Top tips for new parents

Deal editor66
Posted 20th Aug 2020
Over the years the hotukdeals team has, between us, had quite a few babies. As this is the first thread of this sort we thought we’d speak to each other and trawl through the site, to give new and expectant parents some crucial advice.

Here they are then, hotukdeals’ top tips — from how to save money building your nests to getting the most out of your local area.

Everyone needs a helping hand when a new little one comes into the world, so hopefully these tips will give you some ideas. Do you have any tips or ideas you could contribute? Please don’t hesitate to comment below.




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Sales


Throughout the year, there will be times to look out for sales and clearances at the big-name baby stores and brands. These sales will often be at different times of the year, unhelpfully, but Argos, Mothercare, Mamas & Papas, Online4Baby, Boots, and John Lewis will all have at least one big event.

If your favourite shop or store isn't in the list, please let us know more in the comments below.





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Family freebies


During the pregnancy, lots of people will be waiting for your baby to arrive. Your parents, your family and friends, even your parents’ friends, so ask them to buy stuff that the baby can grow into not just newborn stuff.

We all know that tiny newborn babies are super cute and have tiny clothes, but they quickly grow out of them and will only wear them a few times, if at all.

This goes for toys and other things too. If you don’t feel awkward asking for specific items, go for it, as it will make your lives easier in the longer term.




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Shop second-hand

Buying second-hand is much more sustainable and cheaper than buying new, so if you need a buggy, bottle steriliser, or a wooden cot then get one second-hand. So many people have had a baby before you, so there will invariably be someone looking to sell an almost-new item.

Make sure to search on sites like eBay, Gumtree, Preloved and Shpock as you are guaranteed to find a bargain on things like baby monitors, baby baths, breast pumps, and so on.

However, for items like cot mattresses or baby bottles, for hygienic reasons you should probably buy brand new. And when it comes to car seats, unless you know the person you buy it from and that no accidents have occurred, I would suggest buying new.




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Try before you buy schemes


There are lots of schemes that allow you to test a product before you buy it. Such as the Sling Library to try out which baby carrier you might want. If you are in London, SlingingLondon may help your search, but there are lots of other places in the UK with sling libraries set up.

Some companies have set up sample boxes of their products, such as Bounty, Child’s Farm, and Emma's Diary, or give them away via sites dedicated to freebies, check out our freebies section here: hotukdeals.com/tag…ies

There are a few other giveaway sites with great baby sections too, like Magic Freebies, and Wow Free Stuff.




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Hand me downs

Much like second hand stuff, hand me downs are often cheap, and in a lot of cases free. Babies and toddlers don’t really care if they wear the latest trends or have box-fresh trainers.

The best thing for you to do is find a friend or family member whose child is 6-18 months older than yours, and grab every bit of hand-me-down available. Clothes, toys, pushchairs, and so on, will all be available for when you need it. And the best thing about it is you can hand it down too!




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Nurseries and childminders

Put your child down on the local nursery waiting list as soon as possible (honestly preferably before it is born), as the lists are often long — sometimes years long. If you can’t find a nursery with places available, the next best thing is a childminder.

It is often expected that your parents will help with this, but it may be more beneficial to your child to play and learn with other children of a similar age in a professional setting. However much grandad might complain.

Childcare costs can vary in price massively, depending on where you live, and if it is with a nursery or a childminder. One thing to do is check your eligibility for help with fees, you can inquire about this on the Gov website.





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Aldi, Lidl and Amazon

Much the same as the big names, the two budget supermarkets often have ‘baby weeks’ and you’ll find some great bargains there. Products like baby baths, bottles, bamboo dinner sets, bedding, changing bags and mats, and much more.

Plus you’ll find that their nappies — Mamia and Lupilu, respectively — are of the same award-winning quality as the big brands like Pampers and Huggies but at a fraction of the price.

Amazon often has great deals on baby products on its ‘Subscribe & Save’ pages, things like nappies, creams, shampoos, etc. So well worth having a look now and again on Amazon's baby search.

