With Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in labour - or by now perhaps adjusting to life as a new mum (depending on when you're reading this) - it has become became clear in our newsroom there is a big list of do's and don'ts when you or someone close to you has a child.
- Live updates: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in labour
- Newshub investigates: What will Jacinda Ardern's baby look like?
So I have collated the 'Definitive List of Newshub New Baby Advice'™; with a series of tips and advice for you and your loved one when there's a new, adorable, screaming, colicky, draining infant in the world.
Note: This is not certified medical advice, just advice from our very experienced Newshub family to yours.
Bring easy to heat, freezable, nutritious meals for your sleep-deprived loved one. Often they're so busy being a food source themselves, they forget to actually eat.
"My friend made us a massive bacon and egg pie. We were like 'we're so hungry and so tired and can't cook and don't know what to do' and we opened the fridge and there was this pie. I think I cried."
"Food that comes in a disposable pan or something you can just tip into the slow cooker is amazing. Don't bring anything with dishes a new mum has to worry about washing because she'll sink to the ground weeping."
"Those people who dropped around dinners we could heat up or UberEats for when we were totally knackered and hadn't slept for weeks and were drowning in poos: The BEST thing."
If you're a terrible cook and gifting a home-cooked meal to your friend might be more of a curse, another thing which continually arose from Newshub parental unit was gifting your time, whether that be taking away siblings from the household for an afternoon, or the new bub itself.
"Take the baby away from the new parents. Not in a 'Donald Trump putting them in cages way'; a 'letting them go down the street for a five minute coffee' kind-of-way."
"Best thing: looking after the baby (and any other children) for an hour or two so the parents can catch up on some sleep. This is still my favourite thing and my youngest are 18 months now."
We get it, as soon as you or a friend or family member are having a baby, all you want to do is buy every cute little tiny baby onsie or softer-than-soft toy elephant. But sometimes, the cutest presents are not the best.
"We don't need 27 soft toys. The most useful thing is clothes for babies that aren't newborn anymore. You get given all this newborn stuff and you shove it in a cupboard. When you find it six months later, the baby's outgrown it. Get them clothes for babies aged six months, twelve months."
"Having nappies gifted is a good one".
"New parents will be going through those pretty expensive nappies at the speed of light! To be given a box is a godsend. And baby wipes can be used for wiping up basically everything, so that's handy too. "
And don't forget things for mum and dad.
"Argan oil. I got given Argan oil and it was the best thing I've ever gotten. I still use it. It's the best time-saver."
However, if you are going to pop around....
Again, something that came up again and again was to NOT drop around unexpectedly when your loved one is trying to wrangle a household with a new baby.
"Bad: turning up unannounced when someone has a brand new baby."
"Worst thing: visiting without checking first."
Give notice, and bring along any of the helpful things in the list above!
There is lots of advice you can give your loved ones when they are worn out and sleep deprived. Here are some of Newshub's best tips, which you may want to share.
"Be strict on your babies sleep routine. It will save you endless sleepless nights later on. Every baby (unless suffering from a medical problem or illness) has the ability to sleep through the night from eight weeks old. Form good habits early no matter how tough it is to stick to them."
"Read Babywise. BEST READ EVER." (Babywise can be found on Fishpond here.)
"Don't stress out if you can't figure out the breast feeding thing the first week - it takes time. Just try and express as much as possible - you can use a syringe to feed that to an infant."
"If you can't breast feed and need to rely on baby formula, don't beat yourself up about it. You'll very quickly learn that you're not alone and all your child really needs in those early days is to be loved and fed by a relaxed and happy mother. "
"If you decide to use formula - choose wisely as it's important you don't change at a later date. Changing up a baby's formula midway through can mean a distressed baby for two or three weeks. And that two or three weeks is about ten years off your life. Do your research - Karicare is very good."
"Sleep when the baby's sleeping and don't worry about cleaning the house; your baby won't remember a bit of mess."
"Here's my 'what should I do when my baby is crying and won't bloody stop' checklist:
- Are they wet?
- Have they poo'd?
- Are they hungry?
- Are they tired?
- Are they sick? - check temp is between 36-38 degrees"
And finally, from a TV entertainment reporter who shall remain nameless, here is a reminder that some advice is very, very unhelpful:
"All new mums and mums-to-be should attach this sign to their forehead whenever someone offers their 'personal' opinion on why 'you' MUST breast feed and why 'you' MUST give birth 'naturally' vs c-section."