You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet over here for the past few weeks. Life has been a little bit crazy for the past few weeks, I was exam marking in July (and every year I forget how all consuming that can be), I left my job of fifteen years and then we had a summer holiday to prepare for. In case you were wondering, we headed to Croatia for the week and had the most wonderful time, definitely a place worth looking at.
It is all so different to where we were a year ago with a new born in the house. Life was a whole lot calmer as we existed in that lovely new baby bubble. Days were filled with feeding routines and sleepy cuddles with our newest little man. We are currently working with Graco as one of their Generation Graco ambassadors for 2017 and after having such a fantastic launch event at Legoland in June they also put on a Baby Bootcamp event last month, which sadly we couldn’t attend because we were on our holidays. They kindly sent me the pictures and information I missed and it looks fantastic.
One of the key points of the event was to share some top tips for life with a new baby to help new mothers not to feel so overwhelmed. Here’s a few of them, written in collaboration with Sarah Redshaw from BabyCentre:
1. Manage your expectations
- You will be feeding a lot – whether breast or bottle, it is time consuming
- You won’t eat a hot meal for a while – feeding, winding, playing and sleeping will pretty much take up all of your time!
- You will feel vulnerable – but this will pass. Whatever your expectations are, lower them. Remember to look after yourself
2. Bonding with your baby
- Skin to skin contact is really important, make sure you and your partner both get plenty of skin to skin contact. Your smell will be really comforting to baby
- Your baby will have got used to your voice in the womb, be sure to talk and sing to your baby regularly to keep up this bond
- Pick up on their cues. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and each baby is different. You will learn what each sound and movement means as your baby develops
- Newborns love looking at your face and mimicking your expressions. Try sticking your tongue out to see if baby copies!
- All babies reach milestones at different times, whether it’s responding to sounds, lifting their head, staring at faces, following objects, smiling and more! You will always meet mums who’s baby did everything better and faster than you. Don’t be fazed by this! Also, if your baby was premature, remember to use adjusted age guidelines. If you are really worried, speak to your health visitor
3. Sleeping, feeding, routine
- Baby will sleep for 16-17 hours a day in the first week, and will feed between 8 and 15 times a day. After the first week or two, this will decrease to 6-8 times a day. Breastfed babies may feed more often. On day one, your baby’s stomach is the size of a hazelnut. By 14 days it’s the size of an egg!
- Between 6-8 weeks baby may get into more of a settled routine, however this rule isn’t hard and fast and it may take you a few weeks to notice
4. Tips for the first few months
- It’s normal to worry – the most common questions that are often seen on the BabyCentre website are about skin conditions and baby poo! It’s normal to worry, but you’ll find you relax as your baby develops and you get to know each other. If you are really worried, see your GP/midwife/health visitor
- Get prepared. Before baby arrives, set up an online shopping account. Netflix and Amazon Prime are also good subscriptions for new parents! Most of these subscriptions have free trial periods. Be sure to write down your login and password somewhere! Practice getting the car seat in / out of car, collapsing the pushchair / travel system, fitting car seat to pushchair and removing it
- Get a nightlight or bedside light with a dimmer switch for night time feeds
- Keep a small screwdriver in house – musical mobiles, white noise toys etc all require a screwdriver to get into them! And stock up on the batteries you might need for toys
- Breastfeeding is hard. It doesn’t always come ‘naturally’. Take your time and be patient
- Contact baby groups near you to check if there is a wait list. Arrange to see friend and visit your local baby centre. Maternity leave can get lonely!
- If you think you are going to go back to work – research nurseries /childminders early – some have a six month + waiting list.
- Depending on your birth, leaving the house and going for a walk with your newborn may feel like a huge obstacle but you will come back with an enormous sense of achievement and pride
- Have your changing bag ready and stocked to leave the house, apart from the obvious things like nappies / wipes, some other items that may be useful are things like breast pads / change of top for Mum, a few freezer / zip lock bags for any messy baby gros, and spare soother.
As well as some great newborn tips there was also a chance to put the babies through their paces (hence the bootcamp name) and the opportunity to have a try out of some of Graco’s fantastic products. We have been using their Evo Avant pushchair with the Breton Stripe design for the past few weeks and I love it, the full review will be up in the next couple of days.
I’m sure G would have loved to have attended but he did quite enjoy playing in the pool in the sunshine, so I don’t think he’s feeling too hard done by. Pop back soon to read our full review of the Evo Avant and Snugride I-Size car seat.
What would be your top tip for life with a newborn?