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newborn

Tips For New Mums

There are so many emotions after your baby finally makes his or her entrance into the world.  Most of the time they are positive and overwhelmingly pleasurable.  And sometimes they are just overwhelming. And confusing.  Within reason these are all fine emotions to have.  You are readjusting to a new life - for most of us quite different from the one BB (before baby).  Below are some tips to help navigate these new unchartered waters.  Some of these helped me, others I wish I had thought of when I was a new mum. I always say that you have to do what you feel is right for you – every family and person is different. Just remember that.

Tips for new mums
  1. Looking after yourself is as important as looking after your baby.  Eat well – feed your body with the nutrients it needs to feed your baby and keep you active.
  2. Find 5 minutes to mediate at least once per day – it is so easy.  Download the smiling mind app and use their guided 2-5 minute meditations to just take time out.
  3. Accept the unexpected and relinquish some of the old control.  Trying to retro fit your old life into this new one won’t work – just try and work out a new routine for the new life.
  4. Go for a walk at least once per day – 30 minutes or more.
  5. Sleep when the baby sleeps – seriously – stuff the housework.  Just sleep.  The more you sleep the better you will feel.
  6. Find little moments of pleasure - get yourself some gorgeous body care products and when you put them on feel like a million dollars e.g. the Aurora body oil is exquisite.  Amazing after a shower. Put time in the diary to go out and have a mani/pedi and your hair done. Hint to friends and family that a Spa voucher might be a great baby shower present!
  7. There is nothing wrong in finding help where you can and making life run a bit smoother.  Convenience is not a dirty word. And do not be shy about asking for help. Talk to the family and friends who offer about how they can help – e.g. if they offer to make you dinner – say yes please;  if they offer to sit one night while you go out for a quick dinner, say yes please; if they offer to mow the lawn, say yes please.  And if they ask what they can do, tell them.
  8. If you are reading a “parenting” book and it is making you feel uncomfortable or bad in some way – I implore you to put it down and find a different one.  It’s not you, it’s just that your principles don’t line up with the authors and that’s ok.  Give yourself permission to do things your way. 
  9. Have a routine.  It’s not just about sleep, it’s about having some structure to help you as well.  Having a routine around play, sleep and bathing gives you both the structure that we are all quite used to.  It means that you have free hands when you need them, together time which you both need and you both know what’s coming up.  There is good reason why schools, work and life in general works on a schedule - most of the time, we need it.
  10. Make time every day to spend together - just playing.  And make time for baby to play independently.  Both are equally important.
  11. Keep a little journal or baby moment’s journal – I like the Kikki K sentence a day journals as you don’t feel like you have to write reams of words – who has time???  Or try an online version with images and then in a year you can create a keepsake.

I always say, listen to everyone as everyone has a slightly different experience, but ultimately do what you feel is the right thing for you and your family.  The fact that everyone has conflicting information should give you the confidence to go your own way, not make you feel more uncertain. Trust your instincts.

Baby Essentials Checklist - Baby Clothes

If you are able to resist all of the gorgeous baby outfits than you are better than me. I went a bit overboard with clothes - and blankets! And in addition to all the things I bought, friends also passed on their beautiful things.  All that I can say is when everyone says to you, "they grow out of everything so quickly," they are being absolutely honest. Blink and the moment for that gorgeous dress is gone!  So, below is an baby clothes essentials checklist. Of course, I wouldn't dare spoil the fun of the cute outfits, I am just putting out what you need as a base.  

  1. Kimono Bodysuits Are The Best (Example Is Mama Maternity); they are so easy to get on and off a tiny little baby;
  2. Leggings, Cardigans And Long Sleep Tops Are Your Best Friends (Pure Baby);
  3. Earthwise Laundry Detergent for a environmentally, non-toxic washing options;
  4. Two-Way Zipper Body Suits Are Best (Example Is Pure Baby);
  5. Newborn Mitten from Pure Baby are so soft;
  6. Hats – Newborn Hat for the first month (Pure Baby shown), Hunt And Gather Winter Beanie, Sun Hat from Pure Baby
Baby Essentials Checklist Baby Clothes

Newborn Sleep

newborn sleep

When I see my little girl sleeping I just want to kiss her little nose, squeeze her little cheeks and cuddle her into me as close as I can.  But that’s not advised!  Let sleeping babies sleep.  It’s a glorious thing.  And you don’t realise how glorious it is unless you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  Getting into a good newborn sleep routine is one of the most important things to do when you bring baby home from the hospital. 

It all sounds wonderful in theory but can be quite tough, especially if you have a child with colic and reflux issues, or something else.  The below is a guide – a baby sleep checklist of sorts.

