SW aged 22 - Mum to 4 year old & 2 year old
Syreeta aged 20 - Mum to 11 month old
Esther aged 20 - Mum to 2 year old
Danielle aged 17 - Mum to 3 week old
Esther: A lot of appointments! I experienced morning sickness for the first few months. The first thing that comes to mind is my belly! I was really aware of the changes in my body.
SW: It was good because I knew how things would be different, I was excited, and I knew I could fix up this time. (I had my first child taken away from me). Early pregnancy I felt a bit unwell but was fine after a few months. It’s a nice feeling.
Danielle: Just always try your best. It can be hard at times but trust yourself and never give up. It is so worth it!
Esther: Take someone with you to appointments, for the physical and emotional support.
SW: If you do what they tell you to do with the right support, you’ll be fine. Ask if you make a mistake. Don’t be afraid to ask, if you don’t ask you’ll never know how to do things better. You need guidance when it’s your first child, don’t worry if you don’t know everything, it’s normal.
Esther: I couldn’t have done without a pram, and a changing bag. The pram helped me to get out and about and have my hands free and the changing bag is so handy, I could put milk, hot water flask… everything that my daughter would need.
SW: It’s so hard because you need everything! I really enjoyed coming back to the house with a mini baby grow, they are so cute! They’re so tiny. The pram because I needed to get out and about, it was nice to carry the baby in a sling thing too.
Syreeta: He loves the bath and playing with his bath toys. Despite all the other toys he has at home he also likes to play with empty packets instead! His comfort is his dummy, and he has a favourite pillow he goes to sleep on.
Esther: My daughter loves dancing to music, she listens to music from the TV, she’s always liked music from when she was a baby. She will dance to some music and lullaby music helps her to fall asleep too.
SW: Dummy at the time and she also has a teddy bear she loves. She loves hugs!
Esther: I think that Asda is the cheapest shopping store you can go to. You can buy big boxes of nappies and wipes for a cheap price. It’s a really good place to do your monthly shopping. I used to do my shopping online, but I actually found that the Asda in Peckham was even cheaper! You can get loads of stuff for under £1.
SW: Primark but it depends which one you go to. Small ones like Peckham don’t have many options but the bigger stores are really good for baby stuff and cheap. Sometimes Amazon online- but it is more expensive.
Esther: I would say choose what you’re going to wear and get your clothes ready the night before. Allow time to engage with your child and let them choose what to wear. When I’m cooking the night before I make her lunch and pack her snacks. During bath-time talk her through that she’s going to go to nursery and have fun and see her friends. All of that preparation the night before makes the morning easier and makes sure that your child knows what to expect.
SW: Go to bed early, simple! Set aside an hour to get ready so you can set off on time.
SW: It depends on your child’s needs and what they like. It’s good to look around a few different ones to get a feel for them and they need to be close to your house so that it’s easier for you in terms of travel.
Esther: You’ve got to do a lot of research, I had to find a nursery in between where I live and where her dad lives, I started by looking on the map to look at the distance and travel times, then I looked at the websites of the various nurseries. I looked at pictures, comments, reviews, and the Ofsted ratings. I spoke to the nursery manager on the phone as well. Don’t rush into choosing one, take your time and read through information properly and carefully.
Esther: I had a lot less face to face contact with friends and family, it was limited, to not get sick and catch the virus. In some ways that wasn’t that big a change, we kept in touch through facetime and WhatsApp calls. I noticed that my daughter has become very conscious of hand washing, at the age of just 2, she sings baby shark when washing her hands and she even uses hand sanitiser!
SW: Everything is pretty much the same actually, it was tough not being able to see family and friends though.
Syreeta: I have avoided going outside as much as possible, only making essential journeys and always washing hands regularly. Getting on the bus with a pushchair at busy times is stressful and has been made worse now due to Covid and people not socially distancing. I try to plan my journeys at less busy times and walk as much as possible.
Syreeta: The unique bond I have with my baby. I have enjoyed weaning onto solids and him trying new foods. Watching him meet his milestones and seeing his development.
Esther: Having fun! Enjoying the laughing times, playing, doing fun and creative things and going out.
Danielle: Waking up to see my beautiful baby’s face in the morning. I fall more in love with her every day and it is the best thing in the world. I love doing everything I can to make sure she is comfortable and clean and happy.
SW: Having company, guiding my child in life and getting hugs and kisses.
Danielle: It can be hard not to worry at times. I just want to make sure she is OK as I love her so much.
Esther: There are times when she wants to get her own way, I don’t see that as a challenge though, it’s just her learning and growing up.
Syreeta: Trying to establish a good routine that works for both me and baby. Finding time for myself – balancing a social life with being a parent.
SW: Being a single parent if it doesn’t work out with the dad/partner. Having to do everything on your own is tiring and hard work; shopping and cleaning by yourself, bath-time, appointments, bedtime, trying to go out and have a life. But you find a way through.
SW: Being pregnant and the anticipation of that. Plus the emotional and physical care I can give to my child.
Esther: When I was 9 months pregnant and I was so excited and getting ready for her arrival, packing a hospital bag, a bag for her and for me. When I was all ready and packed, I slept with the bag next to me and made sure my phone was on me and charged just in case my waters broke! I was so excited about giving birth and seeing her.
Syreeta: The moments after giving birth, holding my baby for the first time. More recently him taking his first steps.
Danielle: Watching all the funny facial expressions my baby makes. She isn’t even one month old yet, but she has so many different faces and I love them all!