Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

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! 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: September 2019

Information from this partner

Found 12 results

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Your family and your new baby

Everyone is influenced by their family backgrounds. What aspects of your background do you want to repeat and what aspects do you want to leave behind? Babies benefit if their parents can discuss differences respectfully and make adjustments so that a unique new family can grow.

Read more on WWWT - What Were We Thinking! website

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: 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

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.