Real Parenting Advice from Everyday Mums
South West Victorian mum’s share their best parenting tips – for expectant mums.
I’m Jess from Jessica Jane Photography. I’m a mum, wife and photographer based in Camperdown who specialises in newborn photography. Below you will find everyday mum’s sharing their best parenting tips. My clients were excited to share their experiences in those early days with baby.
While pregnant with my first, I only seemed to hear fluff about how amazing having a baby is or to ‘look out’ you won’t know what hit you! All were useless information that didn’t help me at ALL.
After I had my daughter Bonnie, I wondered why people weren’t more open and honest about how caring for a newborn can be very stressful and demanding. So when I didn’t love every minute of this parenting gig, I would have known these feelings were very normal.
Having a baby is an incredible experience, it’s a new love which is hard to explain – but it doesn’t mean it’s easy and wonderful all the time. At times it can be extremely challenging especially if you aren’t getting sleep.
We’re all in the same boat – No idea what we’re doing – but we are trying our best and learning along the way! I hope you get lots of little gold nuggets out of this.
Being a mum is difficult and stressful at times but self-rewarding to watch your baby thrive.
Warning: Teething is a demon! Although sleep deprivation is exhausting I found this our biggest challenge and anxiety provoker. My boys have been difficult teethers but I get comfort in knowing this is only a short phase that will soon pass. I know that a better nights sleep is only around the corner.
Social media doesn’t often depict the reality of what daily parenting looks like. On a daily basis, my house is messy, my children play in the dirt and I have a mountain of housework and jobs to get done.
Spending time with my family takes priority and I’m happier for it. Let go and accept the mess and you’ll enjoy your babies more.
Download ‘The Wonder Weeks’ app prior to bubs arrival. It gives you an insight into milestones/leaps/sleep regressions/ your baby will go through as they grow. It helps you to understand why your baby might be crying, clingy or being cranky. This was recommended to me by all my mummy friends – great advice. Don’t get caught up reading ‘too many books’ and ‘blogs’ before and after baby – it can cause unnecessary anxiety for you which then can be passed on to bub – no baby is by the book. So go with the flow and do what works best for you/your bub/your family.
Take lots of photos! Even if that’s 20 snaps every hour from sunrise to sunset. Reality is, our babies will never ever be this small again and unfortunately we can’t freeze time. This time is precious. All those photos will tell a beautiful story as your child grows up.
Before having Winnie, we had no experience with babies; no babysitting, no changing nappies, nothing! We used the routine in “Save our Sleep” by Tizzie Hall as a guide as we had no idea what we were doing! It taught all of us, Winnie included, about the importance of sleep and how to develop good sleep skills.
With a routine, we have been able to work our lives around Winnie and what she needs. It has been restrictive at times because we can’t always go out when we want and sometimes we have to leave before we’re quite ready, but we do bend the rules at times too.
Following the guide however, gives us the confidence that when we are out and about Winnie will generally be quite happy because she’s been fed and has had enough sleep. My husband recommends the routine because most of the time when she is upset we can problem solve quickly as we know what she needs and don’t have to guess.
The book also has a step by step program for introducing solids which has been super handy too!
I was very grateful that I did a massive cook up in the lead up to my daughters birth. I made a heap of “dump bags” for the freezer which are raw meals you defrost and put into your slow cooker.
I’ve also accepted that with Elvie, co-sleeping is the only way we will get “some” sleep, at least for the time being.
Bonds zippies are worth their weight in gold, and also old school muslin nappies for 101 uses around the home. Boobie bikkies and breastfeeding tea for those first few weeks helped establish my milk supply whilst recovering from birth. Also don’t rush out of the hospital, if you’re lucky enough to have your baby in Camperdown, take advantage of their care because you are not pushed out the door like city hospitals do as they need the beds.
Take advantage of grocery click and collect services, I often do my groceries in my dressing gown in the comfort of my couch.
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Jessica Jane Photography