Tips from New parents
NEW PARENTS forwarded these tips to encourage you !!
see below also
MANAGING VISITORS – COPING WITH TWINS
( from SAMBA: South African Multiple Birth Association)
That this too shall pass.
Make use of your support system to do the dishes, bring meals and clean the house, if someone offers, take them up on it, then you can spend quality time with your newborn. That “honeymoon” period with a newborn is a magically time, don’t fret about chores.
Everyone has advise, listen to it, weigh it up for yourself and then make your own decision based on what you instinctively feel it right.
Don’t spend money on all fancy types of baby things, you probably won’t use them anyway
Every baby is different, what works with one, does not work with another. You, as their mom, know them better than anyone else.
Your world will completely change, be prepared. Have patience for yourself and your baby. And always communicate as a couple.
Get as much help from family and friends as you can to do all the other aspects of life that need attention so you can focus on caring for your baby and sleeping. Our friends organised a meal roster for the first 6wks of our son’s life which was a HUGE blessing. When we got really low on sleep, we also found it helpful to have someone we trusted (like our parents) to come over and look after our little boy for a few hours so that we could get some uninterrupted sleep.
Claire:Mum of son 18 months
Try not freak out too much. Don’t be shy to ask for help and question the medical staff. You really realise how little you know until your little bundle is there, no matter how much you read and prepared for the motherhood. Sleep when the baby sleeps as much as possible (easy enough to fall asleep, but really hard to wake up after only an hour). Great help from dad, including during one of all the night feeds, take turns. Teamwork! I really could not have done it without my husband, not only with the daily tasks, but also with the huge emotional and mental support
Mum to 18 month old
a)Don’t be shy or afraid to ASK! Don’t ‘suffer’ just because you think you should know what to do. A lot of things come naturally as a mom, but there are also A LOT OF THINGS that don’t and that’s why there are people like Jill around you. Don’t be proud, you will regret it! Everything is new, unknown and scary at first. Make sure you get a good Clinic sister you can build a good relationship with from the beginning and you feel comfortable with asking any kind of question.
b) Involve your spouse from the very beginning and make sure you give him space and freedom to also make mistakes and ‘learn’ your baby.
c) Be okay to just be with your baby at home for the first few weeks. It’s good to get out and see people, but doing it prematurely can be unwise. Read your baby, and be wise around how many people you allow in his/her space. And keep baby close and feeling secure!
Janine writes: son of 5 months
Be grateful/ thankful for all that you have as your unique child is a gift. And enjoy, this is a treasured time!
Like any relationship, this one grows with time…it’s wonderful.
Reproduced with permission from Paula Pinkham, and SAMBA Southern Suburbs Group. (pdf available)
Bringing our Babies Home – Coping with Twins
Dear Family & Friends
We know how excited you are to meet our much awaited bundles of joy, and we are just as excited to
introduce them to you and show them off. We are equally excited (and nervous) to have them home to
start perfecting our parenting skills.
As our babies made their entrance into this big, bright, beautiful world, earlier than expected and as we
are new to this whole baby thing, we thought we would share a few “terms and conditions” for visiting
our new family over the next few weeks. It is with love and respect that we send these out and for no
other reason but that we want what is best for the health of our babies and for the sanity of ourselves as
new parents. We want you to feel appreciated while also setting boundaries.
A premature baby is one born before 37 weeks gestation. These babies require a little extra nurturing to
get them the best possible start and will more than likely have to be monitored in the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit until they are able to feed sufficiently on their own. Until they are able to do so, they are fed
via a Nasal Gastric Feeding Tube. Their oxygen saturation levels will be monitored as will their
temperature. They will be weighed daily, as weight gain in a premature baby is imperative. Preterm
babies did not have the chance for their nervous system to develop and mature fully and are therefore
more high-strung than full term babies. They may find it harder to calm and comfort themselves. They are
also highly sensitive to light, noise, touch and movement and can get over-stimulated very quickly. We
hope this very basic insight to a premature baby will be useful for when you do meet our precious
Requests from Mom and Dad
1. As preterm babies aren’t able to fight bugs easily, they are prone to infections. Please can we ask
you to wash your hands thoroughly and make use of the hand sanitizer we have in and around
2. If you are sick, have been sick, or have been around someone who is sick, we really would rather
have you visit when you are well or when you are in a “safe zone”. This is to ensure that our
babies immune system to develop sufficiently without any extra illnesses to have to conquer.
3. If you are a smoker, please can you refrain from smoking well before your intended visit to our
4. Perfume is a beautiful luxury in life, but for new babies, not so much. If visiting us and our babies,
please may we ask that you hold off on the fancy smells. There will be plenty time later on in life
to impress them with whiffs and wafts of delicate essences of spice and vanilla.
5. If our babies are asleep, please don’t ask us to wake them, or to see them. We are trying to
structure a routine for them, as well as for ourselves and we are not prepared to waiver on this.
6. As with the point above, routine is now a very important part of our lives, and whilst we are
generally very sociable people, our priorities have shifted ever so slightly, so spontaneity is
something that has taken a back seat for now, so with this, we would love it if you called ahead
7. If we do not answer our phones or messages, we are not ignoring you. We are probably busy
with the babies and our phones are more than likely on silent. Please be patient with us, we will
8. Please don’t be offended if we prefer you not to handle our babies or if we don’t freely pass them
around the room. As mentioned before, it is over handling and movement that can cause a new-
born and a preterm baby to become overstimulated. And then we’re left with fussing babies long
after you have left.
9. Please don’t expect us to have tea and coffee ready for you. You are welcome to make your own
whilst visiting, but we may be pre-occupied and busy with other guests and the babies. This is no
reflection of our hosting skills, just a reflection on what is important to us right now.
10. As I am a breast-feeding mom, please could you respect my privacy. If I am feeding the babies,
please be patient with me. You will get to see my babies, just not while they are suckling.
11. Please excuse us if we are not dressed for the occasion. We are in “survival mode” at the moment
and your emotional support means the world to us. We just can be certain that our clothes will be
clean for your visit.
12. We are first time parents, and while advice is welcome, please remember that we are also adults
and the advice we are given, may not always be used. No offence to be taken, please.
How you can help
1. Between a few of you, you are more than welcome to make a meal roster. Ready-made meals or
home-made meals are most welcome and appreciated. Please drop and go, unless we invite you
in. Apologies, if that sounds rude, but if you have been a parent before, you know what meal
times are like with new born babies in the house.
2. We may at times need help with errands, and we would love to be able to call on our network of
friends and family to help us out. Likewise, with grocery shopping.
3. There may be a time where we will need some extra hands just to “take over” for an hour so we
can have an undisturbed hour or two. Just to refresh, unwind, regroup and breath.
4. If anyone has any experience as a night nurse or nanny, just a night as a “gift” would go a long
5. If you are able to, and I am happy to let go, offer to take my babies for a walk around the block.
This will allow time for a shower, some lunch and a phone call or two.
6. We will get to a stage where we will want to go out for some alone time and adult company, so
reliable and confident baby sitters are welcome.
7. Extra hands and emotional support is a must for clinic visits and vaccination days.
8. Your patience, love and understanding are something we value greatly and while we are in the
“baby-moon” phase of our lives we may be a little absent, please know that we will be back!
These little pointers and requests are not intended to hurt or offend any of our loving inner-circle. This
is merely a guide-line as to how we would like to manage the transition from NICU to home life. We
also need this time to get to know our babies and to be the family we have longed to be for so long.
We are not alienating any one of you, and we cannot wait for you to meet our beautiful babies.