|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!|
Watching your baby experience her “firsts” can be so exciting: Their first laugh, their first crawl, their first steps. Perhaps you are wondering exactly when you should get your child their first shoes? You will have to buy the first pair of shoes when he or she is confidently walking around independently and walking outdoors. Ahead of that, you can buy infant shoes that will keep baby's feet warm and cozy. If you do have a child who is just learning how to walk, it is best to let them go barefoot at home. That way, they will be in a position to balance themselves better because they will be able to feel the ground beneath their feet. Let the child start walking on carpeted areas first and not necessarily hard surfaces. If a child is allowed to walk on hard surfaces without having any soft protection under them, they can fall and become hurt in any quantity of ways.
Children's feet grow larger incredibly fast during the time they are learning to walk. You could find that you bring home a pair of shoes which fit perfectly, but the child has grown completely out of them only a month later. It's recommended to buy shoes in assorted sizes so you can be ready as soon as your little one needs a new pair. Rather than simply guessing about what size shoe your child wears, it's a good idea to take him or her to have their foot measured accurately by a shoe salesperson. He or she should also be able to give you some tips about which shoes will fit your baby's needs best. Shoes that feel comfortable on the child's foot and are soft are essential. You should not necessarily purchase shoes that have thick soles. The child should definitely be able to feel the ground beneath them so they can keep their balance and coordinate their steps.
|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.|
Being fitted for a pair of shoes is completely new to a baby and they might not like it at first. Don't be concerned if your baby cries or fusses; the process does not take long and you would rather have your baby in a pair of shoes that fit than to guess when buying shoes and not have them fit at all. It's necessary to look for baby shoes with a buckle or Velcro fastening so they can firmly hold your baby's feet in place. The sole must also be flexible and the shoes light in weight. It is not recommended to buy shoes that are heavy because they can cause falls and imbalances. Cotton or leather shoes are a great choice because they permit the foot to breathe. Plastic shoes are not good for a baby because they tend to make your baby's feet sweat.
You have to make sure that the shoes have extra room beyond the tip of their toes that will allow for their foot to grow into that space. Approximately one quarter of an inch is a great amount of space. If shoes are too big, they will impede the way your baby walks, and if they are too short, they will injure your baby. It's also wise to check that the width of the shoe is perfect for your baby. Some babies have narrow feet, and others have a much wider foot. If your baby usually wears thicker socks, be sure you try on the baby shoes and the socks together so you can make sure you get a good fit.
Have your baby's feet measured around every six weeks. A baby's foot will grow a couple of full sizes annually, so expect to buy shoes often, and always try them on your child so that you can make certain they fit correctly.
|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.|