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Baby Care

These are resources to go along with the first section of the class and include your handouts along with other useful articles, videos, and information.  

 
 
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Postpartum plan worksheet

Use this worksheet to help you identify your needs and plan for ways to get those needs met in the first weeks of your baby's life.

 

Connecting with your Baby

Some ideas for your parenting toolbox to help you calm your baby and connect with him or her through your daily life, along with links to more information.

Skin to skin contact - learn more about why all babies thrive with touch. 

Bonding - what is it and why is it important for both parents and babies. 

An amazing article about the importance of skin to skin contact for premature babies

Getting to know your baby's cues is one of the most amazing parts of being a parent. You're the expert on your baby and you'll learn to understand what your baby is telling you about what he or she needs. This is a wonderful video that shows a variety of cues to help you understand what some of the big ones look like. 

 
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Baby Health Basics

What's normal and when to ask for help, and a collection of links to trusted websites where you can learn more.

Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region gives all parents a booklet about infant care and postpartum recovery. 

Canadian Paediatric Society - an excellent online health resource. 

The basics on newborn jaundice.

Your newborn baby doesn't look like the babies on TV - and that's ok. Here's a good overview of the range of normal newborn appearance. 

The second night of your baby's life - read this so it doesn't take you by surprise! (It's possible it'll be the third night, or whatever night it happens that your baby catches on that they've been born.)

A nice little video of baby hacks for the newborn period. From an Australian mum, so some of the info is a tiny different from Canadian recommendations - "winding" is "burping" in these parts, and paracetemol is the same as Tylenol. 

 

Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding

These are the handouts and extra links to go along with the second section of the class. Remember that there are lots of community resources to help with breastfeeding - info is included here, but seeking out these supports can make a big difference if you're encountering challenges. 

 
 

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is more than food - it's a relationship, a parenting tool, and the ideal nutrition to support your baby's development. It's the biological norm for human infants and mothers, and it's natural, but it's not always easy.  Here are some resources to help. 

 

La Leche League is a volunteer organization that offers free support and information to families wanting to breastfeed. You can find the Regina group on Facebook, call 306-584-5600, or email lllcregina@gmail.com for help or meeting information. 

IBCLCs are health care professionals who specialize in breastfeeding. In Regina, we have 3 IBCLCs in private practice: Kim Smith, Linda Cheston, and Hanna Hanowski

Martha Neovard is a lactation educator in private practice and offers classes and private consultations in Regina. 

Breastfeeding tips

Feeding cues - a quick list and a short video

Establishing your milk supply

How to tell baby is getting enough milk

How fathers help breastfeeding happen

 

 

Formula Feeding & bottle feeding

Some families will feed their baby using a bottle - either full time, part time, or just occasionally. Here are some resources for safe formula feeding and bottle feeding a breastfed baby, along with information about pumping breastmilk. 

 

Feeding your baby formula - before you start and preparing infant formula

Paced bottlefeeding video - this is an alternative way to offer a bottle to any baby that allows the baby more control over the feeding and avoids overfeeding

Bottle feeding a breastfed baby and safe handling of human milk

If you're exclusively pumping, it's important to express milk enough times each day to ensure a plentiful milk supply. Here's a chart to help you keep track

Storing human milk for a healthy, full-term infant. Ask your healthcare provider for their recommendations if your baby was born early or has health problems. 

 

 

 
 

Sleep for the whole family

Sleep is one of the biggest concerns for new parents - for good reason! We all need sleep to thrive. A new baby will definitely disrupt your sleep, but the good news is that with some good information and a little creativity, you can sleep when you have a newborn. Here are some of the basics on sleep safety and strategies to maximize sleep for the whole family. 

 
 
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Safe Sleep Recommendations 

The current recommendations for infant sleep from Health Canada and other organizations dedicated to children's health and safety include: 

  • baby always placed on their back to sleep
  • baby sleeps alone in a crib or other safe sleep surface with a firm mattress and tight fitting sheet
  • the crib or bassinet meets current Canadian safety standards
  • baby's crib or bassinet is next to the adult's bed for the first 6 months
  • the crib is empty of toys, quilts, pillows, or bumpers and sleep positioners such as wedges or rolled up blankets are not used
  • no smoking around baby
  • baby is in light clothing and will not overheat

More information on safe sleep for infants.

