Co-sleeping and bed-sharing with your baby – what is there to know?

Two very important topics that we cover in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and in our BabyNatal Sleep workshops are co-sleeping and baby-sharing. Whilst these terms are often used interchangeably, we like to make a distinction between the two and clarify that bed-sharing is a form of co-sleeping.co-sleeping and bed-sharing with baby what is there to know? BabyNatal

What is co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping refers to the practice of sleeping in the same room as your baby. This can be achieved in several ways. Some popular options are for your baby to sleep in:

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Tummy time – everything you need to know

If you’re a new parent, you’ll have probably been advised by your midwife or Health Visitor to give your baby plenty of ‘tummy time’. But what IS tummy time, exactly? How do you do it, and why is it so important?tummy time everything you need to know

What is tummy time?

Tummy time refers to the practice of allowing your baby to spend some time on their tummy whilst awake and under your (or another adult’s) supervision. We emphasise the fact that your baby needs to be awake, as, for safety reasons, your baby always needs to be placed on their back when sleeping or about to go to sleep. Continue reading

5 reasons to train with The Natal Family – becoming a Natal practitioner

If you’ve recently been to one of our classes or have come across our websites MummyNatal and BabyNatal, you may have noticed that we have a team of amazing teachers all over the country. Thanks to our regular teacher training courses in Leeds and Wiltshire our team is always growing, and with more teachers joining The Natal Family every year, we are able to expand our reach and help more and more families across the UK. But why do so many parents, and mums in particular, want to train with us? If you’re curious about training, these are some of the reasons you may want to consider.

  1. You want the freedom and flexibility to work around your family

It’s no secret that for most of us everything changes when we start a family. You now have a new child or children in your life, and you simply want to be there for them. Unfortunately, a lot of 9-5 jobs don’t give parents the freedom and flexibility that they need to be able to earn a living whilst also caring for their children. What happens when they’re ill? Or when they start school? Who’s dropping them off and picking them up? Who’s taking them to after-school activities? Who covers for half term and long holidays? Not to mention all the favours you need to ask from your employer if you want to attend the Christmas show, Assembly, or Sports Day! Becoming a MummyNatal or BabyNatal practitioner (or even better, training in both programmes) allows you to create a business that works around your family. Not the other way round. Continue reading

5 fascinating facts you didn’t know about breastfeeding

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week this August, we put together a few fascinating facts about breastfeeding that we hope you will enjoy!fascinating facts about breastfeeding BabyNatal

  1. Colostrum is ‘liquid gold’

During pregnancy your breasts start producing a small amount of milk, ready for the birth of the baby. This early milk is called colostrum, and you may or may not notice little drops of it leaking from your breasts towards the end of your pregnancy. If you’re not, don’t worry, as your body is producing it, even if you can’t see it!

Colostrum is the milk that your baby will have for the first 3 or 4 days before your ‘full milk’ comes in. Not a lot of it is produced, so if you express it into a bottle, don’t worry if you can only see a little of it – this is all your baby needs. Remember that their stomachs are tiny! Colostrum is thick and sticky, it may appear buttery yellow in colour, and it’s full of antibodies. That’s why it’s also nicknamed ‘liquid gold’. The antibodies that colostrum contains provide your baby with protection against infections that mum has built up an immunity to. Continue reading

5 benefits of having skin-to-skin with your baby

In our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes we talk about the ‘Golden Hour’, which is the term used to describe the first hour after the birth of a baby. We love talking about what typically happens during this time, and one of the things that we encourage parents to consider, if at all possible, is to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies.

Having skin-to-skin contact simply means having your baby’s bare body on your bare skin (normally on your chest). If your baby has literally just been born, they may still be partially wrapped in a towel, which helps them stay warm.

Skin-to-skin contact isn’t just for the first few minutes or hours after birth though – when you’re at home with your baby in the first few days and weeks of their lives, you can continue to take some time to enjoy skin-to-skin contact with them – and it’s ok for them to be wearing a nappy… because you just never know! In order to keep yourself and (especially) your baby comfortable and warm, you can always cover yourself with a light blanket or large muslin, depending on the temperature in the room you’re in. Continue reading

How to protect your baby from the sun and heat

With the hot weather due to make another appearance anytime soon and lots of families planning their holidays, we feel it’s important that parents are aware of the latest recommendations to protect their babies and young children from the sun and heat.

The first thing to remember, and why this topic is so so important, is that babies can easily overheat. Something we discuss in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes is that young babies don’t yet have a way to regulate their own body temperature. This means that if we cover them too much, they have no way to cool themselves down on their own. They literally rely on us, the parents, to remove some layers of clothing or shade them from the heat! Continue reading

What is International Father’s Mental Health Day?

On 19th June 2017 The Natal Family will join in the celebrations and social media hype for the second International Father’s Mental Health Day. Watch out for #IFMHD on social media from the 19th June for a week – lots and lots of great content that focuses on key aspects of fathers’ mental health will be shared online.

Why do we need an awareness day for father’s mental health?

Because 10% of dads are reported to experience perinatal postpartum depression. And while there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health for both men and women, it looks like, as a society, we have a long way to go when it comes to recognising the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, especially in men. Continue reading

What will I learn at a BabyNatal First Aid class?

Every year the Child Accident Prevention Trust runs Child Safety Week (5th to 11th June 2017) to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented. But in case an unfortunate accident was to happen, would a parent know how to respond?

We often see worrying statistics in the media that show that an overwhelming majority of parents wouldn’t know what to do in case of an accident.

First Aid classes and practical workshops for parents might just be the perfect answer to this, and that’s why here at The Natal Family we offer AoFA accredited BabyNatal First Aid classes to parents and parents-to-be across the country. After all, providing crucial, life-saving skills to parents and parents-to-be fits perfectly well within our ethos of empowering parents with the knowledge and confidence they need. Continue reading

How to protect your baby’s skin from exposure to chemicals

From the moment you find out you are going to become a parent, you want the best for your baby. You’d do anything to protect them from harm – and that, of course, includes protecting their sensitive skin.

It’s no coincidence that a lot of parents-to-be start to become a lot more conscious and aware of the products they use on a daily basis even before their little ones are born. Any new parent will tell that then when your baby is finally here, a whole range of new products come into your life too. From washing powders and detergents, to nappies and baby oils – so many new items are suddenly added to your weekly shopping list. Continue reading

5 reasons why parents might choose cloth nappies

One of the topics we discuss in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes is nappy changing. As with everything else we do at The Natal Family, we like to give parents plenty of useful information to help them make informed choices. This means that in our classes we go through a lot of options. And when it comes to nappy changing, parents can not only choose between different brands of disposable or eco-friendly nappies, but they can also opt for cloth or reusable nappies.

Sometimes in our classes, when we mention cloth nappies, parents-to-be look at us in horror. “Is this about the muslin cloths and pins that my grandmother used to use??” Not quite! The good news is that the demand for cloth nappies has exploded in the last few years, and as a consequence, reusable nappies have come a very long way. Continue reading