The Cadenshae Newborn Manual!

The Cadenshae Newborn Manual!
Nikki C is wearing the 'Evolve Bra' and the 'Aspire Top' in neo.

You would’ve heard the phrase, ‘babies don’t come with a manual,’ and of course they don’t, they’re humans, not robots. BUT…I’m sure every new parent kinda wished they did, especially during those first six weeks!

Every baby is different, but there are some things all babies NEED and some things all babies DO, so at Cadenshae we thought we’d try help on these fronts with some advice - seeing as we’re in the baby making/growing business. Whether you're a parent-to-be, or you’ve just had a baby, this is for you - The Cadenshae Newborn Manual! A world first, perhaps?

On average it takes a primary caregiver around four months until they feel more 'at ease' when taking care of their child. It will take a person around 16 weeks to feel they know their baby’s cues, can identify what their baby wants, and basically know what to do to keep them alive!

Keeping your little human breathing might seem overwhelming at first, but once you’re in the groove...you’ll be great. Until then...have a read of the below, it might just help you make sense of the glorious chaos! 

SLEEP:

Figuring out how to get your baby to fall asleep, stay asleep, and how much sleep they need, is one of the most difficult parts of being a new parent. Simply because, if they’re not sleeping, neither are you...and that’s tough.

1. When a healthy baby is born, they’re often quite sleepy for the first two weeks and can sleep for three to four hours at a time (longer if you let them)! Many parents find it ‘easy’ to get them to sleep in the first 14 days or so and often think, ‘what’s all the fuss about?!’ However, at around two weeks, a baby ‘wakes up.’ They become more alert and getting them to sleep can become more difficult. This is all normal.

2. Some parents bed-share with sleeping pods, some prefer the bassinet right beside their bed (co-sleeping), while others immediately put their baby in another room. The World Health Organisation recommends a baby sleep in their parent’s room for at least the first six months (to lower the risk of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). However, this isn’t always possible, or it causes issues. For example, some struggle to co-sleep or bed-share as the ‘baby noises’ keep them up, or wake them up - resulting in severe sleep deprivation which can lead to postnatal anxiety or depression. A parent must decide what they feel comfortable with, but if you’re co-sleeping and it’s causing problems, talk things over with your midwife or GP. It may be best to put the baby in their own room for the betterment of everyone’s health. As a new parent you need to look after yourself so you can take care of your baby properly. If your baby is in a different room, you need to be able to hear them cry (perhaps use a baby monitor).

For baby’s safety whilst sleeping, follow the points below:

  • Place the baby in their own baby bed (bassinet, sleeping pod etc).
  • Eliminate smoking in pregnancy and in the house.
  • Position baby flat on their back to sleep.
  • Encourage and support breastfeeding.

3. The swaddle debate. Our mothers and grandmothers love to swaddle - it’s just what they were taught. Some babies do love it, but equally, some loathe it and prefer to have their arms out. You can buy fantastic swaddles and blankets which keep babies all snug (get some with a slight stretch as muslin swaddles can unravel), but for those who like their arms out there are ‘angel swaddles’ about that allow a baby’s arms to be up near their faces for comfort - perfect for the first few weeks as they get used to being out of the womb. You’ll soon figure out what your child prefers.

4. When it comes to day naps, babies thrive on consistency. Whatever you choose to do, stick with it. There’s no right or wrong in regards to where your baby naps in the day for the first few months (sleep hormones kick in at around three to four months), so do whatever works for you in the beginning. Some parents like to have their baby in the bassinet or pod in the bright lounge as they feel they sleep better, while others put their baby in a dark nursery. Paediatric sleep experts say starting a good sleep routine early on is beneficial, and the best thing you can do to regulate your baby’s circadian rhythm is to wake them at the same time every day and put them down at the same time every night. Giving your baby a bath before going down for the night is one good way to establish a consistent routine. Baby will eventually learn that after the bath, comes sleep.

5. Those first few weeks with a newborn are all about getting to know each other. If your baby wants to sleep on you all day, and you’re okay with it - do it! Don’t worry about creating a bad habit. If your baby likes to be fed to sleep, so be it. Research suggests you can break a habit in three days, so just try a few things out and do whatever you can to get through the day - smiling. At around the three to four month mark you can instil some sleeping regimes (once you’re more experienced, and rested) if you want to, but for the first six weeks, just take it easy. You won’t be feeding your child to sleep when they’re five, so don’t fret. Future, more confident you will figure it all out…trust that.

