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Guest Post: 14 tips from the first year of parenting

14 tips from the first year of parenting

My friends recently celebrated their son’s first birthday. After surviving their first year as parents, Lesley was keen to ensure that I would benefit from her experience when Pea arrives, which prompted her to put together this list.

Having had the privilege of spending lots of time with Lesley and her gorgeous son since she’s been on maternity leave, I know that many of these tips come from personal experience, trial and error, and some have been handed down from other parents.

I’ll definitely be referring to this list with Pea, but rather than save it till then, Lesley has kindly agreed to let me share it for the benefit of other new parents. After all, tried and tested has to be better than textbook advice when it comes to bringing up babies! I hope you find it useful – over to you Lez!



1. Primark sell maternity bras. Don’t waste good money on expensive ones!


Preparing for baby’s arrival

2. Baby Grobags – why didn’t someone tell me about these before!

3. Buy plenty of cellular blankets (the ones with the holes in), which are designed to allow baby room to breathe.

4. Car seat blankets/wraps are so much more useful than getting them in and out of a onesie jacket all the time (more stress). My baby lived in his blanket!

5. Baby monitor with built in temperature gauge to tell you the ideal temperature of the room. Don’t mess about with egg thermometers – total waste of time! We have a simple monitor – I really don’t see the point of movement ones or video ones as you would be constantly looking / hearing movements, which all add to new mummy stress!


Recovering from birth

6. Use Lavender Oil in the bath to sooth episiotomies or tears from labour – it helps to heal & clean the wound. Don’t mess about with just a few drops, whack it in!

(You might need laxatives and pile cream however your midwife will prescribe these)


Looking after baby

7. Antibacterial wipes for the changing mat. Don’t mess about with spray and cloth

8. I use maternity mattress protectors or puppy training pads underneath the fitted cot sheet. I prefer these to the waterproof protectors as they soak everything up rather than leaving baby swimming in mess. Wilkos are the best buys. Find them in the animal section!

9. Watering can for bath time. My husband just pours it all over and has done since his time began. Now while my son is in his swimming lessons he absolutely loves the water and doesn’t mind or get frightened of water going in his face. This has got to be a good thing in my eyes.

10. Use normal adult toothpaste. That’s what the dentist advised us as its got more fluoride in.


Dealing with illness

11. Infantile eczema: I use Oilatum for bath time and Aveeno cream. E45 was a waste of time and didn’t touch my son’s eczema.

12. Metanium is great for nappy rash. I’ve also found that Canesten cream for thrush will clear up a nasty bout.

13. Snufflebabe drops are great for colds. I use Snufflebabe vapour rub on his feet before bed time



14. I love Avent baby food storage pots. They are great for freezing or refrigerating things or just handy to put little snacks in. Also very useful as they are marked with measurements so you can measure out cereals etc. I got mine from Amazon & still use them!


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Becci Johnson

Hi, I’m an almost 6 ft, thirty-something living in Manchester. Writer, blogger & mum to twins plus one.

  • Claire Hartley

    What a great set of tips! I would also add:
    If breast feeding buy some of this beforehand Lansinoh Hpa Lanolin Nipple Cream – it worked wonders.
    Buy some ready cartons of formula just in case breast feeding is tricky and you are worried baby is not getting enough feed. You can top up baby but don’t have to even think about how to mix the feed etc. They are also an ideal standby if you do bottle feed for emergencies – keep in car/bag in case u get stuck somewhere or the unexpected happens.
    Get yourself a night feed box together – water bottle for you. Nipple cream, colic stuff if needed, muslin, i-pod and headphones, spare nappy and wipes so you can actually do the whole thing from bed without needing to move, and have everything to hand. I listened to audio books (one ear piece in so i could hear baby too) to while away the time and for company -3am can feel like a lonely time, even with your beautiful bundle of joy.

    9th May 2016 at 7:10 pm Reply
  • MMT

    This is a fab list – i can concur thr last one about weaning pots – still our most used baby product 4 year son…perfect for storing snacks or freezing toddler sized portion of left over spag bol…

    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    12th May 2016 at 8:51 pm Reply
  • You Baby Me Mummy

    These are really great tips! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    30th May 2016 at 8:08 pm Reply

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