As many first-time mums embrace their new role, they often find themselves asking ‘is this normal?’. Whether it’s their newborn’s crying, the frequency of nappy changes, or number of feeds, new parents are often unsure how to assess and best support their baby.
However, it appears that those doubts and uncertainties are not long lasting. A new survey by leading nappy brand, BabyLove, reveals that mums very quickly gain confidence and ability in their new role.
‘Mums with newborns are incredibly adaptable, moving from novice to proficient in a relatively short period of time,’ said BabyLove Nappies CEO, Bridget Spark.
Within 4-8 weeks, newborn mums can shift from a place of doubt, worry and confusion, to having an innate ability and confidence to know what works best for their baby. This continues to grow as mothers move beyond 8 weeks.
‘Intuition plays such an important part in early parenting, with mums developing a deep connection with their baby and a realisation that they know what’s best for their baby,’ says Bridget Spark.
BabyLove undertook the research earlier this year to gain fresh insights into the early stages of newborn parenting and the changing networks mums turn to for advice when navigating their journey into motherhood.
The research is part of BabyLove’s ongoing commitment to supporting parents and their child’s journey, which includes developing Australian-first patented technology in nappy design. BabyLove’s CosiFit™ nappies feature CosiContour technology, a unique curve shape that contours a baby’s body, preventing leaks and minimising red marks. CosiFit™ Newborn and Infant sizes also have a wetness indicator to help parents manage nappy changes in the early stages.
From changing nappies to listening to your gut instinct, the survey showed just how seamlessly mums settle into parenthood and the key stages they go through.
Birth – 4 Weeks: Feeling overwhelmed
Often idealistic at the outset, newborn mums report feeling overwhelmed in the first 4 weeks of childbirth. The reality can be quite daunting and very different to their expectations. The first 4 weeks is a period of adaptation, when mums adjust to their new role and learn to respond to their baby’s immediate needs.
Fatigue, doubt and worry can impact how they feel, and their network of health and parenting experts are critical in providing advice and reassurance.
4 – 8 Weeks: Finding your feet
The next 4 weeks is a time of transition and clarity, as newborn mums resurface and reconnect. It’s a time when mums have a clearer understanding of what ‘normal’ looks like and they realise that ‘normal’ is in fact different for every family. This is also a period when mums grow in confidence and their ability to know what’s best for their baby.
‘Participants in the BabyLove survey shared how during the first 4-8 weeks of parenting, mums learn to trust their intuition. These mums have found their feet, grown in experience and are now picking and choosing advice that works for them,’ said Bridget Spark.
8+ Weeks: You’ve got this!
It’s been a busy 8 weeks, and now mum is feeling more capable and confident when it comes to raising her child.
‘Nobody knows my baby like I do’ is a common theme for mums at this stage of the parenting journey.
When it comes to advice? Mum’s are now more likely to take (and share) advice from a network of other mums – such as an experienced mum, a circle of mums, or online influencers that they feel have credibility.
‘The mum network is extremely important, especially when it comes to first-time mums,’ says BabyLove’s Bridget Spark. ‘In an earlier research study we did – involving 1,000 experienced mothers of children aged from 1 month to 3 years – we found they shared enormous empathy, affinity and reassurance for other mums.’
The 2018 survey asked experienced mothers to ‘Think about everything they’d learnt as a parent, and to nominate their top tip for first–time mums’.
More than 30 tips were gathered in the 2018 survey, with the most popular tip: ‘Listen to your instincts/No one knows your baby as well as you do’.
BabyLove shares their Top 3 Tips for first-time mums:
- Listen to your instincts. This was voted at the top tip by mums, and we agree! Intuition is a valuable guide when navigating what’s normal and what’s not for your baby. Whilst new mums won’t have all the answers, their gut feeling will provide some powerful clues. Be confident and follow your instincts.
- Enjoy your newborn. Early motherhood is an extraordinary experience, but it can also be overwhelming as new routines are established at home. Our advice is to make time to enjoy bonding with your baby. Savour moments every day, and you will have precious memories to cherish as you watch them quickly grow.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Babies won’t always go along with our well organised plans so it’s important to ease expectations and learn to go with the flow. Adopting a more relaxed approach will help minimise stress – which will be a big plus for you and your adoring baby.