|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!|
Setting limits in a supportive and loving home environment is probably the best way of dealing with kids discipline issues. This is far better than taking the severe and rather authoritative approach where the parents' rule is law or the relaxed and casual approach where the parent attempts to befriend the child and treat him or her as an equal.
As regards how we react to kids' bad behavior we have a variety of options on how to deal with kids' discipline solutions. We can withdraw privileges or we resort to a good old lecture. Many parents cannot be bothered with all that and react simply by yelling, forgetting that once they do that, all lines of communication are closed as nobody can ever start to reason or reflect on behavior while that is going on.
There are extreme cases of reacting to the bad behavior where violence is used on the part of the parent. I know one parent who is so afraid of her aggressive teens that she has bought a stun gun and regularly delivers 500,000 volts when things get out of hand and her teens fall to the ground stunned. Then there was the case of a parent who made her daughter run round the block for three hours because she had eaten some candy bars which was forbidden. The girl died because she had a seizure brought on by dehydration. The mother was duly charged with homicide.
|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.|
These are extreme examples but violence is still used as a last resort by many parents and this should not be happening at all as it teaches that violence is an acceptable reaction to get what you want. That is a terrible example for a child to have.
At the other extreme, are the parents who have simply checked out and seem to have lost all interest in parenting. Look at what goes on in any shopping mall and see how kids are running the show and often controlling their parents. As someone wisely remarked, the parents draw a line in the sand, the child ignores it. Then the parents draw a new line and the downward spiral has begun as the limits are simply bypassed and the goal posts are being constantly moved.
If parents fail in the task of drawing the line between right and wrong, then selfishness, disrespect and under achievement will rule. What about showing respect for the environment, for others, emphasising the difference between right and wrong? These are the real and urgent kids' discipline issues. If these are simply neglected and there are no limits at all, then chaos will role and kids will take control. What we need is a loving and supportive environment with clear boundaries and limits which are respected.
|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.|