Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a new baby!
And like all new mums, we’ll bet you have more questions about motherhood than you know what to do with.
So we thought we’d do our best to answer 6 of the questions asked most frequently by new mums. Read on for the answers…
1. Is my baby getting the right amount of milk?
Unfortunately, BABIES aren’t like kettles – they don’t have convenient markings to show how full they are! So you’re not alone if you’re worried that your baby is feeding too little or too much. Usually, you can let your baby be your guide – he’ll let you know when he’s hungry or full, as will those regular checks to monitor his GROWTH.
We found these tips from BabyCenter[i] helpful for making sure baby is getting enough milk
- Your baby’s wee is PALE and odourless and they have at least 6 wet nappies every 24 hours (after 5 days old)
- Your baby is FEEDING at least six to eight times a day.
- Your baby looks a HEALTHY colour, and has firm skin that bounces right back if you pinch it gently.
- Your baby is ALERT when he is awake, and readily asks for feeds.
If you’re breastfeeding then these can possibly raise concerns:
- Your breasts don’t feel SOFTER after feeds.
- Your nipple looks misshapen or pinched at the end of a feed, or feel SORE or damaged.
- Your baby is unsettled after FEEDS.
- Your baby’s SKIN becomes more yellow, instead of less, after the first week.
- Your baby has dimples in his cheeks, or makes clicking NOISES while breastfeeding. This is a sign that your baby is not latched on properly.
Regular weigh-ins with your health professionals should pick up any growth issues with your baby – but if you are still worried, do visit your doctor.
2. Are we both getting the right amount of sleep?
You won’t be surprised that new mums worry about their own lack of sleep, but many also worry about their baby’s sleep patterns.
If you’re concerned about being SLEEP DEPRIVED – which, let’s face it, is a reality for most new mums – don’t accept it as the norm. Instead, try some of these practical tips for catching catch those extra ZZZs, as informed by Parents Magazine[ii]…
- JOIN your baby for a NAP. Otherwise you’re at risk of becoming a Walking Zombie. Your piles of washing, messy rooms and sticky floors will WAIT UNTIL you’ve got more sleep and, consequently, more energy.
- Lie down if you can’t sleep. Some restorative poses from Yoga can be really helpful to give your body a GOOD REST without sleeping. See BeHappyMum’s pose below:
- Be sure to hand the task over to your partner, your mother or another visitor once in a while so you can get a much needed, solid stretch of sleep. Even if you’re BREASTFEEDING have a BOTTLE of pumped breast milk on hand can be invaluable!
- Keep your baby’s crib close so that you don’t have to go far to settle them or pick them up DURING THE NIGHT. Aim to keep your movements and activity as minimal as possible.
- Some mums find falling asleep difficult, even when they’re exhausted. If you struggle to switch off, stay away from bright and stimulating screens and instead get your head in a good BOOK or listen to the RADIO.
If your baby’s sleep patterns are your biggest concern, don’t fret. What the textbooks don’t tell you is that EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT you’ll soon become familiar with your baby’s routine and know when he/she’s ready for a nap. But if you need some reassurance right now, here’s a helpful guide on how much sleep babies need.
3. When will I get my body back?
Nobody, but nobody, tells you all the gory details about your body after baby! Those bladder issues, leaky breasts, expanded bra size, changed body shape, the fact that you sweat more…need we go on?
If getting back in SHAPE is your main concern, do wait until 6 weeks after giving birth and a check-up from your doctor. And take it GENTLY AND SLOWLY:
- Start with walking and gradually increase the pace of your WALKING. You’ll improve your heart and stamina first and make your muscles stronger.
- Start exercising in SMALL AMOUNTS and don’t push yourself the way you might have done before you became a mother. It’s still your body but it’s just done an enormous amount of work so give it time. You can start by straightening your core, which lacked your attention during the pregnancy. SUPERSETS are an ideal starting point as they provide a balanced workout for your body. Try exercising in small bursts for maximum effect – BeHappyMum’s FitMama App’s 5 and 10 minute workouts are just the ticket!
- DON’T FORGET about pelvic floor exercises. They are helpful for all women but essential for POST-PREGNANCY!
4. How do I cope with stress?
Juggling the demands of your busy life and a newborn can be stressful for ANY MOTHER to say the least. No wonder so many new mums look for stress-busting help. Well, look no further as we’ve got some GREAT TIPS.
Take it as a rule: BE KIND TO YOURSELF
You’ve got a new life and need some time to ADAPT to that. Do not be discouraged by watching other mums who are more active, more toned and more bubbly than you are right now. They will have gone through the same stresses you are in their own time, so just be ENCOURAGED by their results.
- Stay SOCIAL and don’t isolate yourself. Simply chatting about your worries with like-minded friends who are there to support you can help ease your mind massively.
- Get out with your baby as often as you feel able. FRESH AIR is one of the best mood-lifters and walking is great for your heart, body and mind.
- EXERCISING is another great way to lift your mood. If your body feels well, so can your mind.
- Make sure you get at least some SLEEP. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can be linked with depression and makes us feel less able to cope with stress.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to keep the house clean or the laundry done. It’s NOT YOUR PRIORITY at the moment and your baby certainly won’t appreciate any cleanliness! They will appreciate your smile though!
- EAT WELL. When we’re busy and stressed we can fall into snacking and eating unhealthy foods out of convenience and for comfort. Try to eat foods that fuel your body in the right way, giving you plenty of nutrient and enough energy to tackle the day.
- A great way to boost your happiness is to do something NICE FOR YOURSELF. There are lots of low-cost and Free ways to give yourself a TREAT so pick one and enjoy!
Don’t forget to keep using any of these stress-busting tips that work for you – as your babies grow up, you’ll find it’s can be quite trying having pre-schoolers, school-age kiddies and teenagers too!
5. When should I start weaning?
Weaning is a hot topic for NEW MUMS, with the most recent research indicating that you should start introducing SOLID FOODS when your baby is about six months old. There’s also an interesting debate about the merits of baby-led (finger food) weaning versus spoon-fed purees.
The NHS gives great advice on the signs that your baby is ready:
- Your child can stay in a SITTING position and hold their head steady.
- Your child can CO-ORDINATE their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
- Your child can swallow FOOD. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.
A lot of this depends on you and your baby, so check with your physician if you have any doubts.
What to start with? Here are some good ideas from Madeformums and Netmums …
6. When do I start Potty Training?
This You don’t need to worry right away – while there’s NO SET AGE to start potty training most children will show signs that they’re ready between 18 months and 3 years old. When the time comes, don’t force the potty on your little ones – if they’re not ready, they’re not ready!
These tips (from Practice Parenting[iii]) really helped one of the BeHappyMum Team know that their little one was READY for the potty.
- Your child stays DRY for a couple of hours regularly
- Your child shows interest in the toilet environment and loves JOINING you or their siblings.
- Your child can SHOW when he’s having bowel movement (by squatting or making a grunting sound for example)
- Your child feels uncomfortable when their NAPPY is wet and asks you to change it.
If you want more information, we recommend you follow these links to Netmums and BabyCentre to figure out when your child is ready, and maximise their success when they are!
We hope our ‘6 Most Common New Parent Questions’ has helped you Mum!
Not only do our apps like FitMama help to support you as a new mum, but we understand what it means entering motherhood, so why not catch up on some of our others mummy fave blogs below… take your #MeTime for today!