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Top 10 tips when bringing your new baby home: 'Ask for help'

By Beth Barclay |

When we become parents, many of us bring a long history of beliefs, traditions and fond (or not so fond) memories of how we were parented to the role. ?

Some of these aren't obvious until we're faced with a situation where previously held views regarding child-raising are challenged.?And the new role of parenting is a huge adjustment for the whole family.?

Here are my top 10 tips to help prepare you for bringing your new baby home to help make the process as smooth as possible for everyone C including the reason you should dress your child in white as much as possible.

Help is the key

The best postpartum tip for new parents is to ask for help, hire help (if needed) and accept the help. You will not regret it.

READ MORE: The importance of normalising sleep expectations

Share the work load with your partner if you can. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Safe sleeping

Always be guided by the safe sleep guidelines as advised by rednose.com.au to ensure optimal risk reduction for your baby's safe sleep space.?

Time parental leave carefully

If your partner has limited maternity or paternity leave, then arrange for them to start their leave from the time you arrive home so you have maximum support time as a team.

Every day counts! ?

Also, before you go on leave, talk to your manager about what flexible working arrangements you might like. And think about your childcare arrangements as early as possible - waiting lists for childcare centres can be long.

Work as a team

Have you both previously discussed what your expectations are of each other regarding caring for your baby and settling methods?

Teamwork works best and being respectful of each other's input and parenting style will allow you to best support each other through the normal challenging periods of sleep deprivation.

It's really hard to find meaningful ways to support each other when you're both stressed and sleep-deprived.

Give each other a break

Take turns when the going gets tough!

Get outdoors

Try to get out of the house and go for a walk, either with your partner or baby, or leave your baby in the care of a trusted caregiver and go for a walk yourself for some "me" time and fresh air.

It's amazing how this daily activity can give you context and balance.?

Getting outdoors can help everybody's mood. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Outsource if you can

If there are offers of practical help pre and postpartum, then accept them!

Pre-prepared meals for the freezer and nutrient-dense snacks in the fridge are always welcome. You could put a list of the foods you and your partner like up on the fridge for helpful visitors to see.

Organise online shopping deliveries for bulky items like disposable nappies, wipes and tissues.?

A list of everyday tasks that visiting family and friends could do for you would be an amazing help.?

Budget carefully

Your budget will be stretched in preparation for your newborn.

So much to choose from, particularly if you're an avid online shopper because your mobility slows as you near the birth of your baby.

I would suggest you keep it simple, 100 per cent cotton clothes for layering and less likely to create any skin irritations, lots of white to reduce the wash loads and let's face it, they will grow out of everything so quickly.

Even give a shout-out to your mum friends, as many would be delighted to gift you preloved gear from their kids.

Mothercraft nurse Beth Barclay shares her expert advice for new mums
Mothercraft nurse Beth Barclay shares her expert advice for new mums (Supplied)

Check safety standards

Check for adherence with the Australian safety standards website (ACCC) when choosing the big ticket items such as prams, baby carriers and bassinets or cots.

Don't forget self-care

Self-care is so important.

You will need to drink plenty of water regularly when breastfeeding. Keep visual prompts of water bottles or jugs around the house to remind you in your haze of sleep deprivation.

Quick healthy snacks, high in fibre/protein and low GI carbs that you, or your partner, can easily prepare so you can stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels and avoid sugar spikes.

The advice in this article is general in nature. Please always consult a medical professional to obtain advice that is tailored to yours or child's specific condition.

Beth Barclay is a highly trained and experienced Registered Mothercraft Nurse. She started her career 35 years ago, and in 2010 launched her own Sydney-based business Mothercraft For Babies. A network of health professionals, including paediatricians, obstetricians, GP's and maternal health specialists refer families to her for assessment, support and advice.

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