|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!|
Sending a handwritten thank you note to each person who attended your baby shower or gave you a gift shows good etiquette and lets your friends and family members know that you sincerely appreciate their generosity. Writing baby shower thank you notes should be fun and simple. Ask a friend, such as the host of your shower, to keep a detailed list of the giver of each to make it easier to write thank you notes.
- Include details in your baby shower thank you notes, such as the gift you received and what you like or love about it. For example:
“Dear Jessica, Thank you so much for the adorable outfit, bottles and diapers. I can't wait to take the baby's pictures in those overalls! I'm so fortunate to have an experienced mom as a good friend to help me figure out what I'll need more of! I'm so glad you made it to the shower. Fondly, Sarah”
Be polite if you don't care for the gift and graciously thank your friend anyway.
“Dear Jessica, Thank you so much for taking the time to make it to my baby shower. I'm grateful for the little shoes you so graciously gave us for the baby! Fondly, Sarah”
- Sending thank you notes to family , even someone you may talk to every day, is still a nice gesture. A handwritten note comes across as more sincere than a spoken “thank you.” For example:
“Dear Mom and Dad , We wanted to let you know how much we sincerely appreciate the crib you purchased for the baby! We love the blanket you crocheted, as well. We can't wait to wrap little Lori in the blanket and rock her to sleep! We hope we're as good of parents as you are. Love, Sarah and Jeremy”
|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.|
- Group gifts, especially from co-workers or another large group of people, only require one thank you note. It's imperative that you list each person who contributed to the gift, perhaps alphabetically so no one feels slighted. For example:
“Dear Emma, Julia, Kim, Nancy, Stacy and Wendy, I am so incredibly thankful for your generosity. I love the stroller and car seat combination you all so graciously gave me at my shower. I'm looking forward to bringing the baby home in her new pink polka dotted car seat! Thank you all so much! Sincerely, Sarah”
- Money is always an appreciated gift, as it lets you decide what to purchase for your baby. Thank everyone who gave you cash, a check or a gift card with a handwritten note that does not mention the dollar amount, but does mention what you purchased or plan to purchase with their gift.
“Dear Aunt Sally, Thank you so much for your generous gift! I haven't gotten a chance to go shopping yet, but we plan to put it toward a bassinet we've been looking at. I can't wait to go pick it up! It means so much to me that you were able to make it to my shower. I can't wait until you get to come meet your great-nephew! Love, Sarah”
If the gift is in the form of a gift card for a specific store, it is okay to mention the store: “This store is one of my favorite places to shop and they have such a great baby selection!”
- Always write a thank you note to the hostess of your baby shower. She more than likely spent a great deal of time and money putting the shower together out of love for you and your family.
“Dearest Kendra, Thank you so much for going above and beyond what a friend should! I loved everything about the baby shower, and can't thank you enough. I hope baby Leah knows how much we're loved by all the time and work you put into making the shower special. As if that wasn't enough, I also love the diaper cake you made and look forward to using all of the little goodies you added to it!
|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.|