Getting to know your baby

We used to think the womb was a dark place where not much happened.  Now we know so much more!  From 25 weeks gestation babies can display a wide range of facial expressions. The smile is the first facial expression – see below.  At around 26 weeks their tiny eyelids open and they can even blink!  

Babies are very social and want to connect; we think in the womb they are practicing getting ready to meet you! This video explains key development at each month.

Further resources:

The Association for Infant Mental Health UK believe that parents and infants deserve to be supported in developing bonding and attachment. The website has a range of videos and literature to show parents how to respond to a baby in a way that supports emotional wellbeing.

Getting it right from the Start: Tameside and Glossop Early Attachment Service developed a film on attachment and bonding for new parents. There are 10 chapters. The films are on their Youtube channel and Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are key ones related to pregnancy.   

Chapter 1: Attachment and Bonding 

Chapter 2: Why is it important to develop a good relationship with your baby (Baby brain development)?: 

Chapter 3: What can you do to help build a relationship with your baby

The DVD has been translated into Sylheti and can be accessed on YouTube.

UNICEF Building a happy baby leaflet: We now know that building a strong relationship between parents and their new baby will give them the best possible start in life and will help them to grow up happy and confident. This leaflet, which is free to download, helps parents to develop that strong relationship, starting in pregnancy and continuing into the early days, weeks and months of a baby’s life. 

Out of the Blue Videos: The changes experienced during pregnancy and parenthood can be difficult – some people struggle with emotional issues as well as physical symptoms. These can vary from very mild to very serious. Out of the Blue is a series of videos that was designed to address and support parents who may be experiencing a wide range of mental health problems: from generalised low mood and anxiety to severe depression and postpartum psychosis.

For dads/partners:

Dad Matters Tameside based organisation to support dads with their mental health and parent infant relationships. Offer web based and 1:1 support. In conjunction with Homestart Tameside and Glossop and the Tameside Early Attachment Service, Dad Matters have created a range of videos about a father’s experience of getting ready for and adjusting to parenthood. Check out their YouTube channel for more.

Commando Dad is a website full of information and advice created for new dads and is also available in a book form.

Proud 2 be Parents Support for LGBT parents and their children, and LGBT parents to be, across Greater Manchester.

Useful apps for parents:

The Baby Buddy app guides you through your pregnancy and the first 6 months following your baby’s birth. It is designed to help you look after your baby’s mental and physical health, as well as your own, and give your baby the best start in life. 

The Dad Pad is a useful app full of helpful practical tips for new dads.  

Peppy App If you are employed, you may want to view the Peppy App which allows employees to register (via a subscription) to connect with an expert practitioner through your smartphone. Any question, any time.

Mush App is a free to download app that helps you make and find friends who live nearby with kids the same age, arrange meetups, get advice from parenting experts and fellow mums on the topics keeping them awake at night and join chat groups based on everything from their due date to their love of reality TV.