Cot or Bassinet?

Cot or Bassinet?

There is an ongoing argument that usually happens in your head as to what sleep actually looks like when you have a new born. You know that sleep is important to you and that you are going to want to get a lot of it but you’re told that it’s near impossible to get sleep when you have a newborn baby. Well, I’m hear to tell you that some of this it true but not all of it. You will need to adjust to a little less sleep but there are ways of getting around the sleep deprivation thing that occurs after baby arrives. I can tell you more about that later and I often post things on my social media accounts to help educate parents about sleep and how to get more so you can check those out if you wish…Today I want to have the conversation about purchasing a cot, bassinet or the type of bassinet that goes with a pram. 

You’re making a big decision when purchasing this item, but you won’t really know that or understand it until you weigh up the pros and cons to each of these and some of you won’t understand this until you put it into practice. 

It’s not exactly a life changing decision, but it may be an important one given you’re just about to have your first baby and you look at the big picture. 

Let me explain….

There are many ways of parenting and many ways to get sleep. There is no right or wrong…there is just sleep, however this looks very different for each person and what they are use to. 

There are parents that co-sleep but I defiantly wasn’t one of those. I know that once you start co sleeping you will probably have a hard time getting the child out of your bed. I have done a lot of sleep training over the years and I don’t find it fun. I also know me, and I love my sleep and space, so I wasn’t really looking to co-sleep with my baby in the first place although I admire those that can. My major concern was that I would somehow smother my baby and not wake. That thought scared me more than the idea of co-sleeping.

I personally loved the idea of having a bassinet beside me. 

It made me feel secure and I could check on my baby, quickly and efficiently, when I woke or when he woke in the middle of the night. Thus meaning we could both get back to sleep quicker and there was less fussing.

If it helps you to understand my reasoning for a bassinet by the side of the bed, it is actually a security thing for both you and baby in the first few months as you both adjust to your new life. Yours - without baby inside you and the lack of sleep thing, and theirs, just being alive and outside of you. They know your smell and are sensitive to it so they are more secure and settled while they are beside you. 

I know that everyone is different (like I said) and it certainly isn’t my intention for you to do what I have done. I feel that by explaining all of this, it may help you figure out what might suit you, your partner and baby. 

I will continue… So I had all the good intentions of having my baby next to me for a few months before moving him into his room, be it in cot or bassinet. I soon found out that once we had both adjusted to our new lives, I was unfortunately waking to every noise that he made and I wasn't getting the sleep that I needed to heal and simply be the best parent I could be. He was perfect and was now a great sleeper. It was Week 6 that he graduated to sleeping in his own room, still in the bassinet because it was familiar to him and he was settled and secure within that now (I didn’t want to change that)  but he didn’t necessarily need to smell me or have my scent at this point to feel secure.

Now this info may or may not help you. You know yourself well and probably have a good idea of what you would like to do, what your nursery looks like and you probably have a vision of what will happen in your household. This is great - roll with that and I will give you more info about the equipment so you can make an educated decision about what to purchase.

I personally put a lot of importance on products that are designed for safety. The three main things that I put a lot of thought into before purchase are a Car Seat, Stroller and  a Cot. ‘Why?’ you may ask. It is because these three products, for the first two to three years (even longer if you have a second child), are used nearly every single day and for long periods of time. They have to be sturdy, solid and sound, usually making them a little more expensive. It is my opinion that if you put a little more into it, you will get more out of it. I’m not suggesting that you buy the most expensive item you can find, but I personally prefer to spend a little more and have a product last for years than purchase something cheaper and have it not live up to my expectations, which are high, I admit. Very few times have I purchased something that wasn’t ‘worth the money.’

The Cot:

This is fairly simple. They all do the same thing to some degree, Sleep your child in it from birth. You will probably use it until they are two or two and a half years of age and you may even have another baby, potentially use the same cot, so quality may be a little more important if this is the situation for you.

