New mama survival guide
In the absence of a weekly update this week I thought I’d list all the things that have got me through the last 5 weeks of being a brand new mama.
Staying at home with a newborn is, I imagine, very similar to being in an underground bunker with one hand tied behind your back. These products will work in either situation.
1. Tablet – My iPad mini has got me through the many feedings in the dead of night. Perfectly sized to be balanced on my knees while I breast feed and control with one hand while the other hand holds the baby. Here are the apps that have been getting me through:
Facebook: If you can get a friend in Australia to message you, or find some other new mamas then this will keep you entertained for a good portion of the night. Messaging with one hand though is a skill I have yet to acquire.
YouTube: Grab your earphones and subscribe to your favourite vloggers. Perfect for whiling away those cluster feeding hours, my favourites are the Saccone Jolys, Travis Clark and (most disturbingly) Glam Planner.
Candy Crush: I’m probably out of date with the latest game that everyone is playing but any game that can keep you occupied while feeding is going to be a winner. Try not to spend too much on in-app purchases though (guilty!).
2. Headphones – Grab some comfy earphones for watching YouTube in the middle of the night and for listening to Spotify when you’re out pushing the pram in the day time.
I typically just listen to one ear when breastfeeding (the opposite side to the one I am feeding on) so the cord doesn’t get in the way or strangle the baby.
3. Tumbler – Ideally you want a plastic tumbler with a lid and straw. Perfect for grabbing one handed without spilling and make sure it holds plenty so you don’t have to top up every five seconds.
I actually got my tumbler for my labour after my friend Lizzie recommended it to me. It has been super useful with the newborn and Andy now has his own too.
4. Lansinoh – Don’t scrimp on cheaper alternatives, this is a must have for the first 2-3 weeks of breastfeeding when you have cracks, blisters and scabs. I don’t need it so much now my nips have adjusted but I still apply it a couple of times a day.
5. Netflix – This is mainly for the first week at home, if your baby is like ours and stays up all through the night then you might try staying up in shifts like we did. I’m not sure it was the best way to handle things but that was the only way we could get through it. I watched most of Red Dwarf, Gavin and Stacey and anything else that is easy to follow when a baby is screaming through it.
6. Books – You might want to download these onto your tablet rather than grab a paper copy because turning pages one handed is not an easy skill. However, if your feeds are long these will help to get you through and aren’t so mind-numbing as playing Candy Crush for hours on end.