During your pregnancy, you undoubtedly had times when you thought your baby would never arrive. Most pregnant women find their initial excitement tends to wane as the long months go on, and on? but the one guarantee about pregnancy is that it will always end.
Babies have a habit of arriving when they choose to, warning their parents from the outset that they have their own little minds. You may have had your baby when you were due, or a little early or late. Perhaps you haven’t decided 100% yet on your baby’s name and are still negotiating with your partner about this. You probably feel as if you haven’t quite caught your breath after the whirlwind of labour and delivery. Perhaps your labour was not as you had planned and decisions needed to be made in the best interests of you and your baby. In this case, you are bound to feel some sense of disappointment.
Far from being a time in which all possibilities can be planned for, birth, labour and the newborn period will always bring some unexpected events and surprises. It seems that babies need to prove they are in charge at the start, no matter how small they are.
So here you are, with your new little baby in your arms. You’re probably feeling a mix of emotions right now and just a little confused about what you need to be doing. This is normal and one of the most common reactions in the early days of mothering. Even if you’ve had a baby before, each new baby is an entirely unique individual and will bring moments of doubt to the most confident of parents.
There is a lot of information available to new parents, coming from a variety of sources. Health professionals, internet sites, books, leaflets, DVDs, tip sheets, you could be excused from having a sense of drowning from information overload. You’ll find some of the information will be more relevant to you than others; some may hit a familiar chord or may not connect with you on any level. Lots of it may even be conflicting, which won’t help you make up your mind about deciding what is right for you and your baby. And it is this which will unite you over the course of your child’s life with every new parent. A strong desire to do your best, do no harm and help your baby to reach their potential.
It’s no wonder you could be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.
This series of Baby Weeks is designed to offer you some extra support and guidance as you navigate your way through the early months. The information it contains has been sourced from the most up to date, evidence based research and practice. It also combines a healthy dose of common sense and belief that most parents already know what is right for them and their baby. It’s just that sometimes, we all need a little help to find it.
We will guide you through each week of your baby’s life until week 12. After that, a series titled Baby Months will take over and offer information relevant right through to the toddler years.
Right now, you are probably hungry for a little specific advice on managing your newborn. Feeding, sleeping, behaviour, what is normal, when should I worry? – Are all common interest areas for parents. This is why these topics will be addressed in detail, along with others such as hygiene, nappies, rashes and general tips for newborn care.
Developmental milestones are a big area of interest for most parents, so we will include sections on your baby’s increasing mastery of their own little body. And perhaps one of the most vitally important areas where parents can influence their baby is through interaction. Science tells us the first three years of a child’s life are incredibly important for influencing their future emotional and mental health. We will look at practical ways you can communicate and interact with your baby and what to look for when they respond.
Mum will not be forgotten either. Hints and advice will be included for you on how to keep well so you are in the best position to care for your baby. Fathers are equally important which is why they will also be included in this area.
This series won’t answer all your queries or concerns. But we hope it goes a long way in providing you with guidance and understanding on how to best care for your new baby. Feeling confident is the key to minimising stress and making the most of this special time. Always remember, you are the expert when it comes to knowing your own baby.
For more information see Baby Care.