Tips For New Mom’s!

I’ve been with my current company for 6 years and during a major growth period. When I joined the company, we were 6 people! A receptionist, a financial controller, a marketing dude, our financial director, our managing director and me – national account manager extraordinaire! ๐Ÿ™‚ And all aside from me with my fertility issues, everyone was either past the young child/pregnancy stage with grown up kids or too young to want kids. Aside from our MD who had one child. I was very sheltered from my infertility pain at this company. Everyone has been super kind and very supportive of our journey to parenthood. I got time off whenever I had to have some medical procedure for IVF or tests or whatever, without having to sign off leave.

And in all the years of struggle, nobody had babies. Of course the company has also grown and we are now a team of 20 people. 2009 proved to be the year that my lucky-pregnancy-avoiding-streak would end. At the beginning of 2009 our MD’s wife had a baby, that I could handle because there were no pregnant bellies around me. Then in November of 2009 our marketing-dude-turned-marketing-director’s wife had a baby as well, again, it was easy to bare because again, there were no long pregnancy orientated discussions, no pregnant bellies etc etc in the office. But there were two female colleagues who were getting married within months of each other early in 2010 and I just knew the time was fast approaching when I would be faced with pregnant bellies, pregnancy chat and all things pregnancy right here in my office. Thankfully, God must have known that I’d been pushed the very limit of my strength and courage and within 2 weeks of our marketing-dude-turned-marketing-director’s babies birth, Ava-Grace was placed in my empty arms and all of those fears disappeared.ย  And not a moment too soon.

I returned from maternity leave and on walking into our office was instantly confronted by a pregnant belly as one of my female colleagues was pregnant. Two months later, the second one was pregnant too. And for the first time in my life I got to be joyful, I mean, really really joyful for them. I got to participate in the discussions about sleep deprivation and what I thought was the best nappie, cot, formula etc etc etc. They actually sought me out for advise and it was wonderful! Now the directors PA is also in the process of trying to fall pg and I’ve been dishing out advice on getting pregnant!

So preggie belly no. 1 had her baby at the end of November and preggie belly no. 2 gave birth yesterday. Before she gave birth, she asked me for some tips on surviving the first, very difficult few months. I told her about our house rules and although most people think I’m being funny, I am in fact being dead serious, so here is what got us through the first few months and are still in fact hard and fast rules in our home:

You Wake It – You Take It!!! This rule still stands today and it not only applies to Walter and I, but also to any guests who may inadvertently forget the sleeping toddler. Of course, we have never been the types to put our fingers to our lips and shush our visitors, we’ve always been of the school of thought that little babies need to learn to sleep through loud noises because I personally believe it makes for better sleeping habits when said baby is older. And so far that has paid off for us. Ava has slept through barking dogs, she sleeps through loud music, she has even slept through roof repairs where they were chopping out sections of the roof. But we do try to be mindful of our sleeping toddler when entertaining at home, should the party get slightly too rowdy etc.

What happens between 10pm and 6am DOES NOT COUNT!!! This means that no matter how much of a ratty bitch I am, no matter how I may throw the f-bomb at you, no matter how irritated or unpleasant we are too each other during those night-time hours, initially when soothing a new-born and now when dealing with a sick toddler. Whatever gets said during those hours does not count and we are not allowed to be angry with each other in the morning! It’s actually the perfect rule because if I think Walter has been an ass, I can wait until 22h05 and then I can tell him that I think he’s been a wank-chop-dick-shithead and he’s not allowed to be angry with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

10pm – 6am Are Mama’s Job! I didn’t love this rule much in the beginning but I grew to understand that it was necessary. Thankfully, Ava started consistently sleeping through from 12 weeks, not sure I would have loved it if I was still getting up for middle of the night feeds – and don’t be shocked -I actually know some people who are STILL not sleeping through! But the truth is, a baby knows the difference between Mama and Dada! And when it was Dada’s turn to do night feeds, little Miss Ava-Grace would stubbornly drag it out and refuse to go back to sleep for at least 2 – 3 hours at a time. If it was Mama? Little Miss Ava-Grace would be back asleep, bottle finished and nappy changed within 20 minutes!

Sunday Morning Is Mama’s Time!! Walter struggled a bit with this concept and I did have to rather gently guide him through the process. But basically this rule entailed me, being allowed to sleep till I woke up on a Sunday morning, I used to try to sleep until at least 10am, without Walter or little Miss Ava-Grace being allowed in the room or to disturb me in any way. Walter finally got the message about 6 weeks in where for about the 20th time that Sunday morning he came into the room and said and I quote: “Ava needs to make a poo but I also need to make a poo so what should I do???” I think the laser beams that shot out of my eyes and burned holes in his head, along with the steam escaping from my ears gave him the message that perhaps he should try to figure these things out for himself without always having to ask me! Of course, again, this rule also fell away when Ava started sleeping through and middle of the night feeds became a thing of the past.

So what were the rules and procedures you had in place that helped you survive the first few months with a newborn?


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  • Reply To Love Bella

    LOVED this.

