How to get to know your newborn

In the first few days and months after your baby’s birth you may feel you don’t know how to handle your new member of the family. It can be overwhelming to feel the responsibility for another person and have no manual. Be kind to yourself during this period. Newborn babies are adjusting to the world while you are adjusting to becoming a parent.

Everything can feel fragile and new. Try not to worry about the bigger picture, or planning too far into the future, just concentrate on getting to know your baby.. This will come with time, no-one should expect you to know what they want straight away or how they like to be held, you will figure this out together.

What the baby experts say

When people quote the baby ‘experts’ and what they tell you to do, we say to new mums that no-one knows your baby like you do. But actually even you don’t know everything straight away, parenting is a process of getting to know this new little bundle, and for them to get to know you back. It’s ok for you not to have all the answers.

It’s not a one size fits all with newborn babies. There are general things that all babies like and need. You will, over time, figure out their favourite holding positions, songs and how to comfort them. It’s a process of getting to know them.

How to get to know your newborn

  • Stay in your pajamas after the birth for at least 4 days. Rest as much as possible, feed lying down if you need to, keeping safe with the guidelines for shared beds.
  • Put off any non urgent jobs (e.g. vacuuming, tidying up, waiting on other people.)
  • Stay warm as possible with as much skin to skin as you can. Newborn babies have better regulation of their heart rate, blood pressure and temperature when they are close to you.
  • Refuse any visitors and don’t feel bad about offending anyone who might be excited to come and visit. If the visit means more work for you then consider if they can wait for a few weeks.
  • Ask for help with cooking, cleaning, taking dog for walk and anything else that is offered from friends or family. If you don’t have anyone to help close by consider our Mother’s Help