Meet Ash, a content producer, makeup artist and blogger from Sydney. She’s mum to a childhood heart condition survivor, Harry, who is 5 months old.
What were your first thoughts and feelings after your baby was born?
Our experience was a little different to most peoples. We found out at our 20 week scan that Harry would be born with a rare condition called Transposition of the Great Arteries. Basically, his two major arteries where around the wrong way. This meant I had to deliver him close to the Children’s Hospital. When he arrived, there was not only the usual birthing team but also a team of 5 Neonatal & Cardiac specialists ready and waiting to stabilise him for transport. When I first saw him I just remember how blue he was (because deoxygenated blood was going into his body). I only got a few seconds with him before he was whisked away. I was just glad he was in the safe hands of the Cardiac team.
Did you settle quickly into a routine with your baby? If so, do you think it worked well for you?
Following his open-heart surgery, once we were home he settled into a routine relatively quickly. I’m not sure if his stay in hospital helped that as the pain killers he was on post surgery would have been on a routine of their own so that potentially helped but either way, he settled into a natural routine of his own. We went with the flow in the beginning.
How soon after your baby was born did you begin to swaddle your baby?
We began swaddling him as soon as we got him home. The Love To Dream SWADDLE UP™ was amazing because in hospital he had been arms up so he was used to that position.
How did you come to know about Love To Dream™?
I watched so many “Newborn Must Have” YouTube videos in the lead up to Harry’s birth and Love To Dream™ was one product that kept coming up time and time again. Now I can see why!
Do you feel like using the Love To Dream™ range of products has made a positive impact on you and your baby's sleep?
Absolutely! We’ve been through 3 different stages now, we’re currently arms out, and the Love To Dream™ range has been amazing. In the early days being fully enclosed helped to minimise the startle reflex without completely limiting movement. As he started to want to comfort himself by putting his hands in his mouth there was enough movement to allow that. Transitioning to arms out was made easy with the SWADDLE UP 50/50 ’s zip off wings. I also found that by using the SWADDLE UP™ even during the day for naps, Harry began to associate them with sleeping, so I think that helped him know what was going on.
What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you became a parent?
Possibly just how relentless it would be. That’s not to say it’s bad at all! Just that even though I knew it would be a huge change and you don’t have time for yourself, I’ve found that it’s more the mental side of things. Even when bub is sound asleep in bed or when you have a night out without them, you never fully switch off.
Three words to describe life before parenthood and three to describe life after becoming a parent?
Before: Flexibility, sleep-ins, carefree.
After: Rewarding, challenging, non-stop.
What is the one piece of advice you’d offer new parents or parents-to-be?
Educate yourself on different ways of doing things. Pick the approaches that you like but be flexible and willing to try different things. Every child is different, and things don’t always go to plan. A broad knowledge base will help you to feel more prepared and confident to try different things. Do what works for you and your baby and try not to be too hard on yourself.
What are your top 5 essential items to have ready to go when baby arrives?