Nanny For A Newborn – Tips For Supporting A New Mum
Motherhood can be simultaneously the most incredible and most overwhelming experience a mother can have. It’s extraordinary to see a new little life changing day by day, but this time is also greatly challenging. As a Nanny in a household with a newborn, you have the capacity to make a huge difference to the experience of the new mother. So let us begin with some tips on how to bring your best to this valuable and rewarding role.
A new mother can find that where her body was her own before the arrival of her baby, she doesn’t have the autonomy she’s used to any more. Simple things like going to the toilet or taking a shower and getting dressed can become quite a challenge. Make sure your client knows that you are there to look after the little one so that she can meet her own needs. Encourage her to go and take some time for herself. After sleep deprived nights, a good shower and a change of clothes can recharge the batteries of a tired parent!
You might find that the baby does not settle without constant movement. Having spent nine months inside the body of someone who was walking and moving around it’s not surprising for a baby to find movement comforting. This can be a strain for a new mother, so try gently rocking the baby, walking with the baby in a sling or going for a wander with a baby stroller to give your client some time to breathe.
Catch Up On Sleep
A newborn baby will likely feed every two to three hours. The time a baby takes between feeds and how long it takes the baby to feed can vary. This period can be very punishing for a young mother when getting a full night of sleep is not an option. If your client is breastfeeding the baby, you can help by taking care of the baby between feeds to facilitate power naps. If your client has chosen to use formula or use a breast pump, you can take charge of feeding the baby to allow a tired mother to let a little more shut-eye. Either way, try to keep an eye on your client’s sleep patterns. She may find she becomes too tired to recognise her own need for a nap. You can help her by reminding her that you are here to support her and it’s OK for her to rest!
Keep Things Tidy
With their tiny digestive systems, a newborn baby is a constant source of mess, albeit on a small scale, to clear up. Be alert to the need for nappy changing and keep things neat and efficient. Good hygiene is very important for the baby’s health and the mother’s sanity! Keep some clean muslin squares on hand so you can clean up when the baby dribbles milk. Bear in mind that this is most likely to happen just after feeding, and tucking the muslin under the baby’s chin or draping it over your shoulder when you hold the baby upright can save both your clothes and the clothes and bedding of the baby. You can support a new mother by making sure there are always clean clothes (for her and baby), muslin cloths and baby blankets at arm’s reach. Ensuring that the laundry goes into the washing machine in a timely manner will also help hugely as the turnaround for laundry can be very short with a newborn in the house!
Nutrition For A Healthy Mother
During this tiring period it is important your client looks after her health. Good nutrition and hydration are crucial to a mother’s immune system when sleep is scarce, and especially for a breastfeeding mother. She is meeting the needs of two bodies so self care is crucial. You can support her by making sure there is always fresh water on hand; perhaps keep extra bottles in the fridge. Prepare healthy snacks so your client can keep nibbling through the day, focusing on a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Try to make snacks that she can eat with one hand, as often that will be what she has to work with. Make sure they are accessible and she knows what’s there.
Especially for first-time mothers, knowing that her new baby’s needs are being met can be daunting. Reassure your client that she is doing well when she is exhausted. Try to be intuitive as to what kind of emotional support she needs. If the baby seems overly distressed or there are any patterns that cause concern, remember your client can make the most of professional support, either with her doctor or specialist services available in your area. Expert advice can be on hand should she need a bit more guidance. These services are provided to support a new mother and baby through these early months and asking for help can make a really positive contribution.
Motherhood is a wonderful and challenging experience. As a Nanny to a mother with a newborn you stand to transform her experience, allowing her to focus on every moment with her child with a sense of support, knowing that her baby has the extra focus of someone who will give the best level of care and provide piece of mind for mother and child.
There is no more intimate thing to share in. Enjoy it!