Functional And Fun

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:

One of the most exciting aspects of having a baby is preparing for the new arrival. Whether you decide to find out the sex or not, both Mom and Dad can have lots of fun buying clothes, toys and, of course, decorating the nursery. There are lots of boring and practical things that you need to make sure you have to keep your baby healthy and safe, but when it comes to the nursery furniture you can let your imagine fly and create your own furniture that is functional and fun.

Bespoke children's furniture is big business in the US, with pieces created by chain furniture stores or local designers costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Yet while Mom is off work waiting for baby to arrive she has lots of time on her hands; time that could be used to create your own bespoke furniture. And the best thing is that you don't even need to be artistically talented as there are dozens of templates you can buy, either online or in local art shops, that do all the hard work for you.

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.

When it comes to templates for decorating pieces of furniture, it can be a lot of fun to pick a theme. With so many template options to choose from you could easily decorate a room with dozens of different animals, cars or fairies. Before you start using the templates you have bought, make sure that the initial coats of paint are completely dry. Clean and dry the surface before fixing the template in place with a little tape to make sure it doesn't move in the middle of painting. Always measure a couple of time before you start applying the paint to make sure the image is exactly where you want it and that the template is fixed on straight.

After all that, applying the paint is the easy part. Paint smoothly, covering the whole area with an even amount. You can even use different colours for different parts of the template, if you're feeling adventurous. Using letter templates to paint the child's name is a great idea too -once you've decided on a name, of course. As your newborn grows into a toddler they will love their personalised room.

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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