From womb to world – your all-access pass to bringing baby home
The day your little one makes his grand entry into the world is exciting to say the least. However, for your newborn, it can be pretty surreal. Your little one is literally pushed out of the only home he’s known and brought into a loud, bright and confusing world.
Some babies make the transition from womb to world easily. They sleep from day one, they know the difference between night and day, they feed on a routine and they adapt to their new surroundings without a hiccup.
Most babies, however, don’t. Most babies need a little encouragement and a lot of assistance during the first few weeks as they settle in. And this is what we mums are here to do.
So how can you settle your newborn into this new world? Here are a few ideas that will hopefully help make the transition smoother for everyone.
Mimic the womb
Sometimes, when making a massive life change, it’s best to take baby steps. This is true for your little one as well. During those first few weeks, aim to replicate the womb – the only home he’s known – as much as possible.
How? First, think about the womb. Essentially, it’s a dark, warm pool of water. Your infant is upside down, squashed, constantly rocking back and forth and surrounded by strange background noises like your gurgling stomach and beating heart. During your baby’s stay in Hotel Uterus, he was able to eat, suck and sleep at any time of the day or night. He was the boss of his womb world.
Now he’s not. Now he’s a stranger in this new place where it’s sometimes dark but usually bright. Sometimes he’s bundled up in a swaddle and sometimes he’s left in a weird garment that traps his feet but leaves him feeling exposed. Sometimes he can hear your beating heart and feel your warmth but other times he’s left alone in a strange vibrating thing that plays loud music. And he doesn’t get to eat, suck or sleep on demand anymore. Now the milk source comes and goes. And so do you.
How can you make your home more womb-friendly?
Start by dimming the lights, especially at night. This can help him differentiate between night and day and also provides a smoother transition into the bright world we live in.
Return to his water world
Give bub a warm bath with plenty of skin-to-skin contact. The warmth of the water can relax your newborn and return him to the water world he is used to.
Snuggle and swaddle
Keep bub close and comfortable through baby wearing and swaddling. This can mimic the tight squeeze that your baby is used to. You can also mimic the movements inside the womb with gentle rocking and bouncing.
Feed (and cuddle) on demand
Finally, let him gradually relinquish his title as the boss. It takes times to accept the fact that he no longer get to eat, suck and sleep whenever he pleases. Feed on demand for the first few weeks until he gets used to the idea that you control the food. This is the same with sleeping – offer sleep aids until he is ready to self-settle. It usually doesn’t happen overnight.
Be his guide between these two worlds
Most importantly, provide him with the thing he wants the most – the constant closeness to you. Place him on your chest, let him listen to your heart beat, feed him for comfort if he wants to suck and cuddle him close. It’s a soothing sound, a familiar taste and a comfortable place to absorb these new surroundings and breathe it all in.
Yes, bringing home your new baby isn’t always a smooth process. It can involve nights of cluster feeding, countless laps around the living room trying to soothe him to sleep, and moments of weakness when you are pretty sure you’re screwing it up.
You’re not. Your little one is going to cry. He is going to wake up a lot. And he may only sleep when he’s in your arms. But this is simply because you are all he knows at this stage.
As he grows, he will learn to live in this new world without needing you 24/7. But, for now, cherish those cuddles, lap up those long feeding sessions, and revel in your new role as your little one’s guide into this strange new world. It’s only the first of many journeys into the unknown that you and he will take together.
You’re ready to help bub make the transition from womb to world, but are you prepared for the messy moments along the way? Make sure you stock up on the newborn essentials, including plenty of wipes! Aussie owned Red Nose Baby Wipes are specially formulated to be strong yet gentle, perfect for your newborn’s delicate skin.