Babies are just cuteness and cuddles, right? Wrong! You might have read the baby books, attended every parenting class and listened to mum’s (unsolicited) tips. You’re completely clued up on nappy changing, baby feeding, sleep time and everything else that a baby needs. But what about the stuff that first time parents don’t get told? While there’s a lot of useful advice out there, you probably don’t know what it’s really like to have a baby. Although your tiny tot will bring a lot of good, he or she will also cause some bad – and ugly!
12 Hilarious Tips for First Time Parents
1) Bare Bottom Babies Bring Bad Things to Your Sofa
It’s a good idea for babies to have some bare bottom time. Going nappy free helps to avoid nappy rash, especially if your little one has sensitive skin. But if you don’t want your cream sofa covered in poo, keep bare bums strictly on the changing mat!
2) Baby’s Belly Button Will Turn Black
After birth, your baby’s umbilical cord will be clamped and cut off, leaving a small stump behind on your little one’s tummy. In around 10 days, the stump will dry up and turn black. But first time parents needn’t worry – it just means the stump is going to fall off completely.
3) Suck it Up: Baby Has a Stuffy Nose
Babies have tiny nasal passages that can be easily congested, making it uncomfortable for them to breathe. But babies can’t blow their stuffy noses themselves – it’s up to you to sort it out. We’ve heard some horror stories about nasal suction devices that involve first time parents sucking out the mucus (apparently it doesn’t go in your mouth). Maybe try a baby bulb syringe instead, where there’s no sucking required.
4) Every Morning Feels like a Hangover
Sleep deprivation can do bad things to all of us. Having a baby can make you feel like you have a permanent hangover. Our best advice for new parents? When baby sleeps, you sleep. Even if it’s for five minutes. Take those precious moments of rest now, or you’ll regret it later.
5) Emergency Explosive Poos Will Happen
If you’re breastfeeding, babies are more likely to have lots of loose poos throughout the day (and night). However, keep an eye out for really runny explosions which could be a sign of a diarrhoea.
6) Prevent Sick-Covered Shoulders
Lots of babies suffer from reflux, where milk comes up from the stomach and into your little one’s mouth. And guess where it goes after? That’s right – all over you. First time parents burping their baby after a feed might end up with a milky mess all over their shoulder. Avoid this by covering your clothes with a muslin square (or two)!
7) Baby’s Nails are Actually Claws
For being so tiny, baby’s nails can be incredibly sharp. First time parents are probably scared of cutting them down in case they snip their baby’s skin. But when these mini talons are long enough, your baby will end up scratching themselves anyway. Grab those baby-safe nail scissors and get the job done.
10) Get a Takeaway
While it’s important to keep your body healthy, home-cooked meals can be a rarity with a baby around. First time parents should accept casseroles from granny. Defrost that batch of lasagne from the freezer. Or if all else fails, the pizza shop opens soon…
11) You’ll Forget Something
You and baby are braving the supermarket for the first time. Your changing bag is packed and you’re ready for anything. Only to get to the end of the till and find your purse isn’t buried underneath all those nappies and your credit card’s sitting at home. But a good changing bag will have lots of different pockets to keep everything separate and accessible. Or, always make sure to have a changing bag checklist handy.
12) First Time Parents Aren’t Perfect
There will be mistakes. There will be sleepless nights. And there will be some crying and screaming which doesn’t necessarily come from your baby. But all of that’s okay. There’s no secret to being a good parent! Take things one step at a time and soon you’ll be laughing off those baby blunders. Our final piece of advice for first time parents is this: remember, you will manage.