And finally, Emma’s Diary is very popular with young mums and dads, with some superb offers to be found.




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Apps & groups

Babies are a multi-billion dollar industry, which means there are lots of apps to help get you started. From making friends to getting them off to sleep, just search for baby apps on the App Store or Google Play.

Baby Manager is a free app that tracks feeding and sleep, which can be shared between parents. Available for iOS and Android.

Peanut, for example, is great for meeting new mum friends — dubbed the Tinder for new mums. Available for iOS and Android.

The Wonder Weeks app is a fantastic milestone tracker — a really helpful app that tells you when and why your child might be more clingy or grumpy. Available on iOS and Android.

Groups on Facebook — both local and nationwide, these groups can help you find things for free, to buy or to help reduce stress, give you breastfeeding tips, and so on. There are hundreds of groups for new parents, have a look. One in particular is a lifeline for new mums who are breastfeeding, called La Leche League.




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Junior ISAs

You can set up a fund for your baby that people can contribute to at milestones like birthdays, either with a normal savings account or with a junior ISA.

There is lots of choice out there but Money Saving Expert can help you pick the right one for you.

With ISAs, you are only allowed to invest up to £9000 per tax year, and the money is locked away until your child is 18 years old. You cannot access it once it has been invested, and when your child is 18, it is theirs to spend how they wish... whatever you may have planned for them.

There are two types of junior ISA — the junior cash ISA and the junior stocks & shares ISA — and you are only allowed one of each ISA per tax year. You can either invest up to £9000 per year in one or the other, or split the savings between them, but you cannot go above the £9000 limit.






And there you have it, our top tips for a cheaper and hopefully easier time of it.

Do you have any tips for new mums and dads? Please get in touch below to let us know your nuggets of wisdom for all things babies...



Community Updates
Misc
Top comments
Ear plugs, duct tape, and a separate bedroom ( in another house)
DON'T buy the Tommee Tippee Day & Night Perfect Prep Machine. If you want one, go for the standard version - the difference is the standard version is £60 cheaper. My friend said the D&N was way better but it's still loud with no way of avoiding it and I don't see ANY benefits to the D&N over the standard. Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant, but I wish I'd saved £60 and gone for the standard version instead.

DON'T stock up on size 1 nappies (or any size, for what it's worth). Yes, buy 2-3 smaller packs but your flabber will be ghasted at how fast they grow into those size 2's... then size 3's.... Also, feel free to play around with brands and stick to what works best for your baby but try to avoid buying gigapacks etc until you know your little one won't suffer nappy rash. I learnt this the hard way and bought a giant 98 pack from a well-known budget supermarket and my little girl had severe nappy rash. We're left with about 90 nappies in the pack. Yes, they were half the price of premium brands but I regret buying them and wish I'd put that money towards a more premium brand. Lesson learnt.

DO buy muslins - large ones if you can find/afford them. We use them as a bottom sheet folded in half under baby's head during the night in case of dribbles/sickies. They also double up as sheets rather than blankets on warmer nights and you can also use them for swaddling without overheating your baby with thick blankets.

DO buy a crib for next to your bed and definitely DO have more than one fitted sheet AND A WATERPROOF MATTRESS PROTECTOR for it (same applies to the main cot they'll move into at about 6 months old). Nappies may leak during the night and sickies/dribbles may soak through the folded muslin (see above). You'll be glad that at 3/4/5am you can quickly change the sheet without having to scrabble round looking for dry bedding.

DO have a nappy bin in the location where you'll change your baby the most. There is nothing worse than nowhere to put a dirty nappy so wrap it up and stick it straight in a nappy bin with the wipes and forget about it for a few days - they honestly don't smell unless they've been there a week or more.

DO have at least three or four places you can safely put your baby in during the day. Cuddles are great but sometimes you have to put them down. Where will they sleep during the day when they grow out of a carrycot or Moses basket? (seriously, where? I need an answer to this too). Play gyms, bouncer chairs, and so-on are good, safe places to put a baby in the early days to allow you a quick bathroom trip or to reheat that brew you meant to drink two hours ago!

