'He's off limits': Elyse Knowles opens up about new mum anxiety and keeping baby Sunny out of public eye

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 

Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker may have built profiles through their online following, but when it comes to their son Sunny, he's strictly off limits

The couple, who welcomed their son in February, are keen to shield him from that world. As Knowles told Essential Baby, social media can be 'a vicious cycle in itself'. 

"It's been really important for us to keep him out of the spotlight for now," she revealed. "We've built our presence in the media with our approval, but he hasn't asked to be a part of it and I think he's just way too young for it. People [could] take advantage of him or make money from him and so we've decided to keep him all to ourselves

"He's too precious. There will be a time to show him off, but for now he's all ours." 

Knowles, 30, has been adjusting well to motherhood, saying every day has brought a new surprise and she was enjoying being in a happy, all-consuming baby bubble.

"I'm never able to switch my mind off caring and thinking about him, every moment of the day - not in a negative way at all, but thinking about how he's feeling, what he's thinking, does he need a nappy change? How to play and have fun with him," she said. 

But while, five months in, the family have found a good groove, the daunting first weeks with a newborn are still fresh.

"I think there's been a lot of surprises, at each stage of having a newborn. Especially the level of anxiety about leaving the house, it scares you very much ... but you learn to deal with new things, because everything is new."


"Walking down the street, going to the supermarket, putting the baby in the car ...everything is new."

One way she's combated this is to draw from the advice of the family and parent-friends within her circle, rather than seeking out that of baby experts. This go-with-the-flow approach, she says, has allowed her to really get to know Sunny and what works for him. 

"Just chatting with friends and hearing what they've done [has helped]. I'm not a huge reader, I like to go off experience and practical learning. So it's really been a case of jumping in the deep end and figuring it out as I go," she said.

"Not scaring myself reading a million things. I've really listened to Sunny and watched him to figure it out." 

​A few of Sunny's most recent 'news' have been rolling on the ground for the first time and starting his first solids, which he's quite the fan of, Knowles shared. Adding it's also won her some much needed extra sleep.

"Sleep... that definitely hit me on the head, it still is. We're getting there though," she said. "We've just within the last week turned a little bit of a corner, he's started some solids at night and we fill him up full of veggies and he's love it, it's made him sleep through a bit more."

Every time he wakes from a nap she feels like he's grown more, has more hair or developed a new skill and Knowles is keen to soak in every moment. Which has made her conscious not to let any distractions from her world interrupt this - including her phone.

"I think focussing on what matters most, which is a beautiful bubba and not being distracted by everything else we have at hand ...either our laptops or our phones," she said.

"By getting outside, smelling the fresh air, dragging out the playmat, putting it on the ground and being present so they can watch you, not watch you being on your phone. Even though he's a baby he's learning and his brain is ticking away. We're all guilty of it, but it's just a matter of how much we do it." 

The mum and former The Block winner has channelled her passion for play into a new ambassadorship with Fisher Price, by creating her own capsule collection.

Due to be released in October, it's offered Knowles the chance to create items that she says offer 'simple solutions' for parents. 

"I'm very excited to partner with Fisher Price, to create items i'll be able to keep within the family and pass from child to child for a very long time," she said.

"It's inspired by nature and earthy tones and soothing designs that represent the Australian outback and i'm excited to add my touch of design. Hopefully other mums and parents will love it just as much as me."