6. There are a lot of sleep aids you can try: dummies, white noise, lulla dolls, soft toys that sing etc. Try a few things out and see what works. A lot of Cadenshae mothers swear by a wheat bag. When the baby is ready for a nap, heat it up, put it in the bassinet or sleeping pod so it warms the surface, then take it out just before putting baby down. It makes the transition from your warm body to a warm bed that much smoother. Just be sure to check the bed isn’t too hot.

7. For the first few months, your baby will fall asleep on the breast or the bottle quite easily. Sometimes you can get away with putting them down and not burping them (some babies are very clever and can burp on their own early on)! Usually though, they’ll wake 10m later in discomfort. Always try to burp your baby after a feed, they’ll then sleep longer. If after 10m your baby still hasn’t burped however, cut your losses and just put them down.

8. Many Cadenshae moms recommend you don’t put your baby in domed clothing at night...and that’s for one reason - it’s annoying! When it’s dark and you’re half asleep, domes are a nightmare. Put your child in zipped clothing for easy access changes. Domes are great for the daytime when you have the energy to cope…not nighttime! 

9. Baby sleep cues. Your baby may do all of the below when he/she is tired, or just a few, you’ll soon pick up on their personal signals. However, the most common signs your baby is tired are:

  • yawning.
  • grizzling.
  • jerky leg movements.
  • making fists.
  • facial grimacing.
  • a fixed stare.
  • rubbing eyes (although this can come after the newborn stage when they have better control of their hands).

10. How long should my baby be awake for between naps? Once you crack this rhythm, things start to fall into place. Below is a guide to give you an idea of the ‘norm,’ but the best thing you can do is look for your baby’s cues. For example some mothers found their newborn liked to be up for 1.5 hours between naps, not 45m-1 hour, whereas some only liked to be up for 30m! They knew this by watching for the cues. 

SLEEP CHART:

12. Sleeping at night. During the first six weeks, things may be chaotic, and there may not be any consistency as to when your baby goes down and how many times they wake. They might go down for the night at 6pm, they might go down for the night at 10pm, just roll with it - it’s all normal. By around three to four months old, things should start to fall into a clearer pattern. Often bottle fed babies will sleep through the night faster than breastfed babies. It’s important to not compare your baby to others, they’re all different. A healthy baby should wake around two to three times (perhaps four times if you get them down at 6pm!) a night on average for a feed and it’s highly unlikely they’ll sleep through the night during this time. In fact they shouldn't, particularly in the first two weeks as they will need to be fed every three to four hours to ensure they’re consuming enough calories. Babies usually wake for the day around 5am-7am and head down for their first nap about an hour or so after that which will set them up for the day (see schedule above). But again, every baby is different - remember that!

13. The Witching Hour - most parents will experience the witching hour (more like hours!) during the first six weeks of a baby’s life. It’s best described as a 'fussy period' that happens most frequently in the late afternoon and evening hours (5pm-12am). There’s several reasons why babies get fussy; mainly though - the mother’s milk supply drops at the end of the day (so they’re hungry and want to feed more frequently), or they’re over-tired. All normal, but it can be a trying time. To help with the witching hour (s), try to keep a low stimulus around bedtime and try to have your baby sleep well during the day (that can be hard some days though)! Just hang in there and lean on your support system, eventually this WILL settle down. 

FLAT HEAD SYNDROME:

When sleeping, babies are to be placed on their backs to help prevent SIDS, and because of that, more and more babies are now developing ‘flat spots’ on their heads. This is because they may prefer a particular side to sleep on, or they don’t yet have the strength to be able to regularly move their heads from side-to-side. If you notice your child is developing a flat spot, you can take the below actions to remedy the problem:

  • Ensure the baby turns his/her head both ways when sleeping, alternate sides at each nap or sleep.
  • Practice tummy-time 60-90 mins per day (or up to baby’s tolerance, see play and exercise section).
  • Limit use of baby swings and gliders to 15 mins per day .
  • Use a carrier and baby-wear.
  • If bottle feeding, alternate which way you hold the baby at each feed.

