Newborn Baby Lying On Mom's Lap

12 Fourth Trimester Tips For New Moms PLUS Bennetts Hamper Giveaway

The term “fourth trimester” might sound strange, as your baby is already born. Basically, the fourth trimester is the three-month period after birth when your new-born goes through great change and development, adjusting to life outside of the womb.

This is the time when your new-born relies on you for attention, love and loving care. Being used to the confinement of the womb, she is now getting used to adapt to open space with your help and support.

She must still develop significantly over the next few months.

This is the time when your baby will have to get used to light, smells, sounds, sensations and a variety of unfamiliar noises from the outside world.

The mental as well as physical changes she will undergo is just as important as the time she spent in your womb.

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12 Fourth Trimester Tips for New Moms

In the first three months of your baby’s life you will notice the following changes:

  • She will be developing more controlled movements and breath more steadily.
  • She will start settling into feeding patterns and consistent sleep routines.
  • She will improve social skills to enable her to interact with objects, music and family and friends for longer periods of time and with more attention.
  • By the end of the fourth trimester you’ll notice a change in her physical appearance and mental and social abilities.

The fourth trimester is also a time of change and adjustment for new Moms.  Not only will your financial situation change drastically, you will experience a lack of sleep, physical changes to your body and your relationship with your partner will be affected.

You will also get used to your role as a mum.

The following tips can be very helpful in guiding you through this new chapter in your life. Knowing what to expect can be very re-assuring and make your journey into parenthood a little easier.

Fourth trimester tips for new Moms

  1. Rest during baby’s daytime naps

Try to catch up on sleep during your baby’s daytime naps. Sleep deprivation makes it hard to cope during the first few months. If you can’t fall asleep, make yourself a hot drink and relax on the sofa.

When breastfeeding, try putting baby’s cot next to your bed which will make night feeds easier. Get your partner involved by sharing night feeds if your baby will take a bottle, whether you’re expressing breast milk or formula feeding.

Just born newborn baby

  1. Eating healthy

It can be difficult to find the time to cook when you have a new-born. Aim for meals that are easy to prepare, but also nutritious.

  • Eat foods rich in protein, such as fish, eggs, beans, lentils or lean meat and chicken.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to keep your immune system working well and avoid postnatal constipation.
  • Eat slow-release carbohydrates such as pasta and brown rice to keep you going through the day.
  • Eat regularly.
  • Avoid snacking on sweet things. A piece of fruit or a handful of nuts is a better alternative.

Woman resting

  1. Relax and make time for yourself

Taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of a baby.  Ask a trusted friend or relative to babysit. You can make use of this time by taking a nap, going for a haircut or doing some shopping, whatever is relaxing and giving you some time for yourself.

  1. Confide in someone

During this time the changes and adjustments will also affect your partner. Strengthen your relationship by talking about it. Try not to focus on the things you couldn’t manage to do and rather remind each other of the things that you did achieve.

Sharing your worries with someone else can relieve stress and it helps to talk about it rather than keeping it to yourself.


  1. Exercise

Start with gentle tummy and pelvic floor exercises as well as short walks while you recover. Wait until you’ve had your postnatal check-up before you start any strenuous exercise.

Exercising can be good for mental and physical wellbeing and can give you more energy.

Babywearing while going for a walk can help you burn more calories and is a great way of keeping baby close while exercising.

  1. Be prepared and have peace of mind

Make sure you stock up on baby essentials, wipes and nappies. You’ll be going through a lot of wipes and especially nappies during the fourth trimester. You can add nappies and wipes on your baby register, because these are items that you can never have too many of.  Some retailers are willing to exchange unopened nappy packs (Pampers and Huggies) if you need a different size. By being prepared and having enough stock of essential items, you will have peace of mind when the big day arrives.

Baby feet basket

Helpful tips for taking care of baby during fourth trimester:

  1. Crying

A baby is likely to cry more in the fourth trimester than any other time of her life. You baby will be too young to have a fixed routine, therefore it is acceptable to feed or soothe your baby when she cries.

