12 really useful tips from real mums for first-time mothers like Meghan

In partnership with LINDEX

Carla Challis

Becoming a first time mum can be daunting, to say the least. With a wealth of information hitting you like a ton of bricks, it can be hard to know what’s useful, and what’s not. If you’re struggling to wade through it all, we thought we’d go back to basics and ask some fellow mums - who have been there - for the baby advice they wish they’d been told before having their first child. So if you’re like Meghan and have just welcomed a newborn or are prepping for new arrival, then the HELLO! mums have got all the tips you could ever need.

1. Say no to visitors

"It’s OK to say no to visitors. The world and his wife will want to come and see you (well, see the baby!) once your baby has arrived but the absolute priority is YOU and the baby. Do it when you are comfortable with feeding and changing and when you feel ready to have visitors in your home. Don’t feel pressured to invite nor accept offers of visits unless you’re ready. They will get over any annoyance at not visiting when they want, but you need that early time to adjust physically and mentally." Helen, 34, London.


2. Muslins are your BFF

"If you have a boy, buy different colour muslins to use to cover the willy for any sneaky 3am out-of-nappy wees. Muslins are also fabulous for when the baby is in bath - drape a muslin over their body and keep wet with water. It keeps them warmer." Steph, 36, Kent

3. Cuddles are key

"Never worry about cuddling your baby too much. No child ever said their mum loved them ‘too’ much, and dependant babies become independent older children." Beth, 32, Suffolk

4. You can be an earth mama

"It might sound silly, but I was worried about all the disposable things I was using when I had my baby – I’m so conscious in my everyday life about it, that I didn’t know how to be an eco-friendly Mum without it being too much like hard work! There’s loads of ways you can though, I use reusable nappies and breast pads, make my own purees, and only buy sustainable baby clothes – my daughter lived in LINDEX's baby clothes, as they’re made from 100% sustainable materials like organic cotton or recycled materials." Claire, 41, Essex

5. Don’t panic about going out in public

"When I had my first child Annabelle, I was so nervous to go out in public alone. I was terrified she would need feeding and would cry and everyone would watch me. In fact, no-one looks at you thinking 'be quiet' - most people are staring at how beautiful your little baby is. Most of us have been there and we know how it feels. Don’t panic. Just find somewhere to feed your baby and make sure you are comfortable." Charlotte, 29, Essex


6. Don’t fret over feeding

"Be open minded about how you’re going to feed your baby. Many women want to breast-feed, but for some mums it’s trickier than others. When you’re in hospital ask the midwives to help you as much as they can so you feel confident about feeding your baby when you get home. In those first few days and weeks, establishing feeding can be hard, so seek out help from your health visitor and any local breast-feeding cafes. And if you end up combination feeding (like I did) don’t for one second feel bad about it. As the saying goes 'a fed baby is a happy baby'." Rachel, 39, London

7. Be smart with baby grows

"A friend of mine saved me loads of money not to mention the planet by telling me about baby grows that have extendable sizes (try LINDEX's range, they have an extended size solution). That meant I didn't have to buy loads of pieces in different sizes but the babygrows grew as my baby did. Genius!" Corrine, 39, Glasgow

8. Plan your day

"For me, I found those first few months lonely. So what helped me get through the days was always having a loose plan, which involved seeing other adult humans. I found local baby groups, went to the park, hell, I even spent hours in Sainsbury's talking to staff and anyone else that would listen. Sleep deprivation does turn you a little weird, but that's OK." Amy, 40, Bedfordshire


9. Don’t forget you

"It’s so easy to be totally consumed in new mum duties but it's important to make time for yourself - whether that's a quick visit to the gym, a speedy manicure or even a walk around the block!" Gila, 27, London

10. Find your routine

"My best advice is to try and stick to a routine early on. I read a book on setting a routine and soon realised I'd be that kind of mum. I didn't follow through all the tips religiously as the times suggested didn't quite work for me, but it inspired me to put my own routine together. Since my son was born, he has slept in his own cot, has never needed to be rocked to sleep and knows exactly what his bed time is as well as his routine (dinner, bath, milk, brushing teeth, story telling etc). He always (maybe not so strict during summer holidays) goes to bed at the same time which means my husband and I get a few blissful hours to ourselves at the end of the day." Andrea, 31, London

11. Be individual

"I was a little shocked by the old-school stereotypes I was assumed to take on when I had my baby (a girl) – everyone was obsessed with me dressing her in pink or so-called girly colours. I found LINDEX had the best range of not your usual pink but fun, playful clothes (the fruit motifs and leopard-print are the cutest and I found they got even softer the more I washed them). I learned pretty early on that people will have an opinion on everything you do, even down to what colour their socks are, so do your own thing!" Libby, 33, Preston


12. Follow your instinct

"Follow your instinct and ditch the guilt. There is no right way to be a mother, and each child is unique so what works for one may or may not work for another. There's so much advice and it's easy to be terrified by it. My first child had reflux and sucking a dummy really soothed him. I was traumatised by the advice from so-called parenting experts telling me he wouldn't feed, would never sleep unaided, would have terrible teeth, would never give it up. It was all nonsense - it took one night of a dummy fairy visit aged 2 and it was gone. So give yourself a break and do what you need to do. Your best really will be good enough - it's all anybody is doing." Sophie, 43, London

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