If you are deciding on this option then you may need to look into purchasing a ‘bubsnest’ (google search) or something similar. This is a small insert (that is portable - great for travel and going to visit friends and family) and provides the security of a smaller place for your baby to sleep. Your newborn will like the idea of smaller surroundings as they adjust to life on the outside, otherwise your baby may seem a little unsettled for the first few nights or weeks until they get used to larger spaces. This is why some choose to use a bassinet for the first few months or until they are approximately 6 months of age. Either way, your baby will get use to what you put in place.

The only real process of elimination that you can make before you go shopping is, would you like the cot to turn into a bassinet (very few on the market do this but you could try Stokke), a toddler bed, potentially extending its use until the age of five years or in some cases turn into a double bed allowing it to last much longer. All you will need to purchase later is a double bed mattress if this is the case. 

The Bassinet:

This is the most debated piece of furniture you will think about buying, well this and a baby swing… 

The bassinet will be used for approximately 6 months. So it is a piece of furniture that is never going to be used for long.

The pros to it…

It is portable and so it can be moved around the house. This makes it user friendly and great for keeping baby close by. This is important for a few reasons and I try to focus on the first two because the third is out of my control to some degree:

By moving the bassinet around the house you can teach your baby the difference between day and night. The light source is an important factor when aiding sleep. They will learn that it is bright throughout the day and everything is dark (and quiet) in the evening and throughout the night. You can teach this to your baby, in their room if they have a cot, however there is one more added bonus to the bassinet in this case. Your baby will hear noises of every day happenings. If they get use to noise while they sleep, you will find it easier to go out and about and put baby to sleep wherever you are. They won’t need complete silence to get to sleep. This will help you as they get older too.

By having your baby close to you during the day, you can help them or teach them to sleep for longer periods. Their sleep pattens change at certain times during their first few months of life and usually not before three weeks, but early on. A baby usually begins to wake after 20 to 30 minutes and we need to teach them to go into a second sleep cycle so they learn to sleep….

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), something that I don’t like talking about but needs to be mentioned. We are still doing researching and don’t really know a whole lot about it or why it occurs. The Red Nose Foundation helps fund this research. What we do know is that it effects babies and can effect toddlers too. I’m not an expert on this topic. I know that a baby doesn’t breath while inside you, only when they come into the world and take their first breath. I am lead to believe that the brain has an auto respond unit (if I can call it that) and the brain is what makes this breathing occur. Like sleep apnea occurs is some adults while they sleep, the brain switches breathing back on like a switch, to make an adult breath again, pretty cool right. Unfortunately it seems that this auto response takes time to develop in some babies/toddlers and this may be the reason for SIDS. There is still so much research to figure all of this out and like I said , I am not an expert in this. There are tips given for parents to follow on their website. These will hopefully prevent SIDS from happening and I always believe is important, actually critical, to follow these instructions. They are there for a reason. I know that it isn’t exactly fool proof but I guess by having baby close we can help them in some circumstances but at night time, if it helps you, I just had to trust that everything was going to be ok. I was doing everything I could to prevent it and that was all I could do.

Now, moving on…You will find a lot of Bassinet options on the market and some even come as an added piece to a cot, transforming it into a smaller cot and making it more portable (Stokke). These are quite good as an added bonus to the cot concept. Another type of bassinet is the type that can become a side sleeper to your bed. The side will often come down making the co-sleeping idea possible, with little risk, yet again allowing easy night settling, yet still allowing it to be portable throughout the day.

The Pram:

And finally too add a bassinet or not? 

Well, here is the thing… I find them to be a great idea, for many reasons. They can be used as a bed for the first four or five months after birth depending on how big your baby is, how long the bassinet is and when your baby starts to roll over (as soon as this happens - stop using this type of bassinet at night or when baby isn’t being supervised, it gets too dangerous). You can have it next to your bed or in your bedroom. You can use it as a bassinet in the nursery (some come with an accessory that allows the bassinet to have its own stand so that you don't have to use the wheels of the pram inside - Bugaboo is one of these brands). You can even put the top of the pram in the cot to help the baby adjust to larger spaces when he or she is almost ready to go into the crib. You can use it in and around the house as a daybed, and you don’t have to purchase a bassinet or cot before baby is born if you don’t want to. The added bonus is that it is part of your stroller, and your baby will already be used to sleeping in this type of bassinet, making it a little easier to settle baby to sleep.

