Mahari has passed the 6th month milestone! It’s crazy how time flys. I compare pics of now, and when she was first born and it’s shocking but also incredible to see how much she’s grown and changed.
These past six months have been a whirlwind. I’ve learnt so much not just about caring for babies but about myself, my outlook on life and my relationship with Desert Dad.
There’s always advice that people give and there are the little bits and pieces people forget to mention. Here’s my 6 tips for surviving the first 6 months:
Having a baby is a huge shock to the system for Mum AND Dad. The rhythm and routine of your relationship will change. And that’s fine- but you have to be flexible. You have to be ready to compromise. Your pre-baby routines will change, it’s inevitable. The quicker you accept it the easier things will be moving forward.
Before I had Mahari people told me oh it’s so tiring having a baby you’ll be exhausted. What I would say is that it actually feels like torture. I could not deal with the sleep deprivation at all. Everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps. But honestly I’m not a day sleeper, I couldn’t do it. Hubby and I eventually worked out a schedule that worked for us. He’s a night owl and I’m an early riser, so he would stay up late and feed Mimi an expressed bottle so I could get even just like two or three hours sleep. You can’t function on no sleep at all and actually it’s irresponsible. You can make dangerous mistakes. So figure out a way to get some sleep. Don’t feel bad about asking for help from someone. Even just an extra hours kip can make a huge difference!
The temptation is there to stuff your face with convenience food. Don’t do it! What you eat will not only impact your milk supply and therefore your LOs development but also your ability to function. I fell quickly back into old habits of eating chocolate and biscuits at every opportunity and this didn’t help the lethargy and exhaustion. Eating crap won’t give you the energy you need to get through a day. When your feeding your baby all of your own stores of nutrients etc are depleted because everything goes to the baby, so having a healthy balanced diet is key.
Organise the shit out of everything! I mean everything! From feeds to naps, to when you’ll find time to shower, cook, where you store clothes, wipes, hand sanitiser, to laundry day, anything and everything you can think of can be planned for. Trust me it makes things a lot easier. I’m a teacher so planning comes naturally but since having Mahari I stepped my game up. It means that after muddling our way through the first few months we manage things much more smoothly with less bickering and more productivity.
5. Be Adventurous
Don’t be afraid to try new approaches to parenting. You don’t have to stick to the path well trodden. It’s not always necessarily the right one. Sometimes it’s easy to follow what our mums did or our friends but it doesn’t always feel right for us. Do what suits you and more importantly your baby. I’ve done a few things differently to how my mum did them and thankfully I’ve never really felt much pressure from her to do things a certain way. I feel like the style and approach I’ve chosen for Mahari suits her. I’ve breastfed, I’m doing Baby Led Weaning, kept her in bodysuits for the first three months of her life and do lots of sensory play. To some of my relatives it all sounds bonkers- but it works for us. So have faith in you as a parent and don’t be scared to explore or do something different.
6. Enjoy Motherhood
Enjoy yourself and your baby. Cuddle them, kiss, squeeze them, love them! Enjoy every minute. Take lots of pictures so that you have lots of memories because trust me it goes so quickly and we are only seven months in!
I’d love to hear your experiences and find out what got you through those first few months!
Desert Mama xxx