When I was a child, I had a pet rabbit, and my sister had a guinea pig. They were very young when we got them, but over the next few weeks, Jenny’s guinea pig got fatter and fatter, and then one day we came out to the hutch to discover “Squeaky” was now the proud mother of two baby guinea pigs! She must have been only a day or two pregnant when she came to us.
O.M.G. Baby guinea pigs are one of the cutest things EVER. They are mini versions of their parents – born with hair, eyes open, full set of teeth, totally ready to go. And within 21 days they are weaned and off to earn their living as fully fledged guinea pigs. Wishing you were a guinea pig parent rather than a human parent? Wouldn’t you like to look this awesome?
OK, enough photos of guinea pigs and back to humans. It’s not hard to see the contrasts between human babies and guinea pig babies. I’m relieved that human babies aren’t born with a full set of teeth, because that would be really weird, but it is pretty clear that human babies are more or less useless for a ridiculously long time. Our babies emerge from the womb well before they can even control their limbs, let alone make themselves a sandwich or write an informative yet entertaining blog post.
Most of us, as new parents, find the newborn period a bit scary. Unless we have a big family around us with lots of babies, we don’t tend to come into much contact with newborns in everyday life, especially in the world of work, which is where most of us spend our time before having kids. During pregnancy, we (rightly) should be focusing on labour and birth, and learning all we can in antenatal classes about how it all works and what we can do to have the best labour possible. I for one, couldn’t envisage myself actually being in charge of a baby until I held him in my arms for the first time. And that moment when the Midwife says you can go home is one of life’s greatest “Oh shit!” moments – suddenly you’re a parent, and you’ve got to go home and do it on your own. It’s brilliant, but also daunting. How do these babies work? What are you supposed to do with one? It seems the answers to those questions vary wildly, depending on which books you read, or which Facebook groups you belong to.
So we have been beavering away behind the scenes, creating a course that will help you identify what your new baby really needs. How you can calm and soothe them, and what might be upsetting them. We also cover what normal infant sleep looks like, and what the latest safety guidelines are. Like all our courses, it’s realistic, based on the latest scientific thinking about child development, and all the tips are tried and tested. UNLIKE all our other courses, this one is available ONLINE. Why online? Because it’s very difficult to put on courses for parents of newborns that they can actually attend. We cover a good deal of information in our free Essential Preparation for Birth Workshops that run across Suffolk, but by the end of the 4-hour workshop we appreciate that you’re getting tired and uncomfortable if you’re heavily pregnant. If you’re like I was then you may be so focused on labour and birth, that you feel that the baby bit is something you’ll worry about when the time comes.
If you have already had your baby, then those first 6 weeks can be a bit of a blur as you all adjust to your new life. When we have run newborn workshops in the past, it’s really hard to reach people with very new babies, and actually get them out of the house and to a workshop. Therefore we have created something that you can watch whenever suits you. It’s split up into small chunks, so you don’t have to commit to the whole thing at once – essential with a new baby. Also, you can watch it before you have your baby, and afterwards, it’s totally up to you.
It’s a surprisingly massive amount of work putting together an online course, but we are only charging £19 at the moment, to make it as accessible as possible. As always, all profits we make go into providing free support groups and the free antenatal workshops, so you know your money is being put to good use.
We have also put online a condensed version of our Essential Preparation for Birth course so you can watch this at your leisure too. (This one’s free, thanks to support from Let’s Talk Reading.)
To see both our online course offerings, go to www.suffolkbabies.co.uk/video. I really hope you enjoy them and find them useful! And tell your friends, as these courses are available to anyone, anywhere. This is Suffolk Babies going global!