We've teamed up with five mummy bloggers to launch a new podcast to help new parents navigate from bump to birth and beyond.
With the Nappy Natter podcast – available on Acast and iTunes from April 22 – the bloggers will be on hand once a fortnight to chat through the reality of parenthood and the pressures mums and dads face. Each episode will be hosted by mum-of-three Alison Perry, who will be joined by two of our network of mums on each episode.
The group of mums will also be trying out some of the great Little Angels products with their little ones and chatting about their experiences with the range.
Here are the mummy bloggers who'll be sharing their experiences in the first series of the new podcast:
Freelance magazine and online editor Alison is mum to eight-year-old Grace and eight-month-old twins Ayla and Eva. She started her Not Another Mummy Blog in 2011 and shares her experiences on Instagram of being a mum as well as writing about family travel, style and opinion pieces.
Alison said: "They say it takes a village to raise a child, but with so many of us now living away from families and leading busy lives, social media has become that village. There are blogs, websites and forums where you can chat with like-minded mums and get advice – it’s such a positive part of modern motherhood.
"My best tip for new parents is to accept all the help you’re offered. If someone wants to cook a pasta bake for your dinner or hold your baby so you can shower or take a power nap, say yes. With my first baby, I was so used to being independent that I found it hard to accept help. Now I welcome it with open arms.
"One of my most memorable parenting “fails” was when we went on a mini-break with Grace, who was four at the time. I’d planned the trip with military precision – or so I thought – until we arrived and realised her suitcase had been left at home. We managed to kit her out from a nearby supermarket, but I still cringe about it!"
Lorna said: "The best advice I can give to any new mum is to remember yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in motherhood, but carving out time for you is so important. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an hour in a coffee shop with a good book, or a solo trip to the supermarket – which as all mums know can feel like a spa break! Time for your own thoughts and time away from hearing “Mummy” on repeat is essential for your wellbeing.
"Never feel guilty about needing it. I blog about my own struggles with mental health problems – I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD after my daughters were born. It’s hard to take that first step and admit you’re not coping and need help. But once you get it out in the open, you’ll be amazed to find how many other mothers around you have felt the same.
"It’s normal to struggle sometimes – and it doesn’t make you any less of a brilliant mum."
Jade regularly posts on Instagram about her experiences of raising five children – Theo, Mellie, Raulf, Eldee and Forrest.
Jade said: "I wish someone had told me before I became a mum that I shouldn’t compare myself to other mothers. I used to look at what baby kit they’d bought and how they cared for their little one, then try to copy it, never feeling I was as capable as them. Over time – and four more children later – I’ve learned to trust my instincts and do things my way.
"Every baby is different, every mum is different and now I forge my own path. I’m much happier and more confident as a result. Social media has made it easier to be honest about motherhood. It’s rare a day goes by that I don’t have to deal with a toddler tantrum: Raulf had an epic one recently because I wouldn’t let him run around a train carriage. I don’t hesitate to share difficult moments along with the good ones though, because that’s real life.
"I can sum up motherhood in two words – learning curve – because you never reach a point where you know it all."
Nichola said: "A top tip from me? Don’t pick up a crying baby who isn’t wearing a nappy. I learnt that the hard way when Henry recently pooed all over me! So far, it’s the little life hacks that I’ve discovered that have helped me most, such as putting babygrows in sunlight to get rid of poo stains.
"The best thing I’ve invested in since having Henry is a good baby carrier. It’s great because I can be hands-free, he’s able to be close to me and we can get out and about more easily.
"Before you have a child, you’re used to being able to get so much done – but you have to readjust your expectations of yourself once you’ve got a baby. Keep a daily one-line diary recording the little ‘wins’, whether it’s making your first solo trip out with your baby or making it through a tough night of feeding.
"Never forget you’re keeping a little human alive, which is a huge achievement in itself"
"One mummy blogger I admire is Giovanna Fletcher, wife of McFly singer Tom Fletcher. She’s really down to earth and her honesty is refreshing – it’s how I try to be in my own blog.
"When I had my first baby, a midwife told me to prepare to be inundated with well-meaning advice but not to feel obliged to follow it all – and I’ve always remembered that.
"At the moment I’m breastfeeding and having to look after my elder daughter. If I have to put cartoons on Netflix to distract Aria so I can feed the baby, I’ll do it. A bit of TV is fine for kids, and it’s important to keep things in perspective."
Our new Nappy Natter podcast launches on 22nd April on iTunes and Acast.