|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!|
Rubber Ducky, You're the One…
The rubber ducky baby shower theme is great for a shower of any size. It can be used and adapted for a boy, girl, multiples, or a gender-neutral shower.
Baby shower invitations should be simple and fun, but give the recipient a little mystery about the event and an idea of the theme. Hint at the theme, or make it very apparent, whichever the mom/host prefers. Use craft tools and supplies to create ducky shaped invitations, print some off of the internet, or find some from the local grocery or hobby store. If wanting to be subtle, use traditional invitations (or make/print some), and let the theme come to life through simple words. At the top, it could read: “Rubber Ducky, You're the One. Little Boys/Girls are Oh-So-Fun!”, “Quack! Quack! Let's Celebrate Baby Jack!”, or “Rub a dub dub. There soon will be a new baby in the tub!”
Rubber Ducky Food
Coming up with ideas for food for any type of engagement can seem tedious. To get the ball rolling, here are a few fantastic ideas for baby shower food that follows the Rubber Ducky theme:
Cake. A must have no matter what, a rubber ducky cake sets this shower apart! Get creative with molds, fondant, and flavors. The one pictured above is two layers – a round cake as the base/bottom covered in fondant, and a molded ducky as the top layer.Cupcakes. A nice alternative to cake, or a wonderful accompaniment, cupcakes are easy to make and fun to decorate! The ones pictured to the right are chocolate with a mint filling, topped with butter cream icing (colored blue), chocolate balls (bubbles), and rubber ducky cake toppers.Rubber Ducky Punch. As lovers of pinterest know, creative recipes are endless, and punch is no exception! Float rubber duckies on top for a nice, “awwing” touch!Tea sandwiches. Grab a ducky shaped cookie cutter from a local craft or cake store, and use it to cut bread for sandwiches. Once you have the cute bread, the options for fillings are endless!Cookies. Using the same cookie cutter as did for the tea sandwiches, make sugar cookies. Use colored icing for the finish, along with treats and candies for the ducky's eyes. Adding blue-colored candy along the bottom of the cookie would give the feel of the ducky being in water/bubbles.
Rubber Ducky Games
There are not many published ideas for games for a rubber ducky baby shower theme. Coming up with games related to the theme will require some creativity, but it certainly is possible! Here are a couple of game suggestions to get you started:
|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.|
Duck Pond. Fill a large bowl (or a huge container that one would use to hold ice and drinks) with water. Obtain an adequate number of rubber duckies (ones that float; are used for the bath). There are quite a few directions that you could take this game. One is to number the bottoms of the duckies. Have everyone pick a ducky, and whatever number is on the bottom corresponds with a question that that person must answer, or a prize that that person has won. Another is to put a star (or other symbol) on the bottom of one ducky, and whomever chooses that one is the winner. This game could easily be whatever you want it to be!Musical Ducky. Just like with musical chairs, except that no one has to leave their seat as the ducky is passed around. Use a stuffed duck and baby lullaby music -or any type of music appropriate for such an occasion- and have guests pass the ducky around while the music plays. When the music stops (paused by whomever is leading the game), the person left holding the ducky is out. That person sits out for the remaining of the game, which continues the same way until one person is left. That person is the winner! This is a good way to get guests off of their feet and moving around.Ducky Bingo. Print bingo cards off of the computer, or hand make them using craft supplies.
Choose how the game will be played. Items could already be filled in to each square on the board (like, “diapers” and “nursery rhymes”), and then bingo could be played as normal. Or, the guests could fill in each square as directed, maybe with facts about the mom or baby on the way, or with what guests believe the mom will receive when she opens her gifts. If doing the first, have the mom tell a story about herself/the baby, incorporating as many key words as possible. If using the second, have the guests pay close attention when the mom is opening presents, and mark off each square as she receives something that someone has listed. The winner is the first to get a bingo (& say it aloud, of course)!Don't Drop the Ducky! When guests arrive, give each a small rubber or plush ducky. Advise the guest that that is his/her baby for the duration of the shower, and not to put it down. Once everyone has arrived, explain the game in more depth. Advise that if someone witnesses a guest place the baby ducky down (on a table, floor, etc. Placing on a lap while sitting is acceptable), to bring attention to it. The person whom set down the ducky then forfeits the ducky, and must return it to the host. At the end of the shower, see how many people (if any) still have their ducky, and award them with a small prize. An alternative to this, is that if a guest notices that one has put down his/her ducky, it can be taken away. Guests can collect baby duckies, and whomever has the most at the end of the shower wins. However, if one collects multiple duckies, he/she still cannot put them down!
You've Made This Shower Fun!
More ideas to make a rubber ducky baby shower even more spectacular are to display a rubber ducky diaper cake, an inflatable ducky, or to have the mom wear something “duckish” during the shower, like a ducky shirt or a funny ducky robe (over her clothes).
It's a Rubber Ducky world, and this world is ready to celebrate another little one! Have fun, congratulations, and feel free to post below about experiences and ideas.
|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.|