Monday, February 11, 2013

first time mum.

I have to say that having a baby here in Australia has been amazing so far. From my awesome maternity leave to the free programs that they offer, it is really unreal. To say I am thankful and so happy just isn't really enough.

Of course, I have obviously never had a baby anywhere else and am therefore comparing apples to... well, absolutely nothing else, but I can tell you now that these apples over here are pretty darn sweet! Maybe these programs and opportunities are available everywhere around the world, but I thought I would share a few of my top "being a first time mum in Oz" favourites with you. 

 Lachlan's Australia Day outfit. He's super excited about it, haha

Firstly, everywhere you go there is something they call a "parents room". They vary from place to place, but they are everywhere! So what is a "parent's room" you ask? Well, it is basically a separate bathroom area specifically designed for parents with children- Larger bathrooms with tiny toilets for potty training children, changing stations for dirty baby bums, microwaves for warming up food for little tummies, TVs and play areas for kiddos that might need a little break and curtained off areas with big comfy chairs for breastfeeding mommas. Some are bigger and nicer than others, but they all have the basics... and it is all free and there for everyone to use! I seriously love it and think it makes getting out of the house easier for parents knowing there is a place for them too! Love it!

[this picture has nothing to do with the Parent's Room... 
I just think it is too freakin' cute not to share :)]
"Just preparing for a day at the office." Thanks @katesto

The other thing that I just can't say enough good things about is the Child Health Program. I have no idea if this is just a Queensland (the state we live in) thing or if programs like this exist all over Australia. I really know so little about this program but was told to call this 1 300 number after we had our baby for free health check-ups for Lachlan. The hospital told us that they would help us with breastfeeding problems, do health and weight checks, answer questions about feeding, sleep, settling... you name it. But the thing I was the most interested in was the First Time Mum's Groups they set up for... you guessed it, FIRST TIME MUM's!

Basically, I called this service the week after Lachlan was born and signed up to be a part of the group in my area. After you call up they do some magical matching thing and put everyone in to mum's group based on the age of your baby and where you live. As long as you call and put your name down before your baby is 6 weeks old, you are IN! The first few classes you actually meet with a Child Health Nurse at your local Community Health Centre where you get to know all of the babies and mommas and learn about bit about what it means to be a first time mum. You get to ask questions, listen to the other mum's stories and give your two cents when you feel so inclined. You also get a list of the contact details for everyone in your group so that you can get together outside of these schedule meetings for some much needed girl time.  I mean, seriously... A list of friends who just went through, and are going through, the same exact thing as you?!?! I HAVE STRUCK GOLD!!

Lachlan hangin out with his friends!

Not only that, but through this group Lachlan gets to make his first 6 friends too!!  This is him just chillin' with his homies Nate, Samuel, Summer and Madden (Taylah and Riely not pictured). 

As a group we decided to meet up every second Monday; taking turns hosting everyone at our houses. Babies play while momma's drink coffee and talk about fun things like sleep cycles and poop. It's great! As much as our regular meetings with the Community Health Nurse are helpful, it is the time sharing ideas and concerns with these new mum's that I am just so thankful for. We all know how hard it is to make friends as adults and am so grateful to this completely FREE program for introducing me to these women... SO. THANKFUL.

Okay, this is getting a bit long so I'll go ahead and cut it off there and leave you with a few American to Aussie baby related translations to add to your vocabulary today. Enjoy :)
Stroller = Pram
Crib = Cot
Diaper = Nappy
Pacifier = Dummy
Baby = Bub

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