Getting Ready For The New Baby

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:

The arrival of a new baby is often anticipated for many months in advance of the actual event occurring. This can be a very exciting time in a parent's life but it can also be a time that is full of stress, if it is not handled properly. As I'm sure you can appreciate, preparing for the arrival of the child is in many cases, just as important as the arrival itself. After all, you would want things to go as smoothly as possible and for any problems that could occur to be avoided by advance preparation. What are some of the things that you can do in advance to make it as stress-free as possible?

One important thing for you to consider is the fact that your life is going to be considerably different, once the baby arrives. It is typically going to be more stressful and you are likely to lose a lot of sleep in the process. That is why it is important for you to spend the months leading up to the arrival of the child in a relaxed manner. Don't think that it is necessary for you to rearrange the entire house and to fill your days with a list of things to do. Of course, there are going to be some items that need to be taken care of in advance but the more you are able to relax, the more likely you will enjoy this special time of your life.

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.

In the few months that lead up to the birth of the child, it's important for you to begin preparing for the child by purchasing items on a weekly basis. This will help to keep you from having to put out a lot of money when the child actually arrives. You should keep yourself well-stocked with items such as baby blankets and baby burp cloths. These are things that most new parents feel as if they are not going to use in abundance but as you will quickly learn, you go through many of them on a daily basis. You should also begin purchasing diapers at this time so that you have plenty on hand when the need arises.

Although it is our recommendation that you avoid any major renovations in the house, there are going to be things that you want to do to get the baby room ready for the new arrival. It is important for you to do any renovations far in advance, as the health of your child is at stake. Not only is it important for you to baby proof the room, it is also important for you to paint early enough that the fumes have time to settle. The last thing that you would want to have is for the new baby to be put in a room where it will have to breathe those fumes while it is sleeping. Not only is it going to be healthier for the child, it will allow you to relax even more during those last few months of your pregnancy.

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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