If this sounds good to you, then look into prams that have a decent sized bassinet. To date Bugaboo (Cameleon, Fox - have the bigger bassinets and Donkey, Buffalo - narrower but the same length), Stokke and Joolz prams have the longest bassinets on the market, in Australia, and all have a breathable base meaning air can circulate, (Air circulation is an important factor to look at when purchasing any bassinet) making it safer for baby to sleep in for longer periods. I will only recommend these brands because of this safety feature. As I said, safety is important to me, especially when you’re putting you baby into it. I probably need to mention at some point that I don’t receive any royalties for recommending brands in my blogs but I recommend them because I trust them and have used all of them throughout my years of looking after newborns and their families.

If this type of bassinet isn’t important to you, then it is nice to have but isn’t necessary. If you just want a pram or stroller to get you from point A to point B, all you need to do is the process of elimination. I will write another blog addressing some of the pro and cons to prams/strollers too…

So know that I have written another long, lengthy, somewhat drawn out but hopefully educational blog you might be able to make the decision as to buy a bassinet, cot, pram bassinet or all three. 

Happy shopping xx

Common Mistakes New Parents Make

When it comes to parenting nobody has the answers. It’s a little trial and error – like folding a paper aeroplane and seeing if it soars through the sky or crash lands.

In my experience, what works for some parents doesn’t work for others. I have more than 27 years’ experience with babies, toddlers, children and newborns. I have travelled the world to nanny, work in child care centres, night nurse and work as a maternity nurse (mothercraft nurse) both in homes and hospitals. I have helped hundreds of families and spent many nights pacing with a baby in my arms.  

This has given me a unique insight into different parents with different parenting styles – but if there are mistakes to be made as a new parent, these would be my top three.  

Mistake 1: Buying too many baby items  

I have had a lot of clients who have prepared as much as they can before birth. They have the nursery decked out with everything they think they need even if they aren’t really sure – they have ‘one’ of everything, just in case. This is the first mistake but it isn’t easy when you don't know what to expect after the baby is born. It is my opinion that you only need the basics and you can get the rest as you go. It is quite simple to cater for a new born and you don’t need to spend the earth to do it. A new parent needs to think about their lifestyle, do some online research, eliminate and choose products to look at when they do go shopping, and try not to overwhelm themselves with every product on the market.  

Mistake 2: Thinking motherhood is instinctual  

New mothers have just been through one of the scariest, uncertain, emotional rollercoasters as you enter parenthood – the birth.  You are trying to bond with a little human that you are to love, support and protect and you have no idea how to do that. You have to feed this little being and make sure he/she is nourished and healthy. You are learning to breast feed, change nappies and dress a baby who doesn’t really help in any way and you feel like you are going to break him/her. You feel like you are ill equipped for this job. You have to learn how to bath this small helpless person without drowning him/her and you are so scared because you doubt yourself and your abilities. You are learning but you think that it is maternal and instinctual and therefore you should know what to do already!  Don't doubt yourself and remember that every parent is learning as they go. Like I said before it is a matter of trial and error a lot of the time.  

Mistake 3: Listening to too many opinions  

When baby comes, it is time for the visitors and the onslaught of opinions. This is a difficult situation to navigate when every new parent is at their most vulnerable.  A new parent is bamboozled with information and ideas, opinions and the good old “Well, what we did was…”. It is too much for a new parent but they listen and then try everything that they have been told. There is some good advice and some bad, but a new parent shouldn't have to sort out the bad from the good as they adapt to life as a new parent. All it does is help create anxious parents and in turn an anxious baby.  

There is a continuous pattern that then feeds on from this scenario that has just been painted for you and it usually ends in tears for a new mother. She is unsure of herself. Her world as she knew it has changed and she is doubtful. The father is so uncertain. He can’t find the answers to help the situation so he feels helpless. The baby is usually a little unsettled but knows it is loved and cared for because that is all the parents are doing 24/7 and they are exhausted.  

