The reality of the early days

I’ve found five minutes to write a quick blog about the early days of parenting. It has certainly been a juggle for me lately with home schooling, studying and running my business. I absolutely love this juggle; I have learnt so much and I can not wait to share it with you all. Whilst some people may think on the surface that I only work with families around sleep and settle, I actually work with families in most aspects of raising a family and if I don’t know I have an awesome network of colleagues and like-minded people who can help me. You can not look at the day or night sleeping, feeding and settling approaches in isolation they are all interconnected. It is so important to not only consider the infant but the family as a whole, we need to consider the whole family as you are a unique dyad.

 Becoming a parent is really hard, it may be super exciting, super daunting or not all that it is cracked up to be. We all adjust differently and that is okay. This adjustment may start during pregnancy, it may be when you have your first, second or third child. We all have different times that we need help. Each adjustment has its positives but also some challenges. We all have different levels of support and networks around us to help us when we have super hard days. I thought today I would let you know that you are not alone and these are some of the facts.

 In the first six months

  •  15% of mothers experience postnatal depression
  • 10% suffer from clinical anxiety
  • 20% of babies cry excessively under 16 weeks
  • 38% of families report sleep problems at four weeks.
  • 39% of mothers are able to exclusively breastfeed at 16 weeks and 95% report they want to at birth.

 I also thought you may like to know about crying 

  • 0-6-week-old infants cry on average 110-118 minutes per day
  • 10-12-week-old infants cry on average 72 minutes per day  
  • 1 in 5 families report their infant cries excessively

The newborn brain has neuroplasticity and sensitive to initial conditions in the crying period (first four months of life). There are many causes for this crying and they include

  • Need for rich and varied sensory experiences
  • Poor satiety (still hungry) despite adequate weight gain
  • Challenges with breastfeeding
  • Parents struggles in understanding infant’s cues
  • Parents can be missing a cue such as the baby needing feeding, changing or some attention.

I believe every family deserves access to services which help with these problems in the early days.  These problems can be helped with breastfeeding assistance, excessive crying, reflux and colic symptoms, understanding newborn behaviour, settling approaches, conversations around realistic expectations and support. Becoming a parent can be like riding a roller-coaster when you are super tired. I love helping families in the really early days as you can not love your babies enough and know daytime is for living and night time is for sleeping. You don’t need to be stuck inside the four walls of your home.

We are all surrounded with lots of wonderful women who are trying to help us but sometimes they feed us misinformation. Sleep requirements vary person to person and infants are no different. There are a lot of myths out there like sleep breeds sleep, sleep affects brain development, only do fourth hourly feeds, they have colic, reflux……. I am sure you have heard a few of these. These theories all started in the 1950’s and 1960’s when a lot of medicalisation of these problems started. I won’t go into it but I love working with families to bring you the truth (research) and help you to understand your infant and their requirements.

 If you or a friend has been struggling with any of the issues, I have mentioned I would love to help you. No one wants to feel alone or isolated in these early days, let’s get you living!