    I was glad to have never been faced with any preggy bellies at work either – I am the youngest by about 5 years – second youngest has had her child and wants no more. The rest of the ladies are late 40’s plus. However, they did have a bitch clique that I BATTLED with..

    Anyway. Your rule of what happens between a certain time is VITAL. We have it at home too. We have bitten each others’ heads of numerous times, but next day all is hunky dorey.

    My only other ‘rule’ is that Trav is home by the start of suicide hour. We alternate putting Bella to sleep and after, I like to bath for an hour or so, with a book. Don’t always take that long, sometimes too tired, but THAT is my me-time.

    It is SO nb to establish ME time, because let’s face it, with our natural nurturing instincts, we do tend to do a bit more than the boys (NOT pointing fingers, or keeping score, just saying). From the get-go (and way before!) I told Travs that every second Sat morning I was outta there and he was in charge. Not for long – not even 2 hours, but that was MY time.

    I firmlyFIRMLY believe that we must have our time out from the hubbub. Else we may just lose the plot completely.

    Oh, and before any resentment kicks in, you need to address it as it happens. Don’t let it build up. You don’t want to be fighting with each other over / in front of your child! That was a big, big hurdle for us to cross, but we are happy to have reached a great medium now.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:47 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Those “new baby” fights are the worst! I was very glad when, after a few months, we found our groove and the arguing over stupid stuff like who changed the last nappy stopped! Its a really hard transition!

      February 17, 2011 at 10:54 am
  • Reply darylfaure

    When Dylan was a tiny baby, Doug had the before midnight shift, as he likes to go to bed late anyway, and I did the post midnight shift, as he had to go to work. This at least allowed me to get some sleep before midnight, so if I was awake between 2 and 3:30 it didn’t hurt as much.
    I’m still trying to get my DH to let me sleep in one morning a week, but haven’t got that right yet (oh well one day when Dylan has left home it may happen again).

    February 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    Love this post and the comments, very educational. I have ideas in my head….but don’t really know how they are going to work. I love the idea of alternating nights to put the baby to sleep………..and I’m a bit concerned about those ‘who changed the nappy’ arguments.

    I supose all an adjustment hey!

    February 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm
  • Reply Nisey

    Heine and I worked on a 2 nights each system. Basically because we are both self employed there is no maternity leave or any such luxury when your office is under your roof!! Now that he mainly sleeps through Heine mostly gets up simply because he’s a light sleeper and I usually don’t hear any midnight noises.

    Although Jaden was older our first 3 months were traumatic for him so sleep was almost completely absent in that time.

    We also do 2 nights on and 2 nights off with bathtime and bedtime which gives each of us an hour to ourselves regularly. It doesn’t sound like much but again, when you work from home its hard to snatch any down time.

    I haven’t quite figured out how to include me-time in our lives but I’m working on it!

    February 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm
  • Reply lea2109

    For us it was that bath time was Dad’s time and he gave me Friday nights “off” where I got to sleep the whole night and he got up for her whenever she cried. To this day we have a rule that this is team work, it is not just my job and he helps with things like getting the kids to bed or make their meals or getting them dressed so that the parenting job is equally split.

    Teaching your babies good bed time habits from the start is definitely a life saver even if it is initially a bit more effort. But today we have a 3 year old and a 7 year old who go to bed when they are told, a story, then good night and lights out. We don’t have kids that jump out of bed 10 million times a night, we don’t have kids that come crawling into our bed in the middle of the night and no arguments about going to bed when they are told.

    And the best advice we got – remember your baby is not a book baby and will develop in his / her own time. She might feed differently, sleep differently, have different routines and as soon as you learn to go with the flow, the easier things will become.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm
  • Reply Fiona

    Great rules!

    The few rules that I do remember is that for the first few weeks we didn’t go out much so I could get Zoe into a good sleep routine which helped loads with the help of the Baby Whisperer. The other rule which still applies today is that I get to sleep in on Saturday morning which is bliss…I love love love Friday nights because of this! We also never allowed her to fall asleep whilst drinking her bottle, I taught her to self soothe at a very young age. I think this was the ! factor for her sleeping so well unless of course she likes to hibernate like her mom ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    I agree fully with the Mama having to get up – same thing applies to us. If my husband goes in to soothe a child, that just means I have to get up 10 minutes later than I would have, and have more trouble getting the baby/ies back to sleep.

    We have a strict bedtime rule for the kids (7pm for the twins, 7:30 for Danielle) and that is that. After that is grown-up (ie me) time!

    Other than that, I think you covered it Sharon!

    February 18, 2011 at 8:52 am
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Very informative post. I better get ready because not thought about any of those !!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    I told DH that he must find his own way of doing things , not try and do what I do. I have seen friends of mine always correcting the DH’ efforts to help, so that in the end the DH would just leave everything to her as he never got it right. So I wasn’t going to go there. So already on the first day, I left her alone with him for 2 hours, as I had to go shopping for formula and bottles etc (as we then knew what she liked). Since then he has been quite happy to look after her alone.
    Also I am an owl, so I did late evenings, and DH is a lark, so he did early mornings.

    February 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm
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