While I know that every child is different and there are so many different types of parenting styles, these three ‘mistakes’ are those most new parents make.  

I wish more new parents would take a step back and give themselves a pat on the back for managing to get through this difficult time and remember that every parent has once been in their shoes. I hope that they see the bigger picture and realise that this too will pass but also to reach out and ask for help if they are struggling with any of the ‘parenting stuff’. It is okay to ask of help and is better than exhausting yourself!  

If you would like to reach out and ask for some help - we are if you need.  xx

What Are You Going To Need For Your New Born?

With so many baby products on the market it can be completely overwhelming to know what to buy as a first time parent. By the second time around you know what works and what doesn’t because you have tried every product on the market that exists. It can be a very frustrating and costly experience doing it first time around. So here are my tips as to what to buy.

I hope it helps in some way.

First things first - you’re going to need a car seat if you have a car.

I personal love the capsules that are for newborn to around 6 months depending on the size of your baby. These are great for taking in and out of the car when your baby is sleeping (although not for extended periods of time) and wonderful if it is raining and you want to move quickly. They are really simple to use and another bonus is that they attach to most strollers so that you don’t have to carry it everywhere - you simply click and go. However they are not essential if your on a tight budget. The more popular and cost effective is the carseat that is aged from newborn to four years of age and is both rear and forward facing. This is fitted into your car and stays there.

I recommend spending some money (it’s not expensive) on getting your car seat correctly fitted by an expert. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen car seats fitted incorrectly which jeopardises your baby's life if involved in a car accident. Make sure that the straps are not twisted, are over the shoulders and secure. When your baby is older and becomes a little escape artist you can purchase a product from most baby car seat retail shops that will wrap around the seat belts and stop your little Houdini from getting out of the seat belts. Some clever marketing person came out with this product and called it Houdini.

You will need a pram next or a stroller. There is a slight difference in the two. One is like a bassinet on wheels and the other is a chair on wheels. Buying a pram/stroller is a very personal choice as there are quite a few factors to look at. What car do you own and what fits in the boot? What sort of lifestyle do you have - Active, relaxed or maybe travelling? What is the purpose of the pram? How much time do you think you will spend using it over the next three to five years? How many children do you want to have? Do you need or want to replace it if you have a second or third child? This is just a small list of things that you should think about before you buy. Prams and strollers can cost a lot or a little depending on what you are looking for. Do your research and test drive them over and over again at the baby shop. Don’t be surprised if you buy one and you want to sell it four to six months after you bought it because it wasn’t what you expected. This happens more than you realise but by thinking ahead you may just find that you don’t have to do this. If you are interested in refining this selection further, go to our Facebook page or email us and we can help.

When buying a pram/stroller, think about your budget. If you have a small budget and can’t afford to buy all that you want or the item that you want because they are too expensive try to come up with a solution that works for you and solves that problem. You see if you are buying a car seat , pram, cot, change table and nursery furniture you will find it overwhelming but the truth is that not all of these products are necessary to purchase before your baby arrives. As I mentioned you only need a car-seat if you have a car. If you walk everywhere then you will need to make your major purchase your pram - your baby will be more comfortable and they will be spending a lot of time in it.

I recommend that a stroller with a bassinet attachment is great option for those on a budget. You won’t need to buy a cot for about four months after your baby is born (depending on how tall or small your baby is) and this will give you extra time to save if need be. If this is the case find one that has a long base that provides enough room for your baby to grow. Make sure that it has ventilation in the bottom of the bassinet. These can be a little more expensive but worth it if your baby is sleeping solely in this for approximately four months.

If budget isn’t a problem then find one that suits you and your partner and don’t forget the less expensive options don't allow for height adjustments. This can be a factor depending on your height.

Here are a few of my favourites if budget isn’t a factor - these are my unendorsed preferences:

Bugaboo
Stokke
Joolz

Don’t forget that you can gain these second hand and in reasonable condition.

