Parent Question: I'm expecting my first baby in 16 weeks. What should I do to prepare? I have no experience with babies; expect passing them back to their mothers when they start crying. I'm reading a few baby books, but it all seems rather overwhelming to be honest Any advice? Michelle
I cannot encourage you enough to prepare for learning about your baby so you know how to best manage when you come home from the hospital. When you are pregnant you are usually focused on a healthy pregnancy, birth, labour and getting all those bits that you need for a baby. As a parent to be, you also need to prepare for life at home with a baby. Little emphasis is placed on what to do with your baby when you bring it home. You need to be informed of the basics that babies need. It certainly is overwhelming and there are so many, many different opinions and books. You can pick up one book and read the opposite in another and this is when it becomes confusing as well.
One very important thing is educate yourself about sleep routines, signs of tiredness, feeding and teaching your baby to self settle – that is to put themselves back to sleep or go to sleep without it involving you, and newborn communication. Be warned not all books are on track, just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it is right. I have always found that parents who take the time to become educated and informed and spend a few hours doing so reap the benefits for many, many months to come and those that don’t find sleep becomes a precious commodity for the whole family that they would do anything for.
My first golden rule…Avoid an overtired baby! The best way to have a baby who is not overtired and sleeps well is to educate yourself before your baby arrives. You need to learn what a newborn baby needs in the first few weeks, what to expect and how to establish a good sleep routine, which is where your baby gets ample, sleep. All expectant parents need to be informed parents who understand sleeping cues, signs of tiredness and how to establish a day and night routines. It is best to learn this before your baby arrives. Therefore, when babies are well fed, have enough sleep and are loved, they cry very little, in fact, hardly at all.
Another suggestion – come and attend my workshop for expectant parents on all this and more or can now also order my new book and DVD bundle on BabyCare: Caring for your baby 0 – 6 months from our website.