'I didn't have my own village.' The 4 things I wish I knew before giving birth to my first child.

Thanks to our brand partner, HUGGIES

All the lessons, all the classes, and all the books are about pregnancy and birth. None of it is about what happens after the baby exits your body. Or if it does, it's annoyingly evangelical or fear-mongering, both of which are about as helpful to a new parent as a soggy towel to dry a dish.  

So here's my definitive list of things I REALLY wish I knew before Lenny was evicted from my womb. 

You really don't need much stuff. 

Curated 'nursery' Pinterest boards, wooden toys, neutral coordinated cutesy outfits, the list goes on of stuff the internet and consumerism culture tell us we need. But you really don't need much at all when it comes to a baby:

  • If you're mix-feeding, you need a pump, a steriliser, formula, and bottles

  • Swaddles

  • Somewhere for the baby to sleep

  • A car seat

  • A pram

  • A LOT of Huggies Newborn nappies and baby wipes

Image: Supplied.


They're the nappies and wipes that they'll first use with you the hospital, and for good reason: they're endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives. 

Trust me when I tell you that the stuff you really need are the few quality essentials that are going to make newborn life easier (because nappy blowouts are... no joke). Our midwife gave us our first set of Huggies Newborn nappies and baby wipes, which haven't failed us yet during Lenny's nappy-wearing career. 

They're the #1 choice of Australian hospitals, and have a DryTouch layer that's SUPER absorbent, but is still somehow super soft and breathable. Those baby wipes come with us everywhere too (made with the 99 per cent purified water, and very gentle on their beautiful skin). 

Now besides that short list of things, I'd say that's literally it; you can buy everything else as you need it. 

For some reason, when you're an expectant parent, you act like you'll never shop again, and you need to prepare your home for the baby to live in for the next 5 years. You don't, they're actually very happy as long as they're wrapped, fed and cuddled. 

You really need a village.

Image: Supplied.


Man, I wish I'd understood this more before baby. "It takes a village” is shouted from everyone, but honestly, WHERE IS THE VILLAGE? I AM STILL LOOKING FOR ONE PLS! If you have family close by, lucky you, you're sorted. If they're helpful and trustworthy, that's fab, you have people you'll be able to call and count on when you're struggling or need some help. 

If you don't? Well, it's tough. In hindsight, I needed to curate a solid group of people to help me; I needed to create my own village. Get people rostered, get people locked in to help you with things. Ask for help and make sure you have people around you for support. 

You really need time off. 

So I didn't schedule any time off. And that was stupid. Partly because I was scared of being replaced in my different roles and becoming redundant. And partly because I couldn't really afford to. 


But you really do need a break from your commitments. Take more time off than you think you'll need because you can always surprise and delight everyone by going back early (if you're ready/want to), but it's damn near impossible to decide you actually have zero capacity for anything that isn't yourself and your baby. 

Hustle culture and perpetuating the 'smug busy' narrative has meant many of us think and try to ignore the fact we just grew a human, birthed a human, and are suddenly entirely responsible for keeping a human alive while suffering a myriad of things like postpartum depletion and depression. It's a lot. So be kind to future you by giving yourself the opportunity of more time off. 

Image: Supplied.


You really benefit from being organised. 

I remember people telling me that I should make sure I had the freezer stocked full of meals I could easily pop in the oven or microwave... and thinking in response to that, I just couldn't be bothered. Be bothered. The more organised you are pre-birth, the easier your life will be post. Here are some things I wish I had ordered/organised prior:

  • The village. As mentioned above, the village doesn't magically exist if your parents aren't living close (and even then, it's not always the case), so organise people and get them to commit to helping you in whatever form you're comfortable accepting. 

  • Food and food deliveries. Not just frozen food in your freezer, order the stuff you know you'll need every week (like fruit and having those Huggies newborn nappies and baby wipes on tap) in an ongoing grocery order. You can add stuff that comes up every week where needed, but the essentials are organised, and you'll never be covered in a newborn's bodily fluids at 10pm and realise you're out of baby wipes.

  • Watch list. You'll be sitting in front of the TV a LOT for the first few months and won't have brain power/free hands to read, so make sure you have a list of shows ready to watch. I remember watching the entire 5 seasons of Selling Sunset in one week at one point; it was light and easy, which was exactly what I needed. Another show I remember loving was The Letdown, a show I hadn't enjoyed the first time I'd tried to watch it (before baby), but it made me feel far less alone at 2am with a new alien creature squawking at me.

Lastly, I already knew this before birth, but it's one of the best pieces of advice I could give a new mum. 

Buy or borrow noise-cancelling headphones. The over-the-ear DJ ones. You can still hear the baby, but it dulls the pure pitch of that horrendous newborn noise. Listen to books, or podcasts, or have them switched on to lower the external noise. 

You still have your hands free for cuddles, and you can still look at your baby and sing, so they think you're connecting even though you're also listening to the latest You Beauty episode about a 7-step nighttime routine which now sounds laughable to you. 

Shop Huggies Newborn Nappies and Thick Baby Wipes, designed to gently protect and care for baby’s delicate skin.

Feature Image: Instagram/@kelly_mccarren

We understand how important it is to start your baby’s journey with the best care. That is why we’ve developed HUGGIES® Newborn Nappies & Wipes designed to protect and care for newborn's delicate skin and endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives. Join the Huggies Club at for more information and exclusive offers to help new mums and mums-to-be on their journey. We got you, baby.