If you’re not noticing an improvement within a few weeks, then take your child to your GP, as they may need to be looked at by a paediatrician for further treatment.

FEEDING:

Nikki C is nursing Billie wearing the 'Everyday Bra' in alaska, the 'Aspire Top' in black marle and the 'Harem Pants' in stone.

Feeding is such a massive topic that we’ve written several pieces on this before. Check out these blogs for some more detailed information:

However, there’s a few things you need to know about feeding from the outset:

1. Before you leave the hospital, you should be able to get your baby to latch on your breast correctly. If not, your midwife or a local lactation consultant will be able to help you.

2. Breastfeeding will most likely hurt for the first seven to 10 days and will peak around days three to six. Midwives, nurses and some lactation consultants will say breastfeeding ‘shouldn’t hurt,’ and once it’s established (and if you have no underlying issues), it won’t. BUT…for the first week or so, you’re going to have to ride it out if you want to breastfeed, it comes with the territory. Your nipples have never been used so much, so it’s going to take a bit of getting used to. If you have no major issues and you’re in a bit of pain, don’t give up, it won’t always be like this. However, if you’ve had mastitis four times in two weeks, your child has a tongue-tie and your nipples are ripped, raw and bleeding…hey, perhaps then give that bottle a go. Again, if it’s just a ‘bit sore,’ that’s normal. Hold on, it’s going to be so much more convenient for you in the long run! Take out the nutritional aspect of breastfeeding v. bottle feeding and look at it from a convenience factor. Breastfeeding is less fuss, less administration, faster to deliver. You don’t have to sterilise your nipples, your milk is free and there’s no heating required! Fussy baby? Get a boob out – sorted. So unless you’re in severe pain, have some sort of medical issue going on with you or your baby, or have a low supply…just ride out the first few weeks...it’s worth it. There are some good aids to help your poor nipples out, thank goodness! Try some Lansinoh ointment and some Hydrogel Breast Discs. 

3. If you have super leaky nipples or an over-supply of milk, get some breast pads.

4. In the first 12 weeks especially, lactation consultants recommend feeding on demand. Your baby is used to getting all of its nutrients instantly in your womb, they aren’t accustomed to three hourly feeds. Eventually you’ll establish a routine, but in the beginning, let the milk flow!

5. Cluster feeding is something to be expected and completely normal. This is when your baby feeds more regularly, and is often attached to you for a certain period of time, maybe a few hours, maybe a day or two. Your baby is trying to build up your supply. It can be a testing time as you’re seldom alone and constantly feeding, so make sure you rely on your support system.

6. Always try to burp after feeding off one breast, or at around 30ml with a bottle. Eventually your baby will let you know when they need to be burped (they’ll pull away from the breast or bottle, grizzle and wriggle in discomfort), but to begin with, they’re not so good at communicating, so after one side, or at around 30ml if bottle feeding, try burp them, then burp again once the feed is done (if no luck after 10m, give up).

7. You’ll get better at learning this as the weeks go on, but the most common signs or cues your baby is hungry are:

  • His arms and legs move all around.
  • She's putting her fingers or her fist into her mouth.
  • She's sucking on her lips or tongue.
  • He's moving his head from side-to-side.
  • She's turning toward your breast while you're holding her.
  • He's cooing, sighing, whimpering, or making other little sounds.
  • She's making faces.
  • He's restless, squirming, fussing, fidgeting, or wiggling around.
  • She’s sucking on your face, chest, arm, whatever she can get her mouth on!
  • He’s grizzling/screaming/crying.

8. Many medical professionals recommend a nursing mother doesn’t express or bottle feed until her supply has been established, at around four to six weeks postpartum. 

9. If you’re struggling with your supply, check out the articles mentioned above for some tips...but if nothing is working and you have to switch to formula (fed is best!), school up on best practice. The Ministry of Health in New Zealand has a great resource for you to learn more, click here.

PLAY AND EXERCISE:

During the first six weeks, your baby may not be awake for very long at a time (see schedule above). However, when he/she is awake, you’ll want to interact with them, it’s human nature! The time and attention you give your baby in the early years will have a major effect on them for their whole life. So...it makes sense to do things that are going to benefit them in the long-run. Play and exercise is essential for their physical strength (learning how to hold their heads up is a big one), but it’s also vital for their brain development. This is also when you learn little bits about their personalities, and when you’ll most likely get that heart-melting first smile!

