|Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby|
|You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.|
|Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn|
|When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!|
Every parent wants to do as much as they can in their power to help their child learn to read. Many parents turn to online reading programs to help their children with reading. This is great because kids and parents can practice those newfound skills at home together. But how do you go about choosing the perfect program, and ensure you are not simply wasting your child's time?
Do not Just Read the Labels: Labels can sometimes be deceptive. A program can have some of the best marketing materials around, but just looking at the label with anything could get you in a lot of trouble. Not all fat free foods are actually good for your child, and not all programs that claim to be able to help to teach your child how to read are going to work as well as they say they might. Instead, look for a research-based choice that has solid results standing behind it to prove its ability to teach your child valuable skills. Look toward sites that have been awarded honors from other sites, as well as those that are developed by researchers or teachers.
Test the Software Out: Some software programs offer a trial period in which you can take a look at the software or play a few online reading games for kids before you actually sign up for the full version of the program. This is a great way to get a hands-on look at whether or not the program will actually be of service to your child. You may even want to have your child sit down and play a few of the games to see how well he or she interacts with it.
|Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch|
|If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.|
|Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped|
|At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.|
Talk to Others: You know lots of other parents. Ask them which online reading programs for kids they're using. Talk to parents within your child's school, at sports games, or at church. Even if you know parents with kids who are older or younger than yours, go ahead and ask to see if you've overlooked any potential avenues of help.
Go With Your Instincts: If you feel like a program might be good for your child, go with that feeling. If you just don't think it sounds like your child after looking at screenshots and reading about the program, it may not be the right one to meet your needs. As a parent, you know your child best, and not all online reading programs for kids are actually going to meet your child's needs, so go with what you think might be best.
There are lots of great learn to read programs out there, but the key is finding one that actually works for your child. You want it to be a fun, rewarding experience, because after all, reading is a life skill you want them to love.
The N READ curriculum is based on recommendations from the National Reading Panel and was developed by nationally recognized early education research professor J. Ron Nelson, Ph.D. Dr. Nelson is also Director of Curriculum Development for N KIDS.
N KIDS specializes in interactive phonics and spelling programs and software for children, including the Looney Tunes N READ Phonics, and the N KIDS Family Tablet.
|Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings|
|When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!|
|Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad|
|Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.|