Baby / 21 September, 2023 / Ellie Thompson
We’ve joined forces with some of the most respected voices in the UK parenting community to bring you the wisdom that exactly what the experts wish you knew about having a new baby.
Having a new baby is one of the most exciting, nerve-racking, terrifying and momentous occasions in a person’s life. So much is about to change as you navigate the twists and turns of parenthood. The Baby Show, with Lidl GB, which returns to Olympia London from 20th – 22nd October has called on its host of expert speakers to share their ULTIMATE top tips for new and expectant parents.
Midwife Zoe Watson says: “Remember that you’re the boss of your body! Take the time to research your options when it comes to the care of you and your baby. Being informed about each decision will help you feel calm and in control. Communicating your preferences with your partner and healthcare professionals is also extremely important.”
Cathy Tabner, Midwife from My Expert Midwife says: “Expect the unexpected, birth plans may get changed – 40% of first-time mums are offered an induction, 30% of births are c-sections. It’s a good idea to have plan A for a physiological (natural) birth as well as Plan B for an induction and plan C for a c-section.”
Rachel Fitz, a baby and parenting expert and author of Your Baby Skin to Skin says: “Your baby really cannot be wrong at ‘being a baby.’ Babies are highly evolved to do whatever it takes to stay close to us through the day and night in order to survive and thrive. Parents feed and soothe and feed and soothe but, every time they pop baby down in their crib, their little one quickly starts to fidget and suck their fists and cry and parents worry they’re doing something wrong. Once parents go with their baby’s flow and trust that their highly evolved little expert is doing exactly what babies are meant to do, they can listen to their heart, respond to their baby’s needs, and relax knowing that all is well in the universe.”
Marie-Louise Hurworth, The Modern Midwife says: “Make sure that you build in support for yourself. Your support network can be through professionals, family members or friends. Often parents will focus on pregnancy and birth but then the fourth trimester hits and they feel like they can’t ask for help. Make a list of support numbers and reliable websites that you put on the fridge or save in your notes in your phone that you can use at 3 o’clock in the morning.”
Sarah Patel, Sleep Expert and founder of Teach to Sleep says: “In the early few days and weeks, focus your energy on feeding your baby, rather than getting into any kind of sleep routine. This is because for the first couple of months of your baby’s life they will have a very immature circadian rhythm (internal body clock) so they won’t know the difference between day and night.”
Rachel FitzD says: “You’re just a human like the rest of us and your growing baby needs you to model being a REAL and authentic human being, warts and all, not some super-human ideal they can never aspire to become. We all muddle along at times and that muddle is where the creativity of parenting lies. Embrace the muddle and you’ll enjoy parenting a lot more.”
Midwife Pip (www.midwifepip.com / @midwife_pip) says: “Avoid the trap of comparison. A degree of comparison is natural as a new parent, but it needs to be kept in check so that it doesn’t turn into an unhealthy habit that is detrimental to you and your baby. You are unique individuals and there is a wide range of normality through sleep and milestones that every parent and baby will navigate in their own way and at their own pace.”
Dr Robert Titzer, infant researcher from The Infant Learning Company says that the more you talk to your baby, the more likely your child will have better language skills: “The more words spoken to a child by the age of three, the more words understood by the child at age 11 (Hart & Risley, 1995). The number of words was a better predictor of the size of the child’s vocabulary than the parents’ IQs, family socioeconomic status, or the school the child attended. More recent studies show that babies in better language environments in the first 18 months of life not only understand more words at age three, but they also have faster brain processing speeds. So teach your child as many words as possible as early on.”
Jenni Dunman from Daisy First Aid says: “Look into baby proofing?your home before your baby is born or on the move. It’ll be one less thing to worry about later. And book a baby first aid parent class. Knowledge and confidence is vital should you need to help your little one in an emergency.”
Charlotte Stirling-Reed, child nutritionist and author of How to Feed Your Family says: “Everything is a phase. When times get a bit tricky or you’re struggling with something, it’s always worthwhile remembering that “everything is a phase”. I always remembered being so sucked into worries, like about sleep or a rash on baby or with separation anxiety. it’s all a phase and you’ll get through it and onto the next in no time.”
Gem & Eve, Founders of Calm & Bright Sleep Support say: “Ignore anyone who warns you that you’ll make a rod for your own back if you offer high-level comfort to aid your baby in sleep. The best sleepers build a strong attachment in the first six months. Rock, hold, baby-wear and comfort feed your baby to your heart’s content. Your baby’s future sleep will be even better for it.”
Heidi Skudder, Founder of Positively Parenthood says: “In the early days and weeks, your baby’s sleep is directly linked to their comfort levels. Wind is one of the biggest causes of a baby who will not settle or sleep! Contrary to the popular myth, all babies need winding including breastfed babies! Spend time before, during and after a feed winding and both your sleep and baby will thank you for it!”
The Modern Midwife, Marie-Louise Hurworth says: “Listen to your mumstinct – It can be really overwhelming being a new parent, and there is so much information out there and other people’s perspectives which could make it quite cloudy for new parents. What I always say is trust your instinct, or what I like to call – your Mustinct, as that will guide you better than anything else. Parents usually know what is best and often have the answers. However, once you listen to too many people you can get really confused so hone into that Mustinct which has evolved over millions of years.”
Midwife Pip agrees: “Know that your gut instincts are a parenting superpower. Never ignore them as they are very likely to be right and you will become the best expert in your baby very quickly so allow yourself to trust your intuition and express your feelings as valid and important when seeking external support or advice.”
Catch all the above parenting experts as they share their top tips and advice on becoming a new parent at The Baby Show with Lidl GB, at Olympia London 20th – 22nd October.
Tickets are £26pp on the door but there are great offers running online up until the show – with £16pp* in September and £18pp* in October, meaning the sooner you buy, the cheaper they’ll be! You can also buy an amazing Baby Show goody bag for only £5.50, containing goodies worth over £30 – or there are several Tommee Tippee ticket packages to choose from, meaning you can purchase all your newborn feeding and baby care essentials at a hugely discounted price while buying your tickets.
For more information visit: www.thebabyshow.co.uk/olympia.