Baby Shower Hosting A Baby Shower Openhouse Style

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:

Planning a baby shower can be hectic. Invitations, refreshments, games, decorations, and location are just a few of the details that can be overwhelming. The location can be the biggest obstacle. Can it accommodate the number of all guests invited at one time? If not, would an open house be a better option? Baby shower open houses are a great idea for allowing a larger-than-space-available invite list. They are also great if you know the guests are not likely to commit to staying the full time because of their busy lives. Who doesn't love a hostess who is accommodating to all lifestyles? Those who are too busy to stay may come and leave on their own time frame. Those who love to stay and chat may be around the entire time. Everyone invited will be happy to come bring their best wishes for the new mother.

This type of shower will also eliminate the need for the ever dreaded games. Instead, guests may write a few baby tips or advice in a journal or scrapbook that gives each person a removable page to write on. Nobody will have to stand around waiting for their turn with the special baby advice book. Their completed pages will be put in a cute bowl or basket and the hostess can assemble them when the shower is over. Guests may sign the matting on a cute frame for the baby room. Provide them with ink in the color scheme of the room and it will be a nice reminder of the shower. Or maybe a quilt can be set up to tie. Baby quilts do not take much room and guests can feel like they enjoyed adding their personal touch to something for their friend. No matter what activity chosen, the planning is much simpler because of the open house style of shower.

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.

Decorations and refreshments can be streamlined. The location can be large or small depending on your preference. It doesn't matter if all the guests show up at the same time because there is no need to sit for long periods of time at an open house. Refreshments can also be finger foods that may be eaten while standing or sitting, just in case there isn't enough sitting room for a few minutes. Let the mom-to-be mingle at her pleasure. The gifts can be displayed away from the refreshments to encourage conversations in a separate area of the room. The guests will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy one another's company as smaller conversation areas are created.

Lastly, have each guest address an envelope for themselves. The new mom will appreciate having the correct address already on an envelope prepared for her thank you note. The guests realize the overwhelming task of motherhood and will smile at your efforts to decrease some of the stress to come.

Planning an open house style baby shower will help ease your preparations also. As you go forward with the planning, consider saving yourself some time by purchasing your baby shower gift online.

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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