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Do you know how to look after a baby?(14 Posts)
When you were in the adoption assessment process, were you taught how to care for a baby? As in, nappies, feeding, safe sleeping etc
We are hoping to adopt a very young baby through Foster2Adopt. We have had training on attachment and theraputic parenting. But no one has actually asked us if we know how to keep a baby alive! I expected that would be important.
I'm interested to hear the experiences of others if you feel happy to share?
Normally your experience with children is discussed in your assessment. The social workers would expect some experience. If you don't have any they would generally ask you to get some childcare experience through babysitting family or friends children or helping in organised groups such as scouts etc.
The worries you have are typical of any new parent. I'd never even changed a nappy before my first son was born. The hospital gave me some leaflets on feeding and safe sleeping. I remember thinking as I was leaving hospital I have no idea what I'm doing.
With my foster to adopt child he was in hospital for ten days. I had to be taught to give him his medication but this also gave me time to refresh my memory on how to care for a new born.
There are lots of parenting books you could read on new born too.
We had no experience with children, and weren’t asked to get any (ours is a recent adoption). I read lots of books in advance and had the same worries as you, but it’s amazing how quickly you adapt and how intuitive looking after baby becomes.
Most people get support from their mothers so please don’t over think this you and your dp have two people who know exactly how to keep a baby alive
Their is not a book better and grandma if you’re is it with you
Many bio mothers read (or virtually eat) baby books while pregnant - you can get books which cover physical care and emotional and psychological and all other aspects of child development. It is extremely helpful to have 2 or 3 close people whether family or friends with fairly recent experience of babies who you can text questions to as and when you need a bit of advice. Babycentre.com is a good source of info. I think that training on this area or at least being pointed in the right direction should sensibly form a HUGE part of the training!
Oh don't get me wrong, we have done lots of reading and learning about caring for babies. I have just been quite surprised that no one has enquired if we have done this. I just thought it would be a big part of the training. Attachment theory is useful but I'd have thought panel would want to know we can feed a baby too! Thanks for all your replies!
This tickled me a lot when we were going through the process. DP and I were chatting one day around matching, and realised that we didn't know exactly what babies of DD's age ate. You do SO much training and prep, but because it's all about trauma, etc, it can be easy to forget the basics!
I got through by reading Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach, and it was actually pretty good to only have time to read one book. I think lots of pregnant people read loads and get s bit overwhelmed.
I also asked quite a bit on MN. My most memorable stupid question was what 8 month old babies wear.
Haha, completely get were you are coming from, we have just been approved, and we think we have done all of the learning in the big stuff, ASD, FASD, attachment, ADHD, etc. etc. but I had a massive wobble one day, because I suddenly thought about the stuff that 'keeps them alive', that I didn't know what to do, for example, there was a post on mumsnet about leaving kids to play in their room, and answers regarding bolting furniture to the wall. Well, quite frankly that hadn't even crossed my mind, but of course it was perfectly normal.
I would say, to get a good book, access to google and above all else trust your instincts. You've got this. You are as new to this as any new mum/dad. Would be. Trust your instincts, they are there for a reason.
I had this conversation with a friend who has birth children as I was surprised at the lack of 'how to care for a child' info too in the adoption process. She pointed out that the NHS classes only prepare you for the birth but nothing after. I think she said NCT classes cover how to change a nappy but that's about it.
Our foster carers were great and I learnt a lot from them and kept a lot of their routines such as how they managed bathtime, meals etc. And then we gradually transitioned to our own way of doing things. e.g. Foster carers were very hands-off at bathtime (it's how they are expected to do it). We do a lot more playing and messing around as a bonding, nurturing activity.
I remember being worried about knowing how much to feed them and also knowing how many layers of clothing to put on etc. But you just pick it up.
I learned what I needed from the fantastic FC during intros. I took copious notes, including DD2's, then age 2.5, 9 separate eating occasions each day.
Mainly with stuff we did
1. Observe FC doing something
2. Do it myself with FC observing me and commenting
3. Do it myself
I do think it is important to read 'normal' parenting books as well as adoption ones.
Birth parents (as we were 1st) just have to make it up. We read books
Gina Ford but they just got us stressed so we binned them.
If we get as far as AC this time, it will still be a shock though..
We didn't have a clue! Luckily the foster carers gave us their routine (LO was 7 months) and at intros we were there for feeding etc so knew how much milk and solids to give!
NO clue here either! Learnt fast though. to be fair I have no clue how to parent (and keep alive) a teenager either.
The best book I read was the one that in effect gavee me permission to ignore the books (and other people) and do what I wanted.
Adoption training for us did not cover any of the basics of keeping a baby or child safe, well, fed, clean etc.
We also have a birth dd and our free prep course and paid for NCT course did not cover much except breast feeding, although they may have touched on safe sleeping and safe co sleeping.
Post natal support from NCT did look at weaning.
I had cared for babies before (a long time before) so I did have some ideas.
I expect everything you need is on the internet.
I am sure you know sleeping is a big one. Advice on how to put baby to bed, always buy a new mattress for baby cot or pram etc, some advise a very dark room could work well if baby is not sleeping (so blackout blinds might help).
I would just read everything you can.
Sleep when baby sleeps is my best advice.
But no, the basics are not given for adoption and usually not when you give birth. And some things are important like sleep, and what not to give babies to eat etc.
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