I'm not exaggerating at all when I tell you that my first night at home with my new baby, my first daughter, Alyce, I sat in the dark of my living room, everyone else in the house fast asleep, wondering how in the hell I was going to do this. I had given birth that afternoon to the beautiful wee one I'd been waiting months (years) for, and the adrenaline was starting to wear off. My partner was asleep in bed, my mother asleep on the couch next to me, and I was ready for sleep for the first time in two days. But Alyce was awake, starring up at me, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with her.
Two years later I found myself sitting in the dark, again, this time holding my second daughter, Shira. She was one day old and had been nursing since she left the womb. Each and every time she fell asleep at the breast , when I would slowly put her down in her co-sleeper, ready to collapse in bed myself (labour is hard work!), she would wake up. Again. And my partner was in bed asleep. Again.
The moral of the story? Newborns can be hard work, or more to the point, they make us work hard. We are tired, hungry, a bit confused, and at least one of us is healing from the work of birth. Fortunately these newborns are also soft, delicious, perfect, tiny-toed, and we'll pretty much forgive them for anything.
We are Alexandra and Danielle, and we'll be leading a workshop this month about how to care for newborns. No, we can't tell you the magic secret of how to catch a full-night's sleep or how not to worry at the overwhelming feelings of responsibility we all feel once a wee one is born. But we can share our experiences as birth and postpartum doulas (and mothers and adorers of babies) and introduce you to some tips and suggestions for an easier transition into life with a new baby. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or super-excited friend of the new parents, we welcome you to join us for an evening of discussion, hands-on demonstrations (though, not with a real baby!), and encouragement on caring for your newborn.
Alexandra and I will introduce some of the following topics:
- What to expect the first week with a new baby
- Diapering options and bum care
- What does it mean to wear you baby?
- Sleep (including bed-sharing and crib-sleeping)
- How to comfort new babies
- Preparing your home for your baby
- Practical suggestions for breast and bottle feeding
We'd love to see you there. We love talking about babies.
Alexandra Weinberger and Danielle LaGrone are birth and postpartum doulas in Toronto and founders of Holistic Birth Collective. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.