A friend who is expecting her first baby recently asked my advice about preparing for the first few days at home with a newborn. The frightening thing is that 3 and a half years on, a lot of the details of that early time at home with Theo has got a little bit foggy, but certain things do stick in my mind.
In those long slow final days of pregnancy I remember developing a slight obsession with the idea of running out of nappies or food. I had read somewhere that you were likely to spend a lot of time at home initially and that people would be popping in all the time and eating up your biscuit supply, so I bought a ridiculous amount of biscuits and did a lot of cooking for the freezer before my due date. I don’t think the apocalyptic predictions of a shortbread famine or being unable to get to the supermarket ever happened but it was good to be prepared and have one less thing to worry about.
Living up in the Scottish Highlands did mean our local amenities were a little limited, but one of the most useful facilities for us was our local Boots pharmacy. We used the Minor Ailments system which enables you to get medication and advice for babies for free by nominating a “home” pharmacy and so in those first few weeks we spent a lot of time consulting with the kind and patient pharmacist about nappy rash, colic and cradle cap. Despite the fact he must have had the same conversation with parents day in and day out he never made us feel as though we were wasting his time.
One mistake we did make was being a little under-prepared with clothing when Theo arrived. We’d been warned by other parents to expect baby clothes as gifts, but not that the number of clothes you are given often doesn’t always keep up with the speed a baby gets through them, so we did get caught out and I had to send Jim out on a panic mission to buy more babygrows. Of course with the very best of intentions he came back with a pack of “newborn” babygrows for a baby that weighed nearly 9lbs and they only got worn once before Theo grew out of them – another lesson learned!
And one thing I would definitely do differently if I were to do it again and that would be to spend time practicing putting the pram/buggy up and down! It feels silly doing it before you have a baby, but I wish I’d spent time getting comfortable with the mechanism before I tried to do it on my own with a tiny baby in the supermarket car park!
This post is written in conjunction with Boots Baby who are celebrating 125 years of helping to care for the nations babies…