Massive congratulations to both families – just let me know when I can have a cuddle – and now we are just waiting for Rae, who has been writing a pregnancy diary for the Network, to have her baby xxxxx
There are no rules about introducing a bedtime time routine, if you have one or not is completely up to you. You might want a bedtime routine from when your baby is a few weeks old or you might feel you don’t need one for several months. The key is being guided by your baby and what you need.
Daytime can be busy, noisy and fun with learning, developing new skills, communicating, coping with new sounds, faces and places so helping your baby to settle down for sleep can be about creating a calmer environment. According to The Science of Parenting: “The primary aim at bedtime is to being your child down from a superalert awake state by activating oxytocin and the sleep hormone melatonin…when a soothing routine is used it can help to activate these calming chemicals in the brain.”
Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland
The No-cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
In those first few hours and days…
OMG you have had a baby, and it needs YOU! And chances are you feel like you really haven’t got a clue what to do. How do I feed him? Is he feeding enough? Why is he crying? Why won’t he sleep? Is he sleeping too much? Why does he only want to sleep on me, what’s wrong with the Moses Basket? Repeat, repeat, repeat until you start crying and reach for the wine.
What do you need to help during this time? You might feel that you need a solution, that you need rescuing, that you need some control among the new chaos. The chances of that happening are slim because, unfortunately you have to live it and learn to cope because it will get easier and you will adapt to the new responsibilities that can overwhelm you at the start.
Tips for sanity:
- Take it easy – rest, eat and drink
- Cuddle your baby and see what comes naturally
- Ask for help or just ignore the household chores
- Support each other
- If you need support with breastfeeding, seek it out because it really can make all the difference – you have your midwife, you can contact the La Leche League, or use a postnatal doula
In the first few days and weeks…
Don’t be surprised if you haven’t fallen into a routine yet, if life is chaotic and you feel like you are lurching from day to night and back again in a haze. You have made it through the first few days but now your partner is heading back at work and now it’s down to you.
It can feel isolating and daunting to take your baby out on your own because you can feel worried about being able to feed your baby and changing his nappy while you are out, what if he cries because what will people think of you, will you be judged on your ability as a parent?
Tips for sanity:
In addition to the above five tips,
- Find places you can go with your baby to meet other mums
Ask your health visitor for information about drop-ins and places to go
Check out the Birth & Baby Network drop-in
If you have friends with babies, meet up with them and ask them where they go
- Give yourself some time to find your feet you may just need some support in these early weeks, somewhere to go where you will be listened to and where you won’t be judged. It can be trial and error in the beginning but there is a lot going on out there so, chances are, you will find something that feels right for you.
- Small groups can be ideal initially, as your confidence grows.
Confident Mums & Baby Massage
- You will have days when you feel lost and confused but you will also have days when you feel like it has all clicked into place
- It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!