  1. Sleeping

New-born babies sleep a lot which is good for them. It assists the brain with processing all the sensory stimulation they get when they are awake. Babies have no concept of day or night and it might take a while for them to settle into a sleeping routine. For the moment, it is better to let your baby sleep whenever she chooses to.


  1. Feeding

Your new-born has a small stomach and needs to be fed little and often. The ideal is to feed at least eight feeds during a 24-hour period.

Helpful cues and signals to look out for when a baby is hungry includes sucking on her fingers, turning her mouth and opening her mouth.

New-borns are too young to have a feeding routine. Feeding them on demand whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding is ideal.

Feeding time is also a great opportunity for parent and baby bonding.


  1. Skin-to-skin contact

Regular skin-to-skin contact can soothe her when she is fussy and ease crying. It can stimulate her sense of touch, improve breastfeeding and stabilise her heartbeat.

  • While in your womb, your baby was constantly “held” by the amniotic fluid. Carrying your baby in a sling or carrier close to your heart can mimic the movement your baby felt in the womb.
  • Swaddling your baby may assist in making her feel more snug and secure.


  1. Tummy time

After birth, your baby can move her head about, searching for your breast. She has some reflexes and instinctive responses, but other than that she is entirely helpless physically.

Physical development can be improved by daily tummy time. It encourages movement and build strength. You can start soon after birth.

By the time your baby is three months old, she’ll likely be able to push herself up on her forearms, raise her head and even keep it in position for a few seconds.

  1. Rocking and swaying

In your womb your baby was lulled and rocked by your everyday movements. Rocking and gently swaying while walking around, may comfort your baby when she is crying or fussy. It will be more soothing for her than sitting down, cuddling her.

Conclusion

During the fourth trimester new parents will face changes and adjustments. It can be exciting, stressful as well as challenging. But at the end of the day it is more than worth it. You are welcoming a new little bundle of joy into your family. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take each day in its stride, trust your instincts and do whatever you know is best for your new-born baby

Bennetts Baby Hamper Giveaway

Enter The Bennetts Hamper Giveaway

While our products are made with the finest ingredients, they’re also infused with care, knowledge and passion.

Enter your details into the form below to stand a chance to win a Bennetts Hamper to the value of R650.

Increase your chances of winning by gaining extra entries:

  • Leave a comment below this blog post sharing your favourite tips for new moms to cope during the fourth trimester
  • Share this post on social networks, tag @Kaboutjie and include the hashtag #winwithkaboutjie 

The winner will be announced via blog post on Thursday 27 September, as well as notified via email.

This competition is open to residents of South Africa only.

Please be sure to check our competition terms.

***COMPETITION CLOSED***

 

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12 comments

  1. My favorite tips for new mom is Skin-to-skin contact.

  2. What a super article with great ideas. As much as one person differs from another,so ideas and tips will differ..but I made sure that I got plenty rest when baby slept and skin to skin contact very important #Kaboutjie

  3. Thanks for reading my article @olivier and good luck with the competition!

  4. Try to catch up on sleep during baby’s daytime naps

  5. Skin to skin is definitely one of my top favourites. Also love when she hold my one finger with her entire little hand. So precious.

  6. My favourite newborn tip is to rest while baby is resting. Cook meals for two nights or make meals you can freeze and just reheat. I allowed visitors two weeks after baby was born so that hubby and I could establish a routine for ourselves. Skin to skin was a benefit for baby, hubby and I. This article was very informative and helpful to new mommies

  7. Thanks @nastassjamokhanegmail-com for reading my article and good luck with the competition. 🙂

  8. Also one of my favorite’s @mombhappy and those little legs are adorable. Thanks for reading my article and good luck with the competition.

  9. I never believed everyone when they rest when baby sleeps, but i did. In beginning you run on excitement and adrenaline. I used to watch how my baby slept, because i was in awe of this beautiful baby. But then the tiredness set in lol. Breastfeeding was for me the best because of the bonding. Today my little girl is 16months and can’t imagine life without her

  10. @lizellejvv, that is the truth. It was the same for me. Luckily my two-year old sleeps through most nights, we still take naps when he does over the weekends. I think I’m making up for all the countless hours I’ve lost when he was still a tiny baby. 🙂 But it was totally worth it and I will not change a thing.

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