I believe the cot is the easiest decision to make. Choose a colour, style and fit, that works for you. Just keep in mind how long you want it to last. How many children do you want? Will you replace this one or use it again? Do you want a toddler bed incorporated into it? The answer to these questions may eliminate some cots for you but even the less expensive options will get you through until your baby is about two years of age no matter what you choose.

The nursery furniture can be another expensive purchase but I have good news - go to the baby expos. They have a great range of products at great prices. For those on a  budget, you may just grab yourself a 'catch of the day' if you get in early and preferably on the first day of the expo. You usually find that the exhibitors are usually willing to sell the furniture that they use throughout the course of the expo to you - the bargains are worth it. Go in at opening on the first day, find what you want, ask the question and see if they will do a cheaper price if you pick it up after the expo is finished. Quite often this is doing them a favour too. You will find all of the things you need at these expos - just do your research before you go and know what you want to purchase. Finally if you do purchase a product stick to your word. Don’t spoil it for others in the future.

You don’t need a lot of nursery furniture as you can change a diaper any where. On a bed, on a rug, on a couch, in the boot of a car… these are all places that you get good at changing your babies bottom when the problem arises (maybe not in the first few weeks but as you become a pro at nappy changes you will use just about any surface). I always like the idea of a mat and a basket. The basket has everything that you need for a change in it and sometimes can even hold the change mat, making it conveient for you. It should contain wipes, nappy sacs (garbage bags for nappies) and of course diapers and cream/lotion if need be. It isn’t  fancy but serves its purpose.

The change bench is great for the same reason obviously and it is often more convenient when you have 'baby brain' and can’t remember where you last stored the nappy change basket or even where you changed your baby last. It is also great if you have the option of clothes and/or storage underneath as well. Some of these pieces of furniture cost a little more but again solve the problem of where to store clothes or nappies and some turn into desks making it a long term investment for your child’s bedroom.

When buying clothes, keep it simple for a baby. Comfort and convenience of diaper changes are the key to clothes for a newborn. My recommendation is white in colouring - you can’t see the vomit as much and you can soak them to get the stains out. Sunshine will help with the stains but you can't bleach coloured clothes. 

Bottles and a Breast Pump are essential items but if your not sure if you want to breast feed then hire a pump to begin with from your local chemist or hospital. I will go into this in a future post as it is an interesting topic.

You will need a few muslin wraps but don’t go overboard as you will probably get these as presents. In fact if you make a list of what you need for your baby, your friends and family may just want to help you get these items. My suggestion is that you research what you would like and have a list with  expensive and less expensive items that cater for everybody.

Here are some suggestions for your list:

Baby bath (you don’t need one unless you only have a shower in your house/apartment)
Organic Shampoo and Conditioner (I recommend getting a product that is gentle on baby skin) but these are not necessary for your newborn at all – just great gift ideas.
Towels
Face cloths/washers
Make up removal pads/cotton balls/cotton buds (all used for bath time with a new born)
Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner (the Conditioner is great for infants with cradle cap – a problem that some newborn babies have)
Newborn Disposable Diapers or Cloth Nappies  
Baby wipes
Diaper bin and garbage bags/bin liners for the bin (the purpose made diaper pails are wonderful for the bedroom because they keep the smells at bay and these usually have capsules or bin liners that are made for them). Note: You will only need this if you use disposable nappies.
Nappy pail or Nappy bucket for soaking
Sheets for a cot (x2 at least)
Sheets for a bassinet (if you are getting one or if you are using the pram bassinet)
Blankets (you will need a few - shop around and don’t forget to remember places to get them as your friends and relatives will want to get you things that you will use)
Muslin wraps
Burp cloths
Sophie le’ Giraffe (the baby shop assistants will know this product well! They are one of the best teething toys on the market and more babies love them than not. Be warned they are expensive, so take a breath before looking at the price for what they are. I wish I had of thought of the idea). If you get one make sure you buy the toy cord that goes with them so you don’t lose her in your travels.
Bibs
Spoons/Feeding equipment/Cups
Baby toys and Rattles and
Books

