Parenting books, websites and advice are often the ‘go to’ resources for first time parents, but their ‘gut instinct’ is what they should listen to most, according to experienced mums.
In a recent survey commissioned by BabyLove Nappies, more than 1,000 mothers of children aged from 1 month to 3 years were asked to: Think about everything they’d learnt as a parent, and to nominate their top tip for first time mums.
The most popular tip to arise from the survey was: Listen to your instincts/No one knows your baby as well as you do. Mothers of more than one child were especially likely to suggest this as their number one tip, with 23% of third time mums and 19% of second time mums putting it forward.
‘Intuition often lets us know as parents when something isn’t quite right, and yet often first-time parents may not have the confidence to listen to their gut feeling, so it’s great that so many mums, especially second and third time mums, are sharing this advice with new parents,’ says Midwife Cath Curtin, a midwife and maternal and child health nurse.
‘As a midwife, I often advise new parents’ not to overthink the newborn stage and discourage them from logging onto countless websites and blogs as it can lead to confusion and anxiety,’ says maternal and child health nurse, Midwife Cath, who has delivered over 10,000 babies in her 43-year career.
Relax/Don’t stress the small stuff/Go with the flow was the second most popular parenting tip in the Survey, with 17 percent of survey respondents putting this forward as their top tip.
More than 30 tips were imparted in the BabyLove Survey, and the most popular tips often related to reassuring mums in their role as parents.
Top 12 Tips for First Time Mums:
1. Listen to your instincts/No one knows your baby as well as you do.
2. Relax/Don’t stress the small stuff/Go with the flow.
3. Enjoy every moment because it is over in a flash/Enjoy your moments with the baby.
4. Don’t worry about what other people think.
5. Do what is right for you/your family.
6. Everything is going to be okay/Hang in there/Take it a day at a time.
7. Every child is different/What works for one won’t work for the other.
8. Ask health experts for advice/Consult with other mums/Seek/Listen to advice.
9. Be patient.
10. Rest when you can/Get enough sleep/Sleep when baby sleeps.
11. Be kind to yourself/Be gentle with yourself.
12. Ask for help/Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
‘Many of the tips offer encouragement and assurance to women in the new role as mothers. There is a great sense of affinity, empathy and mutual support between mums,’ said Debra Smith from BabyLove Nappies, who undertook the survey of 1,029 mothers with Colmar Brunton earlier this year.
About Midwife Cath
Midwife Cath, Cath Curtin, is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labour and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 42-year career. Trained and fully-qualified as a nurse, midwife and maternal and child health nurse, Cath has an incomparable depth of experience. Her book, The First Six Weeks, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016 and is being translated for international markets. Her next book will be published in 2018.