 
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Sharing sleep

Bedsharing is not for everyone, but research shows that a majority of parents share a sleep surface with their babies at least part of the time. I believe it's important to know how to minimize the risks of bedsharing so that you can make an informed choice for your family and that any decisions about sleep are made with a clear head and not under duress. Remember that it is much riskier to sleep with your baby on a couch or recliner than it is for a baby to sleep with you on a safe sleep surface as long as other conditions are met. 

 

The Safe Sleep 7

Bedsharing Quick Start - how to make your bed as safe as possible for sharing sleep with your baby, even just for one night

Safe Surface Checklist - more about keeping your bed as safe as possible for your baby

Safe Cosleeping Guidelines from Dr James McKenna

 

"Aside from never letting an infant sleep outside the presence of a committed adult, i.e. separate-surface cosleeping which is safe for all infants, I do not recommend to any parents any particular type of sleeping arrangement since I do not know the circumstances within which particular parents live. What I do recommend is to consider all of the possible choices and to become as informed as is possible matching what you learn with what you think can work the best for you and your family."    

-Dr. James McKenna, Ph.D. Professor of Biological Anthropology, Director, Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory, University of Notre Dame.

 

 

The science of sleep & strategies for survival

Sometimes, the struggles of sleep with babies and small kids are really about our expectations. Babies have different sleep cycles than adults, and many researchers believe that babies are meant to wake frequently to breastfeed and to protect against SIDS by spending less time than adults in deep sleep. Our culture also tells us many things about sleep that don't fit with normal human biology or brain development. Many parents find it helpful to learn about what is normal for infant sleep and to adjust both their expectations and their own sleep habits in order to get the sleep they need and minimize frustration. It is also really important to remember that you are the world's top expert on your baby - you know your baby better than anyone else on earth, right from the day they are born. When it comes to sleep, trusting your instincts and your relationship with your baby to guide you is as important as ever - even if your baby's sleep is really different from other babies in your life. 

A collection of research articles on normal infant sleep

 

 

Self Care & Relationship care

As a parent or caregiver, you're the most important person in the world to your baby. So you deserve care and attention, too. 

 
 

Physical recovery from birth & Mental Health

As much as your physical health, your mental and emotional wellbeing deserve attention and care - at all stages of life. Having a new baby in the house brings stress and many emotions along with joy and love. Here are some resources to help you understand when you might need additional help, along with helpful tips to support your physical recovery from childbirth. 

 

The inside story for birthing parents and non-birthing parents - physical stuff, emotional stuff, and the realities of life in the early weeks. 

Local supports for maternal mental health - broken down by health region. Look for Regina Qu'Appelle. 

New mom mental health checklist - it works for dads and other caregivers as well!

MotherRisk - information on medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding

A dad's perspective on postpartum depression 

An excellent BC-based source of information on postpartum depression and mood disorders - check out the Blog section and The Journey if you are wondering about your own mental health

 
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Self Care

What are the things that make you feel like yourself? How do you reset after a tough day? What are the nurturing activities that make you feel whole, well, and energized? Having some clarity on these questions can help you remember to actually do these things and put yourself on the priority list. You know how airlines tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others? The same rule applies in parenthood. 

A long-ish but beautiful essay on the many changes that the postpartum period brings.

Self care for solo parents - some of this is aimed at parents of older kids, but some great ideas here. 

Dads and partners matter, too! - some tips for dads and partners from someone who's been there. 

Connecting with other mothers can be so important! Here are some options in Regina - there are lots more out there, so ask around to find other things that feel like a good fit to you!

  • Regina Children's Initiative - indoor play spaces, programming, and more
  • Y's Moms - a mom-to-mom group at the YMCA 
  • Mommy Connections - a variety of programs that offer you a chance to try and learn about various services aimed at new parents
  • La Leche League Regina - a mom-to-mom group offering breastfeeding support and information, but also a great way to meet other parents

 

 
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relationship care 

If you're in a partnership, expect some big changes in this department, too. Adding another person to your family can cause big shifts - it's natural for the baby to take some of the focus and energy that you might otherwise put into your relationship, but remembering to nurture your partnership can help you both stay connected and grounded through the many big changes that parenthood brings. 

Some great tips on staying connected with your partner

Sex - having a baby changes your sex life, but that doesn't mean it's all over! Patience and creativity are required, though.