When I had my first daughter Chloe I attended NHS ante-natal classes and read every baby book and magazine that I could get my hands on, when Chloe was born I was shocked that I did not have a clue what to do with her. I had never been around a newborn baby before so I was frightened to pick her up, I did not know how to feed her or change her nappy or dress her and I felt totally clueless for those first few weeks while I figured out these things. Even when I had my second daughter Sophia I was still a bit unsure of things, as so much had changed in regards to baby care in the ten-year gap between my children. I bet I am not the only new parent who has felt like this, so this is where Baby Natal come in.
Baby Natal offers new parents or parents-to-be a range of different classes to help prepare them for there new arrival. One of these classes is a Practical Baby Care Workshop. I was contacted when I was pregnant by Katy, who runs these classes in Newcastle and asked if I would like to attend one of her classes. I was actually meant to attend this class before Jacob was born but due to the other half working and me struggling at the end of my pregnancy I never got to attend until after Jacob was born.
Katy runs the classes either as a group or you can book a private class, we were lucky that Katy offered us a private class and came to our home. The morning Katy came was rather hectic as the house was a mass of destruction from Sophia and having a newborn baby, Katy did not even bat an eyelid - you can tell she is a mum to a toddler herself. Katy was lovely and while she was professional the whole time, she was so lovely, friendly and easy to talk to.
The practical baby care workshop is basically a three-hour workshop that helps to teach you about caring for your newborn baby. I honestly thought that as a mum of three I would not learn anything from this workshop but I really did. The workshop covers things that I would have found so useful when I had my first baby (which I mentioned I found difficult at the start), such as it shows you how to hold and pick up a baby properly, how to dress a baby, change a nappy and how to bath them. And you practise these things yourself on a doll - it might sound daft practising on a doll but it really does help you learn what to do and it is not as daft as it may seem.
The class also covered things like how to use a cloth nappy as well as a disposable, which I found useful as I honestly thought cloth nappies would be so awkward and messy but they seemed really easy to use. It covered how to use a sling, Katy brought with her a selection of different slings and showed how to use them and the correct way to wear them. I found this very useful, Jacob is a clingy baby and with having a toddler to run around after I think a sling is something I may have to invest in.
Another thing I found really useful was how to swaddle a baby and the different types of blankets you can use to swaddle a baby in. I honestly never knew how to swaddle and I know that lots of newborn baby's love being swaddled as it makes them feel safe.
Other things that are covered in the workshops are things like the role of the dad and how he can bond with baby and help out with the baby. Learning about what a newborn baby is really like and what to expect with the first nappy explosions, how to care for the cord, tests and checks that your baby may be offered after birth, baby sleeping and what there cry might mean and feeding.
Everything covered in the workshop is so useful, the class cover everything that you will need to know in those first few precious weeks with a newborn baby.
What I liked about Baby Natal is that they offer you choice, they show you and tell you about lots of different ways of caring for your newborn such as they show you how to use cloth and disposable nappies. And Katy was brilliant at showing and explaining things - you can tell she use to be a school teacher as she speaks with confidence and explains everything so well.
I really think that these workshops are great, I only wish that they had been around when I had my first baby all them years ago. The NHS classes never covered any of the things that I learnt through baby natal. I also believe that these classes would have been a huge help when I had my second daughter, due to the big age gap between my children. I would defiantly recommend them to anyone as they will make those first few weeks with your newborn baby so much easier as it will help new parents feel more confident and informed about life with a newborn baby.
Baby Natal offer classes all over the country which you can view on their website. All classes must be booked in advance and you can book them via the Baby Natal website.
I really enjoyed this workshop I found it useful and informative and found Katy really friendly and knowledgeable.
* Disclosure - I was offered a free Practical Baby Care Workshop class for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own honest account of this Workshop and I was not paid for this review.