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Top tips from a new mum

Kate Richards
I've been asked to do a presentation to an antenatal group about life with a new baby. I wasn't expecting it, so I accidently agreed!

Having asked around my mum friends, my list of "top tips" starts with the most important piece of advice - try to stay relaxed, calm, and remember there's no one right way to do it. Then there's the second crucial tip - sleep when they sleep.
This one's very hard to stick to, as it can be your only chance to get anything done. But getting enough rest is essential for everyone.

It may be that (like me at the moment) you have to be ready to sleep much earlier in the evening than normal. Ben tends to have his longest sleep, about three to four hours, before midnight. One day I'll get my evenings back!

On the subject of sleep, there are a few tricks to help the baby go to sleep and stay there: warming the cot/moses basket with a hot water bottle when he's out of it, avoiding drafts, and most useful of all for me - swaddling. I learned how to swaddle, and picked up more sleep-related tricks from parenting websites.

Most parents will have begun a routine of sorts by four to six weeks, if only a rough bedtime. Some give their babies a bath every evening, although it's not actually necessary more than about twice a week. Ben has moved into his cot now, and we tend to keep the bedroom as dark and quiet as possible at night. The plan is to keep him in with us for six months, as recommended by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID). I'm currently getting seven to eight hours' sleep, broken by two night feeds. Not too bad at all.

More of my top tips next time!

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