1. Some baby experts believe tummy-time is important for developing the baby's muscles and strength. Tummy-time helps bubs practice holding their head up, and they can see things from a different point of view. Tummy-time might be very short, and sometimes lying with them or showing them a toy can help. A little frustration is normal and helps them learn, but be guided by your child as to how long they can tolerate it. Play takes a lot of energy, so your baby might get tired or need a break. They’ll let you know by looking away from you, getting restless, getting grumpy, or seeming disinterested. When they’re ready to play again they may turn towards you, look at you, move their arms and legs, or make sounds.

Here are some expert tips on tummy-time to get you started:

  • You can start practicing tummy-time two to three times a day for short periods as soon as they’re home. It may only be one to two minutes each time, but you can gradually increase tummy-time as your baby gets stronger and more comfortable.
  • It’s better not to do tummy-time when they’re hungry (they’ll be annoyed) and not straight after a feed (they could vomit or spill). 
  • You can try rubbing their backs while they’re on their tummies for a nice, soothing experience.
  • Be responsive to the baby - this should be a ‘no cry’ zone.
  • Don’t make tummy-time a ‘one and done’ activity, keep practicing.
  • Start with an incline to make it easier for the baby, i.e. place a pillow, rolled up towel etc. under their arms.
  • Always watch baby when doing tummy-time, do not turn away.
  • You can hold and carry a baby for tummy-time too! Try the football hold.
  • Tummy-time can be done anywhere, not just at home. Take your baby out of the car seat and carrier as much as possible.
  • Get down on the floor and get face-to-face with bubs for some fun interaction!
  • Make tummy-time fun and put some toys in front of them to look at.

2. Your baby is never too young to be read or talked to! Reading and talking to your baby every day is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s language development. READ. READ. READ. TALK. TALK. TALK.

3. Singing to your baby is not only fun and educational, but incredibly soothing too.

4. Babies can only see shades of gray, black and white in those first few weeks, so it’s worth having some fun black and white pictures for them to look at when they’re having some floor time or getting their diaper changed.

5. Babies love human faces, so spend time staring at your baby and making funny faces. This will help your baby learn about human emotions, recognise identities and it also helps develop their language skills.

6. There’s a reason why we all have a weird high-pitched ‘baby voice’ when we see a baby - ‘a choochi choochi coo!’ We’re biologically wired to speak at a higher pitch as babies can hear it more easily. Infants take in all sorts of stimuli, but ‘infant-directed speech’ (that high-pitched voice you’ve established) signals that this language is just for them.

7. Diaper free time! Some babies love kicking about with no diapers on (as long as they’re warm enough), just make sure you have some towels underneath in case they wee or poop...and they probably will!

8. A play gym may be a great investment, but you can also do the same by hanging interesting shapes on a clothes hanger and hanging it above the baby. While they can’t move much, this gives them something fun to look at while they’re on their backs kicking about.

DIAPERS:

1. Whether you opt for cloth or disposable diapers or a combination of both, it doesn’t matter – it’s best to change your baby as soon as they’ve pooped, or at least as soon as you’ve noticed! Try not to leave them in a soiled diaper for a long period of time as they may be more likely to contract diaper rash, which is painful. You can leave them in a wet diaper for a bit longer - especially if you’re using disposables - but it’s recommended you change their diaper before they go down for a nap, when they get up from a nap and when it feels heavy with urine.

2. Prepare to use around seven diapers per day. If you’re sticking to a solid budget, keep this in mind when deciding what brand/type you’ll use.

3. It’s a good idea to have a diaper rash cream on hand at all times. There are many different options so just try a few until you find what is best for your baby. Sudocrem is a great, inexpensive option, as well as Bepanthen.

4. You can make your own wipes, or buy disposables, whatever works for you. Whatever you decide, just make sure you have a lot on hand, and it’s a good idea to have a different color for faces and bottoms!

