This time our tips are coming straight from mums and dads who have been there, done it and got the now slightly stained t-shirt. A variety of battle-hardened mums and dads have shared with us their top tips to help all of us newbies out there survive the early stages of parenthood. We’ve chosen some our favourites to share with you.
1. A ticking clock
Breege O’Neill had an excellent idea about how to keep her baby soothed without having to constantly be nearby. She told us a simple trick she used was to put a clock with a very loud ticking sound close to her baby. The idea was to simulate the sound of the mother's heartbeat! Apparently it works a treat!
2. Warm the bed
This tip was shared by Elle Ledbetter and we think it’s inspired! - We’ve all been there. We’ve shusshed, we’ve rocked, we’ve swung and we’ve swayed. They are fast asleep. Finally you place your little one in their basket or cot... and they immediately wake up!
Elle’s super tip for parents suffering from this is to place a hot water bottle on the mattress before you put your baby down! It warms the space gently, and just before you go to lay the baby down, remove it. The rationale is your baby is more likely to stay content because they don’t go from warm hands to cold bed… genius!
3. James and Tilly Bradford shared their favorite colic-soothing dance with us and it’s called, “the elevator step!” This dance is made up of springing from one foot to another, up and down and from heel to toe whilst hold the baby in the neck nestle position. They said to make sure you are bouncing at a rate of 60 to 70 beats per minute (count “1-and-a-2-and-a…”). They found the process soothed their baby’s stomach. It also had the added bonus of giving them a little exercise at the same time! Always good for time-poor parents.
4. Sarah Tinworth told us the magic formula she discovered to ease her baby out of their colic strife. Sarah’s technique involved holding her colicky baby in front of a mirror and letting him witness his own experience. She said place your little one’s hand or bare foot against their image in the mirror and watch the intrigued baby grow silent… magic indeed!
- Remember You
5. Christine Bell told us that she wished she had headed others’ advice and taken some time away from her new born for herself once in a while. She has since gone on to have two more children and now she offers the same good advice that she ignored first time around!
Christine recommended biting the bullet and leaving your precious new-born with a trusted baby sitter (preferably a relative) as soon as possible, this way you can have a bit of time to go out for at least an hour and refresh your senses! … And by all means, accept all offers to change nappies!
- Finally, you know best!
6. Of course, not all mums want to take others’ advice all the time and that’s fine too! When you become a new parent, you find you are not short of people offering all types of helpful advice. Whilst it is always given in good faith, it is not always what we want to hear or do. Mandy North reminds us that ‘mum knows best… ‘
“The best advice I can give for those new parents on the receiving end of unwanted advice is to smile sweetly, nod politely and go and do things exactly how you want to!”
We hope these tips are helpful or that you are at least smiling sweetly, nodding politely... and doing it your way! Either way, we wish you the happiest time watching your little one grow and develop.