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There aren’t many stages of parenthood that are particularly “easy,” but arguably, the most difficult time is the first six weeks, particularly when it is your first child. Nothing can prepare you for having to look after a newborn baby, and you are effectively thrown right into the deep end.
With that in mind, any advice and help from experts should be welcomed with open arms. A parenting expert from the United Kingdom, Nicole Ratcliffe, has recently revealed five tips that she gives to new parents who visit her in her offices in London. Here is what she had to say.
Attend Baby Groups
Baby groups can be fun experiences for young babies and allow them to get used to other surroundings, smells, and sights. However, according to Nicole, they can also be beneficial experiences for the parents as it allows new moms and dads to speak to others who are experiencing the exact same thing. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said:
“Baby groups aren’t really about the baby. Yes, it’s lovely to have the sensory and all the different colors, and it gives you ideas on the different things you can do with them at home, but actually, the baby tends to sleep a lot through the classes and the groups are more about you – the mom or the dad.”
Be Open With Others
According to a number of studies, loneliness is a key trigger for depression. For moms, or Dads, who are on maternity/paternity leave it can be very easy to become isolated from the outside world. That’s why Ratcliffe advises new parents to be open with others about how they are feeling. She says:
“If you’re open and honest about how you feel, you might find this opens up a whole new type of conversation and a safe area to express yourself.
It might give other parents with the same sorts of feelings that freedom to be honest too, and you might just save somebody’s sanity or their relationship or make them feel less alone.”
Enjoy the Smiles
Your baby will more than likely start smiling within the first six weeks which is an amazing early milestone to tick off. Ratcliffe says that the sight of your baby smiling can provide you with a huge emotional boost. She says:
“Coming up to around six weeks, your baby is starting to smile, which is absolutely incredible – one of the most wonderful things that can happen, especially if they haven’t been that interactive with you up until now.
When your little baby starts to respond to you, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
Watch Out for Growth Spurts
Babies are constantly growing but as they approach the six-week mark, they typically experience a huge growth spurt which requires you to take some action. Explaining further, Ratcliffe says:
“By the six-week mark, you might think your baby is settling into a bit of a routine and they’re going longer between feeds.
But, they need to feed even more suddenly because they’re going through a HUGE growth spurt.”
Put Your Baby Down
Finally, Ratcliffe talks about the importance of allowing your baby to develop on its own. While it’s natural to want to them pick them and cuddle them all day, there are some key benefits to allowing them to wriggle around on the floor alone. Explaining why, Ratcliffe says:
“Lay your baby on his stomach. Being in this position helps babies gain motor milestones quicker, which is extremely important to their language development, their social development, their physical activity.”
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