5. Check out our definitive guide on newborn diapers for more information!

BATHING:

1. The World Health Organisation recommends you don’t bathe your child until at least 24 hours after birth. Other experts suggest waiting 48 hours or longer. Why? Studies show by leaving the white coating (vernix) a baby has on them when born for as long as possible, helps them to regulate their temperature, and it also has antioxidant and antibiotic properties. At home, there’s no need to bathe daily unless you and baby really enjoy it! It’s up to you whether you do it as a daily ritual or every few days. A lot of parents like to bathe their child every night as it helps to set up a sleep routine, plus it’s quality (usually fun) time the whole family can get involved in! Also, there’s no need to add any soap or additives to the bath as this can dry their skin out. 

2. Temperature wise, water must be warm. In fact, you can use a thermometer to be sure, and aim for around 100°F. Always test with the inside part of your wrist and make sure it's warm to touch.

3. If you‘re using a bathtub, run the cold tap to finish so the tap is not hot to touch.

4. As to how to bathe a baby, check out this helpful instructional video.

CLOTHING (COLD WEATHER):

1. A guide for dressing infants is that your baby should always be wrapped in one more layer than you have on when you’re inside.

2. It’s best you layer clothing so heat can be trapped between the layers.

3. Inside, the temperature should sit at around 68-72°F. This is for sleeping as well.

4. To check if your baby's warm enough, slip two fingers down the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. If their back is warm, then so is your baby, even if their hands or feet feel cool. If your baby is hot and sweaty, take a layer of clothing off, even if they’re sleeping. If your baby is cold, add a layer of clothing and check the room temperature.

5. Babies don’t need shoes until they can walk, non-slip socks are the go.

6. When the baby is in a car seat, remove the thick jersey or jacket you may have on them. A bulky item can prevent the car seat belt from doing its job properly, and there’s a chance the baby could overheat.

7. When sleeping, the baby should be in a singlet and a warm onesie.

8. Swaddle them or put them in an ‘angel swaddle.’ You can then put one or two blankets on top of them (make sure the blankets do not go near their face, they’re made of breathable material, and are tucked in tightly at the sides to restrict movement). If you don’t like the idea of blankets, your baby could be put in a ‘winter’ sleep sack of your choosing. 

CLOTHING (HOT WEATHER):

1. When the temperature outside is 75°F a full length single layer should be enough for your baby, but every baby is different so check regularly that they feel comfortably warm.

2. Inside, the recommended temperature for a baby is 64-68°F with around 64°F being ideal. That may feel chilly to you, as we are often used to room temperatures of more like 72°F.

3. To check if your baby is comfortable, slip two fingers down the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. If their back is warm, then so is your baby, even if their hands or feet feel cool. If your baby’s hot and sweaty, take a layer of clothes off, even if they’re sleeping. If your baby is cold, add a layer of clothing and check the room temperature.

4. When it’s really sunny outside, dress your child in clothing that will protect them from the sun, but keep them cool also. Clothing that offers the best protection from the sun is:

  • made of a tightly-woven natural fabric.
  • a darker color.
  • not too stretchy.

5. Ensure the baby has a hat on, as hats protect babies from too much sunlight.

6. At night, the baby should be in a singlet and a light onesie.

7. Place them in a ‘summer’ sleep sack of your choosing, or put blankets on top of them (make sure the blankets do not go near their face, they’re made of breathable material and are tucked in tightly at the sides to restrict movement). 

TRAVELLING LONG DISTANCES:

When you first travel with a newborn it can be a little nerve-wracking, however if you’re prepared (put everything you need in your diaper bag!), you can handle any plane or car journey. In the air, generally the flight attendants are more than willing to help you, and if you’re driving, just give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going...you’ll need to stop to give them time out of the car seat and for one or two diaper changes, plus feeds.

1. When flying, it’s a good idea to feed your baby during take off and landing to minimise the air pressure effects on their ear canals. Some babies won’t be affected at all, some will. If your child starts to get really upset, their ears are probably hurting. It will usually pass once they’re at cruising altitude and when they’ve landed. If it’s a real problem, talk to your GP about strategies to help.

2. Make sure you check your airline’s policies when it comes to taking prams, portable cots etc. Many airlines include these items for free in the booking, but just double check - if you have too many baby-related items, you might have to pay more. Some airlines will also allow gate check so you can access your buggy in transit through airports on the way.

3. When travelling in a car, your baby will most likely fall asleep, but car seat manufacturers recommend you shouldn’t let your child travel in a car seat for more than two hours at a time in a 24 hour period. This is to do with the baby’s developing spine. Being in a semi-upright position for too long can strain it.

