Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

WWWT - What Were We Thinking!

What Were We Thinking! (WWWT) is an innovative program for mothers and fathers having their first baby.

Many parents will have attended childbirth education classes during pregnancy to help prepare for the birth, however parents also have much to learn after the baby arrives. Imagining in advance how life will change with the arrival of a new baby is difficult, so WWWT provides relevant information at the time parents need it most - when their baby is in their arms.

What Were We Thinking! (WWWT) aims to fill two gaps in current parenting education:

  • strategies to manage baby crying and settling difficulties and promotion of sustainable sleeping habits from an early age
  • new language and ideas to help parents adjust to the changes in their relationship with each other after the birth of their first baby.

The program content is from research evidence, clinical experience and wide consultation with new parents, maternal child and family health nurses, clinical and health psychologists, general practitioners, paediatricians, lactation consultants and parenting educators.

Recommended links

Last reviewed: July 2015

Information from this partner

Found 14 results

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Parents workload with a new baby

Tasks become harder to do and take much longer when there is a baby to look after. The unpaid workload is obvious only when it is not done. All couples have to re-negotiate who does what after the baby arrives. The first step is to work out who does what now and the next is to talk about whether you want to arrange things differently. Household tasks and infant care are not usually described as work, but are actually a major, but unpaid, workload. All couples need to develop the skills to discuss the division of the paid and unpaid workload.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Going it alone

A babys crying is very distressing to parents. It is not known why babies sometimes cry for long periods without being easily comforted. However, babies vary in the amount and intensity of crying in their first year. If babies are well fed and are not currently sick, prolonged crying might be related to being over-stimulated and over-tired. If your baby cries for periods of longer than five to ten minutes and your current soothing strategies do not seem help, perhaps your baby needs quietness and sleep.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Things you say and do to your partner

The things we say and the things we do can have a big effect on our partners, especially after the birth of a baby. It is important to think about the ways in which we express our needs even if tired and grumpy. It is useful to practice giving some feedback to each other about both the good and the bad things that are said or done.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Each baby is different

Your baby is born with an individual temperament. Temperament has a number of characteristics, each of which varies across a wide range. If your baby is easily distressed or not easily comforted or has sleeping and feeding patterns that vary a lot from day to day, then a caretaking routine is likely to be helpful. This means that each day is structured to follow a similar pattern, and that consistent ways of feeding, soothing, bathing and playing with the baby are used.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: But you have a healthy baby

Everyone wants to have a healthy baby, but sometimes painful or frightening things happen during childbirth. Feelings about these may not disappear automatically when the baby is born. Both men and women can feel delighted about the baby and at the same time have quite separate feelings of regret or sadness about the baby's birth. It is okay to want to talk about these. Being told 'but you have a healthy baby' is not helpful because it stops these conversations.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Losses and gains from having a baby

The birth of a baby always brings both losses and gains. These will be different for each person. We usually imagine that a baby will bring only joy and delight. However, in reality it is more complicated. Providing good care for your baby means that you and your partner cannot do some of the things that you were free to do before becoming parents. Mums and dads need to look after each other.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Settling your baby

Sleep and settling strategies for a baby need to be simple and easy to follow, whether you are at home or out. Remember that when overtired or overstimulated your baby may find it more difficult to go to sleep. Soothe your baby, Make the baby comfortable, Soothe your baby, Put your baby into bed, Reassure your baby, Re-settle your baby if necessary.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Enough sleep

Babies need good sleep as much as they need good nutrition. While asleep, babies rest, grow and develop. Under-slept babies tend to cry more, to be difficult to comfort and difficult to play with, and therefore do not learn well. The baby needs help to learn to sleep for at least two cycles during the day sleeps, to increase the length of night time sleeps, and to have adequate total sleep in twenty-four hours.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Speaking up for yourself

Babies thrive best when the day is structured to meet their needs, not the needs of adults. The Feed - Play - Sleep routine is the core structure of a babys day at any age, making life more manageable for everyone. It takes some weeks for this routine to become familiar and we all need support from our partners, family members and friends as we introduce it. You will be able to refine it to suit your baby and your own situation with time. There are details about how to begin on the following pages.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

WWWT Worksheets/Strategies: Understanding baby's crying

A babys crying is very distressing to parents. It is not known why babies sometimes cry for long periods without being easily comforted. However, babies vary in the amount and intensity of crying in their first year. If babies are well fed and are not currently sick, prolonged crying might be related to being over-stimulated and over-tired. If your baby cries for periods of longer than five to ten minutes and your current soothing strategies do not seem help, perhaps your baby needs quietness and sleep.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback