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Preparing for a Newborn

Preparing for a Newborn

The Sleep Store posted

Preparing for a newborn...we'd love you to share your top tips for new parents - sleeping, feeding, whatever you think new parents will find helpful for surviving the first few weeks.

Our Facebook community posted

ROUTINE, it's a god send, my baby was sleeping through the night by 1 month.

Top tip from me would be to try and chill out and trust your instincts on things as you know your baby more than anyone else and trying to follow someone else's rules and ideas just stresses you out! Have fun and take heaps of pictures as those early early days disappear way too quickly :-)

Routine, and stick to the 1 hour rule, when they wake - feed, change, play then back t bed within the 1 hour of waking. Also swaddling is a godsend.

Totally agree with Jackie, I had routines with my two and had them sleep through the night 8hrs undisturbed at 4-5 wks old, and both my children are happy, loving children and I feel like I was a better mum because of the routine cause I didn't lose myself.

Up, fed, changed, burped, down within the hour for at least the first 6 weeks.

Do NOT focus on the birth. Yes, it's scary... but you'll get through it. Focus on what you're going to do with the baby AFTER the birth. Read up on good routines for newborns and good latching techniques. Practise swaddling on anything... handy that's roughly baby size. Cook loads of lovely nutritious meals and stick them in your freezer. Rent another freezer and fill that one too... honestly, you'll wonder if you'll ever have the time to cook a meal again. Sleep in. Go out to dinner with your other half. Do more sleeping in.See More

Do what you feel. for me I fed my baby whenever they wanted and though it meant A LOT of feeding and not a lot of sleep lol i think it was so great for them.

Tell people you are having no visitor days! have time by yourselves

Routine and swaddling! Get a miracle swaddle or two!

I have to agree with routine and swaddling..also remember that when they do sleep through, they will still have the odd night of sleeping like a newborn..

Limit visitors, sleep when baby does, accept useful help such as meals, washing etc. Don't run around after visitors, put the stuff out and let them make their own cuppa. Relax and enjoy it!

Trust yourself, take only the advise that suits you, say thank you and discard what you do not feel comfortable with - it is your child, do what you think. Ask for advise if you are feeling stressed or worried - this is normal, but still trust yourself. Your baby Your rules. Katherine - I have to say I was not worried about my birth - trusted my Dr, but was worried about taking home this little life once it was over... But it was great - once you see that little bundle... all that goes, and remember ask for help, sort discard, and feel free to do trial and error learning... every child, pregnancy and birth is different! ENJOY (don't forget the camera!)

Get your husband/partner to make your lunch when hes making his, and pop it in the fridge so its good to go...then you are guaranteed lunch!!

Have an open mind as every baby is different - I had a perfect baby the first time round who slept through at 6 wks but no.2 is completely different. She has reflux so routines go out the window! Just trust your instincts and do the best you can.

Get some pyjama's that look like "real clothes", so when you are in them all day, at least you're the only one that knows...

Swaddling a must! def limit visitors and keep the baby's up time to an hr when they are first little, even if visitors are there. An over-stimulated and handled baby are so hard to settle. It may offend some visitors if you limit the cuddles..., but its you that has to settle the poor wee poppets at the end of it. Plus they burn up so many calories being cuddled and handled too much.Use a dummy if need be and formula too, there's nothing wrong up top ups. Ask for help if need be. And of course, cry when you need too, that helps. Little tray of necessary bits of food, water, bibs set up at all times when feeding (esp up and go's in the middle of night) ... i could blab on forever · ·

Don't listen to everyone's advice... just know you ARE doing a good job and remember it DOES get easier!

Enjoy your baby. You never get those first few months back. If you want to hold your baby lots then do it. Enjoy the fact that you have a couple of months where you can do what every you like with your baby, as it all changes around the three month mark when you need to start getting them to sleep on there own etc.

Picking them up and cuddling them when they're crying will NOT spoil them! They've spent 9 months inside you, they are a part of you...

Remember that eventually you will get more than 3 to 4 hours sleep in a row (and thus will feel vaguely human again). Accept all help. Routine is great if it works for you (but don't let it mean you never see the outside world again)! And enjoy them when they are so little as they don't stay that way for long.

I don't mean never cuddle your baby, I did always, but never passed her round and round like 'pass the parcel' .... :)

Trust your own instincts too, you know your baby better than anyone else.

Great advice above! - also if you have crap days when you really hate your new job that is totally normal. You are not a bad mother because you don't love every minute of motherhood. Also if you're having one of 'those' days getting a walk outside can be a life saver. Baby crying sounds a lot less loud outside.

Establishing breastfeeding can be hard work and there are days when you feel like that is all you have done all day. Just remember it will get better and easier.

