Tag Archives: new baby

5 things every dad needs to know before the birth of their child




5 things every dad needs to know before baby

Its Monday so its guest post time again so I hand over to Bec and her latest post on 5 things every daya needs to know before the birth of their child.

Since having the Baba bu I’ve reflected long and hard on the differences in terms of support and indeed experience of being a parent that men and women have.

As a woman, you’ve carried the baby around with you for 9 months. You’ve been thinking about baby things all that time, reading, attending classes, talking to friends and generally preparing for birth (and panicking a bit about what comes after!).

The bump

As a man, or certainly as my man, you’ve seen your woman grow a bump, you’ve touched it and tried to get your head around the fact theirs some weird fruit sized creature in there that is partially of your making. You’ve felt it kick. You might’ve read a book or a few blogs; your mates have joked with you at the pub about how awfully your life is going to change, you maybe went to the first few midwife appointments and were, in the main, ignored, as they talked predominantly ‘to mum’. You’ve maybe done NCT classes but probably not the NHS birth prep ones cos they happen when you’re at work and there’s really only so much time your boss is going to accept you dipping out of the job for.

So even before the baby is here there’s actually a staggeringly gendered divide in experience, some of which is obviously unsurmountable. But below is my manifesto for the sort of preparation and support I think should be in place for dads-to-be…..




Bottle feeding and soothing for boys

We’re all down with the ‘breast is best’ rhetoric but I think there needs to be more focus on expressing (for women too), including how to, when to, how much to etc., and then on how, as a dad, you should administer a bottle to your baby. Knowing how to do something and what the logic is behind doing it that way would be super helpful. We all know it’s a good bonding experience to feed the baby, why are we not doing more in the pre-birth prep to put this in as an expectation for our men and train them accordingly?

What happens to your woman

I ended up having a frankly awkward conversation with my partner about the devastating impact bringing forth a life into this world could potentially have on my body. He listened, somewhat mute with shock, about the likely stitches, the 6 weeks of bleeding afterwards, the certainty of stretch marks, the recommendation that we don’t have sex for at least 6 weeks after, the fact it would possibly hurt me the first few times we made love afterward. He knew none of this. I heard one man describe the physical impact on his wife as being akin to having his favourite pub firebombed. Savage. Oh and that’s before we even start to consider the emotional challenges and changes….

Where to turn for advice/help

When I was pregnant I was given no end of information on where to turn to for support – and that was in addition to the NCT group, the girls I met during preggo yoga, my own girlfriends who were already mums etc., but not once did anyone pass over a leaflet to my partner saying ‘Here you go mate, we meet in the back room of the pub twice a week, straight after work, if you want to pop in for a pint and a chat’. Not once. Why is that exactly?

The Return to Work challenge

So men get a couple of weeks paternity leave and of course they can share in the maternity leave allowance if needs be (how many ACTUALLY do that? Where are the role models? Do we see this behaviour on telly etc.,?).

But in the main after two weeks of being totally absorbed in this new life, as a man you are thrust back into the world of work, where you are expected to function exactly as you did before, work the same crazy hours, attend the unofficial after work meetings in the pub and do it all often on broken sleep.




Meanwhile back at home the love of your life is trying to get her head round the enormous changes to her daily routine (routine??? Ha!) and she feels adamantly that her man ‘has it easy’ and just ‘doesn’t get what she’s going through’.

In addition to this, your bundle of joy can be a bit crochety with you as you become more of stranger to her/him, so that it becomes quicker and easier for mum to do things for her/him (how annoying for her), or to tell you what she needs (how annoying for you) and so the resentment builds.

Where, I ask you, is the preparation and support for both parties, but especially the men, to handle that???

How devastatingly and amazingly in love you’re going to feel with your new family

To be fair, nothing can prepare you for this. This is the golden glue that holds you together when all the other chaos is happening. It’s something you can’t stop and it’s something society can’t deny you. This one you have to experience all by yourself….

So come on NHS, NCT, any other parent support groups, when are you going to add these modules to your classes???

You can follow Bec on Twitter and Instagram and check out her rather fabulous blog here.

Next week its your “8 point survival guide to breastfeeding”

7 things I wish someone had told me before giving birth




Guest post from Rebecca Megson – 7 Things I wish someone had told me before Giving Birth

Every Monday for a few weeks I am giving my website over to my wonderful friend Becky. She has very recently given birth to her first beautiful baba and has written some brilliant content for you readers on some of her recent learnings.

I have known Bec since we were 11, we joined secondary school together and were in same form class H2. We have stayed solid friends for nearly 30 years now and have been there for each other through thick and thin, birth, death, relationship breakups, everything. Bec has always been an amazing writer and now I get to share her work with you.

Baba Bu is now 4 months old

The Baba bu is now four months old which is truly, truly unbelievable.

It’s such a cliché but I really think there’s truth in the fact that nothing can really prepare you for motherhood.

In those early bliss-filled crazy hazy days of not knowing what the hell was going on my partner and I found ourselves constantly updating our catalogue of things we wish we’d been told before we had her, a scrawled version of which I just recently came across in my journal. The Baba bu was about 2 weeks old when I wrote this list, which goes to show just how quickly you become an expert!

So if you’re preggers with your first and you’re wondering what else there is to do now the hospital bag is packed, your freezer is full of home-cooked lovely meals and all the windows in your house have been windowlened (this last one might just’ve been my own weird nesting activity) then this list might be useful to you….



1. Start maternity leave 1 week earlier than you think you want to/need to

When the Baba bu decided she was ready to meet us at 39 weeks I felt I’d hardly had time to change gear and really relax, much less get bored of being on maternity leave.

