|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!|
Many people wait their entire lives in order to have a baby but when it actually comes time to bringing the baby home, they are ill-equipped to do so. It is very important for you to consider everything that needs done before the baby comes into the house. This is not only important for the health and safety of the child, and is also going to be important for your comfort and peace of mind. Here are a few things that must be done before you bring a baby home, and a few that you should consider adding to the list.
One important thing that needs to be brought into the home is the crib. Although it may be tempting for you to use a hand me down crib, this is not always going to be the best option that is available. After all, your child is going to spend a considerable amount of time in the crib and you want to ensure that they are safe. The standards for crib safety are constantly changing and it is likely if you use one that is a few years old, it will not be as safe as one that has been recently manufactured. It is always a good idea to check the standards of the crib before purchasing it.
|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.|
It is also a good idea for you to stock up on some of the necessary items for the baby. Many new parents are surprised with how many bibs the baby is going to use or how frequently they are going to use the baby security blankets that are available. You should also consider having a large supply of disposable diapers available, as well as plenty of bottles, nipples and a brush that is going to be used for cleaning the bottles.
After the child has come home and you begin to venture outside of the home, it is going to be necessary for you to have a diaper bag ready to go. It's a good idea for you to prepare this diaper bag in advance of actually bringing the baby home. Of course, the contents of the diaper bag are going to change, depending on the age of the child and its particular needs. In most cases, it's a good idea for you to take a change of clothes, a washcloth, plastic bag for any diapers that have become soiled, a blanket and a supply of diapers that will be used during the day.
Finally, consider preparing your child's room well before the new baby comes home. If you are going to be painting the room, and most parents are going to paint the nursery, be sure to do it a long time before the baby comes home. This will allow the paint fumes to dissipate so that they do not make the child sick. You should also make sure that you are childproofing the home in advance of actually needing to do so. This will help to ensure that the home is safe for the child as they continue to grow and gain mobility.
|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.|