A Maternity Nurse Company candidate recently suggested to us that this would be a great topic for our blog. When we asked why, she said, “New parents do so much work to get ready for their new baby, but sometimes they forget the simple things that would really improve their first few weeks with a baby.” Intrigued, we asked what she meant and her answer was so illuminating we thought we’d devote a whole blog post to it.
Decorating the nursery
Okay, no parents ever forgets that the baby will need a place to sleep. But they do often forget that baby won’t be the only one using the nursery. Consider where you will sit. Where your night maternity nurse will be able to lie down while baby sleeps. Above all, how many people will be using the nursery. As our experienced maternity nurse said, ‘I can’t tell you how many nurseries only have a place for one person to sit, but when there are two parents, often other children, and frequently a maternity nurse or nanny, there’s nowhere for those people to spend time doing handovers or talking quietly about baby’s progress. The one room in the house that should be the most comfortable is often the least so.’
Consider a screen or stable door
Screen doors are unusual in the UK. But they can be found, stable doors are slightly more common. Both offer the opportunity to check up on baby without having to open and close the door. Both keep other children and pets out of the nursery too. Tiny environmental changes can be a major trigger to wake up in newborns. So the simple act of opening and closing a door can cause exactly what you were trying to avoid, a disturbed newborn!
Prepare for visitors
A new baby is a social event. If you know you’re going to have visitors. Especially if they are the kind of visitors who make you a little nervous. Like parents or in-laws, it’s a great idea to be visitor ready. Clean the spare room. Invest in new touches like a duvet cover or lamp, lay out the towels and toiletries visitors will need. Then, make up a complete spare set of visitor equipment and store it somewhere. You’ll either need it because your planned visitors stay longer than expected or because unexpected visitors rock up. As our top maternity nurse says, ‘The feeling of being ready to share your little one with friends and family is wonderful – if you’ve planned ahead, it can also be problem-free.’
Organise extra support
Whether it’s a night maternity nurse, a freezer full of casserole meals. Or an experienced dog walker to take care of your pet. Knowing what help you need can be a way of ensuring that everything from the first contraction, to the birth, to baby’s first visitors runs smoothly for the entire household.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but sometimes new parents lose sight of the pleasure. List-making, ticking things off, resolving difficulties and addressing problems become all that they can see. But having a baby should be an amazing, joyous, rewarding experience. It’s important to focus on this part of the journey every single day.