I might post more when I figure this parenting lark out a bit more
Edited by: "squiff" 20th Aug
Here's a tip, don't shove your baby photos in another's face without them asking. You never know what they've been through.
Get a bottle maker. Absolute game changer at 2.30am when little one wakes up and demands the good stuff.
66 Comments
Get a bottle maker. Absolute game changer at 2.30am when little one wakes up and demands the good stuff.
Ear plugs, duct tape, and a separate bedroom ( in another house)
Dumbfounded_Polymath20/08/2020 16:32

Get a bottle maker. Absolute game changer at 2.30am when little one wakes …Get a bottle maker. Absolute game changer at 2.30am when little one wakes up and demands the good stuff.


and mini fridge..
Here's a tip, don't shove your baby photos in another's face without them asking. You never know what they've been through.
Our first is due 17th October 😳
Buy calpol, lots of it.......

And every bug the baby gets and shrugs off after a day or so (becasue they are blessed with hyper immune systems) will be passed to you except it takes you a week to recover, so buy some medicines for yourself.

Don't buy an intercom thing - it makes your heart stop every time it goes quiet.

Buy a silver foil survival blanket - our kids loved playing on it...shiny, crinkly, noisy - hours of endless fun when they are crawling...
Edited by: "gari189" 20th Aug
Daaaavvveee20/08/2020 18:53

Our first is due 17th October 😳


Congratulations, I sobbed my eyes out when my daughter was born & then sobbed when she left home but in between that comes projectile vomiting, mixed in with nappies, teething, jabs, late nights, early mornings & then boyfriends........we enjoyed it so much we had another one........ Enjoy
Edited by: "richp" 20th Aug
Avatar
deleted1276520
Daaaavvveee20/08/2020 18:53

Our first is due 17th October 😳


Enjoy your sleep while you still can
.MUFC.20/08/2020 18:56

Get a divorce!


Don't have kids and entertain someone else's wife
You could save an absolute fortune.

Now that's a HUKD
DON'T buy the Tommee Tippee Day & Night Perfect Prep Machine. If you want one, go for the standard version - the difference is the standard version is £60 cheaper. My friend said the D&N was way better but it's still loud with no way of avoiding it and I don't see ANY benefits to the D&N over the standard. Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant, but I wish I'd saved £60 and gone for the standard version instead.

DON'T stock up on size 1 nappies (or any size, for what it's worth). Yes, buy 2-3 smaller packs but your flabber will be ghasted at how fast they grow into those size 2's... then size 3's.... Also, feel free to play around with brands and stick to what works best for your baby but try to avoid buying gigapacks etc until you know your little one won't suffer nappy rash. I learnt this the hard way and bought a giant 98 pack from a well-known budget supermarket and my little girl had severe nappy rash. We're left with about 90 nappies in the pack. Yes, they were half the price of premium brands but I regret buying them and wish I'd put that money towards a more premium brand. Lesson learnt.

DO buy muslins - large ones if you can find/afford them. We use them as a bottom sheet folded in half under baby's head during the night in case of dribbles/sickies. They also double up as sheets rather than blankets on warmer nights and you can also use them for swaddling without overheating your baby with thick blankets.

DO buy a crib for next to your bed and definitely DO have more than one fitted sheet AND A WATERPROOF MATTRESS PROTECTOR for it (same applies to the main cot they'll move into at about 6 months old). Nappies may leak during the night and sickies/dribbles may soak through the folded muslin (see above). You'll be glad that at 3/4/5am you can quickly change the sheet without having to scrabble round looking for dry bedding.

DO have a nappy bin in the location where you'll change your baby the most. There is nothing worse than nowhere to put a dirty nappy so wrap it up and stick it straight in a nappy bin with the wipes and forget about it for a few days - they honestly don't smell unless they've been there a week or more.

