Stressful Beginnings With A Newborn

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!

Additional Information:

All the planning and predictions don't actually give you the real picture of having a new baby. You have heard about the sleepless nights, colic, dirty diapers and feeding that takes up an entire day and night. The only way you will really understand the picture, is when your baby actually joins your life.

Your whole day schedule and routine will change when that cute little thing is part of the picture. Your house will not be as organized and clean right away, and you may find your self having difficulty getting out with all the preparing and packing. This is all normal.

As you have recently endured a physically traumatic experience of giving birth, you may not feel the effects right away. Your hormones are fluctuating and adjusting, and after a few days you may experience baby blues. These feelings usually creep up about five or six days after birth.

Many mothers are recovering from birth related pains due to surgery, stitches and cramping. You may be trying hard to breast feed for the first time, coupled with sleep deprivation. Your spouse is probably exhausted to, trying to help you keep up with the housework.

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.

Having a baby is a joyful occasion that is not easy but gets better, as you get into a routine and recover from birth. By the time your baby is six weeks old, you probably will find yourself in a calmer and more stress Free State.

When caring for a newborn, the days and nights may seem endless. It is important for your physical and mental health to get out of the house with your baby for fresh air. Make sure you and your baby are dressed appropriately for the weather, and pop your baby in his baby stroller to enjoy a change of scenery outdoors. The fresh air clears your mind, and the lull of the baby stroller will soothe your baby and may put him to sleep for a few hours. As you stroll out with the baby stroller, meeting and talking to neighbors with kids, will give you some support as a new mother. You may forge new friendships once you have a child, which is important for your emotional health.

Make sure you eat well, especially if you are breast feeding. Drinking a lot of fluids, keeps you hydrated and energized throughout the day. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the baby, when you really need it. Your spouse, friends or relatives may be thrilled to spend time with your little treasure, while you rest or tend to household chores.

Don't forget that your baby needs a healthy mother. The first six weeks are crucial while you regain your strength. Eat well, try to get sleep while your baby is sleeping, and recruit help when needed. In the long run, you won't regret it.

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.
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