"10 things I wish I could go back and tell myself about having a baby."

No two babies are the same, neither are any two mothers.

Let me preface this by saying, I am not a parenting expert. I’m a Mum, just like you. I’m pretty new to this gig too and I still have so much to learn. But, if you have or are about to have a newborn bundle of joy I’ve been there, experienced it, bought the t-shirt and survived.

This is everything I wish I could go back in time and tell myself knowing what I know now.

1. Labour is really, really hard work.

If it was easy, they’d call it picnic, not labour. But you can and you will get through it and all the decisions you make contrary to your ‘birth plan’ in the delivery suite will be the best choices for you at that time. You’re not a failure if you ask for an epidural and you need intervention to help you deliver a healthy baby. You are a champion – every single one of you.

2. It’s okay if you don’t feel that ‘wave of love’ people talk about washing over you when you first hold your baby.

I didn’t get that. My partner cried tears of joy for hours and I was something else entirely. Exhausted, overwhelmed, absolutely terrified. I knew I loved her, but it took me a little while to really understand the depth of that love. I’m still exploring that now.

Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed first.

3. Breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily.

I struggled terribly with cracked, bleeding nipples and a huge oversupply of milk. At the time it felt like it would never end and I wanted to give in and buy formula so many times. Persevering was the best thing I could have done and it feels like a drop in the ocean now. Hang in there, you can do it. It gets better, I promise.

4. Sleep deprivation will be enemy number one.

You really do need to sleep when the baby sleeps. I know you want to go and visit people and wash the dishes and eat something other than toast, but sleep deprivation will destroy you if you let it. There were days when I would cry endlessly for no other reason than I was exhausted, I felt as though never again would I have a good nights sleep. I understood very quickly how Mum’s with poor sleepers develop PND. Cosleeping saved my life, 7 months on and my daughter still spends roughly half her night in bed with me. Nothing beats holding the person dearest to you all night long.


5. If you give your baby a dummy, they will not turn green and explode.

They’ll probably calm down and enjoy the relaxing feeling of sucking. Use it wisely - in the newborn days when I was still learning hunger signs we would give it to Miss I to get her off to sleep and then remove it once she drifted off into a deeper sleep.  She is slowly beginning to wean herself off the dummy now.

Dummies are not the enemy.

6. You will love your husband/partner/significant other more than you ever imagined.

And you will feel that love in return. My other half seriously brought his A Game to the delivery suite and then took 4 weeks off to stay at home with me. Watching your body hit breaking point to deliver their child really hits them and they love you more for it.

7. You can drink coffee and wine and eat chocolate while breastfeeding.

All in moderation of course. But you will need all of them, this I can promise you.

8. It’s not just you that is terrified to be alone with the baby.

I thought it was just me before I meekly confided in another mum that I got nervous when it was just the baby and I, then she said she felt the same. You will gain some confidence, you will work out what you’re doing and you are good enough.

9. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks you are doing it wrong.

There will always be people who think there way is the best way. Nobody can raise your baby better than you, and nobody is doing exactly what you’re doing. You can either ignore them, or invite them over to look after your baby while you sit in another room with a glass of Vino and Netflix.

You're doing ok.

10. You are a great mother.


No two babies are the same and no two mothers are the same. Your journey will be different to mine and you will work it out as you stumble along the rocky path that is parenthood.

You will always know what’s best for your baby, even when you think you don’t.

What's one thing you wish you could have told yourself about having a baby? 

Want more? Try these: 

What not to say to someone who's just announced their pregnancy. 

“6 things I wasn’t expecting after having a baby.”