All you need to know about life as a mum

Mums give their top tips about how to deal with life now that you're a parent

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Keeping fit with a baby

“Not long after our son was born two friends announced wedding dates for later that year, and as I’d put on 2½ stone action was needed! I started slowly but now go to two exercise classes and the gym each week. I’ve organised it so I don’t miss bath time and it also means three nights a week Jacob has extra time with his daddy. It takes a bit of planning, but you can do it girls!”

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Briony Ross, 27, from Lanarkshire, mum to Jacob, 1

For looking after stitches

“After the birth of my son I had an episiotomy [a cut to help get the baby out], which took a long time to heal. To help I put aloe vera gel on a sanitary towel, which kept the area cool and refreshed, and helped with healing.”

Anne-Marie Carlin, 34, from Surrey, mum to Joshua, 2

For choosing a nursery

“I’ve found other parents usually give the most honest accounts of nurseries. Also, check Ofsted reports (www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports) and visit anywhere you’re considering – just turn up, then you get a true picture. If your gut feeling says it’s not right for your child, then it probably isn’t.”

Kate Fever, 25, from Devon, mum to Gemma, 3, and Jacob, 18 months

For compromising on a baby name

“We knew the sex of our baby before I had him so my husband and I managed to get it down to two names and then decided we’d see what he looked like when he arrived. In the end we flipped a coin.”

Briony Ross, 26, from South Lanarkshire, mum to Jacob, 4 months

For surviving the first few days

“To get through those early newborn days, I made the most of my visitors and pre-warned them that I might ask for help with jobs like putting washing on. But don’t be bullied into letting lots of people descend unannounced.”

Gemma Holland, 30, from West Midlands, mum to Alfie, 3½, and Charlie, 21 months

For mummy rest times

“When I had Deshoney I was worried about getting enough sleep as I already had two under 2. Most days I changed and fed them before putting them down for a nap, and tried to have one too, no matter what was going on. It helped in the beginning as I got so much rest when I suddenly had three to look after.”

Bontle Mmereki, 20, from Northampton, mum to Deonte, 3, Donell, 2, and Deshoney, 4 months

For stress busting

“When you become a mum everything changes, but I’ve found it’s so important to relax and not get stressed. With my first child I tried to do everything by the book, but with my second child, Robyn, I’ve really just gone with the flow and she is so much more laid-back. Robyn does have a routine but if she takes her nap in the pushchair rather than her cot occasionally, I now realise it’s not a big deal!”

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Michala Dominey, 31, from Hampshire, mum to Ella, 4, and Robyn, 7 months

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