|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!|
Any mom would want to see her little baby all dry and comfortable. Hence it can be really distressing to notice those first signs of disturbing nappy rashes. Users of baby nappies in Australia have reported that rashes are one of the most common nappy-related problems their babies have. However, one need not dismay as there are many ways in which nappy rashes can be prevented or treated.
Different types of nappy rashes
There are 3 main types of rashes and almost one-third of all newborn babies suffer from one type of baby rash or the other. The normal nappy rash is characterized by reddish skin, sores and an almost shiny disposition and develops when the baby's bottom skin has been in touch with a soiled nappy for a long period. It may also occur if a baby has suffered from a spell of diarrhoea. Most of the skin irritation is caused by a combination of urine and faecal deposits.
Fungal rashes appear like tiny red spots along with swollen genitals, and can develop if the baby is taking antibiotic medications. Fungal nappy rashes are a form of thrush which can be treated by using a doctor's prescribed antifungal cream. The cream should be applied in thin coats around the affected area. If your baby is having this form of nappy rash, it is important that you avoid using the normal ointments and barrier creams.
|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.|
Bacterial nappy rashes appear as pimples or infected spots and are also likely to be followed by a fever. This condition may develop even from normal nappy rashes when the skin has already been broken and some infection has developed. This type of rash can only be treated with antibiotic medications prescribed by a doctor.
Ways to prevent nappy rashes
Always remember to check through your baby's nappy just before and after feeding and make sure that your baby is wearing clean nappy pants before putting him/her down for sleep. Do not use tight-fitting plastic pants over the nappies as it can lead to the development of fungal nappy rashes. Give your baby some nappy-free time every day and stay away from perfume or alcohol-based wipes as they may irritate the skin.
Before you put a clean nappy on your baby, use a barrier cream that will protect the skin from the harmful germs present in the urine and faecal deposits. The cream should be applied only as a thin layer as using too much cream can block the pores thereby making it difficult for the skin to breathe. Remember to wash your hands prior to and after you change your baby's nappies so that you do not introduce new germs to your baby's skin or pass some to yourself or others later on.
|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.|