We are two thirds through the pregnancy now. I like to say “we”, it is a team effort after all. It has been a really strange, but very exciting few months and we have learnt a lot about preparing for a baby. I’m not really in any position to give advice, but looking back on bits, here are a couple of the big things I would say to first time parents-to-be:
Some days things are hard, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Everything is up in the air and the inevitability of change often puts you on the edge. From a dad point of view, things can sometimes be hard to understand and I have realised very quickly that trying to understand is key. Reading up on the whole pregnancy thing is a great idea. I like reading anyway, but even if you don’t, there are some great books for first time dads out there. To start off with I was a bit dubious about reading books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” , but actually dipping in and out now and again made me understand some of the stuff that sex education in Year 10 missed out – because realistically, this was my only knowledge of pregnancy and even then I wasn’t paying attention.
Ignore the pressure
MotherCare and Mamas and Papas are both your best friend and your worst enemy. They are an oasis of baby products that house a plethora of treasures…unfortunately you have to wade through some unwanted sales spiel and overly aggressive marketing to find them. First of all, we felt like the “10%” off sales were one offs – just so you know, there is always a deal on pretty much. If there isn’t one on it’s because there is about to be a big sale! Honestly, the competition between retailers means that there is always a bargain to be had, especially on the bigger items such as buggies and car seats. One our first lessons was to ignore the pressure – the baby isn’t arriving imminently and as exciting as things seem early doors, you don’t need to buy everything straight away. I would advise taking the retailers’ advice with a pinch of salt – they are all lovely people, but remember that they are there to sell. Take your time.
There are so many reviews on the internet and everybody has their opinion on every baby related item; literally, everything. If you look hard enough, there will always be one person who has had a rubbish experience with something that 1000 people have had a great one with. We got a Sleepyhead Deluxe for two reasons a) we loved the design and what the company was about and b) there were so many amazing reviews on the mattress. I did a lot of digging and read about the Sleppyhead’s functionality and construction and weighed it up in comparison to other similar products. Doing your research and looking at different products that have the same function is smart. Pay attention to the finer details – where is the product made? What materials are used? Who actually uses them? Remember, it’s your money at the end of the day.
It’s already been a rollercoaster through the first few months. Looking back though, it’s scary how quickly time flies. To begin with, you wish time away a bit while looking forward to scans etc.; however, it’s been amazing going through this pregnancy and I would just say don’t forget to smile and enjoy it. We are healthier than we have ever been, our life style is totally different and we are having a right adventure. I’m intent on making to most of it…until labour. Then I’m sure my tune will change!