You’ve spent the last nine months waiting to meet and get to know your baby! You will probably be both excited and exhausted but the first few days are incredibly rewarding and the start of an amazing journey with your child.
Here are some tips on how to get through the first days:
- Spend as much time as you can getting to know your baby. Your baby comes into this world as a little person and needs your love, warmth and full attention. The more time you spend with your baby the more sensitive you are to her signals and needs.
- Skin to skin is not just for mums. The warmth of your body is just as good and these quiet times really help you to bond with your baby.
- Cuddle and settle your baby to sleep. The safest place for your baby to sleep is feet to foot, with her feet at the bottom of the cot or moses basket in your room for the first six months.
- Talk and sing gently to your baby in a sing song voice. She will already recognise your voice from inside the womb and it will comfort and reassure her.
- You could try reading to your baby, telling her stories and nursery rhymes. It’s never too early for a first story and your voice will help to calm her.
- Comfort your baby when she is crying, pick her up gently, hold her close and rock her.
- Give your baby a bath. Make sure you have all the equipment you need ready and waiting and don’t forget to check the temperature of the bath water.
- Register your baby. In Scotland, you must do this in the first 21 days. If you are married you can do this on your own, if you are not married, both you and your partner will need to go along to the Registrar. For same sex partners it’s a little more complicated.
- Go for a walk, use soft baby carriers or slings. You will both enjoy the close contact and this will help you to bond.
- Compliment your partner. She’ll probably be feeling tired, and not particularly glamorous. She’s just done an amazing thing, so tell her! Find out more about your partner's body after the birth, including stitches, soreness, bleeding and sex and contraception.
- Take lots of photos. These few days will pass in a blur and your baby will grow and change so quickly.
- Sleep whenever you can. It is not just your partner’s sleep that will be disrupted when you have a new baby. When your baby sleeps make sure you and your partner get a nap too. It will do wonders!
- Make sure you take the paternity leave you are entitled to.