|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!|
Most children will catch at least three colds or coughs in a typical year and, unfortunately, newborn babies are not immune to catching colds too.
When you consider there are more than 200 common cold strains it's hardly surprising that your child is susceptible as her immune system is still building its defences.
The main symptoms of colds are sneezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, headache and slight temperature. Of course a newborn can't tell you what is troubling them, but you will probably quickly notice some signs of discomfort or distress.
Your local chemist will have shelves full of over-the-counter treatments to combat the symptoms of colds and coughs, but many mums want to try and find natural remedies for a newborn's cold.
Remember that most colds will clear within a week so if your baby's symptoms are continuing beyond that OR if there is any sign of a fever, have her checked by a GP.
You should also see your GP is your baby is vomiting, has diarrhoea or a rash along with the cold symptoms or if your baby seems lethargic.
Here are some natural remedies for helping your newborn baby get over their cold.
|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.|
- Breastfeed more often. If your baby has a blocked nose she may not be taking sufficient milk at each feed as she struggles to breathe and suck at the same time. So offer her your breast more often than usual. She needs the regular fluid to keep her hydrated.
- Consider expressing. If your baby is really struggling to nurse, consider feeding her expressed milk from a dropper or spoon.
- Squirt Breast milk in baby's nose and/or eyes. Breast milk has antimicrobial properties so a tiny squirt into baby's nose and/or eyes can be soothing and help clear up infection.
- Use nasal suction: Babies can't clear away mucus from their noses so a nasal suction tool can be useful. But a baby's nose has a delicate lining so choose a nasal suction apparatus that is designed specifically for very young babies and does not have to go inside the nostril.
- Use a Humidifier. Central heating in the home makes the air much drier (especially in the winter months) so it can help a baby's breathing to put moisture back into the air. A humidifier does the trick, but a bowl of water in the room, or a pan of water simmering on the hob, can also add moisture.
- Steam treatment. Letting baby breathe steamy air will help her breathe more easily. Hold baby and drape a towel over both of you while you stand over a warm air humidifier. Or go into the bathroom, steam it up and hold your baby in there for a while. But always be very careful. Steam can scald.
- Sleep upright. You know how difficult it is to sleep flat with a blocked nose and it's the same for your baby. You could try sleeping while propped up on pillows, holding baby upright on your chest. During the day you could carry baby in the upright position as much as possible to help her mucus drain away.
- Use essential oils: Some essential oils relieve congestion. Use them in a room diffuser, pop a few drops in a pot of water or on a cloth tucked into baby's cot – but not within touching distance of baby. These oils must never be used directly on baby. Ask at your local health food store or chemists which essential oils are specifically for decongesting.
- Sinus pressure massage: Pressing your fingers gently, but firmly, along baby's cheekbones can help relieve sinus pressure.
- Use a natural vapour rub: There are natural vapour rubs available. Always read the instructions for use carefully. It sounds strange but rubbing some on the soles of baby's feet can be effective.
- Slice an onion: It's not just an old wives' tale. Slicing a raw onion and placing it near baby's crib can help baby breathe easier. It's all down to the sulphur content of an onion which apparently draws out the mucus.
|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.|