Little Baker arrived in our lives a month ago and oh how life has been turned on its head.
Antenatal classes spend most of the time focusing on labour when in reality that is a tiny part of parenthood and frankly if it gets too much a good selection of drugs are available to get you through those hours. It’s the weeks after the classes seem to breeze over but ask any parent about the newborn fortnight and they give you that look of knowing.
We’ve survived the first 4 weeks. In all honesty at one point I didn’t think I would but that’s what sleep deprivation does to you. I’m by no means an expert but these are the things that have helped keep us sane in the first crazy weeks.
Jelly Babies/Percy Pigs
Essential energy food. Not just for labour but the long night feeds. Royal Derby Hospital, where I had Little Baker, has a 24 hour M&S Food – Percy Pigs on tap. Contrary to popular belief this is not the reason I chose Derby. Ok, maybe it did sway it.
Cream cakes & chocolate
If you’re breastfeeding you burn 500kcal a day. Not bad for sitting on your backside watching Homes Under the Hammer/This Morning / Judge Rinder. I struggled with my appetite post birth and this was causing problems for both me and Little Baker. This is when my midwife essentially prescribed cream cakes & chocolate. Get in.
Embrace ready meals
These could be meals you’ve made in advance and frozen or meals picked up from the supermarket. You’ll be unsurprised to hear our freezer was filled with many meals cooked by me, but we have still cheated. The odd meal deal from a well-known supermarket and chilli con carne from a company called Look What We Found. You can find their products near tinned food aisle and they are sold in pouches. Look at the ingredient list and you’ll be surprised, just normal ingredients. Just reheat on the hob or microwave.
One handed meals
You soon get adept at eating one-handed, oh and eating cold meals, whether it started hot or not. We’ve soon learnt that for dinner, usually when Little Baker is having her grouchy hour, foods like pizza, risotto and sandwiches are key. Though to stop you losing the sandwich contents when eating one-handed you have to embrace your inner 3-year-old and cut your sandwiches into quarters.
Lower your expectations
For now food is fuel, pleasure is a bonus. While we haven’t given in to a Pot Noodle yet I’m not saying no especially if it may be the only thing edible (ok some could argue Pot Noodles are anything but edible) that I see in 24 hours. It does get easier as you get used to little one and they get used to you. We cooked our first roast dinner for a month at the weekend, which was cause for celebration, though we did cheat with some components.
Newborns are psychic
You sit down to eat, baby wants feeding NOW. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that they seem content just as you serve up that bowl of spaghetti bolognaise. One of the most priceless things a friend or family member can do for you is to bring you dinner then take baby off your hands for 30min or so so you and your partner can eat together in peace
Saying all this our lives have changed immeasurably; we can’t imagine life without the Little Baker. I look forward to when she’s old enough to get involved in the kitchen.