4. A baby mirror for the car is so handy! When your child is rear-facing, you need to check they’re safe and you’ll also just want to know if they’re sleeping or not. Keep your eyes on the road though! These are inexpensive and tie easily around the head rest.

5. Depending on where you’re going, you might want to invest in some baby sunscreen. For newborns and babies under six months old, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends keeping babies out of direct sunlight. However, when shade is not available, it’s okay to apply a minimal amount of baby-safe sunscreen with an SPF of 50 to small areas of your baby’s body, i.e. the face, the back of the hands, and the tops of the feet. It’s important to test a little patch of skin first to check for sensitivities.

6. In regards to bug spray, it’s recommended not to use bug spray until a child is at least two months old. Check with a chemist though, as there may be situations where the pros outweigh the cons.

7. A window can amplify the sun’s UV rays, so it’s wise to provide some shade for your child. You can try a window shade to keep bubs nice and safe!

8. Remember to read up on where you’re going in regards to inoculations/vaccinations. A good place to seek advice is from a specific Travel Doctor. Some shots are essential, whereas others are only recommended. It’s up to you as a family to decide what you’d like to do on that front, as sometimes the cost is high and the risk is low.

9. Also, always read up on cultural/religious customs around breastfeeding in public. In most countries it’s entirely legal and accepted to nurse in public, but in some places, it’s not okay...just be sure to check what the deal is where you're going.

EQUIPMENT:

1. Bassinets or pods are what most people choose to place their newborn baby in to sleep. A baby should sleep in their own device before moving to a cot/crib, and this transition can happen anywhere from two to five months old. Borrowing a bassinet or pod is financially smart, just check if it comes from a smoke-free home, and it’s recommended you buy a new mattress to ensure there’s no mould or anything unhealthy in the mattress.

2. Ideally, a cot or crib is what a baby should move into once they’ve outgrown their bassinet or pod. Again, borrowing a cot is a good idea, but it’s recommended to invest in a new, clean mattress. If you’re buying or are given a second-hand cot, it must meet the mandatory safety standards in your area, so look these up before borrowing, or purchasing.

3. A buggy or a pram is a must-have item for any parent. You need one to go for a walk or do a few jobs etc., all whilst ensuring your baby is safe. Prams are also a great place for a baby to doze off for a while too...a nice option if you’re having a rough day with an unsettled baby. Prams can be pricey, and a borrowed or second-hand one will do just as good a job (as long as it’s clean and not damaged)! However, if you’re going to buy new get a pram that has several facets to it. For example, a buggy that goes from a car seat to a pram in just a few quick clicks! Bang! You’re away for an outing and the baby hasn’t even woken when being transferred from the car to outside. Easy! At Cadenshae, we’re big fans of the Edwards & Co Oscar MX as you can click their 'Avery Capsule' into it for a smooth transition!

4. Child Car Restraints - get it installed properly the first time from an outlet that sells car seats/capsules - just to be safe. If you buy a newborn capsule you will need to get a larger seat in the future, but we won’t bombard you with all of those details just yet. For now, just focus on getting a car restraint for your newborn. You can also borrow one as long as it’s in good condition.

5. Change tables are handy, but the safest place to change your baby is on the floor. However, some change tables come on top of a set of drawers, serving two purposes, so it could be worth a look if you need to buy new drawers anyway. Keep one hand on baby at all times though, even if there’s a strap attached.

6. It does pay to have a comfortable breastfeeding chair, and also a good breastfeeding cushion for support. You could be sitting there for extended periods of time, so get comfy!

7. Baby monitor - many parents don’t use a monitor, especially given it’s recommended to have a baby in the same room with you for the first six months. But if you need one, there are some good options around…perhaps look for a second-hand one - new ones can be expensive!

8. In terms of medical equipment, you won’t need much if your baby is healthy, but it's a good idea to buy a thermometer and some small oral syringes for the times when your baby does gets sick. Syringes are essential for precise measurements when giving medicine.

9. Get some quality baby bottles and teats, as well as a home sterilisation unit so you're all prepared should you wish or need to feed your baby with a bottle. Dr Brown’s bottles are highly recommended by paediatricians and lactation consultants alike as they double as ‘normal’ bottles and can be used for babies with colic or reflux issues. Do not borrow these, buy new.

