Episode 5: First-time parents
Issues of concern
Gerry, Irma and Jake
Coping with a new born baby
First 6 weeks:
The first 6 weeks in the life of your new baby is total chaos. It's a time where there are many questions, worries, and sleep deprivation. There is no book, class or anything else that can prepare you for these first few weeks - you literally learn on the job! It is a time when any other duties other than feeding, changing, settling your baby, showering and eating is a triumph. Life is not the same as before!
Now that your new baby is here you will have to learn to accept this change to you and your partners life. Your life as you know it is on hold for the first six weeks until you get to know your baby and until you recover physically from the birth.
The baby 'blues':
Parenting is a 24 hour responsibility and some days it can feel overwhelming. You may find yourself crying though to be triggered by a fluctuation in hormones and know as the 'blues'. If feeling is so strong that they interfere with your ability to deal with everyday life then you may be suffering from post natal depression - contact your public health nurse or GP.
- Passport for each member
- Extra set of clothes for each child in hand luggage with extra nappies (in case luggage goes missing) & changing bag.
- Buggy - hold until last minute before you board.
- Pack baby wipes in sandwich bag so they don't leak.
- Calpol sachets
- Antibacterial wet wipes
- First aid kit
- Few bottles of formula in a cool bag.
Under 2 years:
- Disposable sterile bottle & treats
- Tetra packs of formula
- Sudocream - nappies - nappy sacks
- Sterilising tablets. ie. Milton
2 years +:
- Each child has a small backpack containing: a carton of juice, snack, lollipop (take off & landing), colouring/puzzle book, story books, pack of cards.
- Umbrella buggy with a detachable parasol
- A back carrier - for crowed areas
- A cool bag & ice packs for beach
- Large bottle of mineral water
- Sun cream - togs - headache tablets
- Adaptor plug
- If you have 2 children or more bring a portable highchair as most restaurants only have 1 or 2.
Getting involved with other mums
Parenthood is no place for loners. Being a parent is a whole lot more survivable if you have got other parents with whom you can share your worries, joys, and fears. Doreen suggested to Irma to log onto www.cuidiu-ict.ie Cuidi have 13 branches nationwide along with a growing number of smaller groups. Check out a post natal aqua exercise group at a local swimming club. Check out a post natal yoga group, join a baby massage class which is great fun and a real treat for the baby as well as been a good social outing too. Advertise and start up a mother and toddler group yourself.