The first year

Information and advice to support you during baby’s first year.

Title: You and Your Child: The First Year. Episode 05 of 15.

Title: Monique & Paulo’s Whānau

[Shots of Monique and Paulo playing with and changing their baby.]

Monique (voice-over): It's hard, but it's amazing. There are no words that can explain being a parent.

[Interview with Monique and Paulo.]

Monique: This is Peyton Taruna Agafili. He turns six weeks this Sunday.

Title: Emily & Daniel’s Whānau

[Shots of Emily playing with her baby.]

Emily (voice-over): It's been wonderful getting to know Sylvia. She's only four months, but I feel like she's come a long way since she was a newborn.

[Interview with Emily.]

Emily: I have two children – Leonard, who's two, and Sylvia, who's four months old.

Title: Frances & Wikeepa’s Whānau

[Shots of Frances and Wikeepa playing with their baby.]

Wikeepa (voice-over): It's hard to think about our life before baby. We used to do a lot of stuff, but it pales in comparison to being a father. I think it's changed me for the better.

[Interview with Frances and Wikeepa.]

Frances: She's a happy, happy child.

Wikeepa: She's a pretty chill baby. Most people say being a parent is hard work, and I think it's true if you're not prepared – if you don't plan ahead. You have to be quite on to it. Strategic, in fact.

[Interview with Monique and Paulo.]

Paulo: From my experience having a kid, it's been challenging, but it's an exciting challenge

[Ngaruna arrives at Monique and Paulo’s house.]

[Interview with Ngaruna.]

Title: Ngaruna Kapinga, Well Child Tamariki Ora Nurse

Ngaruna: Kia ora. My name is Ngaruna Kapinga, and I'm a Tamariki Ora (Well Child) Nurse.

[Ngaruna measures Monique and Paulo’s baby.]

Ngaruna (voice-over): When we come and do our visits, we do look at baby's measurements. We measure his weight, length, and head circumference.

[Interview with Monique and Paulo.]

Monique: She checks up on myself and baby. We've been really fortunate to have a good relationship with our nurse as well

[Interview with Ngaruna.]

Ngaruna: When we come in to see whānau, we talk about mum's well-being and health as well, to make sure she's is looking after herself, getting some sleep – often that can mean having nan or dad helping out and supporting mum and family as well.

[Interview with Monique and Paulo.]

Paulo: My main focus is making sure that they are both secure. Both well off, not being stressed by anything else, because I'll have that covered.

[Interview with Emily.]

Emily: Sylvia is in her own bed in our bedroom, and that works out really well.

[Emily carries her baby to the baby bed.]

Emily (voice-over): We can hear her through the night, and when she cries, I can get up to her pretty quickly. I also know that she's got her own space where she's safe, and we're not going to roll over on her in our sleep, and we don't have to worry about her when we're sleeping. I think we get a better sleep for it.

[Interview with Wikeepa.]

Wikeepa: We've got a mattress we put down, because as soon as we get home, she's usually asleep. Just somewhere close that we can put her down, and then we'll take her upstairs into her cot when she's ready.

[Monique carries her baby to the bassinet.]

Monique (voice-over): For us, it was really important that baby was in the same room as us, just so we're able to keep an eye on him. And his bassinet is right next to our bed so we can attend to him when he is upset, when he needs a feed, when he needs to be comforted.

[Shots of Emily’s baby biting on a toy.]

Emily (voice-over): Sylvia has started teething. She has two little hard bumps on her gums that you can feel. They come up and they get a bit sharper, then they go back down. It's a bit of a process, but she's handling it quite well.

[Shots of Frances and Wikeepa’s baby biting on a toy, and Frances checking the baby’s gums.]

Frances (voice-over): Her teeth came at ten months, which were her bottom teeth. Now her top set's coming. We brush her teeth in the morning and at night.

[Interview with Monique and Paulo.]

Paulo: The main thing is just to be patient. I know at times babies can make it stressful. You just have to remember what's most important.

[Interview with Frances and Wikeepa.]

Frances: I think for us the secret is in our planning. We choose not to do things because we've got baby now.

[Frances bathes her baby.]

Frances (voice-over): We still live our lives. I think you can still enjoy the balance of doing what you used to do. You just have to make it work.

[Interview with Emily.]

Emily: One thing I've learnt with babies, especially young babies Sylvia's age, is that everything is a phase and will pass – so the good and the bad, but especially when there are moments and you're worried or you're doubting yourself, or they're sleeping terribly – it's all a phase and it will pass. You will get through it.

Title: Our thanks to the families and health workers who appeared in this video for the Ministry of Health. Find out more about pregnancy and child health on

Three different whānau share their stories in this video about baby's first year. Hear what mums have to say about looking after yourself and dads describe how they support mum and baby. A Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse describes what happens during her visits to mum and baby. We see how baby is kept safe in bed and how whānau cope with a crying baby. We also hear what happens when baby starts teething.

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