Category: Top 5 Tips

Those early days… Top 5 tips

New mumNewbornTop 5 Tips

The first few days for baby…

  1. Baby led feeding. Scrap any type of feeding routine, you can not over feed your baby in these early days. A lot of baby’s will lose up to 10% of their birth weight. This is normal. Anything over this your midwife will advise you accordingly.
  2. Keep your baby warm. As a rule of thumb your baby should have one extra layer of than you. Baby’s also lose a lot of heat through their heads so make sure baby has a hat on when you leave the house, especially in the Winter months.
  3. Night number 2 is typically a restless night. Use our previous Top 5 tips to soothe your baby. Just think where they were and they are now. A womb is dark, muffled and warm, they are now in a bright, noise world so it may take them a couple of days/weeks to adjust.
  4. Dry skin. A lot of baby’s skin is dry, more so if your baby was over due. The best thing to do is absolutely nothing. Not even olive oil or baby moisturiser. A baby’s skin has a certain ph, putting cream/oil on it can disrupt this balance.
  5. Give your baby cuddles. This point is my favourite and also quite an important one. You can’t spoil or over cuddle your newborn, no matter what your relatives might say! A baby doesn’t have ‘wants’ only ‘needs’. Even if that need is a cuddle, your baby is wanting to feel secure in this big scary world and wants to give you as their mum the privilege of doing that with a cuddle. Make your baby feel loved with contact, talking to your baby and lots of snuggles. This will help your baby feel secure now and also later on in life. 



The first few days mum…

  1. Accept help and support. The transition to parenthood is not always smooth, so take all the help and support on offer! Stay the extra night in hospital if you feel you need some extra help with feeding or just that extra night to recover. If friends and relatives offer to cook a meal, walk the dog or just to hold the baby while you have a bath – say ‘yes please’.
  2. Utilise a mummy support network. If you have attended antenatal classes (or pregnancy yoga, swimming, Pilates etc), make use of your new friends who are probably going through a very similar experience as you. Create a whatsapp, Facebook, text group and get nattering through those night feeds! Book dates in the diary to get you out of the house for a cuppa or buggy walk.
  3. Learn about what happens after the birth. Most of us are so focused on the birth that we forget to ask what happens post birth. Educate yourself on what happens to your body after giving birth, so there’s no surprises.
  4.  Speak up. Be honest with yourself and your partner! The postnatal period can be a very emotional time and we all manage very differently. If you are feeling low or need some extra help, speak with your partner or a friend and make use of your midwife and health visitor, they are there to help.
  5. Take it easy. Most importantly, try not to put pressure on yourself to achieve anything other than spending time with your baby and looking after yourself. It doesn’t matter if you stay in your PJ’s all day.

Enjoy it!



Milk squirt squirt squirt squirt squirt

NewbornTop 5 Tips


Some of the highs and low of breastfeeding…


  1. Leaky boobs. A friend once said to me that the first time we met I had a big wet patch on my boob. We are still friends to this day so be sure to know that you can still have/make friends even with leaky boobs.


  1. Your neighbours/ plumber/ postman your cousins cousins will know what your nipple looks like. I once answered the door mid feed to a fundraiser, after a chat about Guide Dogs, I went back to the sofa sat down to continue baby’s feed and there was my nipple there. Peaking out over my vest top.


  1. A tip that I have learnt breastfeeding my third is that my eldest 2 children love feeding me chocolate as they think they are providing their baby sister with a chocolate milkshake. All shaken up in Mummy’s boobies.


  1. So you do the last feed of the day and get ready to enjoy your evening run/gym session/ night out with friends (if you’re lucky!) but you go with one boob representing a watermelon, and the other a spaniel’s ear.


  1. Another tip, (especially for the lazy mams like myself) is asking your partner for a cup of tea as the baby’s “feeding.” When really you’re just enjoying a nice cosy cwtch on the sofa and want a cuppa to watch the end of Eastenders with.


  1. You finally feel ready for an evening out. You have been craving a glass of prosecco, a G&T and a glass of red and can’t decide which order to have all 3 in. Until the reality hits that you are breastfeeding and baby would not appreciate a proscco, gin and red wine milkshake.


  1. A good old milk squirt. In babys eye, in your own eye, in your mouth. A friend (who shall not be named) once told me she tried feeding her baby at the doctors surgery in the waiting room. She unclipped her bra, popped out her boob ready to feed and squirted milk all of the man sitting next to her.


  1. Hearing another baby cry equals leaky boob. That’s right, it doesn’t even have to be your own baby and baaaam a wet patch.


  1. Doubt that your baby isn’t getting enough and that doubt happens all the freaking time. Everytime baby cries, even when she has had a good feed. Your head is saying no no she is full, she may have wind, she may just be tired. Your boobs are there screaming, she is still hungry.


  1. And lastly, to end on a high. When your baby wakes up in the morning. All warm and snuggly. And you bring her in your bed for a morning sleepy breastfeed and cuddle. You just can’t beat it.

The Magic of the S

NewbornTop 5 Tips


No we’re not talking about the S that put baby there in the first place, or the old fashioned ‘Shower, Shit, Shave’ moto. If anyone’s not heard of this and thinks its some kind of backward cleansing routine this was the norm back in the day for what to do before going into labour; Have a shower, an enema (something in your back passage to make you poo) and a bikini line shave, preferably not in that order.


We are talking about the magical S’s that comfort babies when all else seems to fail. We’ve been there- considering all sorts of reasons why baby is crying; too hot, too cold, hungry, sore bum, who knows?! Sometimes baby’s just realise they are out of the comforts of their mummy’s tummy and they just don’t like it. It’s what we call the fourth trimester. There is this theory that us baby humans have heads so big that we have to be born before we’re quite ready. Just think most other mammals come out walking… Now imagine pushing out a walking , talking 1 year old… No thanks, I will take the sleepless nights.


Skin to skin- I always try this first. It can also help if baby is so upset that he/she doesn’t want to feed. It regulates their breathing, heart rate and temperature. Just don’t forget to keep the nappy on. The only thing that can be worse with a crying baby, is to be covered in wee and baby poo.. holding a crying baby.


Sssssshhhh- The sssshh sound creates the sound of being back in the room. If baby is crying really loud you need to Ssssh louder than them and then reduce it as they are quiet. We posted last week about an app that does all your Ssshing for you. I used to try hairdryers and also the vacuum cleaner. This was the only type of cleaning I did with a newborn, hoovering my baby to sleep. My bedroom carpet has never been so clean.


Swaddle- If skin to skin isn’t working then go for the swaddle. There are lots of youtube videos on how to swaddle. We can also show you how to swaddle at antenatal class. Thin sheets are always better to swaddle as you don’t want your baby getting too hot. This makes baby feel all cocooned like they did in the womb. Have a look on our Facebook page for more safe swaddling tips.


Suck- Babies find comfort in sucking so either let your baby stay at the breast for comfort or try a dummy if you’ve chosen to use one.


Sway- So this is where you cuddle your baby in your arms and sway, walk, swing, jog lightly on the spot. Create any movement that will make your baby feel like she has the motion of being back in your womb whilst you walk around Mothercare. You know you’ve nailed the sway when its so ingrained into you that you don’t even have to be holding your baby to be swaying. You just stand… talking… swaying.


And now mamas do all at the same time… ! You feel a bit crazy but with these little magic S’s you will have your baby settled, soothed and soundly sleeping in no time. Now spread these tips like wildfire, as you never know who you might save from ‘The Witching Hour’.


For more ways to prepare for life with a newborn come and join us at our antenatal classes.

Top 5 Tips- Hospital bag

PregnancyTop 5 Tips
  1. Start Packing

Start thinking about packing a hospital bag around 32 weeks, aiming to have everything sorted by around 36 weeks, just in case baby puts in an early appearance. Pop the bag (or bags) in your bedroom where it can be easily accessed, then as you think of items, they can be added easily without a last minute rush forgetting things.

  1. Size matters!

Choose a good sized holdall to take into hospital and an extra bag for all of baby’s things (or alternatively, one big bag or suitcase for everything). Don’t forget to have a section for partner’s stuff (or ask them to prepare their own little bag of goodies, e.g. clean underwear and clean t-shirt (labour can get hot and sweaty for partners too), snacks and drinks, toothbrush, pair of flip flops, a magazine/book, phone charger.

  1. What to pack for mum

There’s no strict rules as to what you should or shouldn’t pack. Take whatever you think you will need and most importantly, items make you feel comfortable and at ease. Some ideas include: lip balm or Vaseline, flip flops and/or slippers, a pillow, dressing gown, old nighties/t-shirts, socks, hairbands, music (on phone or CD), isotonic drinks, a big towel, toiletries, hairbrush, comfy bras, big old pants x5, maternity pads (lots), flannel or sponge.

  1. What will baby need?

There’s no need to pack the kitchen sink and the changing station too! Some essentials to pack for baby include: baby grows (long sleeves x5), baby vests (short sleeve x5), cardigan, pack of nappies, a couple of hats, blanket, going home outfit, cotton wool balls or wipes.

Don’t forget to pack a couple of plastic bags for dirty washing.


  1. Lastly . . .

As your due date approaches, ensure you always have your hospital notes to hand, should you need to grab them quickly. Double check the parking facilities at your local hospital and even do a ‘practice run’ with partner. It’s always a good idea to have some change in your bag for parking/vending machines.

Now put your feet up and wait until baby is ready to meet you!

Don’t wash your newborn

NewbornTop 5 Tips


My first tip in bathing your newborn is DONT. Unless you have a worse than usual poonami situation going on then it’s not necessary in the first week. A good old ‘Top ’n’ Tail’ will do. Here’s why…


That icky, cheesey white coating that they are covered with is called ‘vernix’ if I could bottle it up and sell it as a moisturiser I could quit my job as Midwife now. It is a natural moisturiser and forms a barrier on the skin to protect against infection. So as tempting as it is don’t wash it off.


Newborns struggle to regulate their body temperature. Have you ever seen a baby with goose pimples when they are cold? When a baby is cold they use their (brown) fat stores to heat themselves. Some baby’s have less brown fat than others, especially if your baby was born early or was a low birthweight. Exposing a newborn to water will cause heat to evaporate off their body making them cold.


Due to the way babies are still in the fetal position in the early days, it makes it harder to dry a baby properly. This can cause infection in hard to reach places such as their armpits, and their umbilical cord.




After the first week or for those who have their new Shnuggle bath and just can’t wait to use it here are my top tips on bathing a newborn…



Definitely leave bathing for at least 24 hours to give the vernix the chance to be absorbed.


Fill the bath to its max level with cool boiled water. Check temp with your elbow, it shouldn’t feel too hot or too cold.


Preparation is key to success. Get everything ready, cotton wool, towels, clothes and nappy.


Hold off the products for the first few weeks. Yes they smell yummy but anything other than water upsets the pH balance on their skin.


Face first. We are a cotton wool companies dream as we say say one piece per wipe. So wipe the eye from inner eye to outer, then get another piece whether you are doing a different eye or the same. One wool for one wipe. Prevents against infection. Then dry baby’s face.


Put them in the bath for a short amount of time, a couple of minutes is plenty.


Make sure baby is dry paying particular attention to any crevices; under the neck, armpits, groin and the umbilical cord. Bacteria likes wet, dark places.


Get them dressed, swaddle in a towel then if needed, cradle them over the bath supporting their head and neck to wash their hair. This way they are not losing so much heat from both their head and body being exposed at the same time. Towel dry their head/hair, again to avoid losing heat.


Then give your baby a big shnuggle as they probably cried a lot!

Get your partner or hubby to take some snaps as you enjoy the precious first time bath and tag us with #bathtimeshnuggle for your chance to win a Shnuggle bath and more for your baby. For more details on the competition or to see that gallery then click here.


Top 5 Tips- SURVIVAL

Top 5 Tips

Survival Tips for Expectant/New Parents


  1. Fill your freezer

Any time in pregnancy you cook a lasagne, bolognese or coq au vin (if you’re a Nigella in the kitchen) then cook a bit extra for the freezer. You will appreciate it in those early days where cooking may not be on your baby’s agenda.


  1. Changing station in every room

I don’t mean purchase a whopping changing table for every room but if you could stash some nappy’s, wipes, a muslim and some breast pads maybe in a basket or small box for most lived in rooms (such as nursery, your bedroom and the lounge) it saves you leaving the baby unattended whilst ruuning upstairs. Or worse still carrying a baby with poo all up her back upstairs to locate your changing stash, meanwhile baby poo is being squelched into your favourite new top pyjamas.


  1. Practise your ‘Thanks I will take that on board” face

Everyone including your friends, family, postman and Joe Blogg’s Nan will want to give you advice on how you should feed, deliver and name your baby. Yes your mother and grandmother have done it before but that was 20, 40 or 60 years ago. Times have changed, fashions have changed and so have evidence and professional advice. Take what they say, smile, say thanks and then scream into a pillow when you get home.

  • Same goes for a negative birth story.

Everyone is so quick to tell a pregnant lady their traumatic birth experience. Yet what they fail to mention is the absolute love and delight they feel when their baby is put into their arms. Not only that but they have gone on to have a couple of other children since so even though they may be trying to put you off, they would do it all again in a flash.


  1. Adopt the 5 S’s into your life with a newborn

The fourth trimester is a period of 12 weeks where your baby is getting used to life on the outside world. The way to make this easier is to mimic life in the womb, especially when your baby is unsettled.

Swaddle, Sway (or Sling), Suck, Ssssshh, Skin to Skin. These top tips deserve a post on their own so more on this next week.


  1. Don’t be afraid to say no to visitors

Your baby needs you in those early days and needs you well and rested. Don’t be afraid to tell well wishing friends and relatives that you are not having visitors today/this week. It gives you time to establish feeding, for you and your partner to bond with your baby and for your new family to find your feet and adapt to life with your new baby.

  • 1
  • 2


Social Media

The Bump to Baby Chapter

Winner of 🌟The Best Pregnancy Support Service in Gloucestershire 2017🌟, The Bump to Baby Chapter has something for everyone. 🌟For expectant couple wanting to know all you need to know about labour, baby and those early days we have midwife led antenatal courses. 🌟For a second or third time mother wanting to birth without fear after a negative birth experience. There’s hypnobirthing one day classes for the busy Mum. 🌟Free blogs with tips on birth and baby for all 🌟Buggy walks in Cheltenham for new mothers to bring the sisterhood in motherhood. So whatever stage of pregnancy and whatever number baby have a look at the page, website and get involved 🌟
The Bump to Baby Chapter
The Bump to Baby Chapter
Hospital Bag Items.

Here is a few of my faves ....

💡Lip balm- Gas and air can make your lips really dry. So can hospitals with their dry air.
💡 Earplugs/Eye mask- This one is useful if you need to spend any time on the antenatal maternity ward eg. induction of labour. Ear plugs are definitely not for after you’ve had the baby!!
💡Flannel/water spray/mini fan - You can get HOT in labour. Also hospitals 🥵
💡Socks- if you have an epidural or spinal. When it wears off your feet can feel cold!

💡 Always pack an extra bag to keep at home for a relative to bring in if you unexpectedly need to stay in for longer

💡 Dads/Partners- Pack yourself a bag too. Think change of clothes, food, toothbrush, food, drinks, food. Paracetamol is also a good one for you to have, hospitals can’t dish out the drugs to Dads and lack of sleep and hospital air can mean headaches.

What were your most used items in labour/birth? Midwife buddy’s - what’s your tips?? Or any pregnant mothers have any hospital bag Qs...

📷 Little Cheltenham
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs