Bringing home baby

By Sally Baker

As a Mothercraft nurse I know bringing a child home from hospital has it's challenges.

You no longer have the security of the nurses being at hand, although I realize not everyone has a good experience during their stay in hospital.  Many first time parents have no idea what to expect. Some have never handled a small baby let alone a newborn and are awkward and feel clumsy. Many parents have no family support, while others would rather not have the unsolicited advice from family or friends.

Your family may be in another country or state or well meaning friends and in-laws or even your own parents will have a wide range of suggestions to help from swaddling baby's arms strapped down to caring your baby around or sleeping them in your bed to using a dummy.

In a profession or trade we usually have a period of training to equip us for the job. With parenthood we are often just thrown in booties and all! We learn on the run and often without expert advice.

"Many mothers have commented to me that they were given masses of information and preparation for labour, which was over in a relatively short time, but almost no preparation for what to expect after the baby was born."

The majority of my home calls are from sleep-deprived parents whose babies are ‘catnapping'. Those babies have not learnt to sleep for long periods of time between feeds-either during the day or night, or both. This obviously affects not only the baby but the whole household-especially mothers. A tired parent may be tense, impatient and frustrated and they may take this distress out on their partner, their older children and even their young baby. The quality of life for the family with a grizzly, sleep-deprived baby is far from optimal. Your baby, who was initially the joy of your lives, has now taken over the routine of the house and demands constant attention and pacifying.

"Research indicates that twenty to thirty percent of babies, toddlers and their families are affected by sleep problems of one sort or another."

A sleep problem doesn't mean you are a ‘poor' parent. It many be an indication of a lack of knowledge and understanding of your baby's sleep needs.

Sleep problems often occur when there is a confusion of signs given by a tired baby. Babies may appear to be wide awake when they are actually overtired. Over a period of time, the baby develops a habit of not wanting to settle when put to bed, or not wanting to resettle when awoken after a short time.

The advice from an experienced professional who is versed in current research can be an excellent option, as advice on parenting is not only holistic but is also specific to a particular family. In this way, the skills taught for both babies and young children may help prevent common problems.

A Parent Coach will know your baby's needs and help you understand why your baby is unsettled - Is your baby getting enough to drink, do they have reflux/colic or are they just over-tired. They can teach you methods to pacify your baby as well as many basic parenting skills to help you avoid potential problems in the future.

A Parent Coach is professionally trained to look after YOU and not only the baby. If the parents/ new mum are not getting enough rest, the whole family seems to fall apart.

Empower yourself through the wisdom and knowledge of your own personal Parenting Coach.

For more information log onto or call Cradle 2 Kindy parenting solutions on 0409 721 145.