The whole world and his dog has advice for you when you become a parent. When you should be feeding them, how much you should be holding them, dummy or no dummy. It’s relentless. But what about the practical advice for new parents that is actually going to be useful?

Here are 9 things to make life with a new born a bit easier. Some I learnt along the way, some I learnt after and wish I had known at the time!

practical advice for new parents

Envelope sleeves

I think the poonamis will haunt me forever. Our worst poo explosion saw a trail of devastation from the bouncy chair in the living room, up the stairs and into the nursery. He was covered, I was covered. He was crying. I was crying. It was carnage. To add to this carnage, non one told me about the envelope sleeves on body suits. I was still trying to get them off without covering his head in crap! So if you don’t know about envelope sleeves, it means the body suit can be taken off by sliding down the body, rather than over the head. It’s a game changer when the nappy can’t contain the monster explosion your tiny child has just produced.

practical advice for new parents

Wet wipes in Fridge

A genius hack for keeping babies cool in a heatwave.

Hairband swap

Sleep deprivation makes it very hard to remember things. I always struggled with remembering which side I had fed from. So to avoid wonky boobs I used to keep a hairband on my wrist and at the end of each feed put it on the side that I needed to feed from next time.

Blow in their mouth

My midwife taught me a great little trick for when they do that horrible cry where they go beetroot red and don’t breathe, and you have a minor panic attack. Just do a gentle blow in the direction of their mouth and it shocks them enough that they take a breath ready for the next scream.

Thermous mug

There is always lots of practical advice for new parents about what they should buy. For me, there is one must have item. If you ever want a hot cup of tea again this is an essential purchase for any new parent.

practical advice for new parents

Buy practical clothes

That sleepsuit that buttons up the back may look cute, but it’s near on impossible to do up! Same as ones with real buttons rather than popers. A hungry baby has no patience for the time it takes you to do up fidly buttons.

Clock in the nursery

A clock in the nursery is a must for two reasons. Firstly it gives perspective. It can feel like you have been in their for an hour pacing with a teething baby, when in reality it’s been 20 minutes.

Also a ticking clock is a great way of knowing the monitor is working when you are listening in!

Practice folding the pram

Always practice folding the pram before you take it out for the first time. I once spent half an hour in Asda car park with a couple who couldn’t detatch the car seat from the pram to get it back in the car. The baby was screaming, the mum was on the edge, and the poor Dad just looked lost. I was frantically googling instructions for their model of pram. It was all very stressful. Make sure you know how it all works before you go out and get stuck somewhere!

Have a car kit

I can’t tell you the number of times the kids have been driven home in various states of undress due to muddy puddles, wee accidents, running in the sea fully dressed, and vomitting, to name a few scenarios. Nowadays we have a car kit in case of such scenarios. A change of clothes, a towel, a first aid kit, and wet wipes. Always wet wipes. Plus a random football.

Just remember to update your car kit regularly or you will find yourself trying to squeeze a six year old into a pair of age three trousers.

That’s my practical advice for new parents. Most learnt by making mistakes myself. What would you add?

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Claire Kirby

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