Easy Meals For A New Mum

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:

It never fails to amaze new parents. A newborn baby is tiny and sleeps most of the time, but the whole house is turned upside down by their presence!

Life suddenly becomes very demanding and tiring with a tiny baby at home.

So, if you don't have a personal chef – or a relative staying with you to cook all the meals -it's a good idea to think ahead and prepare some easy meals that you can freeze before baby arrives.

It's important that you keep your strength up while breastfeeding and recovering from the birth and this way you can eat well without having to think about supermarket trips or cooking.

Pasta meals are perfect and freeze really well. Make some different varieties with protein (mince meat or chicken for example) some veg (shredded carrot, tomatoes, onions) and maybe a cheese sauce (providing calcium).

How about making some homemade soup? It's full of nutrients and can be frozen in individual portions so you've always got something healthy to grab and defrost.

You can make soup with any vegetables; a potato and an onion make a good base for anything like broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, butternut squash, sweet potato, celery or asparagus. Carrots make a tasty soup and are one of nature's top sources of vitamins (they are rich in beta-carotene and a source of vitamins C and E). Cooked carrots have twice the antioxidant power of raw carrots.

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.

Leave the veg chunky or puree them for a creamy variety. Add milk to thin your soup before serving rather than water then you're adding calcium into the nutrient fix! Homemade tomato soup is wonderful and very nutritious. You can also freeze bread rolls separately and defrost quickly in the oven to have warm crusty rolls to dip in your soup.

How about making some casseroles? Even on a summer's day a casserole can be a treat served with fluffy white rice, couscous or crusty bread. Braise beef slowly in vegetables; add some tinned tomatoes, carrot or butternut squash to a chicken casserole or a touch of Korma curry paste and fresh coriander to create more exotic-tasting tagine.

Don't be worried about adding a splash of wine to your casseroles as the alcohol is cooked off.

Another easy stand-by is meatballs in tomato sauce which freezes well and can be served with pasta and enjoyed by everyone!

Other good stand-bys

Pizza dough. Freeze in individual portions and defrost as needed. Top with tomato paste and cheese for a healthy homemade snack.

Frozen fish. Bags of frozen fish are useful because you can cook them from frozen. Poach in a little milk and sprinkle with seasoning and parsley, or cook in the oven with cherry tomatoes.

Sliced bread. Freeze individual bags with a couple of slices of bread which you can toast from frozen. Toast and butter with your choice of spread is a great stand-by and you don't have to nip out to buy fresh bread!

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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