DO have at least three or four places you can safely put your baby in during the day. Cuddles are great but sometimes you have to put them down. Where will they sleep during the day when they grow out of a carrycot or Moses basket? (seriously, where? I need an answer to this too). Play gyms, bouncer chairs, and so-on are good, safe places to put a baby in the early days to allow you a quick bathroom trip or to reheat that brew you meant to drink two hours ago!

I might post more when I figure this parenting lark out a bit more
Edited by: "squiff" 20th Aug
Dr Brown Colic Bottles. Absolute life saver!!!
Avatar
deleted2265269
Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained in pregnancy and you don’t have extra work of sterilising and lugging stuff around with you and it doesn’t cost a penny!

Use washable nappies except for day trips or holidays when you don’t want to carry around used washable nappies all day!

When they start crawling/walking buy an old fashioned wooden playpen and place in your living room.

You can go about chores safe in the knowledge that they can’t get up to mischief or have an accident such as falling out of a window etc.

You don’t need fancy gadgets or very expensive baby items unless of course you have the cash to splash!

Buy secondhand where applicable as babies are not babies for long and many items are in very good condition after they have fulfilled their use.

Controversial opinion - (I practically had death threats doe saying this on Mumsnet!) - Dummies/pacifiers are really only for very young babies to help soothe in the first few months. Personally, I hate them and never used them for either of my two.

They just seem to cause anxiety and distress when they are allowed to be used by a child of walking age and it was time to take them away!
Edited by: "deleted2265269" 21st Aug
deleted226526921/08/2020 16:34

Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained i …Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained in pregnancy and you don’t have extra work of sterilising and lugging stuff around with you and it doesn’t cost a penny! Use washable nappies except for day trips or holidays when you don’t want to carry around used washable nappies all day! When they start crawling/walking buy an old fashioned wooden playpen and place in your living room. You can go about chores safe in the knowledge that they can’t get up to mischief or have an accident such as falling out of a window etc. You don’t need fancy gadgets or very expensive baby items unless of course you have the cash to splash! Buy secondhand where applicable as babies are not babies for long and many items are in very good condition after they have fulfilled their use.Controversial opinion - (I practically had death threats doe saying this on Mumsnet!) - Dummies/pacifiers are really only for very young babies to help soothe in the first few months. Personally, I hate them and never used them for either of my two. They just seem to cause anxiety and distress when they are allowed to be used by a child of walking age and it was time to take them away!


Washable nappies?? No thank you!
When you have visitors, assuming you trust them, disappear when they hold the baby. Clean the bathroom, get some shuteye do whatever. Esp important during lockdown.
deleted226526921/08/2020 16:34

Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained i …Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained in pregnancy and you don’t have extra work of sterilising and lugging stuff around with you and it doesn’t cost a penny! Use washable nappies except for day trips or holidays when you don’t want to carry around used washable nappies all day! When they start crawling/walking buy an old fashioned wooden playpen and place in your living room. You can go about chores safe in the knowledge that they can’t get up to mischief or have an accident such as falling out of a window etc. You don’t need fancy gadgets or very expensive baby items unless of course you have the cash to splash! Buy secondhand where applicable as babies are not babies for long and many items are in very good condition after they have fulfilled their use.Controversial opinion - (I practically had death threats doe saying this on Mumsnet!) - Dummies/pacifiers are really only for very young babies to help soothe in the first few months. Personally, I hate them and never used them for either of my two. They just seem to cause anxiety and distress when they are allowed to be used by a child of walking age and it was time to take them away!


You assume all women are able to breastfeed and you'd be very much mistaken.
Avatar
deleted2265269
squiff22/08/2020 21:40

You assume all women are able to breastfeed and you'd be very much …You assume all women are able to breastfeed and you'd be very much mistaken.


Obviously a minority of women are unable to breastfeed because of physical problems and even sometimes because of psychological problems. Some women may even choose not to because of domestic abuse.

