When I was pregnant, I spent a LOT of time searching the internet for inspiration to create the PERFECT nursery. Thankfully I did not spend too much money on creating it because guess how much use it received? About four months…
For the first four months of her life, I slept on a mattress on the floor next to my baby’s cot because I couldn’t bear to leave her side in case I didn’t hear her when she needed me. Thankfully I met a wonderful lady who showed me a photograph of the side-car co-sleeper* her husband had put together for her baby. Without hesitation, my husband took apart our cot and screwed it onto the side of our bed. We’ve co-slept* since that day and the nursery is now my lovely little yoga studio!
In hindsight, I wish I had co-slept* from Day One. If I ever had another baby, I would set up a mama and baby sanctuary to cocoon us during those early days and weeks.
Here are some ideas for creating a peaceful (and practical) postpartum sanctuary:
- a cot/bassinet that fits beside your bed or a side-car co-sleeper* so you can scoop baby into your arms without getting out of bed (especially valuable if you have a winter baby, as I did!)
- a large bottle of water to keep you well-hydrated
- a basket of nourishing snacks (that you can eat with one hand) such as fresh fruit, bliss balls, dates and healthy muffins
- a basket of your favourite pamper products such as lotions, essential oils, rosewater mist, lavender pillow spray (stick to products that you know are also safe for baby to touch/smell)
- a nappy change basket containing nappies, wipes, barrier cream, a change mat, nappy disposal bags (or wet bag if you use cloth) and spare onesies
- comfortable clothing that has easy access for breastfeeding (if required)
- heating / cooling / fresh air as appropriate for the season / climate
- a white noise machine to block out external noises (we sleep to “Rain in Scotland” ha!)
- a red nightlight so you can feed/change nappies without putting on any bright lights
- a soundtrack of soothing music or your favourite upbeat tunes
- your phone, tablet and/or laptop (and their chargers) for taking photos, keeping in touch with family/friends and binge-watching your favourite shows (please turn them off before bedtime and never ask Dr Google or parenting forums anything about your baby, especially not at 3am!)
- some very light, fluffy novels to read (or whatever you really enjoy reading – nothing too sad/scary/intellectual and definitely no baby sleep training books!)
As you can see, most of these things are for YOU mama, not your baby. It’s all about keeping yourself comfortable, nourished, relaxed and happy so that you have the energy and patience to care for your little one. Babies don’t need stuff, they just need a peaceful, loving mama.
Would you like to work with me? Click here for details of Nurture & Restore, my holistic self-care program for mothers, which includes yoga and mindfulness classes, retreats and a supportive community for all stages of your motherhood journey.
* I hesitated about sharing this post because whether or not to co-sleep is a very personal choice. It is the choice I have made, but I acknowledge that it is not necessarily practical, preferable or even recommended for everyone. Please consider your own circumstances, speak to your caregivers and do your own research about the necessary safety precautions. As a starting point, Ask Dr Sears has lots of information on the topic of Sleep Safety: https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/sleep-safety