So the new royal baby has finally arrived.

Within minutes of the announcement my inbox was inundated with pre-prepared press releases and commentary from parenting brands and experts, all hoping for a slice of the royal baby action.


Such advice is all well and good – what to eat post-delivery, how to get more sleep with a newborn and the best skincare for your new baby – but it got me thinking about all the things they don’t tell you about the first week of parenting.

Little practical things you could really have done with knowing, like the fact babygrows have those splits in the shoulders so you can pull them down, not up, when a poonami strikes. So, in no particular order, here’s what I wish I’d known.

10 things they don’t tell you about the first week of parenting

1. Wee in the shower. Or bath. If you’ve had needlework done, it’s the only way the stitches won’t sting.

2. Sleep deprivation is cumulative. You might feel on top of the world on day one, on day two, and even on day three – but it will catch up with you (see the 10 stages of sleep deprivation).

3. All those meals you planned to batch cook and put in the freezer? Yep, you really should have done that.


4. The frozen ready meal shop Cook does 10% off for new parents. It took me six years and three babies to discover this!

5. Forget power napping. You need to learn to power eat too.

6. The more intricate the outfit, the fiddlier the buttons, zips and poppers. Just stick to babygrows – life is too short.


7. There’s no such thing as too many muslins.

8. There’s no such thing as too many biscuits, either. For you and your visitors.

9. There’s a lot to be said for pulling up the draw bridge. Visitors might be busting to see the baby, but you only get those first precious few days once.


10. Expect the unexpected. Like number twos the colour of which you never knew existed, despite the pictures they show you at antenatal classes, and realising you suddenly have a part of you that you never knew was missing.

Is there anything you wish you’d known about the first week of parenting? What would you add to my list? I’d love to know!

If you liked this you may also enjoy reading:

Why I was right not to write a birth plan

10 things you should never say to a sleep deprived mum

What Channel 4’s When I Grow Up has taught me about parenting