7am: All your baby wants is you
From the minute she stirs and opens those teeny, tiny eyes, she needs you. “It’s all about the bond between you both that makes her look for and want you,” explains Annette Briley, midwife for Tommy’s, the baby charity. “She looks for you, as another day starts, for reassurance and comfort, which is a fantastic feeling for you both to begin the day with.”
8am: It’s a unique bond
“In the first few weeks, your baby’s eye focus is around nine inches, which is the perfect distance from your face down to your breast, so when she feeds, her eyes are looking up at you,” says Annette. “It’s a brilliant bonding experience for you and your baby, and great for quiet time with just the two of you.” If you’re bottlefeeding, there’s no need for you to miss out on the feeding experience, just position your baby up between your chest and face so she can still gaze up at you, and focus in on the fact that you’re mummy.
9am: Those baby clothes are so cute
Everybody loves to shop, and clothes are so much cuter when they’re small and dainty. “Shopping for baby clothes is fun when you’re pregnant, and even better when you’ve had your baby,” says Kara Plant from Mamas & Papas. “Once your little one is born, you can really start buying clothes that suit her looks and personality. The key to keeping it fun is to choose the perfect shopping area, somewhere that’s calm, tranquil and that you can really feel relaxed in and not rushed.”
12pm: Relive your youth
Get your dungarees on and dig out your toys as a day with your baby isn’t complete without playtime.
“It’s so lovely seeing Harvey’s face light up when we play together,” says Charlotte Aston, 33, from the West Midlands, mum to Daisy May, 2, and Harvey, 18 weeks. “Playtime with Harvey has really helped us bond. We make time every day for play, and it doesn’t have to be anything super-expensive, just simple activities that let Harvey see his mum smiling helps keep him happy. Singing to him or just counting the poppers on his babygro out loud is sometimes enough for us both.”
2pm: No more deadlines
With your little one to care for, you’ll say goodbye to 9 to 5 and embrace your new role as mum of the house, with no deadlines, overtime or office politics to worry about. “Having a baby completely changes your life,” says Denise Knowles, Pampers Village Parenting Panel relationship expert. “It’s important to develop a new routine, and not try to fit her into your old working routine. Have a weekly plan and think about what you can fit into your day. If you were in a sociable office and find yourself a little lost without the company of others, try and meet your friends as much as you can, even if it might be a challenge to plan around their work schedules.”
3pm: You’re both spoilt rotten
With a new baby in the house, the whole world and his wife are up for visiting, cooing and, of course, spoiling you both. You’ll also get special dispensation for talking non-stop about your baby (and yourself!) and some much-deserved new arrival pressies and treats! But what happens if all the visitors get too much? “If you’re feeling tired, you absolutely shouldn’t feel under pressure to see your friends,” says Denise. “Ask friends and family to space out their visits so you don’t go through the flood/drought experience, or suggest meeting friends in the park for a walk or a local café for coffee so you can control the length of the visit.”
4pm: You simply burst with pride
“I feel proud of Charlie every day, especially when somebody stops to say hello to him because he’s a very smiley and giggly baby,” says Bernadette Pelster, 32, from Worcester, mum to Charlie, 20 weeks. “My ultimate proudest moment so far was when he rolled over for the first time. He did it at our baby group in front of loads of other mums who were really impressed. Charlie makes me so very happy every day and I’m so glad that we’ve made such a lovely little boy.”
7pm: She looks so cute in her cot
As the day draws to a close, and after a soothing cuddle, you get to pop her down and watch her drift off with her tummy full and a smile on her face. What could be a better feeling? “Skin-to-skin contact before bed is a fantastic way to wind down after a busy day, and calms your baby down before sleep. Plus, you’ll love it as it’s the most bonding experience,” explains Annette.
8pm: You made this together
After seeing you in the labour ward, he’ll most certainly think you’re a goddess for bringing your baby into the world, and while your relationship is bound to go through some changes when your baby comes along, your connection to each other over that precious little bundle will be unbreakable.
“Both of you are likely to be tired, if not absolutely exhausted as new parents, but it’s very important that you still find time every day to be a couple, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to catch up with one another and talk about what’s going on in your day and how you feel,” says Denise. As well as communicating with each other, practical activities also work wonders. “Something as simple as cooking a meal together, going for a walk in the park, sitting together watching TV and having a cuddle keeps the emotional connection solid between you both, which is good for all three of you.”