health

The six most common slip-ups of all new parents.

I’m almost reluctant to give you advice on avoiding common slip-ups new parents make because looking back, some of the ones I made were pretty funny, although not at the time.

Like when I was desperately hungry and trying to eat spaghetti while breastfeeding my son and dropped some on his head. The time I hadn’t secured the teat properly to the baby bottle and poured the contents all over his face. When I was trying to collect a stool sample from him for his doctor and slipped on his wee and then got his ‘stool’ all over my hands…

But let’s save all those examples for a coffee catch up. Here are the six most common slip ups all new parents make.

1. Don’t pack things like hair straighteners in your hospital bag.

Lip gloss, yes. Hair brush, yes. Shampoo and conditioner, yes. That’s really as far as you should go with beauty products. After you either push a baby out of your lady parts or have one wrenched out of your tummy through a small incision, trust me when I tell you that you won’t care what you look like for quite a while.

2. No, you won’t fit into pre-pregnancy clothes for the trip home.

I just want to hug my new mum self and say, “Oh honey, did you seriously think you’d fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes that quickly? Try in nine months’ time, love.” Yep, I was quite naive. I ended up walking out of hospital in the same clothes I was wearing just weeks before giving birth, much to my horror, and didn’t get to wear my favourite jeans until a full year after giving birth.

3. Not buying big enough sanitary pads in your hospital bag.

When I looked at the list provided by my hospital, I threw in a couple of my everyday liners. Being a tampon girl, I figured my panty liners would suffice, especially if it was a light flow. No, it wasn’t a light flow. I sent an urgent text to my sister and asked her to buy “The biggest sanitary pads you can find, with wings.”

4. Thinking breastfeeding will be easy.

Just as I thought conception, pregnancy and childbirth would be easy (because I was incredibly naive, did I mention that?) I also thought that breastfeeding would be easy. Nope. At the time, I thought I was the first and only new mum to ever struggle with breastfeeding. I wasn’t, and neither are you.

"I thought I was the first and only new mum to ever struggle with breastfeeding. I wasn’t, and neither are you." Image via iStock.
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5. Neglecting to install the car seat until the hours before leaving the hospital.

Forgetting to install the baby seat in the car is only funny in the movies. In real life, it is not funny at all. I remember I gave this job to my husband and he delayed it and delayed it until THE DAY he was meant to pick us up. We were waiting in the foyer of the hospital for hours.

I’d timed our pick up to coincide with my baby’s nap time and in between feeds. Needless to say that all got blown to hell by my husband who was running two unforgiveable hours late because he was trying to figure out how to install the baby seat.

Just so you can avoid the same disaster, here is how to do it properly, thanks to Britax Safe-n-Sound;

• Buy the correct size seat for your child.
• Install it in the rear of your car in the centre if possible. It is the safest position for a child to travel in the vehicle.
• Following the instructions EXACTLY when installing your baby seat. If you have trouble, contact a professional installer who will come to you and fit it for you for a small charge.
• Make sure it is installed at the correct angle for a new born and adjust it frequently as your child gets bigger.
• For more details, visit the Britax Safe-n-Sound.

“Forgetting to install the baby seat in the car is only funny in the movies.” Image via Britax

6. Not asking for help, even if it’s just a chocolate run.

“No no, I’m fine,” I told visitors the first time around. After giving birth a second and third time, that changed. Ask for help. ACCEPT all help. Your loved ones WANT to help you. You don’t get a medal for doing everything yourself.

What other common slip-ups have you made?

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