Finally the last few things you will need are:
Diaper Bag (this item is always something that I like to choose myself as it is quite personal, but others don’t really care as long as it does the job. If this is you, then add it to the list of things your favourite people can get for you and baby)
Bottles (once you have decided on the brand you want to use you can always add them to your list) but before you decide on these read my bottle blog first – it may help a little
Steriliser for when you begin feeding with the bottle (These are also great to purchase at the baby expos, but again try to decide on a type of bottle first)
Pacifiers (again choose a brand of shape and go from there) – I find Nuk the best on the market for these. Why? Because the shape assists the baby and stays in his/her mouth much better than any other brand I have used over the past 20 years.

There are bound to be more things on the list that you can add but as you can see setting up to have a newborn baby come home can be expensive. Try not to be overwhelmed. Take your time. If you can, spread your purchases out over the nine months of pregnancy so that it doesn’t feel like you are spending the earth (all at once) and don’t forget to search for a better price. Do your research and have fun preparing for your next adventure.

A New Mother's Journey

Life as a mum begins on the day you find out you’re pregnant. You have a sense of ‘what do I need to do to keep this baby alive and well?’, ‘What do I need to do to bring this baby safely into this world?’

As a mum you will watch and feel your body change so much over the 9 months that you will hardly recognise your prior body.

I personally loved being pregnant but I know that it isn’t a pleasant experience for everyone.

Morning sickness can really change a woman’s opinion of pregnancy.  There are so many things that aren’t so pretty about being pregnant. When keeping a meal down is the best part of your day who wouldn’t change their perception, but with so much change comes an amazing and rewarding journey.

I love to think about how much the baby grows each and every day. What cells they are developing along the way? What parts of them are developing today?

I’ve always loved the body and what it is capable of. I think back to the days when my calf muscles and ankles became more like a continuation of my thighs. I remember telling myself that it will be over soon and I won’t have this sensation again for quite some time. I found an appreciation for my ‘kankels’ and my veins that were semi exploding from my legs. I accepted the pure feeling of exhaustion from carrying an extra 25kg around (yes, I put on a bit of weight). My body felt more like a warehouse than a temple. I loved that I felt nauseous at the smell of some foods being cooked as I walked past restaurants because I knew that it was all coming to an end soon.

Remember that with the bad comes the good. The butterfly feeling of the kicks that you feel in your tummy and the swirling sensation of the alien-like figure that loves to move inside, or the hiccups that you can surprisingly distinguish. The feeling of 'being over this' stops when you hold your baby  for the first time. When he or she has the hiccups all you can remember is that you could once feel them do that inside you.

Enjoy it all. Enjoy the ride. The good with the bad. It really is an incredible journey.

To All New and First Time Parents

This is the beginning of a journey.
I am writing a blog to hopefully help anyone who is a first time parent, a new parent or a parent who just needs a positive read in their new life – I am guessing if you are reading this then you are either a new parent or are just about to become one.

Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Samantha Anderson and I am a qualified Mother Craft Nurse. I have been caring for infants/babies and young children for over 26 years however I specialise in the care of infants 0-16 weeks. I am also a mother of a little boy, six, who doesn’t stop. I am yet to find where his battery pack is! I love being a mum and believe that every day with him in my life is a gift. I’m a very lucky woman.

I provide support, guidance and education to parents of newborns (0-16 weeks). I began this journey because I was constantly having to ‘fix’ sleep habits for babies 10 to 15 months of age or older depending on how long their mums and dads could survive without sleep. The experience is extremely exhausting and stressful for everyone involved so I decided to change that before the family unit fell apart. By assisting parents and educating them about their new born I help with the transition into parenthood - it isn't easy but we can make it easier for you.

I have decided to write this blog so parents have a ‘go to’ point, that will help answer questions and have some handy tips along the way. I hope you like it. Please feel free to give feed back, ask any questions you like or ask for advice on a certain topic. I’m all up for helping, learning, improving and listening.

If you would like to connect with me please do so on the Babylogic Facebook page… here is the link

https://www.facebook.com/babylogic.co
Enjoy xx