How to cope with interrupted and lack of sleep

So you’re having a baby. “Forget about getting any sleep in the next 18 years”, they say. But is it really that bad? Probably not. We are pretty sure that you will most definitely get some sleep, but it’ll probably be interrupted sleep. If you’re not used to it, sleeping for short bouts and being woken up a few times in the night can really affect you at first. It can affect your mood, how easy/hard you find your days, and your general wellbeing. But not all is lost, as there are ways to cope with interrupted or lack of sleep when you’ve just welcomed a new baby into your family.how to cope with interrupted sleep BabyNatal

Will my baby wake up often in the night?

At first, your young baby will wake up for a feed every few hours. This will happen both during the day and during the night. When they’re still very little, your baby may go to sleep for the night anything between 9pm and 11pm (or even later), wake up around 2-3am for a feed, and then maybe again at 5-6am. But remember, your baby is an individual with their own personality, and all babies are different! Your baby could be following a pattern similar to this, or one of their own, and that’s all to be expected. Although this may seem like a lot of waking, there a few things that you could try to work around that. Continue reading

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

How important is vitamin D for you and your new baby?

We all know that vitamin D is important and that sun exposure can do wonders for our vitamin D intake. But is there more to it? What does vitamin D actually do? Is it recommended that expectant mums and new babies take supplements? And if so, why? What can too little or too much vitamin D do? We have tackled some of these questions in this blog post.how important is vitamin D for mums and babies? pregnancy breastfeeding new baby BabyNatal

What is vitamin D and where do our bodies get it from?

Vitamin D helps us keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. According to the NHS Choices website, in the UK from about March/April through to September, most people who regularly spend time outdoors can get enough vitamin D. This happens because our amazing bodies can create vitamin D through direct exposure of our skin (just think forearms, hands or lower legs) to the sun (without sunscreen). This is especially easier in the hours between 11am and 3pm. Short bouts of exposure of 10-15 minutes are enough for light-skinned people, but people with darker skin will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D. For the rest of the year though, from October to March, we just can’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. So if we can’t get it from exposure to the sun, where else can we get it from? 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

Where can I bathe my newborn baby?

When it comes to caring for your newborn baby, bathing is probably the one thing that new parents feel more nervous about. New babies seem so tiny and fragile, and we, as parents, are aware of being so ‘new to the job’ that it’s completely normal to feel a little anxious and nervous. We’ve all been there!

Of course bathing is covered in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and, for the teachers who offer it, in our Caring for your Newborn courses, which also include Paediatric First Aid, Colic and Calming and Sleep. One of the things we cover when talking about bathing is where you can bathe your little one. As with many other things baby-related, parents have different options. And as always, we like to encourage parents to consider and discuss the choices available to them, in order to make decisions that work for them as a family. Continue reading

9 things you need to know about vitamin K for babies

In our BabyNatal classes we go through the choices that new parents can make straight after the birth of their babies. One of the very early decisions that parents are asked to make is whether they would like their baby to have a supplement of vitamin K.

So we put together this blog post to answer some of the key questions you might have about this.

  1. Why is my baby offered vitamin K soon after birth?

When babies are born, they have low levels of vitamin K because only small amounts of vitamin K in mum’s body pass through the placenta. In the vast majority of healthy newborn babies, the amount of vitamin K they have in their body is enough to prevent any problems. However, some babies are born with an insufficient amount of vitamin K. Because it’s impossible to accurately predict which babies will be born with a vitamin K deficiency, a vitamin K supplement is currently offered to all babies born in the UK. Continue reading

Five ways to keep your baby safe in their sleep

Sleep safety is obviously one of the topics close to the hearts of all new parents. We cover the basics of safe sleep for newborn and young babies in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes, and for parents who want to have a better understanding of how babies sleep and why, some of our amazing teachers also offer a one-off Baby Sleep workshop.

If you’ve ever been to one of our classes before, you’ll know that we’re never ‘prescriptive’ – we don’t tell you what to do or what’s right or wrong when caring for your baby. But for something as important as sleep safety, we do make sure that we give you all the facts, so you’re equipped and empowered with the right tools to keep your baby safe when they sleep. Continue reading

My baby’s soft spots – why are they there?

One of the things that we talk about in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and our BabyNatal Caring for Your Newborn courses is newborn appearance.

Why?baby soft spots fontanels

Because newborn babies don’t exactly look like the ones we’re used to seeing on TV programmes and Hollywood movies. Often, the so-called ‘newborn’ babies we see on TV are already a couple of months old.

This is why, to manage expectations for new parents who may have never seen a newborn baby before, we include a few bits of information in our classes that prepare new parents about what they might notice in their sweet bundles of joy.

So we talk about the umbilical cord and stump, and we advise parents on how to care for it. We mention the fact that a baby may or may not have birthmarks, of which the Mongolian Blue Spot is one example. Continue reading

Did you know that newborn babies lose weight after birth?

A baby’s weight is one of the first things people ask about your newborn (after you’ve told them whether you had a boy or a girl, of course!) Weight tends to be an indication of how ‘healthy’ a baby is, when in reality the weight of a baby at birth depends on many factors, including mum’s own weight and diet, mum’s ethnicity and whether the baby is her first or a subsequent baby (first babies tend to be smaller than their siblings). Continue reading

Amber and teething – does it really work?

Baltic amber anklet for baby

Baltic amber anklet for baby

Looking around in the last few years, you must have noticed more and more babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers wearing amber necklaces, bracelets and anklets. Have you ever wondered what they are or what they are for? Did you put it down to a ‘tradition’, a ‘lucky charm’ or a new ‘craze’? Well, parents who choose to use amber for their children are doing so with a very particular reason in mind – they hope that amber will ease their little ones’ teething troubles.

Yes, that’s right. Teething.

That process that each baby goes through to transform their cute gummy smile into an even cuter full-of-teeth one. Continue reading