|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!|
Playtime is one of the most crucial parts of your baby's development. For a newborn, you should ensure that your baby's toys are safe, stimulating and age appropriate. Here is a guideline for parents on how to shop for the most appropriate baby toys for your newborn baby.
Your newborn will not be able to grasp objects easily, so the majority of their toys should be visually stimulating or something to listen to. Bright colors and high contrasts are the easiest for your baby to notice at this age, which is why many newborn toys are designed in black and white.
Mobiles and dangling toys are often the first visually stimulating toys that will keep your baby focused for a short while. There are many varieties out there, from the common crib attachments to mobiles that you can attach to a stroller, for on the go entertainment.
Soft picture books provide a fantastic tactile experience for your newborn. They are usually designed with bright colors and various textures to stimulate your babies developing senses.
Wrist rattles are a great enjoyment for your little one. He will revel in the fact that he can produce noises. Handheld rattles are great, but are often dropped at the newborn stage, due to a weak immature grasp.
|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.|
Babies love music. Experiment different sounds and rhythms, to see which types of music, soothes your baby, and which type of music , awakens his senses. Many toys and stuffed animals have buttons to press to activate music. Initially you as a parent will be pressing the button for your baby to hear the music. However, over time your baby can learn the wonderful skill of cause and effect as he learns to push buttons and enjoy the effects.
Babies love to see themselves in mirrors, even if they don't understand who they are looking at. Many toys have little mirrors attached to them for baby to enjoy looking at their reflections.
You want to make sure that your baby is being stimulated wherever you go. When you are going on long road trips, there are many clip on toys that are designed for infant car seats, to entertain your baby. If you go for daily walks or jogs, while your baby is seated in the jogging stroller, you may want to purchase some toys that can be attached to the stroller hood, snack tray or belly bar. These toys will provide stimulation and entertainment at the same time, making your outing more pleasant for everyone.
There are many wonderful options for your baby's first toys. Don't fret if your child does not respond immediately to a newly purchased toy. They may enjoy them as they grow older. Many babies enjoy simple household items, like crinkly paper, shiny pots or spoons, and the all time favorite, your phone! It is important to keep your baby stimulated as often as possible, offering him new tactile opportunities to develop all his sense.
|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.|