2. Get an emergency feeding kit together BEFORE your baby is born

You and your baby may take to breastfeeding straightaway but if you don’t chances are your crisis point will strike at 3am on a Sunday morning when everything everywhere is shut. So I’d recommend pulling together a kit that includes:

3. Buy a pack of new born baby grows (e.g. up to 1 month sized)

0-3 months is HUGE, especially if your baby is less than 8lbs or so. Keep the receipt if you’re worried about wasting money!

4. Buy blankets before you give birth

Lots of them. Or ask friends and family to buy them for you. We just didn’t think about them and were super lucky that Mrs Mummypenny had included some in the vast bundle of lovely baby goodies she’d given us. It just wasn’t on our radar when we were prepping the hospital bag/nursery….

5. Work out your visitor ‘exit strategy’ in advance with your partner

Visitors are wonderful, kind and lovely people. You want to see them. But you have no idea until it happens just how exhausting it is having people come over. Discuss and agree in advance how many visitors you want to have (and whatever your number is, halve that figure!), for how long (and halve the number again) and what your strategy is for getting them to leave. It sounds crazy but I say again, it is wonderful but also EXHAUSTING to have visitors.

6. Buy at least one nursing bra (ideally 2 -3 ) and a few nursing tops BEFORE you have the baby

I refer you back to point one. I thought I had more time available than I did to go shopping ‘for me’ and so I spent a miserable first 8 or 9 days mostly braless, in vest tops feeling as though I was constantly getting my boobs out in the least dignified way possible. Few things in the normal course of life will rob you of dignity quite so fully as pregnancy and giving birth but you want to feel the best you can afterwards. Things like having the right clothes to feed your baby and feel relatively covered up at the same time are a small but important part of this.

Bravissimo have a great range with lots in the sale at the moment



7. Go to a local breastfeeding group before you give birth

Breast feeding is hard. For some people it’s really straightforward but most mums I’ve talked to had issues at least in the beginning and in addition to the kit I mentioned in point two know what support is available locally and connect with groups before you give birth. It will make turning up easier at a point when you need everything to be easier.

As I said, I really don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you for what happens when your baby turns up – either the magical moments and feelings you have or the omigod ones – but I’d really love it if I could help just one person a little bit with this list of my top 7 things I wish I’d known before the Baba bu arrived!

You can follow Bec on Twitter and Instagram and check out her rather fabulous blog here.

Next week its ‘Revealed:What really happens at the magic 3 month point

This post contain affiliate links to the recommended products all available at Amazon, Boots and Bravissimo.

The Aldi Baby & Toddler Event Plus How to Make a nappy cake:-)

Its that time of year to grab your Aldi bargains in the Baby & Toddler Event, it launches on Thursday 21st April. So get down to your local store or get online and check out the bargains. Aldi have sent me a few items to test out and I have been creative. I have used the baby products they sent me to create a nappy cake. The perfect gift for a friend who is soon to/just about to give birth, and using the Aldi products won’t break the bank. I have been through the full list of products and have pulled out those I think are brilliant value and have picked out my personal favourites.

Nappy Cake using Aldi products

Rather than write out boring instructions I have recorded a Youtube video tutorial on how to make the nappy cake. But for the ingredients you will need

  • 1 cake tin/celebrations chocolates round tin
  • 2-3 ribbons and 1 elastic band.
  • Small useful items to fill the tin such as sanitary towels, sudocream, baby toys, baby linky chains, bubble bath (all things I already had at home)
  • Newborn size nappies,  Mamia Size 2 – 44 nappies for £2.49. You wont need all of them, gift the extras!
  • 2 baby wipes Mamia 59p each
  • Muslin Cloths £2.99 for 3
  • Baby Sleep suits £4.99 for 3
  • Baby Bodysuits £2.89 for 3
  • Cellular Blanket £2.49
  • Mickey Mouse Musical Toy £7.99
  • Total Aldi spend £25.02

Nappy CakeSo the nappy cake would cost you £25…a quick search online tells me that nappy cakes of this size cost at least £50 so this is really great value and such a thoughtful gift.

Again a reminder of the YouTube link, do take a look to see how simple it to make a beautiful creation like this.

My favourite products

18-4-16 Aldi Blackboard TableThe standout product for my family is this wonderful blackboard table. Its the perfect size for my little ones and they love playing games of every invention on it. The first game of course had to be football related. Its perfect for noughts & crosses, hangman, spelling games, times tables, general scribbles from Jack. Endless ideas come from the boys with the uses for this table:-)

It comes with 2 sturdy chairs. It arrived flatpacked, so hubby spend a couple of  ‘fun’ hours putting it together (he hates flatpack!!). Highliy recommended for £29,99. Get it while you can and its also available online.

 

 

 

20-4-16 High ChairThe Aldi high chair costs an amazing £18.99. This is such great value for a baby item that can cost a lot more money. I remember us paying £100 for out high chair back when Dylan was a baby. Its got sturdy legs and fold away for easy storage. It has a 5 point safety harness and a foot rest.

20-4-16 SAfety GateThe next product I love is the hauck baby safety gate, an essential for the top and bottom of stairs. This costs just £12.99 and is suitable for widths of 75-81 cm.

This is such great value you can really go for it with baby proofing your house. And no drilling required it clamps securely between walls or door frames.

 

 

 

 

The baby clothing is incredible value for money and really great quality. Its all 100% cotton and soft. Better quality than Tesco baby gros I would say and I have tried all of them. Next has always been my favourite but at £14 for 3 compared to just £4.99 for 4 in Aldi I know where I would be buying my babygros/sleepsuits now. There is a fabulous range available including the cutest socks ever.

20-4-16 leggings and sleepsuits

Get in quick with these offers, as ever with Aldi special buys when they are gone they are gone.

If you are reading this and have got all the way to the bottom please like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram @mrsmummypennyuk 🙂 MMPxxx