ALL together now, a great big ahhhhhh.
I love a new-born baby (it’s the next 18 years that wears one down). And, together with the rest of the nation, I would like to add my congrats to our young royals Kate and Wills, on the birth of Baby George.
The child-rearing instruction (as well as the weight loss tips – for goodness sake, give the girl a break!), of course, has been coming thick and fast, and I wouldn’t be doing my journalistic duty if I didn’t add to the slew of advice with my top ten parenting survival strategies, hard-won from twenty years of motherhood…
1) Breastfeed if you possibly can. Not because it will make a massive difference to the baby – nobody should be made to feel bad if they really can’t – but because it is so totally nice for you.
No mixing, sterilising, or staggering into the bottle-warmer with exhaustion, in the middle of the night. Can be done with closed eyes and once over the initial discomfort (try Google for what to do with cabbage leaves) is warm and snuggly and full of moments to cherish.
2) Forget your figure. And forget the media. Don’t be pressured into ridiculous exercise or diet regimes, when you’re already struggling to stay awake. If you breastfeed, you’ll soon be back in shape anyway.
3) Find out what makes him sleep. For some babies it’s the Hoover, for others it’s a drive round the block. In moments of desperation you need to have a fail-safe.
Mine was to hold my son while I made a phone call – the droning of my voice had him nodding off in seconds. My husband said he knew just how he felt.
4) Sleep yourself. If he’s waking you up all through the night, grab a power hour when he does, during the day. (We are back to the baby now, not his father).
5) Cultivate the Grannies. When it comes to babysitters nothing beats a doting Grandma. She’s the one who’ll read the same book a dozen times, sing the same song, be unfazed by the worst sort of nappy and gaze fondly when he screams himself purple.
And you don’t have to pay her £25 to spend all evening eating your biscuits and texting her boyfriend.
6) Don’t get stressed about food. Babies are remarkably resilient and while it may be best for him to ingest only organic pureed broccoli and the juice of hand-pressed pomegranate, he will not in fact die if he eats chocolate or chicken nuggets.
You will be less boring and have more friends, too.
7) Embrace the TV. Yes I know, when you were pregnant you said you’d limit viewing to 20 minutes a week – educational programmes only – and so did I.
But believe me, by the time he’s two and you haven’t had a moment to yourself for three weeks, you will be only too grateful for any minor obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat or whoever is currently gracing the young viewer’s screen. The DVD player is your friend.
8) Boredom is character-building. All the great thinkers, writers and creatives got that way by spending their whole childhood with their head in a book because there was nothing else to do.
Babies don’t need flashcards, small children do not need to learn Japanese or Kumon maths. Mud is fine, dirt will help immunity. Falling off one’s bike is part of growing up. In other words, let them make their own fun with a slug and a bit of old stick like we used to have to.
9) Hypocrisy has its place. It is only sensible to deliver lectures on the importance of hard work, good manners and frugality without confusing your offspring by admitting you failed your exams, ran up credit bills and were kicked out of the Brownies. “Do as I say and not as I did,” is a fair and simple mantra.
10) Enjoy it! You may be shattered and frazzled and wondering what on earth you’ve done, but take time to cuddle and delight in your baby while you can. Soon enough he’ll be a stroppy, spotty, monosyllabic teen who costs you a fortune. Then – this will look like a breeze.
See the original article here: http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/PLAIN-JANE-parenting-tips/story-19605259-detail/story.html.