It’s no joke when you have a baby, there really is no one to tell you what to do; there really is no one to show you what to do and there really is no one to tell you whether you’re doing it right or wrong.
I remember 5 years ago, being handed a squishy, wrinkly little boy and the midwife walking away smiling, saying ‘Congratulations, he’s gorgeous!’
Um…. hello… what on earth do I do now??
I longed to open the official baby handbook and read the first page, except there wasn’t one.
So I did write my own tongue in cheek Baby Handbook which I would have found very useful myself – knowing what it meant to be ‘fish hooked’ and what it felt like; knowing that your baby will show you up in front of everyone, especially the Health Visitor and that they will most certainly poo the minute you arrive anywhere!
But in reality, the real baby handbook doesn’t exist so as a result, my confidence as a brand new parent, was pretty low, to say the least.
Nurofen for Children polled 2,000 UK parents to find out which confidence boosters have the most impact for parents:
1. Having experience of having done it before 32%
2. Knowing that I am doing the best I possibly can 28%
3. Taking the advice of my mum 23%
4. Having more information on my choices/the choices for my child 21%
5. Taking the advice of my GP 19%
6. Taking the advice of other parents 18%
7. Having my friends and family support my decisions 18%
8. Seeking advice from online forums and websites 12%
9. Taking the advice of my mother-in-law 10%
10. Taking the advice of my local pharmacist 9%
As the poll shows, having the experience of being through it before, is invaluable for boosting our confidence as a parent. For me, my husband (who already had 2 children) and my mum, were my number 1 port of call. My children’s Childminder was also a voice of reason and advice. All of them in my mind, had already done it and so should know what they are doing, right?!
When our children are poorly, it can be the most heartbreaking time. And especially when a tiny baby is poorly, it really does pull on your heartstrings, leaving us feeling completely helpless.
I don’t claim to be a parenting guru, however with 2 little ones that I have seemingly been able to raise (pretty well, if I do say so myself!) I may have some tips that you may be able to try out. So here’s my best advice for new parents – the tips that made me feel confident as a new parent.
Your baby’s first sniffle ~
Encouraging a baby to have more feeds, whether it be breast or bottle fed, can help to keep your baby hydrated.
A vapour rub, especially on the feet overnight helped mine.
We always find that raising the mattress of the cot or crib at one end helps to improve breathing, we just use extra pillows.
We also tried holding them in a steamy bathroom with the shower running so that the steam could unblock the airways. We actually found that when they were asleep in the cot, so completely out of reach, a hot bowl of water on the radiator with some olbas oil would also act as a decongestant (and for me the smell is amazing, just like being in a spa!)
Nurofen for Children Cold, Pain and Fever is a great tip for helping us parents manage our child’s cold and flu symptoms, such as fever, sore throats, headaches and minor body aches.
If your child is aged three months or weighs more than 5kg (up to 12 years) Nurofen for Children can relieve fever for up to 8 hours.
I remember finding this one a really hard one to deal with. It’s so heartbreaking seeing (and feeling your child) so hot. I remember Harley’s pre school phoning me one day, asking me to come and collect him because he was so poorly with a temperature.
My biggest tip is to definitely invest in a good thermometer.
And my second being Nurofen for Children as it’s brilliant for temperatures because it starts to work in just 15 minutes to bring down the temperature – a real bonus that it works so quickly.
This is one tip that I have made in hindsight – I really wish that I had purchased some of those rubbery necklace jewellery pieces. I always had teething rings, in the house and in the fridge but my babies always prefered to chew on what was around my neck, even my hair or shoulder, whatever was going, they weren’t fussy!
We always tried a soothing gel such as Bonjela or a teething powder but we never felt that this had much effect.
We also gave our baby pain relief from teething such as Nurofen for Children but I remember sitting next to Harley’s cot, me in tears, watching him in tears, waiting for the pain relief to kick in.
Minor Bumps ~
Harley has a Mr Bump ice pack in the freezer, just in case. Lola has a Peppa Pig ice pack waiting for her. And yep, she used it yesterday!
We also find that Daddy doing his usual dancing is enough to cause a distraction!
Potty Training ~
Wow, this one is a biggie!
And everyone will have their own tips that work for them. Every child is different and responds to different techniques.
But we will be starting potty training with Lola in the coming months so we will be using the tips that worked for Harley. We will let her choose her own potty; encourage her to just sit on the potty when watching some TV; use a reward chart; use a jar of chocolate buttons when she does it in the potty!
So here’s to all us parents – newbies or experienced.
You’re all amazing and that smile on your child’s face tells you just what an amazing job you’re all doing.
Armed with the experience of others, we can all feel like Superheroes.
Just remember your secret weapons: a bottle of Nurofen and a cape!
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post.