• Rosemary Joyce

5 key things every new parent needs

There's a certain look all new parents have in their newborn photos. It's a cross between bliss and absolute exhaustion. The reality is that parenting a new little person is tough stuff, especially during the first 6 weeks. But with a little bit of 'know how' you can make those first 6 weeks a whole lot easier to get through.

Essential item #1 -A baby carrier

Unless you have perfected the art of buttering your toast with your feet, having a baby carrier will make your life so much easier. It leaves you with 2 hands free whilst still holding your baby. Having your baby snuggled in against your chest mimics life in the womb in multiple ways. This leaves your baby calmer and more likely to sleep, as well as helping Mama produce hormones which help with breast milk production and baby bonding. As part of The Birthing Room's Third Trimester Course Sling Consultant Corrine Rooney takes you through the A-Z of babywearing, so you'll know what to look out for before investing this essential item.

Essential item #2 -A village of supportive people

No one is meant to parent in isolation. If you haven't naturally been surrounded with a group of caring people who will help out in the early days of parenting, find some. Neighbourhoods, preschool music groups, churches, parenting groups, feeding support groups, and home birth associations are filled with people who would love to help you if you'd only but ask. Remember to be specific in your requests, whether it's from someone to mow your lawn through to making you a meal, as people often want to help but don't know what you need.

Essential item #3 -A slow cooker

Making a meal in the evening is exceptionally difficult when you have a newborn, as they are normally more 'fussy' at this time. Slow cookers are a God-send when you don't have time in the evening, as you can throw everything in when things are a bit more settled in the morning and then forget about it until dinner time. The only downside is feeling hungry all day because it smells so good!

Essential item #4 -Breastfeeding support

Some women get lucky and find the knack of breastfeeding just like that. But for the majority it takes time, practice and patience. It's important to remember that it's a skill that Mama's not only learning, but baby too. Take the time during your pregnancy to attend a breastfeeding workshop and a breastfeeding support group, read books about breastfeeding, and watch some good YouTube clips. All of these things will help set you up for a positive breastfeeding experience. If you find you're facing some challenges after baby is born, keep asking for help until you've mastered the hurdle. Somethings are easily fixed, and at other times you may need the support of your partner, midwife, lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group to get you on the right track.

Essential item #5 -A positive birth experience

Starting off your parenting journey with a positive birth experience behind you makes a huge difference to how you are feeling in those first few weeks. Medical intervention, birth complications and birth trauma can all have an impact on Mama and baby physically and emotionally. Investing in your birth is far more important than investing in a nice looking crib, or painting baby's bedroom. Make education a priority during your pregnancy, so you are feeling equipped and empowered for your labour and birth, as well as having a toolbox of skills you can use if your birth doesn't go according to plan. We recommend families join The Birthing Room's Premium Package as it provides evidence-based information from your first trimester right through to when baby is 3 months old. You also have the ability to enroll in individual courses and free mini courses, or download freebies if that's all your budget allows for. Either way, we've got stacks of great information waiting for you!



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