  1. A well fed baby is a happy (and sleepy) baby.

  2. Establish a routine as quickly as possible, either use the babies own rhythm to identify key times of the day for sleeping or eating or use a guide – Save Our Sleep and Happiest Baby on the Block are two great books. I personally used Save Our Sleep and it was a fantastic resource with routines by age. Rebecca Judd also has a routine on her blog that she used for her babies.

  3. Make sure your baby is well burped. Most people don’t spend enough time on this.

  4. If you are having trouble with sleep, try and rule out possible reasons e.g. reflux, colic, not enough burping, routine, not enough food, room/bed temperature. Speak to your maternal health nurse and doctor, read and talk to other mums to see if there is any sage advice they can offer.

  5. The maternal health nurse network have sleep consultants that can come out to your home and help with getting you back on track. They are at no cost for a one time visit. Or there are independent, private sleep consultants that can help in the home.

  6. Have an established bed time routine – keep a consistent time for everything; it means baby gets used to a certain way of things happening before bed time. Try: a warm relaxing bath with lavender oil to relax baby; make sure tummy is full and well burped; read a little baby book; if baby needs some extra help snoozing off try a few minutes rubbing or tapping. Whatever you do, consistency is important.

  7. Room temperature is very important. We have a tendency to overheat because we are worried about baby not being warm enough. If baby is too hot she won’t be able to settle.

  8. Lavender – try this in the bath, a candle, oil in the humidifier or oil burner before bedtime. It’s very calming.

  9. Sleep school – I have heard great things about Masada. It does not come cheap but for parents that need some time out and need settling time of their own it is incredible. You need a referral from your GP.

  10. Try not to disrupt sleep as much as possible, i.e. don’t wake your baby and try to put baby into his own bed so that he wakes in the same place he went to bed. (This is where a routine helps – you can build appointments etc. around when baby is due to sleep and eat, no surprises). Obviously it’s not always possible, i.e. when baby unexpectedly falls asleep in the car, but as with anything in life, all you can do is do your best.

  11. Daytime sleep is absolutely crucial for night time sleep so do your best in getting a good daytime sleep routine happening.

  12. Make sure the room environment, particularly the sleep area does not have distractions (or attractions) and is as serene as possible.

Getting your newborn sleep rhythm right doesn't have to be difficult but it does take a little bit of effort, patience and discipline.

Here are some other resources:

Baby Centre - Understanding your babys sleep

Raising Children Network - Baby Sleep

 

Advice for new mothers

I found these two article which are great for new mothers.  Sometimes it's good to know that you are not alone.

 

What Nobody Tells You About the First 3 Months of Motherhood

What Nobody Tells You About the First 3 Months of Motherhood

When will I feel like myself again after having a baby?

When will I feel like myself again after having a baby?


Breastfeeding resources

Breastfeeding is natural.  And I truly do believe that it is best.  But it is far from easy and does not come as "naturally" as some people make it out to be.  Being the mother that can whip out a boob and have a baby attached in the blink of any eye in a public space is lucky group.  And some don't ever get there.

iStock_000003226881XSmall.jpg

I have had both a lucky and unlucky experience breastfeeding run.  I am not one of the blessed and it was an emotional roller-coaster when I was in the thick of it.  

My mother had no milk at all.  Not a drop.  And I had a wet nurse - the days before formula necessitated it. When I was pregnant, aside from having a healthy baby, I wanted to breastfeed. I didn't care about anything else.  I knew it was not a great sign when my boobs didn't grow even a cm when I was pregnant.  (Slight side step - EVERYTHING else GREW.  A lot. But my boobs, which are tiny anyway, not a mm. It's my one and only gripe with the universe about my pregnancy. Come on!!!!) 

Anyway, while I was pregnant there were positive signs as well - I had colostrum coming through in small amounts, and ultimately, I had a little bit of milk.  So I was able to feed my baby some breastmilk in conjunction with formula. 

The midwives and maternal health nurses are very helpful but beware - everyone is going to give you differing advice.  And some people will be very insistent on things that may not sit well with you.  Follow your instincts and do what is right for your family.  And even though I found this hard to do myself, please don't get disheartened.  

Below are some other resources I thought you might find useful.  And Check out our previous blogs on this subject. 

breastfeeding resources

www.breastfeeding.asn.au
www.breastfeedingonline.com
www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications – go to ‘Infant feeding Guidelines’

What babies know...

newborn

A great article to remind us of the amazing way Mother Nature makes us!  And it may seem that your newborn baby is in his own little world he really is paying attention, has some self awareness and developing in his own little way.

Click here