Editor’s note: Rosie Pope is a maternity entrepreneur. She is the host of Bravo TV’s “Pregnant in Heels,” author of “Mommy IQ,” and owner and designer of the Rosie Pope Maternity clothing line. She is on Twitter.
The Royal baby watch is officially in its final countdown. Once the next Prince or Princess of Cambridge arrives, the Duke and Duchess will probably be bombarded with loads of advice about their newborn baby.
Maternity guru Rosie Pope, a London native, breaks down the essentials William and Kate need to know after their baby is born.
HLN: What are three key pieces of advice Kate should remember when her baby is born?
Rosie Pope: I know people do a lot of reading but it goes out the window when the baby arrives. I say educate yourself in increments of one month at a time. When the baby is born, you only need to care about the first four weeks of his or her life. Then two months out, then three, and so on. And you never need to know more than six months out. I meet moms of newborns who worry about potty training and walking, but they don’t need to know that yet.
Also, trust your instincts. People will be judging Kate and if she doesn’t trust herself, she’ll be a wreck. That’s where education comes in and support from her family. If she’s made a decision and that’s what she feels good about, then she should stand by it, even if someone says otherwise.
And one more rule: For the first 14 days after your baby is born, don’t do anything. Don’t worry about taking a shower, don’t go to the gym, don’t plan to get out of your clothes — you need those days to recover from the hormones and the exhaustion of the process. After that, it becomes easier. The light shines at around day 14.
HLN: What should William know about being a first-time dad?
Pope: Unwavering support is essential, especially when it comes to criticism from his side of the family. His best way of helping is keeping his family at bay -- that’s not her job. I also find guys can be helpful when they take a back seat and observe her techniques, like burping. Guys are more logical and when they watch and see a pattern of what works and what doesn’t, they can offer up that advice. Also, let her sleep. Take the baby and let her take a nap!
HLN: What’s your all-time favorite advice for first-time parents?
Pope: You’re going to figure it out. Honestly, you will. If you love your child, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. I hate to see people who are so wrapped up with anxiety because they feel they didn’t get the education that they’re not enjoying the first few weeks with their baby.
HLN: What are your tips for putting together a nursery?
Pope: A safe place to sleep is essential. I also recommend a changing table with entertainment above it. What you need above the table is something mobile to keep the baby occupied. Also, a comfortable rocker. When you’re feeding, you’re up so many times at night, you will sometimes fall asleep in that rocker. So get one with a comfortable headrest so you can sleep it in. And lastly, an interference-free baby monitor that hooks up to your smart phone. If you have a smart phone, you can also look at your phone and see the baby.
HLN: What’s your advice for delegating tasks to grandparents, aunts, or nannies?
Pope: A lot of people really don’t want to hand over their newborn baby to anyone else, so they need to delegate the cooking and the cleaning if they’re fortunate to have help. The chores are what take up the most time -- you’re constantly doing laundry because your baby is going through a million onesies. When it comes to the baby, it seems Kate wants to do it herself. She has said she doesn’t want a nurse. It’s OK to ask for help though. If you can have your mom help you, it makes a world of difference.