|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!|
Putting together your baby's room can be one of the most enjoyable parts of pregnancy – choosing the colours, designing the layout – and of course, all the shopping for cute baby things.
Bear in mind that your child will only be a baby for a very short time, so go easy on the floor-to-ceiling pastel pink, bows or cute wallpaper. Your little one will very soon have his own tastes and opinions so it's best to go for baby room decorations that will be easy to change as your child grows.
Here are some baby room ideas:
Peel-off stickers are great for temporarily brightening up walls and can be changed quickly without having to redo the whole room.
Don't forget to look up! Your baby will spend a lot of his time lying on his back so make sure you give her something fun to gaze at.
A brightly-coloured mobile that attaches to the cot is a good choice for stimulating her senses.
Black and white pictures of shapes and patterns can be placed where they can be easily seen.
Invest in a blackout blind to block out the light – this will help to encourage good sleep habits.
Low-level lighting is ideal for night feeds and will make sure you don't crash into something when you're leaving the room after you've spent two hours getting her to sleep! A small table lamp rather than an overhead light will give a cosy glow at night, or you could invest in a dimmer switch so you can control how bright or dim the room is.
|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.|
Storage. Always pick solid shelves or drawers that can't be pulled over by toddlers – or fix them to the walls. Baby clothes may look lovely on open shelves or rails, but chests of drawers and cupboards will keep them dust-free.
Add a chair. As you'll spend most of your time in the first few months feeding your baby, make sure you pick a chair that is really comfortable. Choose one that has arms and supports your back – your feet should always be flat on the floor.
Baby room decorations – Do's and Don'ts
DON'T strip paint if there's a chance it dates back to 1965 or earlier, as the lead in old paint could be harmful to your unborn baby. Stay well out of the way if someone else is stripping it, too.
DO make sure that all the paint you use is non-toxic.
DON'T ever climb up ladders when you're pregnant.
DO put new carpet down and paint the room at least three months before your baby's due to make sure that the nursery is fume-free.
DON'T forget to fix rugs down firmly to the floor and keep all flexes out of the way so you can't trip over them.
|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.|