How to get the most from your antenatal class

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

Whether you choose Swaddling To Toddling, another specialist class, NCT or NHS antenatal course it is important you know how to extract enough information from your course to survive and if possible thrive with a baby. Many people look back on their course and cannot remember much, they sometimes think of it as a good way to meet other couples.

Our team at Swaddling To Toddling admit that we can not prepare you for every eventuality that you will come across during the first few years with children. No one would be able to remember all of that anyway - that's what Google is for! Instead we teach you essential key skills and give you effective ways of thinking, communicating and acting that apply to a diverse range of scenarios. You can therefore keep using what you learn for many years.

When we complete the 'What type of parent do you want to be?' activity, parents sometimes say, "But surely, I don't need to think about that for ages?" However, research shows that there is not a set week or month that babies begin to learn to understand words and speak. From day 1 they are watching you and learning about you and our world through your eyes and tongue.

'Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you'

(Robert Fulghum)

In return it helps to watch and learn about your baby. Understanding your baby is complex and ever changing. By knowing their hungry, full, tired, windy and sleepy cues you can build good foundations early in their life. Responding effectively to baby's cues and providing their needs makes baby feel secure and a part of a strong family.

A large part of having a baby consists of making decisions. So many decisions, which sleeping space? where to sleep? which monitor? which formula? which play mat? and so on and so on...

Knowing how to make decisions will make you feel confident. It is proven that confident and consistent parents have babies which sleep better ('Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It' by Sue Palmer). Swaddling To Toddling provide you with strategies for making decisions and supports you with making most of the decisions you will need before the birth. We provide unbiased, nonjudgmental information which you can choose to use how you like.

Doubt about the decisions you make can creep into the most confident of parent's mind. This is often caused by your own parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, friends and even strangers giving you plenty of advice about how easy it is to care for babies and saying 'Why don't you just do what we did?'. Generations have changed, our society is so different to what it was even 5 years ago: job types and working hours, stress levels, leisure options, technology and sleep patterns have changed so much. We are all figuring out how to survive and be happy in this fast paced, bright and consumer based culture.

Being a parent means ignoring some advice and choosing your own path together as partners, you can't do everything that people suggest. A large part of your antenatal course should be revealing your inner truths, values and goals. You need to know your hopes for your baby and your ideal family situation in order to make daily decisions. You need to know what you really believe is important in order to sieve through the mountains of advice you will receive, in order to feel confident and be consistent.

Bristol Antenatal courses focusing on labour and baby care. Book online today!

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