|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!|
Congratulations, you have reached the halfway stage!If you've been following your baby development week by week you'll know that at week 19 she is around 6.5 inches in length (17cm) and 9 ounces in weight (250gm).
Her whole body will be covered in the greasy white substance known as Vernix Caseosa.
This is made up from a mixture of lanugo (fine, downy hair), oil and dead skin cells. It is vitally important for protecting your baby in the womb from the effects of lying in amniotic fluid 24/7.
Just imagine what your skin would look like if you sat in a bath for nine months. Well this greasy protection – which some babies are born with – prevents her skin turning prune-like.
This is an important period of your baby development week by week because the nerve cells in her brain responsible for taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing are forming complex connections.
She also looks more like a baby now with her arms and legs in situ and in proportion.
You'll most likely find that from this stage on you also grow quicker and really start to feel pregnant with some of the not so pleasant side effects.
You may have a few aches and pains caused by stretching of the abdominal ligaments that support your uterus. Contact your GP if they become persistent or severe.
|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.|
Increased oestrogen in your body may be causing unpleasant changes in your skin; it may become dry or spotty or dark pigment patches called chloasma may appear on your face.
Around week 19 your nipples and any existing freckles or scars may get darker as well as the 'linea nigra' (dark line) that goes from your pubic bone to your naval becomes more visible. This pigmentation is natural side effect and disappears soon after giving birth.
At week 20 your baby will weigh about 11 ounces (310 gm) and be about 7inches (17cm) long.
At this stage of your baby development week by week she will have permanent second teeth forming behind her milk teeth.
Your baby will now be making meconium, the sticky, black-tar-like matter which will form her first bowel movement and is made up of amniotic fluid, digestive waste and dead skin cells.
At this half way mark baby will be swallowing a lot – which is good training for the digestive system and his or her genitals will be formed.
By now you should have gained around ten pounds in weight (putting on a further pound or two a week now until delivery).
At this stage of your baby development it is important to have sufficient iron in your diet for the production of haemoglobin in red blood cells.
Try eating more red meat, prunes, green leafy vegetables and soya-based products.
|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.|