Becoming a first-time parent can be pretty daunting because there’s no real manual to this – you just have to fake it til you make it and hope it turns out okay. As much as every parent worries, there’s a lot of well-rounded children and adults out there so most of us are doing something right!
- Why is my baby’s poo green? When the only thing that’s going in is white, green poo can seem scary but trust me when I say, over the next 2 years you are going to see poop of all colours. Black, green, yellow, brown, red like the pasta sauce they had last night, chunky, watery, sandy… if you’re worried, give your GP a call but it’s probably pretty normal. Master 2 has green poop the whole time he was on SMA and was constipated when he was on Aptamil. It’s all a learning process!
- When does my baby need shoes? You think you want them to walk but once they start walking, you will wish you never wished it. Babies don’t need shoes until they’re walking but a lot of people by soft sole shoes because they look cute. No shoes means more sensory experiences too.
- What does my baby’s name mean? If you’ve already named them, does it really matter?! It means “my beautiful baby has a beautiful name I/we chose for them and I love it”. I always look into names before I’ve named my Mini’s as I believe names mean a lot, especially after reading God Knows My Name and I wouldn’t name them something that had a negative meaning.
- When will my baby crawl? Too soon. Before you blink, your baby will be sitting up, crawling, walking and talking and you will miss that new baby that you had only yesterday. They grow so quick. Cherish them while they’re still totally enamoured with you. If you’re worried about your babies development, a quick chat with a GP or Health Visitor can be reassuring.
- How do I make my baby sleep longer? I’ve tried Gina Ford, I’ve tried routine, I’ve tried just going with the flow. Babies sleep when they want to sleep, how they want to sleep. Some take to routines within months and some don’t sleep properly for years. If they’re tired you will know about it. Teething and sickness will turn anything that resembles a good sleep pattern upside down. Sleep when you can. Stock up on tea/coffee/drink of choice for when you can’t. We do bath, book and bed; have a blackout blind; make sure the Mini’s aren’t hungry and they still don’t always sleep when I want them to.
- How much milk does a baby need? Some babies are hungrier than others hence hungry baby milk exists. There are guides as a general reference to how much milk they should have at different ages but if you’re breastfeeding, it’s pretty much on demand.
- When will my baby smile? When they’re not full of wind; you tell a good joke and they’re not too tired. All jokes aside, your baby will smile anytime after 6-8 weeks and once they do, your heart will definitely melt all over again.
- How do I change a nappy? Try not to breathe through your nose; have everything you need to hand: wipes, nappy, bum cream, nappy bag etc; and just try to get their legs into the right spaces. It will be tricky at first but soon you will be a dab hand. Until they start to fight it and it looks like something out of WWE. Stay strong, mama!
- Which buggy should I buy? One that works for you. Will it fit into your car boot? Can you get it into your house easily? Do you need something that can handle hiking? Can you afford it? Three wheels? Travel system? Pushchair? If you need some extra help, a staff member in-store should be willing to assist you.
- When does my baby start teething? At a time when you’re already too sleep deprived; starting to feel a bit more confident about this parenting lark; and possibly experiencing your first period since birth. It can be anytime from 3 months onwards but for the sake of your sanity, hope it’s more around the 6 month mark. Some babies handle it like a pro and some are plain miserable.
- Why won’t my baby stop crying? When your baby won’t stop crying, it’s stressful and exhausting and you just want to know why so you can make it stop. Tired; hungry; too hot; too cold; teething; wind… the list goes on. If you’re uncertain if it’s something more than the basic possibilities, it could be something else like colic, reflux, milk allergies and so forth so speak to a GP.
- Why won’t my baby stop being sick? Don’t panic. It’s pretty normal for babies to vomit and most commonly it’s reflux (when your baby’s sick after a feed). It may also be gastroenteritis. Keep an eye on your baby and trust your mum instincts – if your not happy with how much your baby is vomiting or how long it’s been happening for, it’s safest to contact your GP or health visitor.
- How do I swaddle my baby? Ask a random OAP who looks like she knows a thing or two about babies. But it’s pretty simple to do once you learn how and if you still can’t get it the original way, there’s plenty of ready-made swaddling options to make it easy.
- How do I wind my baby? I actually learnt this from Micky Mouse Clubhouse LOL. Seriously though, gently but effectively rub or pat their back when they’re about halfway through their feed until they bring up some wind (and possibly some vomit too). There’s different positions this can be done in and you’ll find which ones work best for you and baby over time.
So those are the top 14 questions new mums have and some honest answers from a mum of two.
What did you want to know when you became a first-time mum or wish someone had told/taught you already? Let me know in the comments.