|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!|
If a pram straight out of Mary Poppins isn't quite what you had in mind for your infant or toddler this spring, fear no more! From strollers designed for joggers to outdoor enthusiasts and casual walkers, you have an exorbitant number of options for finding a stroller that suits your lifestyle needs.
For the family on the go, the umbrella stroller provides much better portability than many other types of child carriers. The ease of sliding your toddler into the seat is unmatched by almost any other type of conveyance and allows your child to sit up and see what's going on around them.
These strollers are perfect for taking to events or locations where size really does matter. The more compact design is great for going upstairs at stadiums or maneuvering through throngs at your favorite summer festival.
But this is not your mother's umbrella stroller. While the design is still light-weight and highly portable, manufacturers have figured out that the one drawback to the umbrella stroller was that your baby was always exposed to the sun. Fear sunburn no more with the new hooded umbrella strollers designed to keep you child cooler and protected from the elements.
|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.|
If you're headed to the beach or the mountains this spring or summer, it might be time to forgo the umbrella stroller and invest in something a bit more substantial. All-terrain strollers are designed like all-terrain vehicles, with a wider base and more wheel stability to help keep your baby comfy on the road or when the trail is bumpy or broken.
This stroller type features heavy all-terrain wheels and a separate front end suspension to help make the ride a little less bouncy. Many all-terrain strollers feature large carrying areas for a baby's necessities, and even drink holders for mom and dad, making this the perfect choice if you intend to spend time a little farther from civilization. Made of the same light-weight, high strength metals as an umbrella stroller, and with lots of heavy duty nylon, the all-terrain stroller is more substantial but not much heavier, making it easy on mom and dad.
If you really do love the pram-look, or want a stroller that can convert with the various stages of your child's life, consider a stroller that can convert to a bassinet, allowing your small infant to recline for the ride, and then can switch to an upright seat as your child grows. Many convertible strollers allow the bassinet to detach for a safe place to let the baby rest once you have reached your destination.
Many women are focused on getting back into shape as soon as possible after their baby is born, and a jogging stroller can help with that option. These highly maneuverable strollers are light-weight and designed to be pushed ahead of mom (or dad) while they get some outdoor exercise, instead of being cooped up inside.
|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.|