|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!|
Kick off your party with one of these games. We recommend you schedule at least one to two games to start after everyone arrives, but before food is served and gifts are opened. It will break the ice and get your party going in the right direction.
Distractions, Distractions! – Give guests a series of tasks to complete (such as diapering a baby doll, folding laundry…) and have guests shout out distractions with instructions (such as the phone is ringing-answer it, dinner is burning-go to the kitchen, the dog wants to go out-go to the door). Time the guests to see who completes their challenges the quickest.
Baby To Be — Group your guests into teams and give each team some baby/parenting magazines. Have them cut out pictures representing different physical baby qualities (blue eyes, chubby legs) or personality traits (holding a ball=athletic) and put together a picture of how they think the mother-to-be's baby will turn out. Have the mother-to-be pick which baby she thinks will be most like hers!
Guess Who — On their invitation, ask guests to bring a baby photo of themselves to the shower. Place all photos on a poster board and number each. Give guests paper and pencils and have them guess the identity of each photo. The one with the most correct answers wins.
|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.|
ABC Name Game — Pick a guest to start the game by saying a baby name that starts with A. Have the person sitting next to them continue with a B name, the next person with a C name and so forth. If a player cannot give a name within a couple seconds during their turn, they are out of the game. Keep going until one player remains.
Finish The Nursery Rhyme Game — Do you remember popular nursery rhymes from your childhood? This game tests guests by giving them part of a line of a rhyme such as “Hey diddle diddle….” They have to write down the rest “…the cat and the fiddle.” The one with the most complete answers wins.
Baby Pictionary – Before the baby shower, create playing cards by writing words or phrases that have to do with babies on each card. During the shower, divide into teams and give each team pencil and paper. One person from each team draws a card with the word or phrase for her team to guess. The team that guesses correctly first earns a point. Set a timer for two minutes to keep the game moving along. If the timer goes off before a team guesses correctly, allow someone new from each team to draw and choose a new card. After 5-10 rounds, the team with the most points wins.
Guys and Dolls- This is a game for a couples shower that pits the men against the women in a battle of the sexes. The challenge is to see whether “Mom” or “Dad” will be a better source of knowledge for the new baby. Test gender based trivia such as “what is concealer?” and “what do the letters MVP stand for?” The gender with the most answers wins.
|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.|