I’m in a very privileged position that I get to meet hundreds of new mamas (and their gorgeous babas), but let’s be honest – being a new mama is just that, new. We often feel like we have NO idea what we have let ourselves in for and are looking for a bit of guidance. Our 5 week postnatal courses provide a forum where new mums can ask our experts whatever they like about sleep, weaning, first aid and baby development and not be judged. The thing is…. there are SO many other things we want to know too. Here are just some new mum FAQs…. (and answers of course)!
Baby bouncers or swings – which one and why?
I get asked this question a lot, especially by parents-to-be who are bewildered by the amount of choice on the market: swing, bouncer, non-vibrate, vibrate, noise making etc etc. Just remember that bouncers and swings have a relatively short shelf life as once your baby can move, they won’t want to sit still in one! Unfortunately, your baby hasn’t read the reviews or manuals, so I’d just recommend going with one that’s aesthetically pleasing to you and where the toys hang quite low so that your baby can reach them relatively easily to get the most use out of it possible – it can be quite frustrating for them otherwise!
What should by baby wear at night?
It is really important that your little one doesn’t overheat so I’d really recommend investing in a room thermometer. The room in which your baby sleeps should be 16-20’C which can feel quite cold to us as adults, especially if you like to have the heating high in winter. Baby sleeping bags are an excellent way to help regulate your baby’s body temperature and they promote safe sleeping as there are no blankets etc for your little one to pull over their face. The Gro-bag website has a really useful guide you can find here about what your little one should wear dependent on the temperature.
What’s the one item you couldn’t live without?
A large muslin – it has such a multitude of uses: playmat, mops up milk, sick etc, can be used as a comforter, breastfeeding cover (should you want one) etc.
What’s the best way to take milk out and about on the go?
Milk preparation can feel like a full time job in itself. I would either pour the right amount of boiling water in the bottle, let it cool and then either invest in something like a milk powder dispenser which sits IN the bottle itself or another powder dispense with compartments – you don’t want be counting the number of scoops whilst out and about and you can just tip the power right in. Alternatively, ready-made milk products may be expensive – but can be very handy on the go – just tip right in and job done!
I’m worried I’m making a rod for my own back by cuddling and holding my baby most of the time… is it wrong?
It is very normal for your baby to want to be held at a lot, particularly in those first few months when they are in what is known as the fourth trimester and are just getting used to life outside mum. Just remember – something is only a problem if it’s a problem for YOU. You won’t be carrying them round when they’re 25, so just enjoy those snuggles!
Video monitors – are they worth it?
I don’t often recommend new mamas shelling out more cash than is necessary, however I think video monitors are a really good investment. A lot of mamas I know who started with just audio monitors went out and bought a video monitor anyway. They are great especially once your baby starts crawling round the cot – you can hear noise but know they’re probably ok and don’t want to go in and check on them as they’ll get all excited again! You can also see when they have gone to sleep and communicate with them through it too – some play lullabies and have room temperature displays too – so lots of practical uses and a product you will end up using for quite a long time!
Travelling with a baby – am I crazy?
No – go for it, especially before they start wanting to crawl or walk everywhere. The prospect of travelling with a little one is far more daunting than the reality. Babies often surprisingly like flying (once up in the air) due to the white noise hum of the engine. It can be good to feed them during take-off and landing and it’s important to be prepared: a sling/baby carrier for the airport, plenty of toys & games, as well as plenty of muslins and changes of clothes!
Lucinda Hutton runs Nurturing Mums postnatal courses popular 5 week postnatal courses where new mamas meet their girl gang & get expert advice on sleep, weaning, baby development & first aid. She also runs the Nurturing Mums Store – an online shop full of thoughtful gifts for mums, mums-to-be, baby and your nursery. Lucinda is also a lawyer and mama to Teddy. She’s a lover of fizz and tries not to take life too seriously.
Find Lucinda on social:
@nurturingmums (insta and facebook)