Welcome to Baby Bear's Newborn Nurture page. Thank you for joining . Congratulations on your newborn and welcome to the crazy and wonderful journey of parenthood.
This course has been created to support you through the early days with a new baby.
With hints, tips and support ideas to guide you through this magical phase , the fourth trimester.
I am Elisa, owner of Baby Bear and mum to Teddy who is 4.
Baby Bear classes were created from a passion to support families and babies, particularly mums, as you embark on this new time in your life. Offering classes and support to give you a community, a safe space to ask questions and feel supported and learn ideas of how to bond and connect with your baby through nurturing massage, yoga and developmental play.
Any questions you might have, please don't hesitate to ask. Contact me through or on my social media.
You are also invited to join our private Facebook group to meet and connect with other mums and babies too.
Please follow the link below.
I hope you find the resources here beneficial and supportive.
Sending love and hugs to you and your beautiful baby.
The Fourth Trimester
Journaling can be a wonderful way to note your thoughts, feelings, worries and stresses, especially during this transformational time of motherhood. My nurture journal is designed to help you think about the new you as a mum and the old you pre baby too.
Click below for a free download to print
Newborn baby massage is a wonderful way to settle, soothe, bond and connect with baby in these early days.
Newborn massage is slightly different to my standard baby massage course. This is only a 20 minute routine, covering whole body, but specific areas to help settle baby.
We also don't use any kind of massage oil on new babies skin. Their skin is still very delicate and I advise using dry massage over babies clothes for this routine.
Newborn Baby Massage
Baby massage can help to soothe and calm your baby. It can help with tummy problems, teething pains, colds and congestion and with dry skin.
Baby massage releases “cuddle chemicals” which can help your baby relax. When babies relax, studies have shown that they can sleep better and have a greater appetite which can enhance general health and promotes weight gain.
Baby massage boosts the circulation of blood, delivering nutrients to help strengthen muscles and joints. Skin contact stimulates the nervous system helping develop connections in the brain.
Choose a blanket for baby to lie on, have a cushion or rolled up blanket to prop baby on for the back massage or if they have reflux this can help too.
Make sure the room is warm, especially as babies are going to be stripped off!
There are no harsh lights above babies eyeline ,
the atmosphere is calm and relaxing for both of you.
Have a toy to hand or comforter for baby to play with if needed.
Ensure you are comfortable too, using a cushion to sit on or wall to lean on if needed.
Avoid massage if your baby has :
Undiagnosed lumps and bumps Contagious disease
Serious skin complaints
Open cuts and sores
When is a good time to massage baby?
Choosing the right time to massage baby is really important. The sessions must always be baby led. Follow your babies cues, and stop or start the session as and when you need to.
Generally 15-20 minutes after a feed, when babies are in their happy and alert state is a good time for massage. Also after the bath and before the bedtime feed can be a great time as massage is very relaxing and often helps babies sleep.
We won't massage a sleeping baby or a baby who is upset.
Settling and soothing techniques
Learning all about what your baby likes and dislikes, how they like to be held, fed and changed is all in the learning curve of the fourth trimester. These settling soothing technique help support wind, colic and constipation and help calm baby for a restful sleep.
Baby yoga can be a wonderful technique to soothe babies, aid wind, colic and constipation and aid tummy time.
I teach classes for babies aged 8 weeks and above, but these moves are suitable from newborn
For extra ideas for tummy time, please follow the link below to my tummy time blog .
Kangaroo care also called skin-to-skin contact, is a technique of newborn care where babies are kept chest-to-chest and skin-to-skin with a parent.
Kangaroo care is a wonderful method to help you and baby cope with the fourth trimester and help baby adjust to the world outside the womb. This can be done simply by having skint to skin with baby , but using a sling or carrier is the easiest way . This also gives you free hands to make and drink a cup of tea too!
Parents who use this method often say they find it a very satisfying way to nurture and bond with their baby. Many also report that their babies seem to love this method of care – perhaps because it reminds them of life inside the womb. It also has health benefits. Babies may have longer sleep time in kangaroo care , it's found babies can have a quicker weight gain and also decrease in crying too.
Kangaroo care helps parents bond with their babies and helps the babies have improved interactions with parents. This is a perfect way for dad to get involved in the early days too.
If you're thinking of buying a sling, I highly recommend contacting Lynsey from Mama sling.
She runs workshops on how to wear and use a sling and also runs a Sling library.
She has offered all Baby Bear clients 5% off any product hired or bought from her.
Link is below.
