3 New Mum Life Essentials You *can't live without*
Does this sound like you? Frantically googling…
‘how to cope as a new mum’
‘new mum manual’ or even
‘where to get help as a new mum’
For those of you who are approaching the exciting and daunting chapter that is motherhood, or who are very early on in your journey, it can be incredibly hard to know where to turn to get accurate information ahead of your promotion to your new 23/7 job title.
If you’re privately thinking ‘how (on earth) do I do this?’ or turning to search engines for help then we’ve got your back. You are definitely not alone in this struggle – as yes these are very real life and frequent search terms entered into Google – so we decided that we need to try providing a better resource to help new mums in this journey.
You know what they say: if you’re looking to get something done - ask a mum! *rolls up sleeves*
Here we’ve collected up our best recommendations for the new mum essentials you’ll *actually* need. We don’t mean the cot, the bouncer, the breastfeeding friendly clothes, the wake windows or the feeding tips. We mean carefully collated advice that will help you navigate this new life chapter, deal with any sense of growing anxiety and, most importantly, how to enjoy it.
Let’s dive in.
ESSENTIAL ONE | BOOKS OF WISDOM
There’s a beautiful phrase we particularly resonate with here at CARI and that’s “when a baby is born, so is a mother.” When it comes to feeling prepared for the new role of motherhood, well nothing beats reading for the wisdom and experience shared from so many mothers who’ve come before you.
There are hundreds of baby-related books out there, (so many that it may seem overwhelming or impossible to know where to start), so we recommend thumbing through the pages (or listening - we love audible too) to a few that focus on the mother and understanding those new responsibilities first…because that’s the biggest piece of the puzzle. Once that’s in place, it will be easier to settle on the baby approach that will work for you.As always, some of you are totally happy to wing it (we celebrate you) but for those who like a more guided approach, a few new-mum recommendations from the CARI team below:
- The Modern Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: How to Have a Healthier Pregnancy, Easier Birth and Smoother Postnatal Period - Marie Louise
- Mindful New Mum: A Mind-Body Approach to the Highs and Lows of Motherhood - Dr. Caroline Boyd
- Motherhood Your Way: How to Worry Less and Enjoy More in Your Baby's First Year - Hollie de Cruz
- The Making Of You. A guide to finding your identity and bossing motherhood - Binky Felstead
ESSENTIAL TWO | BUILD THE VILLAGE
Before you roll your eyes at hearing the ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ phrase again, hear us out. It really does take a village of supportive people around you to ensure you grow as much as your baby in those first few months. However, there’s a small catch - that village doesn't just happen overnight, it has to be curated and that takes a certain amount of effort and preparation on your part.
A collection of mum-friends be they new or women you’ve known for years are the best remedy for those 3AM blurry-eyed anxious thoughts. They’re the ones you can go to with those crazy questions and find solace in them on those ‘I’m having one of those days’ days. You may well be lucky enough to not only be having your little one at a similar time to your existing friendship group, but also live close to them, which is wonderful. Nurture and hold onto them, and of course share all those tips on best breastfeeding tops and baby bags.
For those of you who aren't, the time is now to intentionally build those connections and relationships. Some will develop into really good friendships, while others will be temporary and fade away as you progress through motherhood, so the more you put yourself out there the better the chances you will find your people.
- Signing up to a prenatal course or antenatal classes like, The Bump Club, Bump & Baby, Happy Parents Happy Baby, or NCT it can be worth their weight in gold. Making relationships with other people who are suddenly leading a similar pace of life to you, who gets what you’re going through and whose available to go to classes with, meet up for walks and coffees can cure the loneliness that can sometimes come hand in hand with adjusting to filling the days with a newborn.
- Another good place to start is Facebook. Most local communities have a few dedicated pages where you can connect with other people in and around your area. While it’s great for local events and classes, you should also try sharing your due date or baby’s age and that you’re looking for any information about parent / baby classes or groups in the area. You’ll be amazed at how many others write back.
- Mother & Baby fitness classes are fantastic, with dedicated post-natal specialist trainers, ranging from outdoor bootcamp style sessions in local parks with buggies or indoor venues, where your baby (crying, feeding interruptions, anything goes) is welcome.
- Join The Mum Club for the most fashionable events and local brunch meet-ups, with dedicated babysitters on hand, and branches are popping up all over the UK and Dubai. If you like fashion, style and fun, chances are the friends you meet here will be your people
- Motherhood can be made a little easier with some brilliant community based apps that you can access on your phone. Peanut and Carol are the best known ones, but there are lots of smaller ones too, and these are great for when you are ‘booby-trapped’ or in a cluster feeding phase.
ESSENTIAL THREE | ASK FOR HELP
You’ve come home from the hospital. The champagne has been popped and the first visitors have come and gone. Suddenly two weeks have flown past and your partner’s gone back to work. It’s you and your baby and you might suddenly start to feel out of your depth. Once again this is entirely normal but what isn’t normal, is suffering in silence.
You don’t need to do it alone. It’s practically impossible to prepare for something you don’t have prior knowledge of so take this as your sign to make sure you have some additional help on hand to cover this vulnerable time.
Now’s a great time to recruit a trusted helper to be around, be it your mother, mother-in-law, sibling or best friend. It’s not that the To-Do list has suddenly got longer but the time that you have available has evaporated yet life needs to continue. Having a helping hand with…
- Meals & food shopping, laundry & organising etc
- Making you cups of coffee, getting you snacks and helping you to get out of the house for walks or to the various appointments…
- Simply just keeping you company
...all sound like things you can easily do yourself but between cluster feeding, bouncing, soothing and (sometimes) sleeping it can often feel like you’re stuck on the sofa whilst jobs and appointments pile up around you. Take it from us, it's much nicer to have someone with you, providing some support, adult one-on-one time, and helping deal with the everyday chaos that comes with a newborn.
If you want to become part of our supportive community, our doors are always open. We’d be delighted to walk with you on your motherhood journey. Simply subscribe to our newsletter for all things motherhood and style - and be the first to hear about our new arrivals and promotional offers.Until next time…