I am trying to avoid all the standard recommendations (sleepyheads, swaddling, white noise machine etc) as Emily saw right through all of them. Instead here is my list, it is quite specific to me and Emily and probably not that practical but I think they’re all good tips!
Snuzpod v Snackpod
Emily was NOT sold by the idea of sleeping here. Instead I lost the fight and just let her boob herself to sleep by my side in my bed. This had the added benefit of allowing me to convert the ‘Snuzpod’ into its true function as a Snackpod. Breastfeeding is hungry work so use that sleeping baby time to stuff your face and that expensive crib as a shelf for food storage. Also if you are worried about co-sleeping there is a really good Unicef pdf online ‘Co-sleeping and SIDS A guide for health professionals’ to reassure you and also look at the ‘safe seven’.
Peel Remote app
It is likely that the remote will never be near you when the baby starts to feed / sleep. You will be at risk of sitting through an hour of Loose Women giving their expert opinions on Brexit. To avoid this danger you need to make sure your phone is always in reaching distance. Your phone is now your life. You can get the Peel Remote app to control your TV… hurrah!
Really not that practical, takes longer than a kettle and is impossible to do one handed. However some days you will be feeling too poor / lazy to go to a coffee shop and this will cheer you up. It also provides Instagram opportunities and now you don’t have constant adult chat at the office social media is your lifeline to the outside world so use it!!
And I’ll also say you need every Sarah Ockwell Smith ebook ever written because I am a FANGIRL. There are also £1 daily deals so you don’t have to spend a lot but it may allow you to keep your sanity during those long nights. Also old books are out of copyright so they are free 🙂. I say immediately download Wuthering Heights, Persuasion and Little Women, they are all wonderful in different ways. The kindle app itself is free (I repeat, your phone is your life now).
My list is fairly phone focused but the blue light from the screen will stop you sleeping which isn’t ideal for middle of the night feeds. The Twilight app puts a really good adjustable red light filter on the screen and can make it very very dim so that it won’t affect your eyes and keep you awake. I just put it on when I turn the light out but technically it should be a couple of hours before you intend to sleep.
An old dog (and someone to walk it)
Dogs are generally a nuisance, but at a certain point your child will find them hilarious for no reason which is very helpful. Young dogs will be more reckless and need watching. You need an older dog who will let them poke and prod with no reaction. Also a husband to walk it (damn).
The shnuggle bath is of course useful as a bath (obviously) it is also super helpful aged 2 to 6 months as a party zone. You need the spiky light up balls from amazon. Turn off the lights, plonk the baby in the empty bath wedged into the corner of the sofa with you sat next to it to keep it secure and turn the lights out. Place fun flashing balls in the bath where baby can reach. Enjoy your coffee and kindle app with both hands available. Now you may have a well deserved break, you’re welcome.
High chair suction toys
IKEA highchair and inflatable support (which you probably already knew). But what you REALLY need is a highchair toy with suction to go on the tray as the constant picking up the same toy is enough to drive you insane. I actually have one high chair in the dining room and one in the bathroom with the suction toy, without this I could literally never shower.
Boring kitchen stuff
At the moment Emily is really into the wooden spoon. A close second is the empty water bottle with some dried pasta in. I love how thrifty my baby is with her toy choices.
Clever TV scheduling
My last one is nothing to do with parenthood but entirely based on the assumption you now watch too much daytime TV and hate Jeremy Kyle. The problem is that GMB, Lorraine and This Morning are all worthy of your attention but Jeremy bloody Kyle is wedged between them at 9.30 to 10.30. My solution is to watch Ellen DeGeneres on ITV2 during this time 😍 she is a shining light of positivity in this world and Twitch can dance 👍🏻. My friend’s solution is to watch GMB / Lorraine on ITV +1 then flip straight to regular ITV when they end at 10.30 ready for This Morning. Either option is a good one but please just don’t watch Jeremy Kyle, it is depressing.