I was recently travelling , talking about the book coming out and was asked to highlight my top ten tips that I have found over the years of nannying and motherhood. I had a set time in which to say them for a talk.
So what I did was think of top 5 for baby and top 5 for Mummy. Here goes
Listen to your child, they are telling you want they need from you. No matter what age or communication skill they have. Children know nothing but to be direct.
Have a routine. Its great for you and bubs to know what comes next. But be fluid with it as there are always changes and tweaks to be made to suit everyone. I call it the 'ish plan'
Talk to your child and with your child, like about listening, communication back to them including non verbal like eye contact / nodding/smiling is invaluable to building up your bond and relationship
Dream feeding and dream weeing. Topping them up while they sleep with either a bottle of breast just before YOU got to bed. And emptying them out. Nappy change or taking them to the loo in the dark just before YOU go to bed. To help them stay dry through the night before and after they are potty trained.
Tummy time. Is the building block to ALL cognitive and motor skills development. Builds muscle memory, confidence, allows synapsis in the brain to want to move, sit up , crawl , stand and walk. Mixed with cross patterning ( left side and right side brain stimulation ) helps with learning , problem solving, balance.
Motherhood is lonely and scary. If you know that then it won't be as lonely and scary. Fore knowledge is power. As it can come as a shock when all the visitors go back to their lives, and your left holding bubs in an empty house.
Trust yourself, as above when you are listening the talking to your baby. You instinctively know what to do. If your think they are tired, pop them down, hungry, feed them, grumpy entertain them.
Make time for yourself. Hand over baby and go read a book, watch what you want, go out. A bath or shower is not self care so move further along mentally than that. Go to the gym or a walk or get coffee. You won't feel so overwhelmed and inundated by motherhood.
Find a village! Get dressed and seek out other Mums. Coffee groups , breast feeding groups, lessons in music, swimming ( never too young ) Mums groups, online and in your local areas. Grab your baby and go speed dating with a coffee and a smile. Everyone else is looking too. Be brave.. it's worth it
Remember the little things. The days speed past and then months and before you know it , years. And as much as you think I will remember this and take a million photos . Sometimes the little things get lost. So have a book to hand to jot them down, first roll , first tooth, first word, etc. Or set up an email to send a pic or write and note to your child, "You walked today , mummy loves you". Wonderful for both of you to look back on.
So thats my short and sweet top ten tips. These I have found invaluable to both myself and my child's mental and physical well being. There are plenty more... I could write a book about it.
Keep an eye out of it All The Small Things .. coming soon