|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!|
Pram, car seat, changing table, baby grows, toys, sterilising equipment, thousands of muslin squares – it is amazing how many things one small child needs, so when a baby comes along, it can be an expensive business.That's why getting hold of free baby stuff can really help out and there are lots of ways to do this if you know how. Here's what to look out for…
New mums will receive goody packs and vouchers in hospital from companies keen to win their future loyalty. While you might be busy looking after your newborn, try and take a moment to have a look at any of the mother and baby offers inside – you never know what free baby stuff you might be able to get your hands on.
Baby magazines and websites:
It is always worth scanning the baby magazines for vouchers or give-aways, but probably the best place to look is pregnancy websites where you can join for free and gets packs of samples and vouchers in return which can be used in stores across the UK to buy baby items and equipment.
Another great source is the websites of the manufacturers of baby products who often have free baby stuff to give away or at the very least have big discounts so mums can buy and try their products for less.
|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.|
See if they are giving away free baby samples as this gives you the chance to try different products to see which you like the best before buying.
Friends and family:
If you are having no luck getting your hands on the mother and baby offers out there, family and friends are always on hand to help out and give, or lend, you things you might need.
This is particularly so with other parents, especially if their children are bigger than yours, who might well be only too happy to unload their unwanted baby clothes and equipment to free up space. Chatting to other mums can be helpful before splashing out and may even save you money by stopping you buying things you simply don't need. Forums on the baby websites can be a great source of advice for this.
Do your research:
Compare prices on some of the nursery equipment websites to get the best value. Even if you decide to order online, try to visit a nursery shop before you buy so you can see for yourself exactly what you are getting. Specialist stores have advisers who can help you select the products that are right for you.
Make a list:
If you are worried about getting everything your baby needs, especially in those first six weeks, sit down and make a list of what you think you need. Many baby websites carry this sort of information. But remember it doesn't matter if you can't afford everything on the list as babies don't need the best of everything or brand new stuff.
|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.|