Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2015 Contents | FAMILY |
By Suzette Camacho
AS FIRST-TIME MOTHERS, we are filled with different
emotions. Fear, anxiety, happiness, love, paranoia, nervous-
ness, mood-swings, depression; the list goes on and on. We
must always remember some basic guidelines which can
make life easier for you and baby after birth.
Sleep with baby routine
Many moms are exhausted and lack sleep the first few
weeks of their baby's life. It is important to maintain a
rhythm for you and baby that involves simultaneous nap
times! When your child is asleep, take the opportunity to
program your body to sleep as well.
Baby items checklist -- check it twice!
Make sure you have a list of must-haves for baby when you
get home from the hospital. Stock up in advance of the ne-
cessities such as diapers, wipes, nursing pillow, blankets,
grooming kit, colic medicine, etc. Also make sure that every-
thing is set up for baby's nap and changing times. You do
not want to be faced with a situation where you forgot a
vital item and you are stuck at home with baby and unable
to quickly fetch it.
Prepare a back-up supply of milk
Whether it is formula or breast milk, ensure that you always
have an ample supply ready for feedings. Breastfeeding
mamas should always prepare their nipples in advance by
moisturizing daily leading up to birth. During breastfeeding,
use ointments to prevent soreness and cracking. Also try to
express milk and store for sufficient supply and to allow dad
to help at nights with feeding.
Get soothing music for baby
It is amazing how babies can relate to music, and how re-
laxing it can be for baby. Set up a mobile in the crib with
soothing sounds for baby to sleep with. The baby will asso-
ciate these sounds with sleep and it will develop as part of
a sleep routine later on. Also get soothing music for the car
when travelling with baby. This helps them to settle during
Don't be that paranoid mummy who is scared of outdoor
exposure and sunlight and the wonderful natural elements
that your baby can enjoy. Take your baby for daily walks in
the open air; this is quite soothing for baby and will expose
him/her to the fresh scents of nature, the sounds of the an-
imals the cool breezes and lovely sunshine of our islands.
Once the paediatrician approves, go to the beach/pool, and
get your baby familiar with swimming and the feel of the
Read to your baby
Read simple books daily for baby. When reading, use sounds
and expressions that baby can identify with, repeat the
sounds so baby will learn them as well. Also, sing during the
story, by adding a tune to some of the words in the book.
Babies love singing mamas!
Prepare for the school years ahead
There are some crucial things that first time moms may
take for granted. One of them is signing up their child from
early at a primary school of their choice. Many private
schools now have waiting lists. Due to increasing demand
for private schooling, children are applied for from the date
they are born to secure a spot in the school. Also, explore
your options for schooling and sign up your child from birth
in more than one school. Take your time and research
schools and get reviews from other parents. Look around
for suitable pre-schools for your baby in advance to ensure
them a spot when they are ready at age two.
Do not believe everything you read on the Internet
This is such a common issue for first time moms. They re-
search online on how to better parent their child, and many
articles may not be practical or relevant to their situation
and may just be theoretical based on a qualified "expert".
Network with other moms and get advice, listen to your
paediatrician and feel out your baby and his needs, and you
will be just fine!
Routine is key
Try to establish a sleep routine for baby from very early. You
must condition the baby's mind to understand certain ele-
ments of sleep time such as, sounds, crib, dark room, bottle
or breast feeding, bath before bedtime. These little details
can be introduced to baby as elements of sleep. Start a rou-
tine where you time the feedings and awake periods so that
by 6:30, your baby will be ready for bath, milk and bedtime.
Spend time with the spouse!
Even though you have a newborn and your life now revolves
around the baby, make time to spend with your
husband/partner separate from baby. Maintain that close-
ness in your relationship, and do not let baby rule the house-
hold! Get grandma or a reliable sitter to babysit and have a
date night out! This is so important, as first-time moms can
get consumed by baby and neglect her spouse in the
process. It is also healthy for you to separate from baby from
time to time and have some grown-up time for yourself!
Suzette Camacho is the founder of Trini Moms, the first
parenting network in Trinidad and Tobago. Check their
website Trini-Moms.com or their Facebook page for up-
coming events for kids and the entire family.
12| WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 18, 2015
Even though you have a
newborn and your life now
revolves around the baby,
make time to spend with
separate from baby.
Maintain that closeness
in your relationship, and
do not let baby rule the
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