10. Also, it’s not always necessary straight away, but a bottle warmer can be extremely helpful. Perhaps don’t purchase a bottle warmer until you’re sure you need it, or even better - borrow one.

11. An electric breast pump is also incredibly handy as it speeds things up if you wish to express. It’s recommended you don’t borrow breast pumps for hygiene reasons, but if you absolutely have to, buy new personal kits, which include tubing and bottles. 

OTHER PIECES OF ADVICE! 

Nikki C is showing off her diaper bag wearing the 'Casual Tank' in mint.

1. Get a good diaper bag that will hold a lot and don’t go anywhere without it! It should have wipes, diapers, a spare set of clothes (for you too, you’re going to get spilled on), spill cloths, bottles and formula (if bottle feeding), diaper rash cream, a change mat...and if you’re going somewhere for a few hours/days, a thermometer, a syringe and some paracetamol isn’t a bad idea...just in case they’re all of a sudden sick! You’ll soon learn as a parent, you’ve got to be prepared for any possible scenario!

2. Make sure your doctor is nearby and is one that you’re comfortable with. You could be there often, so you’ll want them close and you’ll want to be able to trust in them to support you.

3. Your nursery doesn't need to be fancy…the most important things to a baby are the people around them. Go hard if you want to, but don’t put financial pressure on yourself...your baby won't care either way!

4. A lot of the equipment mentioned throughout this blog can be borrowed, or bought second-hand. You do NOT need to spend thousands of dollars setting up. Think smart - take those offers of hand-me-down clothes etc. They’ll be fantastic and think of sustainability! 

5. If people enquire in regards to what you’d like as baby gifts (people can be so generous when it comes to a first baby especially), you may as well tell them what you need, you’ll all be happier for it.

6. This is for mom. If you’re going to invest in any maternity items, we recommend a few medically endorsed nursing sports bras and a pair of endorsed maternity leggings. All of Cadenshae’s gear helps expecting and new moms to exercise of course...but it's also just practical clothing to do jobs, or lounge around home in, during this special time in your life. You don't have to be doing burpees every day to wear Cadenshae! Our clothing ensures mothers can get out the door looking and feeling confident, knowing they're in breastfeeding friendly gear to feed bubs in anytime, anywhere. The bras are uber practical and the leggings will keep your postpartum tummy supported. For more information on clothing, check out these blogs:

PARENT WELLNESS:

Nikki C is working out in the 'Aspire Top' in black marle and the 'Classic Maternity Leggings - 3/4 Length' in aspen. 

No one can look after a baby if they’re not looking after themselves. It’s essential primary caregivers keep tabs on their mental health and ensure they’re:

  • Eating well.
  • Exercising.
  • Have a solid support system in place to lend a hand - a mom, dad, sister, brother, friend etc. If support from family/friends is not available, hiring a cleaner, a cook, a nanny or a night nurse etc. can also help ease the pressure and provide some much needed relief.
  • Getting enough rest. This one can be tough with a newborn, but a new mother should prioritise sleeping or simply resting (feet up, reading a book, watching T.V., meditating etc.) as much as she can.

If you’re feeling low, enraged, or out of sorts in any way, it’s important you seek help immediately, don’t be embarrassed, don’t suppress it and make it worse, go get yourself some help. Talk to your GP or a medical professional you trust to discuss the options available to get you through. You can also self refer to a therapist if you choose to - this could be helpful for insurance purposes. Postnatal anxiety and/or depression can affect both men and women, so if you’re not feeling right, seek help and remember...you're not alone and you WILL get through this. For more information on this topic, check out the blogs below.

So there you have it! Billions of humans have been made and successfully raised - you can do it too! And brilliantly! 

All the very best...and...YOU’VE TOTALLY GOT THIS!

Written by Ellen Chisholm and endorsed by: 
Newborn and Baby Consultant - Trish Martin (Sleeping). 
Dr. Caitlin Zietz B.Sc., D.C. (Flat Head Syndrome, Play and Exercise). 
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Julia Daly (Feeding). 
Susan Goldstiver - Registered Psychotherapist. The Postnatal Distress Centre (Parent Wellness). 
Plunket NZ (Play and Exercise, Diapers, Bathing, Clothing, Travelling Long Distances, Equipment and Other Pieces of Advice). 

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