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Tips to help you in your fourth trimester

This blog post was written by Anne, The Gentle Nanny who specialises in helping new parents with sleep, nutrition and newborn support.

3 ways others can help you with your newborn

Having a newborn can be hard work and you don’t need to do this alone.

*Ask your friends and family to help you. They don’t have to do much to support you, this may be holding the baby whilst you have a nap or a shower, they could bring a meal round or do a food shop.

*Sometimes just company and someone to listen to you is enough as being a parent can be lonely.

*Taking a baby out for the first few times can be daunting, ask them to keep you company when you leave the house to help build up your confidence.

6 reasons why your baby may be crying

Newborn babies can cry, a lot and this is definitely a shock to new parents. There are several reasons why babies cry when they are little.

*They maybe hot or cold, check the temperature of the room you are in and dress them accordingly. You can pop your hand down the back of their clothes from their neck to feel their back.

*Is your baby hungry, when they are newborn you can feed them on demand. They may need help winding, wind them half way through a feed, if they are fussing and at the end of the feed.

*Check your baby’s nappy to make sure it isn’t too wet or dirty, change them and check to see if they need any nappy cream.

*Your baby maybe bored or over stimulated, sing, talk or read to them. Hearing your voice may soothe them, you can dance or sway your baby softly. If they are still crying, they may be due a nap.

*If your baby is tired, you can swaddle them and pop then down in their bassinet (or whatever you have chosen to use for nap and sleep times) you can pop your hand on their chest and gently soothe them. Most babies at this age, will prefer to fall asleep during a feed or laying on your chest or in your arms.

*Some babies have colic, the definition maybe if they cry for more than 2-3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, and for more than 3 weeks. Colic isn’t the diagnosis but a symptom. Speak to your doctor or heath visitor if you feel your baby has colic.

3 ways to comfort your baby

Newborns need comfort, time to bond with their parents and they are solely dependant on you to give them everything they need.

Newborns benefit greatly from skin to skin with their parent and it is important that they do this with both parents if they have two.

You can lay in your bed and feed them whilst having skin to skin, make sure your bed is safe and look at co sleeping from the lullaby trust (incase you are very tired)

You can have a bath with your newborn, Make sure the water is deep enough so they don’t get cold and it isn’t too hot. Always good to make sure you have everything you need in the bathroom and the room is warm enough for when you get out.

Anne's story

So many people have babies every day all over the world and they are tiny bundles of joy that have all been created in various forms. You have this baby and the hospital tells you congratulations, sending you on your merry way whether it's a few hours later or a hospital stay of some sort due to complications.

Then what; we have this baby to bring up and some of us actually have no idea on how to do it. It can be hard bringing up a baby or child as there is so much advice on the internet regardless if it's right or wrong, let alone the books with perhaps wrong advice in too, friends and family share their opinions and what they did with their babies. It's knowing where to start and how much of it is good advice as well.


Once you are home you have to navigate your feelings of becoming a parent which you can not mentally prepare for until it happens, your relationship changes when you become parents, and you have to recover from pregnancy and birth whether it went smoothly or was traumatic. You have all this going on whilst you have this beautiful baby to care for!


Something I'm a firm believer in is who looks after the mum during this time and for the next few years as well, Babies need love and care but so do the parents. They recommend making a village to help raise your child and this is true, we can't do it by ourselves and it's good to let others help us.


The fourth trimester is used to describe the first three months after having your baby, this is the time when both you and your baby adjust to life together. Your baby has just been in the womb for months, fed on demand, no clothes, living in warm liquid, constantly being swayed as you move around and now they have to wear nappies, clothes, be hot and then cold. This can make them cry as they get used to the changes.


I have two boys that had mild health issues affecting their sleep when they were little. My eldest had colic and silent reflux and he just never slept. I remember trying to get him into a routine at a young age, it just didn't work, I sat and cried one night over this. So the next day I took the books to the charity shop and let him find his own routine. I didn't realise at the time there was no point as he had colic, and those babies just can't switch off and go to sleep till the pain and crying stops. My youngest didn't sleep well and cried most nights, I took him to the doctors and was just told babies just cry at night, but this was a lot of crying in the night that happened most nights. Not happy with the doctor's answers, I had to get to the bottom of the crying myself. It took a while but we discovered he had food intolerances, asthma, hypermobility, anxiety, night terrors and then years later we found out he had low ferritin and low vitamin d levels which all contributed to his bad sleep. 


This is why The Gentle Nanny started, I wanted to support other parents with all sleep and food issues and mostly recently I've added newborn support as it can be lonely navigating our way through parenthood. As a qualified nursery nurse and nanny with over 26 years’ experience in looking after newborns to 12 year olds, I also became a certified gentle sleep coach and certified maternity nurse.


Please do reach out to me if you need some guidance and support with your newborn.



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