4 articles Tag newborn

Five Methods That New Mums Can Use to Get More Sleep

So your precious little one is home from the hospital and you are finding yourself constantly tired. Sleep deprivation is common in new mothers once the nurses are gone and no longer doing the work for you. If you are experiencing a lack of sleep because of your newborn, don’t worry. You are not the only one. Some of these tips may help you increase the amount of sleep you get so you can have energy to last the day.

Nap Time for Both

Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you lay the baby down for a nap and that wonderful mattress is calling for you, don’t ignore it. The laundry can wait, the cooking can wait. Answer that call and take a nap as well. You will feel invigorated when you wake up and you will not drag through those other chores that you put aside for a while.

Also delegate the work. Your spouse may work, but so do you! Save some of the chores for them. Just because you are home with the baby doesn’t mean you have time for all of the housework. Split it up. They live there as well, after all.

Pump Early

Some new mothers have a tendency to pump for breastmilk in the middle of the night. There was no more time in the day after cleaning dishes, washing and folding clothes, cooking, and caring for the baby. This is another reason to delegate the work off to others (if you have older children, put them to work as well). By giving you more free time, you will be able to pump before you go to bed, rather than at 2:00 in the morning.

Taking Shifts

So your spouse has to get up at 5am to go to work. You have to get up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to take care of the baby’s needs. If the two of you take shifts during the night, you can split up the work and lessen your lack of sleep. Yes, they may have to go to work, but that doesn’t mean you should face the full brunt of sleep deprivation. Let them go to work lagging. You do.

Alternate Nights Off

New mothers tend to have a hard time not being the one to answer the call of their crying baby. Until they are sleep deprived. Then they force the spouse out of bed to tend to the newborn’s needs. Whereas doing things in shifts at night can help reduce your sleep deprivation (but increase your spouse’s), try alternating nights off. This way you each will get a decent night’s sleep every other night, allowing you both to get through your days easier.

Separate Rooms

Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, make use of it. On your nights off, or when you are not on your nightly shift, try sleeping in the extra room. Don’t want to be away from your baby? That’s okay. It’s called motherly instinct. Not sure if your spouse can handle it alone? You do, why can’t they! It’s sink or swim, and 10 times out of 10 they will swim. It’s okay to leave your significant other with the responsibility.

If the extra room is an office or study, oh well. Put a bed or futon in there and get some shut eye while your other half listens out for your little one. You can shut the door and have it a little quieter; if there are any problems, your spouse will let you know. Separate yourself so you can get some sleep.

What Are the REAL Essentials for Babies?

essentialsBurrito Baby is almost three and a half and will be starting nursery in September, so our baby days are well and truly over. Husband and I have made the decision that two kids is enough for us, so newborns aren’t something which will feature in our future, however I was recently speaking to a pregnant friend about how much simpler parenthood was the second time around because you don’t feel as pressured by all the STUFF. With Sausage, we had so much information and advice about what we NEEDED and MUST HAVE, but the reality of it was that we probably could have done without most of it. Here’s a list of things which, for us, were the true essentials the second time around:

Muslin Cloths

My two babies were very different in terms of feeding; one did so with no issues (although was initially tube fed in the NICU) and the other had reflux and a cow’s milk protein allergy, but the one thing which was the same for both of them is that they’d always posset at least a bit after a bottle. Muslins were used for everything from mopping up sick and protecting shoulders whilst burping, through to using the massive ones to swaddle. We’d have been royally stuck without them and I’d recommend them to ANY new parent.

Lansinoh

I wasn’t able to breastfeed either of my girls but I know from the exerience of friends that nipple soreness was one of the main problems in the early days. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is the UK’s number one nipple cream and is soon to be released in a new travel-friendly 10ml size online and in selected Boots stores – a perfect hand-luggage holiday essential for breastfeeding mums (according to results as many as 95% of breastfeeding women experience nipple soreness)!!

Some Sort of Baby Chair/Cushion/Mat

I’m not going to be specific here because everyone’s preference and budget is different, but having somewhere that you can actually put baby down for a few minutes is essential for your own mental health. BB was quite a clingy baby (probably because of her reflux) but we had a swinging chair which vibrated and it allowed me to have two minutes here and there, without screaming, to brush my teeth or do something for myself.

Baby Sling

Our sling was so, so useful in the early days for both babies as I was able to strap them on and get on with things! I’m quite a hands-on Mum and have one baby wearing and co-sleeping and although it’s not for everyone it’s something that I’d really recommend you try. Baby gets a lot of comfort from being close to a parent and you have both hands free, which is a huge luxury with a newborn!
A V-Pillow
Because I bottle fed my two, having somewhere comfortable to sit to feed them was really important. Both times, we invested in a v-shaped pillow which I would put across my lap and then put the baby on top. It gives your arms a bit of a break if you need it and allows you both to sit comfortably while baby’s back is properly supported.
Do you have anything to add to the list?