If you have your baby at a hospital, stick to your guns with the shift midwives, or some of them will grab your boobs without even asking.

Put your baby in the cot to sleep during the day so they aren't fussy about sleeping there later on! mine hates it during the day! (loves the pram tho)

Remember the final decision is yours and stick to your guns....Go with your gut !!

If there was one right way there wouldn't be so many different ways! Our faves were routine combined with 'Happiest Baby' techniques, meaning, have something to aim for but understand that some days (or times of day) baby is going to need a... little more help to get to sleep/settle etc.
Also, remember that little ones have growth spurts so this means everything changes for a day or two, extra feeds, less sleeps etc.. try and enjoy the adventure!!!!

Happiest baby DVD was a god sent. Highly recommend this to teach mum and dads techniques to help settle a newborn. I tell all new mums to get this... Worth every cent :)

I ADORE Katherine's advice above!! Just settle on your game plan in advance (though have a backup plan in case you hate it!) make sure your partner is up to play and roll with it. and RING someone if you are sitting there in tears having no idea what it is wrong! I found that simply telling someone I had no idea made me relax, and then so did my baby and suddenly it wasn't so bad!

totally great advice above. I think don't feel any pressure to have your baby "sleeping through" cause sometimes people say this but things can change and may not always be the case. Go with what nature has given us as mums and take the pressure off yourself, you are doing an awesome job.......your little bundle of happiness is living proof! Enjoy xx

My best tip from a midwife was to get baby sleeping in their own bassinet, milky t shirt of mums under their head so they can smell your scent, warm the bed with hot water bottle/wheat bag for night feeds and wrapping in a good swaddle wrap, i love the dream swaddle my baby is 7 months and still in it!!

Loved the secrets of the baby whisperer, it was a bit like a manual particularly the body language bits.
Also get fresh air.

Sometimes you get a groundhog day feeling but it is all worthwhile. he is now 4 months old and the smiles are the biggest reward.

Oh and make a pact with your partner to be kind to each other. It's so easy to get snippy when you are tired and overwhelmed. And try hard not to be critical of his helping. I sometimes had to leave the room to stop my tongue! But he became our family expert at bathing, nappy changing and a burping genius! (burping baby I mean lol)

Enjoy the newborn phase it goes too fast it's so easy to get wrapped up in the sleep deprivation but it really doesn't last that long and you will get more sleep later on. Lots of cuddles, don't think it will ruin them as a sleeper it doesn't :) drink lots of h2o and don't think the house needs to be spotless. Don't be scared to tell visitors you need to rest if they hang round too long.

On days that you feel like you haven't got anything done remember that feeding your baby is something. Anything else you achieve is a bonus so take all the naps you need and don't expect yourself to do the housework and cooking on top of i...t (make sure your partner understands that too and when you do manage to cook a meal make extra and freeze the leftovers). Trusted visitors can be great for extending naps - get them to burp, play with and settle baby while you go off to bed. Make an effort to get out of the house regularly to avoid feeling like the walls are closing in on you. I've found post natal courses a wonderful way to get out and learn lots at the same time. Be prepared to ignore advice from professionals. Midwives, plunket nurses and other mums are great for getting support and ideas but they don't know your baby as well as you do so trust your motherly instinct. Finally, i often remind myself of the instructions flight attendants give about oxygen masks - that you take care of yourself before helping others. Breastfeeding mums need to do do the same even if it means leaving baby to cry for a bit while mum gets a sanity-saving shower or good healthy lunch.

Talk to other new mums about what they're going through, its nice to know there are others going through what you are at the same time. But also don't get too into comparing your baby to other peoples babies, they all reach milestones at different times.

Get a crock pot!

Stock up on flat nappies. We didn't use them as nappies but we used them for nappy free time and for draping over every surface as we had a reflux baby so she did a lot of 'happy chucking' after her bottles. It is amazing just how many uses you find for them when your baby is little. Swaddling was also great for us - I used the miracle blankets.

I agree with Mary and Keriann, ENJOY! While routine is important don't get fixated on it and let it take over your instinct and time with your baby - a time that you will never get back. Work slowly towards what you would like to happen on a daily basis and create your routines around that.

So much great advice here already. Especially like the trust your instincts ones ... its funny how often I let myself get swayed by something I'd read or heard for either sleeping or feeding but almost always went back to what I'd instinctively thought. As for routines, there's some complicated suggestions and some very well meaning but opinionated people out there ... my response to them is that my baby eats when he's hungry, sleeps when he's tired and enjoys cuddles and play time in between. What better routine is there than that?

Get out of the house everyday - even if it's just a walk around the block. Sleepy newborns are great to leave under tables at cafes!

Thanks so much to all the wonderful, wise mums who shared their tips on our Facebook Page.