Top tips for new parents.

Over the years I have noticed in my craniosacral therapy clinic that there are a few 'must have' tips that help new parents. The feedback is always positive. Discover what most new parents do not yet know.

Tip 1 -  Prevent and treat colic, strengthen back, neck and arms and give enough exercise to baby. 

Great preparation for crawling.

Q: How much belly time do you think you should build up to? 

 i) 20 %    ii) 50 %    iii) 70 %

A: Try building up to 70% of the day.  (This causes alarm in most parents soon followed by joy when put into place.)
  • Prop a rolled up towel under their chest, across the width, with their hands infront of the towel. This will make it more comfortable for them.
  • Keep your head very close to theirs in the first half minute of putting them down so they do not feel abandoned. 
  • Place your body lower than they are (they find that most amusing and helps increase duration) 
  • Never introduce this when they are crying. 
  • Pick them up before they complain so they only associate belly time as happy times.
A bonus to belly time is that babies have safely tired themselves out so have improved, longer sleep.  

Tip 2 - Roll your baby to pick them up. 

When a baby is picked up from lying on their back, their head gets thrown back and over time can causes tension or strain. 

  • Take note which side your baby's head is turned to when lying on their back.
  • Place your hand on their belly. Rolling them on the side the head is turned with your other hand on their back.
  • Your baby is now facing down. It encourages you to now move your hand that is on their back underneath through their legs to Tiger in the Tree hold or just place baby on your shoulder facing in. 

Babies love being rolled, a movement they are ready for to help them in a natural birth. It is a good winding technique too - sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out you can roll your baby down and back up your legs whilst supporting their head with your hand.

Tip 3   Sing Lullabys!

Own up if you can't remember any lullabys. It's OK - we are not judging you but to be honest, YOU CAN DO THIS!

A parent's singing voice is the number 1 most soothing sound to a baby in utero. 

Find your favourite tunes and learn them. This is not just for your baby but will give you a defense against post natal depression.

Tip 4 -  Keep baby's feet warm. 

This may seem obvious yet some (often in clinic) parents think it is normal for babies to have cold feet!  Isn't it better to have improved circulation? 
  • Incorporate foot massages and gentle-to-moderately firm holds throughout the day. 
  • Massage front and back, sides of each toe.
  • Check in often throughout the day on the temperature of their feet.
You will need to do it less once the body gets used to having blood flow here. 

Tip 5 -  Hand or Pillow during a feed.

When your baby is feeding make sure you are holding their feet or have a pillow propped against them for their feet to push against. 
This  acts as an exit point for tension and pain in a growing digestive system. 
It is quite satisfying for babies. They are mapping their body shape and helps them be in their body more 
rather than just  be a feeding and sleeping enigma!

Tip 6 - Practise regulating relaxation to teach self soothing.

This slow movement of your breath is very reassuring to your baby.

  • Lie on your back and place your baby on your chest or belly. 
  • Take very calm breaths count slowly 3 for the inhale and 5 for the exhale. 
  • Pause at the end of the exhale before breathing in. 

Please do this often during a feed, when you are resting on your back or whilst carry your baby - it regulates both your nervous systems and teaches baby how to relax. 

Most these tips are from Francoise Freedman, the founder of Birthlight.

Visit Birthlight to find a baby yoga class near you.