Nanny to A-list celebrities Connie Simpson has some wise words for expectant and new Mummies and Daddies
Nanny Connie has worked with many well-known families including Jessica Alba (pictured above with Connie), Jessica Alba, Emily Blunt, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel and even George and Amal Clooney. Connie recently published her book, The Nanny Connie Way: Secrets to Mastering the First Four Months of Parenthood, which talks in a sensible and nurturing way about everything from breastfeeding your baby to bath time and sleep routines.
Nanny Connie has worked with more than 250 babies over her impressive career of 30 years and there’s nothing she doesn’t know about caring for little ones. B spoke to her about parenting and her thoughts on how new Mummies can care for themselves too.
What is the biggest worry for new parents?
“All new parents worry that they’re ‘messing it up’, when they should be relaxing.”
What are your top tips for a great bedtime routine?
Tip 1: Establish and stick to a routine
“Babies are extremely smart and love routines. You have to train your baby, so that each step eventually leads to slumber. I cannot stress enough that this starts from day one!
“For night-time, I always give the baby a warm bath, a massage, jammies, and a little reading. Whether it’s nap time or night-time, just before you put them down, make sure they have a good feed, a nice burp, a clean diaper, and a good swaddle.”
Tip 2: Set the mood
“Setting the mood is also key. That starts with low lighting, and soft music – either calm spa or classical melodies. The baby will begin to realise the dim light and soothing music is their sign that it is time to relax and go to sleep.”
Tip 3: Allow yourself peace of mind
“As a new parent, it’s normal to be constantly checking that your little one is okay while they’re sleeping. However, this can be a draining experience for parents as they are in need of quality sleep just as much as their babies. There have been great advancements in baby technology that allow parents to have a peace of mind whilst their baby is asleep.
“I personally recommend the Owlet Smart Sock as a parent must-have. It was thanks to Jessica Alba that I learnt about this product. The Owlet Smart Sock provides parents with a peace of mind that their little one is OK by notifying them if their heart rate or oxygen levels are outside of pre-set zones.” (Ed’s note; be aware that any device is no substitute for parental observation and that babies should not be left alone for periods)
How can new Mummies care for themselves?
“Be verbal in how you are feeling. It is completely normal to feel tired from lack of sleep, or anxious that you are not doing a good job. Don’t keep your feelings hidden, be open about them and discuss them with your network – whether that be your doctor, family or friends. If they are made aware, they can actively work to help you overcome obstacles that might be both physical or emotional.
“Treat yourself. Go get a massage, a manicure, a nice new haircut – whatever you desire! Feeling pampered is vital for your post-partum mental rejuvenation. Similarly, buying new outfits that aren’t maternity clothes are critical for that mental transition.
“Why? For the last nine months of pregnancy you have undergone a significant emotional transition. It will take you at least another nine months for your emotions to go back to the way they were. These little baby steps above will make sure you’re on track to do so.”