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.
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:
- a bedside crib;
- a bedside crib or co-sleeper – with these, you can normally take one side down, so that they are effectively attached to your bed;
- a Moses Basket;
- a cot or cot bed;
- the same bed as you – this is called bed-sharing.
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?
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
One of the questions our teachers often receive from new mums who have attended their classes is when a new mum should expect her first period after the birth of her baby. Unfortunately, this isn’t a question with a straight answer! Everyone really is different, and while some women report having their period as early as 5 or 6 weeks after birth, others may not see it coming back for a couple of years!
So let’s dig a little deeper into this topic, and we’ll explain what happens to a new mum’s body after birth.
When not breastfeeding…
Women who do not breastfeed report their period returning anything between 5 weeks and 3 months after birth. While it is possible that if a woman’s period returns this early after giving birth, she may not actually be fertile for the first few cycles, this is definitely not true for everyone! In fact, if a woman’s period returns 5 weeks after the birth of her baby, there is a possibility that she may be ovulating and be fertile 2 weeks before that, so effectively only 3 weeks after giving birth. It’s always worth remembering that because you do not know when your period will return (but you’ll be ovulating approximately 2 weeks before the first day of your period) you may want to use contraception in case you are fertile. Unless you’re planning another baby very soon, of course! Continue reading
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
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
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
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
Did you know that some of our fantastic Natal teachers also offer BabyNatal Developmental Baby Massage classes?
Please give a virtual hello to teachers:
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.
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
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