But they are a MINORITY as the majority of women are able to produce breast milk and competently breastfeed their offspring.
Lidl nappies are the best in terms of price and quality. On par with Pampers and less then half the price. We used Pampers early on but switched to Lidl and have done so with the rest of our children.
Just remember, only first 70 years is difficult...
deleted226526923/08/2020 10:36

Obviously a minority of women are unable to breastfeed because of physical …Obviously a minority of women are unable to breastfeed because of physical problems and even sometimes because of psychological problems. Some women may even choose not to because of domestic abuse. But they are a MINORITY as the majority of women are able to produce breast milk and competently breastfeed their offspring.


Around 80% breastfeed but this reduces to less than half at the 3 month mark so not really majority for long. It's not everyone's choice now for various reasons not just domestic abuse, physical or physiological reasons.
We tore wipes into 3 (2 as she got bigger). Felt like we got better use out of them rather than trying to fold and about getting it all over fingers or wasting after just a wipe or so
Can someone recommend good toys for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Or anything to keep em busy?

My little one only likes playing with anything that has lights on it and even that only keeps her interest for 1 or 2 days. She loves playing with water so we let her play on kitchen sink.

She's 5 and we are yet to hear mummy or daddy from her but she can sing A to Z and count 1 - 10 (although we know she doesn't understand what it means).

Any tips would be helpful.

Thanks
Blueskinnedbeast20/08/2020 21:46

Don't have kids and entertain someone else's wife You could save an …Don't have kids and entertain someone else's wife You could save an absolute fortune.Now that's a HUKD


Or get a Vasectomy, £350 vs 18 years minimum of draining your funds. That’s a HUKD too
3rd due next week
deleted226526921/08/2020 16:34

Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained i …Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained in pregnancy and you don’t have extra work of sterilising and lugging stuff around with you and it doesn’t cost a penny! Use washable nappies except for day trips or holidays when you don’t want to carry around used washable nappies all day! When they start crawling/walking buy an old fashioned wooden playpen and place in your living room. You can go about chores safe in the knowledge that they can’t get up to mischief or have an accident such as falling out of a window etc. You don’t need fancy gadgets or very expensive baby items unless of course you have the cash to splash! Buy secondhand where applicable as babies are not babies for long and many items are in very good condition after they have fulfilled their use.Controversial opinion - (I practically had death threats doe saying this on Mumsnet!) - Dummies/pacifiers are really only for very young babies to help soothe in the first few months. Personally, I hate them and never used them for either of my two. They just seem to cause anxiety and distress when they are allowed to be used by a child of walking age and it was time to take them away!


We bought washable nappies on the basis they'd be cheaper, but compared to Aldi they are very unlikely to save any money even if you use them many hundreds of times - and they also take a lot more time to sort out. Great if you want to be green, less great if you want to save money or time.
I bookedmarked, just in case I become a parent within the next 10 year. I am still looking for a girlfriend.=deal ! lol
Calpol plug-ins

Thank me later
Use Gumtree for any toys, eBay for clothes. Baby will be out of them in a couple of weeks and the money will have been wasted!

Something nobody warned us about and our boy had two - febrile seizures. Wrap them up too much at night and they overheat as they can’t sweat / regulate body heat. Baby freezes and goes glassy eyed. First time I panicked and spent a long trip to A and E. Research it before, ring 111 if it happens. It is supposedly VERY common.

Buy some teething powder. A game changer when the teeth come through.

Someone above has said Lidl nappies, couldn’t agree more. Incredible quality.

Finally, read to your baby. Play music constantly. They pick up on everything!
Buy a crib fitted sheet for the carrycot in your pram, easier to clean the vomit off!
Dont buy too many size 1 nappies.
Buy unisex clothes to hand down to baby no2!
Most kids(and adults) get the sicki bug -either end or both - i knew nothing on how to cope with this BUT remember this
Rich T biscuits and get cheap coke or lemonade and when the bug hits boil the coke/lemonade up until the bubbles are no more and cool - and then give in a sip cup(or bigger if an adult) this keeps hydration up and sugar levels up
It has worked for us and parents at the school i work at
Hope it helps
Dont be hard on yourself and don't read tips. Every child is different and most of what you learn is part of the process of bringing up your child. There is no one size fits all.
squiff22/08/2020 21:40

You assume all women are able to breastfeed and you'd be very much …You assume all women are able to breastfeed and you'd be very much mistaken.


