and not worry too much when you are carrying them. There’s no right way to carry an infant, as different babies like to be carried differently. Experiment a bit to find the one your little one is most comfortable in. Also, if you find scratches on them, don’t worry too much, they’ll heal in no time.
– Jessica Loo, mum of two
To read more about what other mums have share about their parenting experiences, click here.