Living in The Baby Bubble

If you’ve got a newborn baby, you know all too well what it’s like to live in that lovely bubble of baby wonderfulness. They may not be sleeping at night but in the early days it’s all about finding your groove and if it’s your first baby, it’s so tempting to stay at home in your little baby-centric haze for as long as possible. There are, however things that you’ll need to do in those forst few weeks, so we thought we’d give you a little list to remind you of the essentials.

Register Baby

Registering your baby is a legal requirement as it basically informs the Government that there’s a new human in the world! You have six weeks from the baby’s day of birth (although this can be different if baby is in a special care unit, and some hospitals have a registrar on site for these very occasions), but you must do it as soon as you’re able.

Apply for Benefits

Once you’ve registered baby and got their birth certificate, you can apply for any benefits to which you might be entitled, such as Child Benefit and Child Tax. If you need help working out what to apply for, head over to http://www.govukbenefits.com/ for more information and links on how to apply.

Weighing

For the first little while, you’ll probably have midwives and health visitors coming to your home to keep an eye on you and baby, and ensuring baby is gaining weight nicely. Once these visits stop, you’ll need to find a local clinic (usually in a childrens’ centre or doctors surgery) to keep having your newborn weighed and having their “Red Book” filled in.

Keep In Touch Days

If you’re on Maternity Leave from work and are planning to go back at some point, then some places of work have Keep In Touch days to enable you to go back for a few hours to refresh yourself on your work duties. It can often make you feel less out-of-touch with your career and is an excellent excuse to show off all of your adorable baby photos!

Health Check

Obviously, most of your focus in the early days will be on baby but you also need to ensure that YOU are being looked after too. Regular checks with your midwife or doctor will ensure than any c-section or episiotomy wounds are healing properly and it’s also good to have a mental health check to ensure that you aren’t suffering with PND or PTSD after a traumatic birth. If you don’t look after yourself properly, you won’t be able to look after your new precious bundle properly, and that’s the most important thing in the world for you right now.

 

Carry On Regardless (or: Life With a Newborn)

baby in cinemaI’m not going to lie; while I’m really excited about our imminent (yep, less than 8 weeks left now!) arrival, I’m also apprehensive about what it means for our lives. There are lots of things that we enjoy doing, as a family of three, that I’m concerned won’t be able to continue as a family of 4. For instance, we tend to take Sausage to the cinema quite regularly, especially if there’s a new kids film out, but I’m not sure how a newborn would fit into that scenario?

The cinema we go to is a small, independent theatre with fewer seats per screen and early morning showings (it’s also not as loud as a lot of cinemas seem to be, either), so in theory I’m hoping that I can wear the baby in a sling and try to time showings between feeds, that way if she gets fussy during a film, I can simply walk outside with her and try to settle her without disturbing other film-goers. I know some theatres do baby-friendly showings, but I don’t think there are any near us.

Sausage and I like to go swimming together occasionally too, and our pool has strict ratios of how many kids per adult there are. I’m hoping that Sausage will see taking her baby sister as a fun thing, not an interruption of Mummy/Sausage time, although obviously there’ll be times that Husband is able to take care of the baby whilst Sausage and I go for a dip.

I’m also getting pre-emptive guilt about taking Sausage to school and having the baby at home with me. I know I’m being irrational; Sausage had her time at home with us and was lucky enough to have both parents working from home during that time, so a LOT of quality was spent together during those years, but she still struggles on occasion with being left at school while her Dad and I are at home and I’m worried that knowing her sister will be here with us too will make her feel worse or isolate her somehow.

I know it’s totally normal to have all of these worries and, in a way, I’m glad I’m thinking about everything now so that I can be marginally more prepared if these situations arise. However, I most certainly don’t have any answers at this precise moment and it’s causing horrible anxiety levels ahead of my due date.

I’m pretty certain that Sausage is going to WOW us all and just be totally amazing about everything, in that way that she always is, showing her usual levels of patience and understanding. The age gap is both a blessing and a curse – Sausage is old enough to understand everything that’s going on and has been as involved as possible in the pregnancy, coming to scan appointments, helping me to rub cocoa butter into my bump and feeling her sister moving around. But she’s also old enough to feel pushed out when Mummy has to spend her time doing baby-related things, and that’s what’s worrying me.

So, do any of my readers have a 5 and a half year age gap (or more)? Is it possible to continue doing normal family activities with a newborn or am I going to have to compromise on certain things? And is there a good way to make sure Sausage and I don’t lose our special bond? All advice is muchly appreciated.