For me it was such an awesome experience to have a husband that supported me all through my pregnancies. From the day we found out I was pregnant, and today he is the best dad my kids could ever have asked for. I think it is so important to have that support system . We both have full-time jobs. I am a foundation phase teacher and he is a photographer. A normal day will start at 5am and ends at 7pm when my eldest goes to bed. Only then we have husband/wife time. Before Emily-Thea (aged 39 months) was born we sat down a few times to discuss how we were going to set a routine for both us and Emily-Thea. And we did exactly the same before Riné was born. My husband will definitely label me as a routine freak…
No matter where we go we will try our best to try and stick to our routine. From day 1 back at home after the birth of both our daughters they slept in their own bed (cot) and in their own room. During the day they either slept in their cot or in their pram and we made sure that the blinds and curtains were open and at 5pm we would darken the room. Babies don’t know the difference between day and night. You have to teach that to them. Feeding was done strictly every 3-4 hours during the day. Both Emily-Thea and Riné had low sugar levels so I woke them up for the first 2 weeks for night feeds. After the first 2 weeks, we didn’t wake them and left them to wake on their own. I had a very low milk supply so had to give top-up feeds for both of them. My husband got up with me, made me some nice Rooibos tea and made the top-up bottle. He was so much better than me when it came to burping the baby… so he crowned himself as the wind/burp king! Emily-Thea had a few cramps during the first few weeks, which is totally normal for any newborn baby. I am a believer of Probiotic Infant Drops in the morning, Bennets Colic Mixture before bath time and Infant Rescue Drops just before bed time. You can add the drops to the bottle or dilute it in a teaspoon of breast milk. Bath time starts at 5pm. I also used magnesium bath salts with Emily-Thea. Dewald is in charge of bath time. So he will bath Riné and then pass her on to me. I love to massage Riné and did the same with Emily-Thea. It calms them down and helps them to have a good night’s sleep. After that it is Emily-Thea’s turn for bath time. This is the time when they bond. While playing with her toys, the two of them have long conversations on what she did at school, whom she played with, what she ate etc. Bath time must be a joyful event. As a mom it fills my heart with so much joy to hear the conversations going on between the two of them.
Some babies like to be swaddled and others do not like it at all. We swaddled both Emily-Thea and Riné up to 3-4 weeks. Babies are used to being all cuddled up inside of you, cozy and warm. Suddenly they are introduced to a whole new world with a lot of different sounds and movement. We decided not to rock our babies to sleep or to swing them from side to side to make them sleepy. After a feed we would burp them, make sure they are calm and then put them to bed. Soft background music also has a calming effect (praise baby, lullaby or white noise). Riné is not too fond of her dummy… but a few drops of glycerin never killed anyone. If she keeps on moaning or still cries after a few minutes only then we will pick her up to check for a wind and if her nappy is clean. You know your child’s cry. So you will know if he/she is hungry, wet, have a wind/cramp or just struggles to settle down. If your baby struggles to settle down , put your hand on your baby’s tummy and make a calming shoo-shoo sound until he/she calms down. You can also gently rub on your baby’s fore head with your index finger just above the eyebrows from side to side and downwards on the nose, all the way up (in a t-formation). The most important thing that we have learned, especially with babies, is to keep calm. It is best for your baby to self-soothe from an early stage. You can’t expect your baby to be calm and you are all stressed up. Remember that all over the world there are moms going through exactly the same as you are. I often tell myself to stay humble and thank God for healthy children. Why get all worked up over a cramp/wind or a stuffy nose? This too shall pass. Some may think we are selfish for not allowing our children to stay up late. To go to bed 10-20 minutes later than usual is not the end of the world and we sometimes allow that over weekends. The same rules apply when we visit friends. Bath- and bedtime stays the same. That way we can enjoy ourselves. To have a healthy relationship with your partner is also important. My husband and I love spending time together and we have a date day every week. Even if we go for a cup of coffee, spending time together is what matters the most. Life is short and time is so precious. Try to make the most of every second that you can spend with your family.
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, You have to be in their lives today!”