|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!|
Organic products are good for the environment and good for the people who use them. This is especially important when thinking about the clothes we put on our children. By their very physiognomy, infants are more susceptible to the dangers of clothes that have residual pesticides and other fabric finishing chemicals on them. Going green is not only good for the environment, but it will have a positive impact on your children's long term health.
Going organic keeps dangerous pesticides and fertilizers out of the environment, but organic baby clothing's primary benefit is for the baby herself. The skin of an infant is very sensitive and fabric is in constant contact. Any chemicals in the fabric transfer to the skin and can leach into the body. Even thorough washing cannot remove all traces of some treatments. These fabrics can also off-gas noxious fumes that infants and children inhale.
Most baby clothes are made from cotton or synthetic blend materials. Cotton grown before the 1940's was a fairly organic process. Harsh pesticides and fertilizers were not in heavy use and farmers relied on good farm management and crop rotation to keep yields high. After WWII however farming began to rely heavily on chemicals to help boost up yields in over farmed fields. The production boom of the war also saw the cost of pesticides and fertilizers drop tremendously so it was a cheap and easy way to farm.
The chemicals used on cotton today are safer than those first versions, but they are still chemicals and they do linger on fiber all the way to the finished fabric. These traces in and of themselves are not dangerous, but constant contact, like wearing clothes has been associated with higher health risk. This is why many are turning to organically grown and Eco-friendly finished material. This means the crops are not chemically treated and the tried and true farm practices of soil management and crop rotation are used. These methods are also safer for the environment and the field workers and farmers.
|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.|
Organic can be a confusing term as it has now become part of the marketing vocabulary for many products. One must look for products that are certified organic. This means the field producing the crops must be pesticide-free, for at least 3 years. In the case of fabric, the processing (turning raw cotton into fabric) must also be certified organic. The finishing process for fabrics can be harsh in its use of chemicals and dyes that are full of heavy metals.
In response there has been a great demand for organic cotton and hemp baby clothes and bedding. Whereas even just a few years ago finding organic baby clothing was very difficult, it can be found more readily and at some major retailers. The other good news is that the price is dropping. With demand growing, manufactures have integrated the safer organic process into their modern manufacturing process. More efficiency means lower costs to consumers.
Designs and style for organic baby clothing has grown too. The muted colors and stiffer fabrics that were once associated with organics has fallen away as new safe dying techniques and pigments are discovered. Many top designers have organic lines available.
Like most clothing there has been a big uptick in online availability. Online is great for baby and infant clothing as the sizing and fitting is less of an issue than for adults. Be sure to thoroughly read the company's information on their organic process to ensure the clothing is in-fact 100% certified organic.
There are many benefits to organic baby clothing. The health of the child benefits as the fabrics eliminate direct exposure to harmful chemicals. Plus it is much better for the environment, which has long-term benefits for today's children as well.
|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.|