I can’t speak for everyone, but one thing I discovered during my whole pre-to-postpartum experience was that there was a lot of build-up and focus on childbirth – and not a lot on what comes after. It’s all breathing and hospital bags, birth plans and body oils, but not a lot about, you know, when the baby comes.
Those fever dream-like first few weeks are a wild, wonderful, hazy, confusing and beautiful time where you and your baby are trying to navigate a totally new world without much of an idea about what you’re doing.
As a parent, you know you’re going to give birth to a child – but no-one tells you that you’ll simultaneously welcome a totally new version of yourself into the world too (one that you might not recognise, one that you’ll criticise, but also one you’ll hopefully feel incredibly proud of).
So, what would I tell that myself if I could go back in time? Well, I’d start with these…
Have a plan with your partner
Every baby and every parent are different, but one of the best early decisions my husband and I made was for me to take most of the ‘overnight shifts’. At first, we were teaming up 24 hours a day – but that resulted in two exhausted parents (and crankiness).
Once we decided to shift him into the spare room and leave me to the night feeds, the vibe improved; he woke up rested enough to allow me to sleep in and keep the rest of the house – i.e., cleaning and endless laundry – going. This system won’t work for everyone, but it worked for us! Don’t be afraid to try different strategies and routines.
“When I did have a slice of time for self-care, I tried to maximise it with some long-term beauty moves that helped make me feel more like me.”
Master ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ beauty
Adding Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops into my moisturiser every second day helped make my three-hours-of-sleep skin look like it got six, and adding a Brow Tint or Brow Lamination into my routine made me feel more put together.
Introduce a ‘rolling’ shower routine
Early parenthood was less about the ‘everything shower’ and more about the efficient shower. At first, I was trying to sneak in my old multistep bathroom routine while my baby napped – but found myself sprinting out, covered in suds, every time I heard a stir on the monitor. Instead, I created a rolling maintenance routine by adding one additional step to every quick, basic shower.
My schedule went a little something like this:
- Monday: body scrub with Nécessaire’s The Body Exfoliator Fragrance Free
- Tuesday: exfoliating face treatment with GOOP’s GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator
- Wednesday: shave (bonus indulgence points added with a nice shaving cream, like DeoDoc’s coconut-scented version)
- Thursday: shampoo and hair mask (I would then tie my hair up into a slicked back bun with a Slip silk scrunchie and leave it overnight)
- Friday: rinse out hair and layer on a hydrating face mask like Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Mask (the steam of the shower helps to infuse the ingredients)
- Saturday: a luxurious facial massage with Cosmetics 27 Huile 27 face oil and the gua sha tool from kit:
- Sunday: rest day, of course!
Get out once a day
It may sound simple, but there will be times when leaving the house will feel like mountainous task – but trust me, it’s so important that you do. Never underestimate how a hit of fresh air and seeing fresh faces can give you a fresh mindset! Sure, you might not be able to go far before having to take the baby back home for a nap or feed, but even a walk around the block will do wonders.
Invest in a fancy handwash
This one is pretty straightforward, but I don’t think I’ve ever washed my hands as often as I did when I had a fresh newborn – and the experience was made a whole lot nicer when I switched to a luxurious handwash. Plus, it was handy to have one out for the inevitable influx of visitors. I loved Byredo Rose Hand Wash, Le Labo Hand Soap Hinoki and Diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash.
“Try to stop, take stock, and feel proud of every little moment because one day you might just miss those hours stuck on the couch, forced to binge 'Vanderpump Rules' guilt-free!”
Don’t wish it away
Someone shared a saying about early parenthood: “The days are long, but the years are short.” While it couldn’t be truer, when you’re in that foggy, cyclical postpartum stage it can be hard to pause and appreciate the moment before it flies past you. One second, you’re ‘nap trapped’ with a tiny newborn glued to you – and the next, without even realising it, you’ll be in a new phase, facing a totally different challenge.
Try to stop, take stock, and feel proud of every little moment because one day you might just miss those hours stuck on the couch, forced to binge Vanderpump Rules guilt-free!