|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!|
There are lots of situations where parents disagree about cloth vs. disposable diapers. Parents who like cloth worry about the environmental impact of disposables, while parents who use disposables point out that washing diapers uses energy. Some cloth diaper parents think their children get fewer diaper rashes and potty-train faster because they can feel when their diaper is soiled. Disposables users counter that their children get fewer diaper rashes because the superabsorbent gel in most versions wicks away wetness from a baby's skin and neutralizes causes of rash in the baby's urine helping reduce the risk of diaper rash. Ultimately convenience and cost will be the deciding factors. A lot depends on lifestyle and what type of diaper works best for your child. If your baby is in day care, you most likely will need to use disposables, at least during the day. Some parents use cloth diapers at home and disposables when they're traveling.
If you're not sure which type of diaper to use you could try both types, some parents are put off by the prospect of laundering cloth diapers. However diaper services are available and with a reasonable inventory of cloth diapers you are only looking at adding another load or two of laundry and you should feel good about your choice because of environmental impact. Concerns about disposable diapers tend to be around the chemicals that have been used certain dyes, the super absorbent gel, and dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper. Sodium polyacrylate (absorbent gel) has been linked in the past to toxic shock syndrome, allergic reactions and is very harmful and potentially lethal to pets. Some dyes and dioxin according to the Environmental Protection Agency are known to cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. The Food & Drug Administration has received reports that fragrances in disposables caused headaches, dizziness and rashes.
|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.|
Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency include reactions to chemicals in the disposables, babies pulling disposables apart and putting pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth, plastic melting onto the skin, and ink staining the skin. Plastic tabs can also tear skin if the diaper is not properly put on the baby. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54 % of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16 % having severe rashes. A study done by a disposable diaper manufacturing company (we won't name the company, but it's one of the largest manufacturers) shows that the incidence of diaper rash increased from 7.1% to 61% with the increased use of throwaway disposable diapers. Keep in mind that each baby is different; some parents will find their baby does perfectly fine with disposables while other parents may find their baby has some type of reaction to disposables.
On the other hand cloth diapers can cause rashes by not being changed enough or properly cleaned and sanitized after becoming soiled. The best way to prevent diaper rash is to change diapers, cloth or disposable, frequently. While disposable diapers can hold large quantities of urine, this slight wetness is still against your baby's skin, which can lead to rashes. Cloth diapers should be changed every time your baby wets and then the diaper should be properly cleaned so all bacteria that may be in the cloth is killed.Ultimately the truth of the argument (Cloth Diaper vs Disposable Diaper) comes down to the parents being vigilant and how your baby is reacts to a particular diaper and how you feel about other factors that come into play when deciding between cloth and disposables.
|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.|