My cousin has spent most of this year growing her first human and has no doubt been inundated with unhelpful advice and opinions from all and sundry.
So as I am now a professional human-raiser myself, I thought I'd enter the fray...
· If you’re going to use a dummy get one that is similar in shape to your own nipple. (Never would have occurred to me but it makes perfect sense).
· My cousin is a no joke athlete. Seriously, she was in training for the Olympics. So (since she is hoping to breastfeed) and if she hopes to be able to get back on her bike and ride for longer than half an hour, I suggest she start expressing and giving the bottle a go sooner rather than later. There’s no science behind my theory, I just wonder if we started too late and that is why Miss Q bottle refused. Either that or she’s just a punk. (I am well aware the latter is the most highly likely theory).
· Further to that…get them familiar with a posse of people early on. Then as soon as the breastfeeding is longer than every two hours (yes, yes I am well aware a lot of babies go longer from the get go) you can leave them and go for a delicious, solo, sanity-saving run.
· Be aware that this may not happen until they are five months old or longer.
· Every time you decide to risk it and not take a back-up outfit is when you will need it most.
· Those ultra groovy leather nappy bags are very, very fabulous, but unfortunately a backpack seems to trump them. Much easier to have a pack on your back and a baby on your front – you may look like a double-sided tortoise, but at least you’re well balanced.
· Incidental exercise may become your very good friend if you have an active baby. Some days Q and I walk for 3 or 4 hours just to tire her out.
· If you have a bit of wine while you’re breastfeeding, you may look like a degenerate but there is no way your baby will be hit with the alcohol. Unfortunately.
· Go to the movies when they’re brand new and total marsupials. I took Miss Q a couple of times and wish I’d done it more. She just fed and snuggled in my lap and none of the other patrons even knew she was there.
· Feel free to consult me on any and all things baby related, as clearly Q and I have everything under control.
Relish these final few weeks, Abi. I know it’s a nervy ride, and I know you’ve probably been told way too much and far too little, but just remember, you ain’t the first and you won’t be the last. There’s a chance you may not be the best, but you certainly won’t be the worst, and just you wait till you meet your little human and love them more than this silly little blog could ever hope to describe.
That is the coolest thing to learn by far.