You’ve read the books and asked the doctors but there’s still a lot of questions buzzing around when you’re a new parent. There are so many things you wish you knew but are afraid to ask in case you look dumb. We found the answers to some common questions for you.
What should my baby’s poo look like?
There’s nothing glamorous about changing a diaper and if you’re new to the task you may wonder what is normal. You might be surprised to know that baby poo is typically on the loose and runny side. It’s also normal for it to be discoloured (from brown to yellow, green and orange). The good news is runny poos are nothing to worry about, the downside is this task will mostly be messy. Make your life 10x easier with a tiered changing table so all your nappies, wipes and nose pins can be kept close at hand. If there is blood in the poo, it is chalky white or dark black then you should consult a doctor.
Is it safe to wake a sleeping baby?
It’s an age old wisdom that perhaps would be better kept in the old ages. Babies can spend a great deal of their day sleeping (especially when they have comfortable nursery furniture) but there’s nothing wrong with waking them occasionally for good reason. Newborn babies need to be fed multiple times a day due to their small stomachs, around every 3 hours is recommended. If they are sleepy again after feeding by all means let them doze off. It’s also good for newborns to experience as much daylight as possible so they understand the difference between daylight (waking hours) and night (sleeping hours).
Should babies be covered up all year round as protection against the sun?
Natasha Jacquot founded Musluv in response to this very question. Here’s her answer:
“The SunSmart and Cancer Council guidelines say that babies should be protected against the sun once the UV level is 3 or above. They should also be shielded from the sun when the UV level is lower, if they are spending longer amounts of time outdoors.
The problem is that for the majority of Australia, the average UV level is often 3 or more even in winter. There is also not much guidance on what are “longer” amounts of time outdoors during low UV times, but they are only talking about a matter of minutes, not hours.
As the primary form of guarding against the sun is barrier protection (such as clothing and hats), the best advice for Australian parents is to mostly keep a baby’s skin covered up throughout the year, and to take long-legged pants and long-sleeved tops with them on all their trips out.”
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What if my friends don't want to spend as much time with me after I have the baby?
Wondering how your life will be different after you become a parent is a valid concern. Letisha McCaughey from Modern Living Mums says you should embrace the change.
“Having a new baby doesn't mean the end of your social life. In fact, it can create a whole new circle of friendships for you and your new child.
At times, we can grow apart from people as our circumstances, values and responsibilities change. You may also find that you want to expand your current circle of friends and look for new friends with children so you can share parenting experiences and learn from them.
If you have a friend who seems distant after you have your baby, try catching up with them without your baby with you for a coffee, lunch or something fun that the two of you enjoy doing. It'll be a good opportunity for you to get some time for yourself and keep that part of your friendship alive after you become a parent.”
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Author and founder of Help For Mums, Lizzie O’Halloran, clears up questions she gets asked all the time.
How do I stop feeling like I’m doing everything wrong?
One of the easiest ways to build self-confidence as a new mother is to focus on the outcome. New parents often become very stressed about trying to ‘get it right’, but become very confused with all the contradicting information available on ‘correct parenting’. At the end of the day every parenting expert is trying to achieve the same outcome – a healthy, happy, safe and secure children. So, as long as you can see your child is healthy, happy, safe and secure, you can trust you’re doing really well.
How do I decide if I should sleep with my baby or have my baby sleep in a separate room?
This is a personal choice. The question is not really about where your baby should sleep, but rather ensuring you are following SIDS guidelines regardless of where your baby is sleeping. The decision about where your baby sleep should be based on what works best for you and your family, as long as your child is always safe. SIDS provides excellent guidelines for both co-sleeping and sleeping in a cot, so these guidelines cannot be compromised on.
There’s no such thing as a dumb question so ask away! You never know, someone else might be wishing they had the answer too.