Tips for staying connected when you have a newborn

It might not be exactly how you pictured it, bringing your baby home with social distancing measures in place. But it's important to do whatever you feel like when it comes to marking the first few weeks and staying connected with the people you love. Here are some ideas, but please be kind to yourself during their period.

Parents playing with their newborn baby

Bringing your baby home for the first time can be emotional, exciting and a bit intimidating. We know that it can be hard at the moment with certain restrictions in place. But this time spent at home can also be a time to concentrate on taking care of yourself as you recover from birth and make time to bond with your baby.

1 Second a Day Video

The app that does what it says on the tin. The '1 Second a Day' app records 1 sec every day that you can playback as a video. It’s a great way of documenting your baby’s first few weeks at home when you’re not able to have visitors and you're recovering from the baby's birth. It's quick, easy and you can get super creative if you want to. Here's a demo of how a '1 second a day' video can look:

 

Video calling

We know it's not quite the same, but technology is pretty good nowadays and apart from the occasional unflattering angle of buffering mid-laugh, it can be a really amazing way to keep in touch. Bringing home your baby can be streamed real time through your phone or other devices. Some of the best apps to use for this are Facetime, Zoom and Google Hangout. Many of these you can choose ‘gallery’ view, which allows you to see everyone at the same time and chat as a part of a larger group. Make sure you've got a spot with good wifi, or you can always try turning it off and using your 3G. 

Image: Instagram @ryanthomas.84

Postcards

You can send photo postcards really easily through apps like Touchnote and Funky Pigeon. This is really great for grandparents and any relatives or friends who don't have access to smart devices. It's also a great idea if you think you like the idea of creating a scrap book - but don't have the time, energy or brain space to do so yet. The person you're sending the postcards too can store them up for you, ready for when you want to put them all in an album. 

Scrap book 

There’s no need to be intimidated by fancy scrapbooks that you see on some Instagram accounts. If you want to go all out, then go for it! We know that new mums can find recovery and the few weeks with their baby a huge adjustment. Please don't put pressure on yourself to do anything and everything. If you feel like you might want to create something when you have a bit of downtime - and you're not already asleep on the sofa - collect a box of things like the parking ticket from the hospital, your hospital tag etc. If you want to stick these in a book, then bam… there’s your scrapbook. If you feel like investing in an instant camera or want to order some prints, you can keep snapshots of your baby and family as the days go on. Do whatever you feel like and don't compare your creation to anyone else's.

Shared album on apple iphones

Smart phones usually allow to to create a shared album where photos you take be directly shared with the people you choose. 

Get help setting this up on your phone

Window waves

It's been breaking hearts all over the internet - with good reason. We know how hard it must be to be separated from your family at this time. You've been waiting so long to bring the baby home, you might have been through a long journey to get here and thought about this moment a million times over. But your plans have had to change. Meeting your baby through a window pane is the safest thing your family can do right now, to protect you, your baby and your family themselves. Take a beautiful picture and think about the story you're going to tell your little one about the times they were born in. 

Diary/video diary

We're not saying that, as a new mum, you'll necessarily have the energy for a full-blown journal. But if you are keen to document your baby's first few weeks to share with your family and friends - jotting down a few bullet points a day is a good place to start. If you're not into pen and paper, there are lots of other ways to do this. You could try voice recording or even creating a video diary. If you don't feel like doing that - designate a friend of family member you can send daily updates too - so they can share and keep screen shots for you to use later. 

Care packages

This is one for the friends and family out there who might be finding the separation incredibly difficult too. Try making a care package for the new parents and baby. You can include pictures, notes and any treats they might like to let them know you're thinking of them. Please be sensible in terms of heading out to post the parcel. If you need to go to the post office for something essential, you can send it off then. If not, try to keep the parcel small so it can be sent through a letter box. 

Instagram

Create a special Instagram account that you can make private and only share with friends and family. Then you can use all the tools of Instagram, stories, live stories etc. to track your baby’s development. You can even create a highlight reel of certain parts of your day e.g. feeding, bathtime etc. Make sure the setting is turned onto 'private' and isn't 'public' if you want to keep the account between you and your family. 

Here's how to create another account: 

 We have more information and support about what to expect after birth.

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