Why does someone state this every time people mention breastfeeding?
Between 1-5% women cannot breastfeed which is a very small minority. They rest can. Nobody is suggesting its their fault either. People should not apologise for suggesting breastfeeding or to mums who cannot every time they mention it.

It is cheaper and without question healthier for mum and baby. No matter what you read on the bottle packs. All of the independent science states it is without question healthier for both. Plus helps bonds with mum and baby. Plus in the long run Dads too.
Any nonsense otherwise is science studies paid for by the bottle milk companies.

Poor breastfeeding rates is due to our NHS letting mum and baby down pre, during and after birth for various complicated reasons.

All anyone should do is the best for the baby and Mum.
Edited by: "jdufton" 23rd Aug
Appreciate the irony in my post, but the best baby advice I ever got was "you're going to get a lot of people telling you a lot of things, and you don't have to listen to any of it".

Some good stuff in there mind, re sling library and the like, the bottom seems to have fallen out of the market for reselling them.
shotatdawn23/08/2020 20:00

Most kids(and adults) get the sicki bug -either end or both - i knew …Most kids(and adults) get the sicki bug -either end or both - i knew nothing on how to cope with this BUT remember thisRich T biscuits and get cheap coke or lemonade and when the bug hits boil the coke/lemonade up until the bubbles are no more and cool - and then give in a sip cup(or bigger if an adult) this keeps hydration up and sugar levels upIt has worked for us and parents at the school i work at Hope it helps


This is actually awesome haha
jdufton23/08/2020 20:37

Why does someone state this every time people mention breastfeeding? …Why does someone state this every time people mention breastfeeding? Between 1-5% women cannot breastfeed which is a very small minority. They rest can. Nobody is suggesting its their fault either. People should not apologise for suggesting breastfeeding or to mums who cannot every time they mention it. It is cheaper and without question healthier for mum and baby. No matter what you read on the bottle packs. All of the independent science states it is without question healthier for both. Plus helps bonds with mum and baby. Plus in the long run Dads too. Any nonsense otherwise is science studies paid for by the bottle milk companies.Poor breastfeeding rates is due to our NHS letting mum and baby down pre, during and after birth for various complicated reasons.All anyone should do is the best for the baby and Mum.


So true, we had an extremely premature baby. Every consultant out there knows that breast milk is best. Scaremongering is ridiculous in this regard.

It's true some mums won't be able to feed but the overgrown majority shouldn't find any troubles with this.

We couldn't do it for the first because an extreme premature can't breastfeed but the second was latched on straight away... Just read the benefits of not just the milk itself but even the skin to skin bonding that is achieved from this simple act.

Good luck to all parents.. Nothing will ever be the same again.
How can I vote if babies have no price listed by OP?

Fail, can buy for 10p/unit on Alliexpress
deleted226526921/08/2020 16:34

Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained i …Breastfeed, it’s more healthier for the mother to lose any weight gained in pregnancy and you don’t have extra work of sterilising and lugging stuff around with you and it doesn’t cost a penny! Use washable nappies except for day trips or holidays when you don’t want to carry around used washable nappies all day! When they start crawling/walking buy an old fashioned wooden playpen and place in your living room. You can go about chores safe in the knowledge that they can’t get up to mischief or have an accident such as falling out of a window etc. You don’t need fancy gadgets or very expensive baby items unless of course you have the cash to splash! Buy secondhand where applicable as babies are not babies for long and many items are in very good condition after they have fulfilled their use.Controversial opinion - (I practically had death threats doe saying this on Mumsnet!) - Dummies/pacifiers are really only for very young babies to help soothe in the first few months. Personally, I hate them and never used them for either of my two. They just seem to cause anxiety and distress when they are allowed to be used by a child of walking age and it was time to take them away!


