With the world’s most eagerly anticipated baby here, the Weekly spoke exclusively to some of New Zealand’s famous faces for the best advice they were given when they became first-time mums. From breastfeeding to taking care of yourself, it’s the little pieces of advice that make the first few weeks bearable.
Miriama Kamo, TVNZ presenter, mum to Te Rerehua,2
Relax and roll with the tricky parts of what is a short period of babyhood. Talk, talk, talk to your baby from the day they’re born. Tell them what you’re doing as you do it. It might feel silly, but the pay-off is in their advanced comprehension. It’s just so brilliant to be able to reason with a toddler – tantrums are rare in our house (touch wood!) Equally, always deliver on your promises. If you bargain with them (ie, you can have an apple once you’ve finished picking up your toys), then be sure to deliver the apple as promised. It builds trust and teaches the child about consequence.
Toni Street, Breakfast presenter, mum to Juliette, 9 months
The best piece of advice I was given was to trust my instincts. You know your baby best. Cut yourself some slack. Being a mum is hard, and you will constantly be questioning whether you’re doing the right thing – that is normal!
Urzila Carlson, comedienne, mum to a baby girl, 2 months
Our midwife said the first six weeks of your baby’s life will be the hardest, so follow a plan. Here’s one I came up with:
Week one – At least have a shower.
Week two – Pick one day to get out of your pyjamas.
Week three – Wear actual clothes for a whole day and a bra for some of it.
Week four – Order a pizza and try to put on mascara before they drop it off.
Week five – Go on a day trip without taking the whole house with you.
Week six – Go out on a date with your partner without discussing your baby and without falling asleep in your entrée. It gave us some goals – I’m still in my pyjamas though.
Rachel Smalley, Firstline presenter, mum to Finn, 4
Finn was born in London, where I only knew one other mum – my friend Rebecca. She became a mother six months before me, and her advice on breastfeeding, settling, and helping Finn into a feeding and sleeping pattern was invaluable. In retrospect, it was a blessing having one person to guide me. If you’re a new mum, my advice would be to find your “Rebecca”. She will be someone whose parenting you admire and who can offer calm and measured advice. But trust your instincts and never be afraid to ask for help.
Nicole Whippy, actress, mum to Pearl, 4
It is your human right to breastfeed your baby in public if you need too. If people are offended, they are staring too hard.
Hilary Barry, TV3 and radio newsreader, mum to Ned, 11
“Newborns are noisy. They sniffle, cough and snore – loudly! If you want any shuteye at all, don’t sleep in the same room. You’ll still hear them when they grizzle or cry, but you won’t wake up so often yourself.”
Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, ONE newsreader, mum to Maisie, 5, and Scarlett, 3
“Whatever gets you though the day,” are wise words from one of our TVNZ make-up girls. Basically, do what you need to keep your head above water. We get hung-up on routines and what we “should” be doing, but there are no hard and fast rules. Follow your gut – it’s rarely wrong. And enjoy every precious day.
Teuila Blakely, Shortland Street star, mum to Jared, 21
Remember to take the chance to sleep while your baby is sleeping.
Photos: MONTY ADAMS – TEUILA BLAKELY AND MIRIAMA KAMO.
JAE FREW – NICOLE WHIPPY. MICHELLE HYSLOP – URZILA CARLSON.Photos supplied for: TONI STREET, BERNADINE OLIVER-KIRBY, HILARY BARRY, RACHEL SMALLEY