Tagged: newborns

Newborn advice with Dorothy Waide – feeding, burping, sleeping and more

newborn advice with Dorothy Waide

We were lucky enough to get some time with Dorothy Waide, sleep consultant to the stars, AKA the Baby Whisperer. Dorothy provides newborn advice for parents on everything from feeding to settling, from natural remedies to cloth diapers! Continue reading »

Does my baby need a heel prick test?


You might have heard of the ‘heel prick’ test – also known as a ‘Guthrie’, ‘PKU’ or newborn metabolic test – where a small blood sample is taken from baby’s heel, ideally between 48 and 72 hours after baby is born. This is strongly recommended by the Ministry of Health’s National Screening Unit. Continue reading »

21 (tongue and cheek) tips for travelling overseas with an infant

Travelling with a newborn

I am reclining on a couch with my six month old baby boy asleep on my lap.  He is resting after a big feed. It consisted of breast milk, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, yoghurt and lychees.  The concrete landscape of Tokyo extends below us, punctuated by flickering neon signs and illuminated by hot hazy sunlight. Continue reading »

Newborn testing – reassurance about your baby’s health

newborn testing

There is nothing more delicious than a teeny tiny newborn baby and it can be hard to think about anything other than eating and sleeping in those early days. However, there are some routine and important tests that can tell you about the health and wellbeing of your newborn and it’s worth knowing about them ahead of time. These tests can provide reassurance about significant aspects of your baby’s health and development, so it’s worth considering all your options carefully.

Two tests are strongly recommended and overseen by the Ministry of Health’s National Screening Unit – the ‘heel prick’ test and a test that checks your baby’s hearing.

Newborn testing: Heel prick test

The ‘heel prick’ test (also called the ‘Guthrie’, ‘PKU’ or ‘newborn metabolic’ test) involves taking a small blood sample from baby’s heel 48 to 72 hours after they are born. Testing involves a small prick to your baby’s heel to collect a small amount of blood on a card. This can be done in the hospital or by your midwife at home. While this might sound traumatic, feeding your baby may help to settle them while the test is being done.

The laboratory then checks the sample for over 20 rare metabolic conditions or disorders. Without testing, these conditions may not be found.

Once the testing is complete, you can choose to have the blood spot card returned to you or the card can be securely stored by the laboratory.

These conditions and disorders are rare – almost all babies born in New Zealand each year are tested (around 64,000) and out of all these babies, only around 45 are identified as having a metabolic disorder. And early treatment can prevent potentially serious complications that can cause permanent damage to your baby, or even death.

newborn testing

Newborn testing: hearing

The other recommended test checks your baby’s hearing. The test involves placing a small soft ear cup, which makes soft clicking sounds, on your sleeping baby’s ear. Newborn hearing screening aims to identify newborns with hearing loss early so they can get the help they need with language, learning and social development. This isn’t just important for the children – it’s also important for their family and whānau.

The hearing test measures whether your baby’s ear is responding to sounds played through the ear cup. It does not hurt or harm your baby. In the unlikely event your baby is found to have hearing loss (this affects around 60 babies each year, out of thousands of tested babies), you’ll then be offered support depending on your baby’s hearing loss.

Hearing is important for your baby’s spoken language, learning and social development. If your baby can’t hear well, it’s hard for them to understand and communicate with you and others.

newborn testing

Why do newborn testing?

If you wait to find out if baby has a problem, it might be too late to fix it. These two tests, both established as standard practice worldwide, are strongly recommended because early detection can make a difference to your baby’s development – and in some cases save lives.

Find out more about newborn testing

Remember, you have the right to decide whether or not your baby has testing. If you’d like any more information about newborn tests, have a chat to your midwife or doctor or visit the National Screening Unit’s website at nsu.govt.nz

Early days with your baby

iStock_000010523821XSmall feeding baby_1

In my role as a maternity nurse I often will be in contact with a baby at 48 hours old.  The mums that I work with are in a privileged position to be able to afford to get someone like me to help with the sleepless nights, often they have a cleaner also, nanny for older children, and in the UK, where much of my work has been, there are awesome healthy ready meals available, so that pretty much covers the basics of what is needed in the early days after having a baby…. Continue reading »

51 New Zealand services for new parents


Life with a newborn can be absolutely amazing, but it can also be hectic and overwhelming. Thankfully there are a range of services that parents of newborns can access for support. Here’s 51 New Zealand services for new parents.
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Breastfeeding tips for new Mums


In many societies, both here in New Zealand and around the world, children grow up surrounded by the sight of breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but it needs to be learnt and breastfeeding tips need to be taught. If we don’t see successful breastfeeding prior to giving birth, then pregnant women and their support people need to learn the principles in order to prevent problems and to make it a success. Continue reading »

Baby’s first breast feed

Baby’s first breast feed

This article on baby’s first breast feed gives parents encouragement, information and tips for the first breast feed you give your newborn baby.

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A new baby – how to survive the first six weeks


The first six weeks at home with your baby – possibly the most exciting and most tiring days of your life! Read about how to survive the first six weeks. Continue reading »

Being with your baby

Sleeping Baby - 25453

Newborns come in all shapes and sizes… and they all have the same basic needs. Milk, burps, nappy changes, and sleep are the common ones. They also need touch and warmth – both emotional and physical- did you know that touch stimulates a baby’s immune system?

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