Listen to my gut instinct – The first time around you are literally thrown in at the deep end. There is no amount of reading, or listening to others advice, you can do that will prepare you for your first baby and parenthood. Everyone is different and every baby is different. It takes time to figure out what works for you. I had a lot of anxiety at the beginning when I thought I didn’t know how to do anything right but it comes with time. Next time I’ll be more prepared mentally and will trust myself to know what’s right for my baby.
Stay in hospital longer – I stayed in hospital for one night and was the only one on the post natal ward! The other 2 ladies went straight home. I think there is too much pressure to go home as soon as possible these days. I think I would have been more comfortable staying in for 2 or 3 nights to recover and try to establish breastfeeding properly. My mum said she stayed in at least 2 or 3 nights with us. She was quite shocked when I said they try to get you home after a few hours! In saying that, my hospital were great and I felt no pressure to leave. I just wanted to see my family who had flown down from Scotland.
Give breastfeeding another go – I’m not saying I didn’t try my best last time but I think I will be more prepared this time. I really didn’t realise how much it hurts and how much hard work it is. I know everyone is different but this is just my personal experience. There is so much information out there regarding breastfeeding, but until you actually try it yourself you have no idea what your experience will be like. I would like to try and get breastfeeding properly established in hospital and then go from there. I would still plan to only do it for 6 months and possibly combination feed as well.
Take photos with baby milestone cards – for the amount of time I spend blogging and on Instagram I have no idea why I didn’t buy a pack of these! I’ve even spotted a nice monochrome pack to get for next time. I think I’ve kept track of Isla’s milestones pretty well but these would have been much handier to track and make great pictures at the same time. I also would like to do some of those ‘creative’ newborn shots, where you set up a little floor scene while they are napping. How fun!
Spend more time at home
relaxing with baby – I had only moved to where I am living now a few weeks before I had Isla so I felt a great need and pressure to be out and about trying to meet people. I was going to about 5 or 6 baby groups a week at one point and started going when she was 5 weeks old. I do hate being at home alone but next time I think I’ll make a conscious effort to have more pajama days all cuddled up!