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!

Additional Information:

For first time parents, every aspect of the nursery needs to be perfect – from the equipment that goes in it to the decoration and art you will put on the walls. You want your nursery to stand out from the rest and to be unique to your special baby. Not only this, I believe that art for children's bedrooms should be fun, inspirational and spark children's imaginations as well as providing beautiful nursery decoration. With every new collection or design we come up with at Little Crab Designs, we have this very thought in the front of our minds and strive to create really special pieces of art for nursery decoration that will be treasured for many years to come. Personalised art is a really special way to make the nursery specific to your baby. Of course you cannot really do this until baby is born, but it is a lovely way to welcome a baby into the world and make their nursery unique to them.

I can still remember, even though it's a long time ago now, how I felt about our firstborn's nursery and how important it was to me to get it absolutely perfect. A difficult task when you don't know what you're having! In the end I painted each wall a different colour, choosing pale yellow, green and blue with no specific girl or boy features.

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.

This is the principal I work with today in my business as a lot of couples still prefer not to know the gender of their first child. A lot of the artwork out there available for nursery decor is very gender specific but if you want to decorate in a neutral way – this is not very helpful. On the other hand if you know exactly what you are having – then although you might want girls specific pictures or boys specific pictures – choosing something that sets your nursery apart from the rest is all important. Nobody wants people to walk into their precious newborn's nursery for the first time and say “I've got those pictures” or “I've seen those in so and so's house”. So finding something unique and different can become quite a challenge.

You will consider whether to go for a theme which runs throughout the nursery such as farm animals or sea themed decor for example, or whether you want to create a more general look with just some nice pieces of quality artwork on the walls. These days you can co-ordinate bedding, nursery wall decor, curtains and soft furnishings to give a very strong theme to a nursery. However, should you prefer to have a more general, classic look with various different pieces of art on the walls and non- specific soft-furnishings, you can have great fun creating an eclectic styled nursery with no specific theme running through it.

Another thing to bear in mind when decorating your nursery, is that all too soon your baby will become a toddler and then a little person with very strong views of their own about how their bedroom space should be decorated, so now is the time to have the nursery decoration that you want before it isn't your choice anymore!

Even when your baby has grown up and their taste in wall decor changes, you find yourself wanting to keep pieces to remind you of the younger years in their life and if you have chosen your nursery art carefully, these will be pieces you will hang onto for a long time, to keep the memories.

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.
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