Welcoming a newborn into the world is an unbelievable experience and nothing can truly prepare you for it. While it's an epic journey for parents it's important to remember it's an ABSOLUTELY epic journey for the new little bundle. We wanted to share some tips with any new parents or expectant parents about those first weeks with your newborn.
1. Overstimulation - consider where your baby has been growing for 9 months. Suddenly they are out in this world and it's loud, bright, colourful, things move about them constantly, people are picking them up, cooing at them.......absolutely everything is new. There is so much to take in. Overstimulation is a real challenge for newborns as it can happen so fast. It's a nemesis of sleep too. There seems to be a pressure to 'get out' and do everything you would normally do but now just take your newborn along. We highly encourage parents to take the time to let their newborn adjust to this new space.
2. Environment - up until their wonderful exit from the womb their sleep space has been a closed cocoon, warm, dark and with a constant whooshing of noises. We encourage you to simulate this space in their new world. A dark room day and night protects the melatonin that's in their system (from mum's system) as much as possible. They don't start producing their own until a bit later. Use white noise. Make them feel secure and tucked up.
3. Take time to connect - as mentioned before, we often see there is nearly this pressure to 'get out' and continue as normal and baby will need to just fit around you. These first weeks are such a key time for you to learn the language of your little one. There are so many little cues and behaviours they show that if we don't have the time and space to connect with them we can just miss. It's such an important time to get to know your little bub.
We are not suggesting that you just stay home for weeks on end isolated from everyone (although they do that in some cultures too!). What we are encouraging you is to find your way, give your newborn the chance to adjust to this amazing new world they are in. It's okay to stop and take time in these first wonderful weeks for all of you to find your way.