wow.. give people a break.. you have no idea whats going behind the scene.. i have broken every thing that you have said above.. due to many reasons.. i have struggled and struggle again.. so please try and say what you have said above maybe in a not meany way.. as you do cite quite a few good points.
jdufton23/08/2020 20:37

Why does someone state this every time people mention breastfeeding? …Why does someone state this every time people mention breastfeeding? Between 1-5% women cannot breastfeed which is a very small minority. They rest can. Nobody is suggesting its their fault either. People should not apologise for suggesting breastfeeding or to mums who cannot every time they mention it. It is cheaper and without question healthier for mum and baby. No matter what you read on the bottle packs. All of the independent science states it is without question healthier for both. Plus helps bonds with mum and baby. Plus in the long run Dads too. Any nonsense otherwise is science studies paid for by the bottle milk companies.Poor breastfeeding rates is due to our NHS letting mum and baby down pre, during and after birth for various complicated reasons.All anyone should do is the best for the baby and Mum.


I think its the insensitive way the lady has written this thats caused the issue, I would have loved to breastfeed both my children..unfortunately they both had severe reflux. and tongue tie. which meant every time i gave breast milk..they would projectile vomit the whole place in the next minute. And with all the nurses and health visitors going on about breast feeding.. and no one to see my sorry state - its a sore subject.. there is a way to convey message and not preach about it.
With the best intentions in the world, birth plans can and do go out the window. No one should feel bad about this. As long as you're there for your new born when they come out, they're at no disadvantage when it comes to the method of delivery.

If you feel like you've been less than a perfect parent for whatever reason, know there's been billions of parents before you that weren't 100% perfect. Very few parents can do it on their own.

Dads if your little one is attached to your mrs try and give her some lee way. You're both sleep deprived, but in a lot of cases there's something about mum that just gives dad a little more slack in the rest department even though it won't feel that way to you. Try and get your rest where you can.

Baby monitors. There's a reason a proper baby monitor is more expensive than an ip cam ( though a proper monitor can be had cheaply, shop around). Sure your xiaomi's and the like advertise that they'll alert you to a baby crying, but that's no substitute for a proper monitor. A proper baby monitor will alert you if one end goes unreachable and won't depend on your wifi. If you try and use an ip cam with your phone, well if your wifi drops out ,your phone runs out of the battery or your app crashes then you'll be none the wiser until you catch the faint sound of a distant cry with your own ear. This becomes less important as they get older.

Try and avoid co-sleeping for the long term win. If you can, but don't force it as not every kid is like that and every success story is different. If you can't, it's not your fault it's just how your child is and try to roll with it. I would love for mine to have been independent sleepers from the get go but that wasn't how it worked out. The disruption to your sleep will only be exasperated by stressing about it. Eventually it'll fall into something and you'll look back on those sleepless days and wonder how you did it.

If you're a dad who likes gaming, try and get in any major titles before your new born comes along. You'll still be able to game but the opportunity to do it will diminish for sure, but it will flourish again when they get to around 5/6 years old.

Regards dinners our, not that any of us are doing much of that at the moment, but there's a sweet spot between birth and toddling that you can actually enjoy eating out as they're mostly sleeping. In my experience once they can walk it tends to be a case of one parent sitting and eating, while the other chases the child around. If you have to do it, try and put them in the high chair at the last possible moment. Better still leave them with a grandparent.

More power to you if you don't resort to a phone in a folio case or have a tablet to hand for Peppa Pig on Netflix for a myriad of situations, but the reality is parents have been relying on clutches of some description to assist/distract since we crawled out of the water and the fact we have tech to help with that is a blessing. Go easy on yourself and take some satisfaction that you're keeping your child happy and getting broccoli down them.
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