My 10 top newborn survival tips

Congratulations on your new arrival! You have waited patiently and prepared for this moment for the last 9 months.

I never forget leaving the hospital with my first son and walking in the front door and thinking now what? I had an overwhelming feeling of responsibility for this little real life human I had made and a real fear that I was going to mess it up. Of course, I made mistakes we learnt together and I’m still learning as I navigate parenting my five boys.

Those early days pass by in a blurry, sleep deprived way, so here are a few of my tips to help you in those early weeks

 

1.     Trust your instinct

In the beginning as you get to know your little one it’s easy to feel that your doing things wrong, so trust that what you are doing is enough. Your baby trusts you so much, you are his whole world and as you put trust in each other your mamas instinct will come into play. Always remember you are your baby’s expert, no one else, you already know him so well pre birth, as he was born so too was you as a mother.

 

2.     Be in the now

Try not to rush things, it’s easy to overthink and think about your baby’s next stage as they learn to roll, to crawl and to walk. Often, we think the next stage will be easier though take a moment to just be here right now. Slow down and find the joy and love in your baby right now, don’t worry about what might be as that dreaded bedtime hour may be just calm and loving tonight.

 

3.     Find your tribe

As new parents it’s important to surround ourselves with people who have got you, and who can support you when perhaps you are feeling low. Connect with other parents, find a group you love such as baby massage, often you can find your new best friend at these places. If you don’t fancy a group have a look online, my Netmums group was my saviour when I had my fifth baby, there was always someone to listen, even at 3am(!)

 

4.     Get outside

Getting outside in nature has a whole host of benefits for both baby and you. Fresh air helps our bodies create more serotonin which makes us naturally feel relaxed. An afternoon walk can do wanders for our sleep. Natural light can also help baby to distinguish between day and night as they are born nocturnal.

 

5.     Recreate the womb

The transition for baby from womb to world is quite unsettling for them and therefore for the next three months it’s about recreating that womb experience they became to know and love. Keeping baby close, skin to skin and close to your heartbeat can help baby feel safe and secure, you are his safe space and all he’s known so being close to you will be where he wants to be. Using white noise can help replicate the sound of the womb and of course baby will love to be rocked as he was, when you walked about during pregnancy.

 

6.     Connect and bond

Getting to know each other is important, talk, sing and sit and do lots of baby gazing taking in their little personality. Over time you will get to understand their cues and needs more easily. Learning baby massage is a great way to become attuned to your baby too.

 

7.     Be prepared

Try and have everything you need in one place so you are not running from room to room in those early weeks particularly if you have had a c-section or a tough labour. Having a bag with everything you need to hand in the living room can help. Don’t forget a water bottle too as breastfeeding is thirsty work so having a water bottle topped up can help. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help get other people to do the unnecessary things whilst you focus on baby.

 

8.     Don’t worry about bad habits

It’s easy to wonder if you are cuddling, rocking, feeding or anything else too much. You honestly can’t do these things too much in the early months, your baby wants to be near you and you definitely can’t spoil a baby with too many cuddles. Take no notice of well-meaning advice and again trust in your instinct. Like everything, sleep will come, but in the early months they need your support a lot.

 

9.     Take time for you

It’s easy to forget about ourselves as we become new parents though taking time for you is so important. Be kind to yourself.  You too have just been born as a mother, take some time to enjoy something you’ve always loved. It may only be 10 minutes to take time to breathe,  but learn to love yourself, as loving you opens up your heart to loving others.

 

10.   Let go of perfection

In today’s modern times there is so much pressure and competition to be the perfect mum, wife, partner, worker etc etc. Perfection though doesn’t exist. I love the mantra I am perfectly imperfect.  I still use it even now as that perfectionist quality in me affected my mental health. Believe me in the eyes of your children you are super mum and enough to them.

 

Enjoy this precious time

Love

Claire

Sweet Beginnings Babycare

 Claire is based in Maidstone, Kent and her sleep consultancy, baby massage and baby yoga classes offer a nurturing space for mum and baby to relax, recharge and connect. Claire has an extensive background in childhood studies and baby care. 

 

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