As a couple of my friends are about to have their babies, I started thinking about what we did and didn’t learn at Antenatal classes. I remember Mr Hubby being horrified that after only 6 hours of ‘training’, we were expected to be able to be responsible for our new small person and not seriously damage them. So anyway here is my top ten things that they won’t teach you (but should!);
1. Your pram canopy will probably fit on your pushchair. Try it before you spend hours on Ebay or take the poor child out for a spin sans canopy (and make her look like a pikey). Not that we have ever done this of course….
2. Your pram wheels may be locked in a straight line and will need to be unlocked. Don’t drive it around for three weeks cursing it and all who made it, as it won’t corner and scares the bejesus out of Baby as it nearly deposits her in the shubbery.
3. Your car seat will probably have a sun shade built (read HIDDEN) in the back. Have a look. There is no need to covet other mums seats as they must be better than your seat. Whatever you do don’t humiliate yourself by asking one of the mums where she got her shade from.
4. Sticking with car seats. Yours may have a special secret chamber in the back. This is NOT a place to put your car keys and then forget about the special secret chamber…
5. Odds are your baby will despise their moses basket.
6. Chances are your baby will decide quite early on that the only place fit for them to sleep during the day is on you. Get used to your new role as Human Mattress.
7. Your birth plan may turn out to be as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest
8. A week or so after your porcelain skinned beauty is born, they will, overnight, turn into swampy when the milk spots arrive.
9. Hospitals do not give out medals to mums that give birth drug free. There is nothing wrong with asking for something. I have a high pain threshold and ended up with an epidural (if only it had worked properly!) and three canisters of gas and air!. You have NOT failed if you ask for drugs.
10. There are other ways to make up bottles, other than by the NHS guidelines. As realistically it is impossible, especially in the early days, to make each bottle on demand (boil kettle, wait 30 mins, pour into bottle, add formula, then cool further). Try doing this when your baby is screaming for food and you will soon see how difficult it is. We spent a fortune on ready made bottles in the early days, but ask your mummy friends, there are various methods, which will save you lots of cash and lots of stress.