The things experts really want you to know about having a baby

When you're about to have a baby, the amount of information and advice that's thrown at you can feel beyond overwhelming. 

The Baby Show is on in Auckland later this month, so we've gathered the top tips from some of the show's experts on what they think you really need to know. 

Dorothy Waide

One of NZ's leading sleep consultants and best-selling author

  • Babies need two nutrients, food and sleep. If they sleep well, they feed well.

  • It takes TACT - time, acceptance, consistency (80 percent) and touch (presence).

  • Go with your gut. You know your baby, you are your baby's expert and baby whisperer. People like myself are there to support you on your journey.

Natalie Flynn

Clinical psychologist and specialist in maternal psychology

  • Be wary of parenting advice that makes your life harder, calls for radical lifestyle changes or makes sweeping promises - your main job is to stay calm and be kind.

  • Choose parenting approaches that make sense to you - in the words of Dr Benjamin Spock "you know more than you think you do".

  • Your emotional health is as important as any parenting choice - learn how to ask for and accept help around the house and with baby care, you can pay it forward later.

Gemma Douglas and Linee van der Meer

The Motherhood Project 

  • Accept that life will be uncertain and unpredictable for a while. Ironically, accepting this will make you feel more in control than desperately trying to be in control all the time.

  • Don't compare yourself to other parents. From your perspective, they might seem like they are doing a much better job than you, but the reality is that NOBODY has it all figured out.

  • Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your family. Making yourself a priority is not selfish - it's an absolute necessity.

Kate Meads

The Nappy Lady, and NZ's own waste-free warrior

  • Buy what you need and nothing else - many parents spend a huge amount of money buying what they think they might need and often don't end up using half of it.  As long as you have a bed, bedding, a car seat, clothing and the basics when baby comes that is all you really need.  If you end up needing bottles, or gimmicky things once baby is born they are easily accessible online or from the shop down the road.

  • Try cloth nappies, even using just one cloth nappy per day.  You don't need to go full time, just have a go and not only will you save money but you will prevent 360 single use disposable nappies per year from going to landfill.  If every baby in New Zealand in nappies was to just use one reusable cloth nappy per day 1 million disposable nappies would not end up in landfill every week.

The biggest parenting event in NZ, the Baby Show is happening in Auckland from August 16-18, bringing with it everything you need to set yourself up for parenthood.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of information available about how to give your baby the best start in life, the Baby Show's SmartStart Seminar Series is free to attend, with talks by some of New Zealand's top experts on a range of vital parenting topics.

More info and tickets available here