|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!|
Second hand baby stores are a fantastic way to save your hard earned money that is already spent on many other things for your new baby. Many health insurance policies don't pay for the full birth and hospital stay, racking up huge bills for new parents to start out with. When they need to bring this bundle of joy home from the hospital, the list of necessities is endless. Especially, when it is your first baby, and you don't have any baby related items in the house, you sometimes wish you had planted a money tree.
The most common item parents look for in buying second hand is clothes for their ever growing infant. The amount of clothes newborns go through as they grow quickly is endless. The local thrift shops have tons of second hand clothes, usually well organized and categorized by size, gender and season. Some of their clothes are barely used, and if you're lucky, many times you will find some clothes that were never used at all. You can buy brand name, gorgeous collections for a fraction of the price, and nobody will know the difference! You can save so much money doing this, and use it toward the bigger purchases like furniture and baby strollers.
|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.|
Many people even find beautiful nursery furniture in thrift shops for very reduced prices. Some parents will need a second baby stroller for the car, or their first stroller, and will head out to the baby consignment shop to find some real expensive model baby strollers reduced to pennies because they were used for about a year. Test and examine any baby strollers, swings or cribs to make sure all the safety mechanisms are in working condition. Many times you will only find out something is broken, after you have bought the item and brought it home.
Become a savvy consignment shopper, by inspecting each item before you buy it. You can save a lot of money in these thrift stores, if you shop smartly. Make sure there are no rips or stains in the clothing. When buying toys and books, you can also do very well, but make sure the games have all their pieces and the books are not missing pages. These are some things you can miss if you don't inspect.
Don't forget to return the favors you received from the thrift shops. Drop off your gently used baby clothes, toys and books to these shops, so another new Mom can enjoy your items. Check your attic for your old baby stroller, and swing that is in great condition. If you don't have a relative or friend who needs it now, donate them to the baby consignment, so you can help parents like you save their hard earned money.
|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.|