All posts filed under: Postnatal & early parenting

Baby Days

As you know I have just spent a few days looking after my one-year old nephew. He was a breeze to look after – he ate well, he napped, he slept, he played, he was happy and he was laid back – yet I was still tired! He has never really been away from mam and dad before so I was a bit nervous but babies can be pretty fickle – as long as they are looked after, safe and loved they are happy and there was barely a tear from him. I knew I would be tired – meeting the demands of a busy baby was always going to be a bit of a challenge but I had forgotten the intensity of just how long the days on your own with a baby can be. I had no other adult interaction apart from some brief chat in the park and with a couple of neighbours – I was totally fine with that because it was only for a few days but it was a …

Loneliness of Motherhood

Having young children is not all about coffee shops and idle chatter. It is not a holiday. It can be one of the toughest times in a woman’s life. The loneliness can be torture. With your first child, the learning curve is steep – learning to keep a baby settled, soothed and alive while recovering from pregnancy, birth and unrealistic expectations of how motherhood would be. We are often sleep deprived, in need of supportive mum friends and it can feel like we are on our own with the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after our baby. In our society mothers are often judged, with unreal expectations stacked against them and their children. It can be a hard slog. When you become a mother it doesn’t matter what job you do, how old you are or how much you spent in Mothercare preparing for your baby’s arrival – you have a baby to look after and it can knock your confidence when they cry, need a poo, won’t sleep and won’t settle anywhere but in your …

baby newcastle and tyneside

Can I Cuddle My Baby?

The question Can I Cuddle My Baby? comes up a lot especially from new mums with a baby who just wants to cling. My aim with this post is to provide good information about baby development, our parenting instincts, what’s normal and why cuddling our babies and children is not just lovely it’s crucial. In our society babies can be seen as creatures to control and to train, and parents are encouraged to make their babies independent and self soothing. Any parent who cuddles and carries and soothes their babies can be seen as giving in, as failing, as making a rod for their own back. So, if you are asking Can I Cuddle My Baby? Here’s what the research tell us… When your baby is born  he has approximately 200 billion brain cells but there are very few connections in his higher brain – these connections are mainly responsible for  emotional and social intelligence. 90% of brain growth takes place in the first five years of life Early stress (prolonged crying) can create negative changes in  baby’s …

After birth – looking after you…

I saw this on social media yesterday and I love it, shared it and nicked it – I have received a few messages about it and there was an interesting thread on the original post which was a combination of agreement and a bit of criticism. I speak to a lot of new mums and the overwhelming conversation is: “I wish I had rested more at the beginning”. Mumming is relentless because we are always on duty so to rest in the beginning is vital – when we are recovering from birth, resting, feeding and bonding with our baby. Of course this isn’t prescriptive and it won’t be right for everyone but something that provokes conversation and encourages women to rest and for partners and families to support that rest can only be a good thing. Rest afterwards can be about bedding in for a few days – being looked after and cared for so you can rest and sleep and cuddle your baby. And for the next few days it can be about pottering …

Tips For Weaning

Weaning your baby can be an exciting next step but it can also be an anxious time and one filled with conflicting and well-meaning advice. I have run weaning workshops every month for a number of years now and each session is different because the needs of each parent is unique. For some families weaning is a breeze and for others, it takes a while and they can be left feeling like they are doing something wrong. Here’s some simple tips for you… Wait until they are ready – there’s rarely a need to start this early. I get a lot of messages from very stressed out mums whose babies don’t seem to be enjoying food or progressing onto three meals a day when they are 6 months old – it can be helpful to go at their pace. Don’t expect too much from your baby – he may need to learn how to eat and enjoy different textures and flavours. Some babies dive right in with food and love everything, others are more cautious …