The word ‘colic’ is a term often to describe a baby that won’t stop crying. Baby constipated and struggling to poo? Just colic.Is Baby arching his back and writhing around in pain? You guessed it, it’s colic.
One question is often asked by distraught parents; what is colic?
How can colic be so easy to diagnose yet every colicky baby seems to have different symptoms, but all have one thing in common. Misery. Both baby and parents are absolutely miserable. Health professionals look for the rule of three; is your baby crying for three hours or more, for three days a week over the course of three weeks? Now in my opinion I think this “rule” is completely outdated. Not only has modern medicine come along so much but the knowledge of the infant’s development is now more understood too, yet they still revert to this rule to diagnose a baby.
What is colic ?
This is the big question, as it is often shrouded in mystery. It is a diagnosis that is given to so many parents by health professionals, yet it doesn’t address anything. Not to mention that it doesn’t help a baby who is so upset and in obvious pain. If your baby is otherwise healthy and gaining weight then no help is provided and you are left trying to cope. This leads to parents being unsupported and feeling frustrated.
It is time to simplify colic. It is a collection of symptoms rather than a condition itself. It is also a sweeping diagnosis that is given to babies who cry but otherwise are healthy.
Rather than labelling a baby as colicky we should stop treating the symptoms and think about the real root of the problem. Your baby is crying for a reason and until we know what that reason is how can we treat a baby successfully and stop the misery? More needs to be done to understand the baby, the family history and see beyond the initial symptoms.
Additionally, it is important to remember that one baby’s colic is different to another’s and this is because it will have a different cause. One baby may be sensitive who is trying to adjust to this new world, and the only way she can communicate her distress is to cry. She has a red face, she clenches her fists and seems inconsolable. This baby’s misery is completely different to a baby who’s body is having an allergic response to milk, and can only tell his parents that he has tummy ache by crying inconsolably.
Is colic real?
It sure is if you ask a family who is in throws of colic hell. It is a complete and utter nightmare of a reality. A family with a colicky baby will feel overwhelmed, helpless, distressed and frustrated. Experts in the field of colic should spend time with families to provide them with an understanding of their baby and be given coping mechanisms so that families are not facing this alone. Someone there to understand the misery of both the baby and the parents. A listening ear who can not only sympathise but can empathise. Parents should feel loved, supported and cared for.
What causes colic?
There are various causes of colic. This is why having an overarching diagnosis of ‘just colic’ is not helpful. Care and attention needs to be given to families so that a true understanding of a child’s misery can be acknowledged and addressed. It could be the difficulties in settling due to the fourth trimester, it could be reflux, lactose intolerance, digestive difficulties, an allergy or a wealth of environmental issues.
Please speak to your gp, midwife or health visitor if your baby is unwell.
For my top 5 tips on dealing with colic please scroll below.
Coping with Colic
5 strategies to help
Although not recommended by health professionals due to sleep risks, swaddling in a safe way can recreate the contained feeling in the womb. It serves to replicate the feelings of warmth and protection and the snug fit experienced whilst in utero. Swaddling also stops your baby’s uncontrolled arm and leg flailing that is all thanks to your baby’s moro startle reflex which is one of the newborn reflexes.
When you are swaddling remember these safety tips:
Never cover your baby’s face
Use a light blanket such as a cellular blanket or large muslin
Keep the swaddle loose over your baby’s hips and legs
Don’t leave a swaddled baby unattended
Whoever coined the term "sleep like a baby" didn't seem to know much about them, because newborns are notoriously restless sleepers who are hungry every few hours and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up.
If you're wondering (or worrying) about your baby's sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax, enjoy that adorable child of yours and try to get some well-earned rest yourself.
I've attached a video on safe sleeping from the Lullaby trust, its a wonderful resource with lots of information .
Newborns sleep for most of the day
A newborn baby doesn’t have much of a pattern to his sleep schedule.
Baby will be sleeping anywhere from 14 to 17 out of every 24 hours, give or take.
Your little one will probably only be awake for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, and will nap anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours at a stretch.
Bottle fed, breast fed, tube fed.
A fed baby is best
How you feed your baby can be a controversial subject. As a mum who breast fed, and bottle fed I understand the trials and tribulations of both. The most important thing is that it is your decision how you feed your baby.
You should not feel pressured, or judged in to feeding any way that you're not comfortable with.
I've included some feeding facts below, but as i'm not an infant feeding specialist, I have included links to amazing support networks available to you. Your midwife and health visitor should also be able to sign post you to support if you need it.
