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Parenting - New Baby on Board with Doreen Buckley

Tuesday, 13 February 2007


Doreen Buckley has 30 years experience as a midwife and a parent trainer. Today she will give our viewers information on the top 8 to 10 concerns of new parents.

Doreen will take calls from viewers with their own concerns be it from funny sounds to how many bowel movements a new baby should have. So if you have a question or query get in touch today.

Call us on 1850 71 71 11, You can also e-mail us at or text STUDIO followed by your thoughts to 53555.

About Doreen
Doreen Buckley who has 30 years experience as a midwife and parent/ baby trainer

For 21 years until 2001, Doreen worked as a nurse and midwife in Holles Street Hospital. In 2001 she set up her own business "Senico Birth" which consists of the complete childbirth preparation course and early parenting with a first baby for couples, combined to one day only in a hotel. She was the first in Ireland to make available the above course for busy couples when the only choice up to then was to attend 1 hour a week for 6 weeks at the hospital, Monday - Friday only - which for couples with traffic and parking etc. meant 6 half days off for an hour class.

Doreen is a wife to P.J., mother to Ross age 20 years, former contributor to Your New Baby Magazine (Conception to Toddlerhood) from 1995 - 2002. She has contributed to parenting articles for publications including The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, Irish Independent Health supplement, V.H.I., T.V.3, Matt Cooper Show - The Last Word on stem cell retrieval.

1) Why is my baby crying?
Check. Is he:
. Hungry
. Tired
. Scared
. Pains
. Over stimulated
. Sick

2) What's the best way to settle my new baby?
(5 S's)
On it's side,
say Shh into baby's ear,
let it suck hand or thumb,
swing baby (encourages movement).

3) How do I care for the Umbilical Cord? 
When a baby comes home from the hospital it will have a stump and a yellow clamp. New parents terrified of the umbilical cord which is dense tissue. Every time you change the baby's nappy you should clean underneath it and around with cotton wool and cooled boiled water. Leave the nappy down underneath it. The stump will fall off on day 6 or 7 and then you do nothing.

4) How do I avoid sleep problems/ establish a sleep routine?
You can't establish a routine for the first 4/5 weeks. At 5 weeks you should start a routine. Distinguish day from night. Bring baby down in the morning. Top and tail wash, feed, spend 20 minutes chatting to baby. Keep the baby downstairs throughout the day and let it nap around noise. Don't tiptoe around. He will get used to noise during the day. Give baby a chamomile bath at night and after the night feed bring him up to a room that has been darkened by blackout blinds, have a dim light on the floor, speak in a low tone and tell baby that playtime is over and it's time for sleep. Within 21 days a routine should be established.

And a tip for mum and dad is to put baby in a sling attached to you during the day. They love it as they are close to your heartbeat. That way you can get the housework done and when the baby naps, you can nap instead of catching up on housework.

5) Can I share a bed with my baby?
The short answer is that you shouldn't. However, all breasftfeeding mums wil wake up with baby beside them at some point. Just make sure baby is on his back, has his own sheet and cellular blanket and is not under your quilt, is not near pillows, you have a firm mattress, you have not been drinking or smoking. While baby is in your bed, put your hot water bottle into their cot and then after 20 minutes when they are asleep, take the hot water bottle out and lift baby into the cot.

6) How do I know I'm bonding wih baby?
You'll feel as if you are bonding when baby sleeps through the night!

7) How do I know if my baby is too warm or cold?
During the day your baby should be cool. Check on the inside of their wrist or nape of their neck. During the day your baby should wear a vest and a babygro and should nap with one sheet and one blanket. At night the baby needs an extra layer so should sleep with an extra blanket. The room should be 18 degrees Celsius. If you are getting out of the bed to switch on the electric blanket, put an extra blanket on baby. If you are pushing your blankets off, take a blanket off baby.

When your baby reaches 10lb you can buy a grobag which should be 2.5 tog for winter and 1.5 tog for summer. You do not need additional blankets when your baby is in one of these with the correct tog.

8) How often do I need to bathe my new baby?
Giving your baby their first bath is very scary. In the hospital they make it look so easy! If you wash baby's bum and care for the umbilical cord every day all you really need to do is wash their face and hands for the 6 weeks. Give them their first bath in a nice warm room like the sitting room and have your partner help you.

9) People keep giving me conflicting advice. I'm so confused. Who do I need to listen to?
Everybody will be ther to give you their own subjective advice. Only listen to one source and stick with that. Thank other people for their advice but let it go in one ear and out the other.

10) Am I a terrible parent if I give my baby a dummy?
Not at all. Avoid it for the first 3 weeks if you are breastfeeding as it might confuse the baby but after that they are extremely useful for your own sanity in the middle of the night and they are no harm. Your baby is not going to be off to college and still using a dummy are they so they're no harm!

Baby on Board is a new 8 part TV series and presented by Doreen Buckley - after nearly 30 years as a midwife and trainer - the best Baby / Parent coach in the country.

Please note Baby On Board is not the A-Z of parenthood but through the varied human stories over the series will cover all the major parenting issues that couples and parents would need to know plus reflect a changing Ireland where the family unit has changed forever. Doreen answers the cry for help from parents and families and provides advice over the series a wide range of solutions. The programmes aims to only feature babies / toddlers from 0-3 years of age - i.e. under three years of age in June 2007 - and of course their older siblings where applicable. The stars of the series are the babies and toddlers as we learn a huge deal about their growth and development.

Baby On Board are seeking stories from all family situations and varied nationalities from the four corners of Ireland where childhood has transformed lives and changed the family dynamic. The subject matter could be as simple as
. the birth of your first child / first days at home with both parents
. new baby in a second marriage or relationship and impact on older children
. preparing for your wedding with your toddler in tow
. a couple celebrates a successful adoption
. retired parent(s) look after their grand child due to high creche costs
. triplets and their varied needs as the 2nd birthday party looms
. same sex couple and their new baby
. couple suffer from sleep deprivation leading to post natal depression
. stay at home dad and effect on his life, career, friends, child and family
. parents learning about first meals, steps, words, child development
. 1st child parents isolated after moving from local 'community' to new town
. single parent moving back in or living with parents & studying for exams
. parents have problems with their 2 year old eating fresh food
. first baby - rural area - finding the best creche for your child
. 'time poverty' and parents  - both work late hours and home life suffering

The more open the participants and colourful the stories the more successful the series.

All potential applicants can access more information and an application form at or email and a form will be forwarded immediately.

For more information contact or phone 01 644 9767

A Sideline Production for RTE 2007