Breast feeding support Sefton in a volunteer agency with an online Facebook group you can ask questions and find support and face to face support too.
La leche league is a website with lots of facts on Breastfeeding , but also pumping and combi feeding.
NHS website is a great resource on Bottle feeding
Breast milk or formula ?
Breast milk is the ideal food for babies — with rare exceptions.
If breast-feeding isn't possible, use infant formula. Healthy newborns don't need cereal, water, juice or other fluids.
There are lots of brand available, do your research to find the right one for you
Matrescence is the process of becoming a mother. When you’re a new mum and you feel different somehow, but you can’t quite put your finger on what has changed; it’s not only your body that’s changed but your identity is also changing; when certain things just don’t feel the same any more – this is matrescence, or the birth of a mother.
When a baby is born , so is a mother. Adjusting to motherhood for the first or second time is challenging. Remembering the person you were before a baby and finding some time to not be on mum duties is hard too, but so very important . 'We can't pour from an empty cup .'
Below is a positivity journal for you to use and some brilliant videos on how to cope and adjust to the world of motherhood.
When navigating new motherhood In becoming a mum you may feel like you are sailing a stormy sea of emotions, that come and go like waves with highs and lows.
There may be moments of joy, delight and feelings of love, and there may also be moments of intense loneliness, sadness and fear.
Many mothers feel a sudden sense of responsibility for caring for their baby, which can trigger worry, moments of doubt and feelings of guilt for not living up to the standards of an ‘ideal mother’. You may be experiencing these and many other emotions through a fog of exhaustion.
Tiredness, broken sleep and changing hormones can all make these emotions more intense.
If you have struggled with your mental health before, you may find that these difficulties resurface.
All of these multi-coloured emotions may make you feel you have no control and question your confidence in yourself.
Please speak to a health professional, friend, family member if you're not feeling ok.
The wonderful perinatal mental helath team at Liverpool women's hopsital , have shared two wonderful pdf below , on becoming a mother.
For more information on support and outside agencies please see page 11-13 on each pdf.
You are enough, you are loved, you've got this mama xxx
The importance of Posture
Becoming a mum changes everything. For nine months, our bodies experiences huge change. We may suffer sickness, back and pelvic girdle pain and exhaustion.
Then we face recovering from childbirth and managing those first months with a new baby. Sleep deprivation, prolapse, struggles with breastfeeding, and having to constantly pick up/put down (if they let you) a baby takes a toll.
And that’s just the physical. Emotionally, we’re thrust into new territory where the societal expectations, judgments and pressures are impossible to ignore. We have entered the world of motherhood.
Abi Wright form She Stands, is a posture training specialist , she has recorded a video on posture trainings specifically for mums so you can feel at home in your bodies and be fully seen and heard.
Please have look at her website and the wonderful work she is doing for women and mums.
Music In Unison
Tara from Music In Unison is an expert in infant and early years music. She runs classes at Baby Bear's Den for newborns to toddlers and has created a special newborn music guide!
At Music in Unison we understand the important part music has to play in your child's development, their emotional well-being as well as yours too. We have put together a FREE guide to help you and your baby experience the joy of making music together. If you would like a copy, click the link below and a free resource pack will be sent to you.
Infant First aid
Baby Bear has teamed up with Daisy First aid , to offer a 10% discount on an at home course for 4 or more people .
Lucie from Dasiy first aid runs face to face classes at baby Bear's Den and offers a course that is so beneficial for new parents and families with a new baby .
This multi award winning class is suited to anyone who would like to have basic first aid and emergency life saver training.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, babysitter or carer, this training can benefit everyone.
What will you learn?
Our family and carer classes teach you how to deal with an accident or emergency involving babies and children.
Our family first aid classes are accredited by CPD Standards Office
Treatment of an unconscious casualty
Baby and child Recovery Positions,
Shock, Baby and child Resuscitation & CPR,
Baby and child Choking,
Head injuries, Fever, Febrile Seizures,
Bleeding, Burns, Fractures, Anaphylaxis,
Meningitis, Other Childhood conditions.
To book an at home class for 4 or more with 10% off, contact Lucie on the link below quoting Baby Bear Newborn Nurture
I also really recommend the Red Cross First aid app, it's free to download and
This free app provides simple, easy-to-learn skills to help a baby or child in a first aid emergency.
It is packed with useful tips, animations and video clips. You can test your knowledge using the app’s built-in first aid
quizzes. There is also a handy device to record your child's medication needs and any allergies.
The information you need is all hosted on the app itself, meaning no internet connection is needed, making it fast and easy