|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!|
When the time is approaching for the arrival of your new child, there are things that need to be considered which will help to make their arrival much more convenient and pleasant for everyone involved. Although this list is rather expansive, understanding a few of the essentials that will be needed for the child can help to make this special time in your life one that is relatively stress-free.
The first thing that you should consider is the area where your child will be sleeping. You need to have a safe, up-to-date crib that is put together properly and in the area. This should also include everything from the mattress pad to the crib sheet and bumpers that are going to be used. Most children appreciate having a mobile or some other device that will keep them occupied when they are not yet sleeping, and you should also consider being able to take everything on the road with a pack and play.
You are going to need the give the child a bath, which can be done in any number of different fashions. For very young children, you would want to have a baby bathtub or a rest that can be used in the sink or tub area of the home. Hooded towels and wash cloths that are soft will also be included on the list of necessary items. Make sure that you have plenty of them so that you don't run short. Choose a natural, healthy soap and bath gel option as well as a moisturizing lotion.
|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.|
Your child is going to need to be entertained and there are some options available which will help you to prepare for this need. These can include everything from an electric swing to a bouncy seat or even some brightly colored toys which are going to end up thrown around the room. As the child gets older, their need for entertainment will change and you should keep up with that need.
Diapers are perhaps one of the more important items that need to be considered but there are some choices that need to be made. For example, are you going to use disposable diapers or throwaway diapers? What type of wipes are you going to use? Is there a specific type of cream that is to be used to protect the child from diaper rash or to make it feel better if it happens to get diaper rash? Consider these things before the arrival of the child.
Finally, you are going to need a way to monitor the child when they are not in your view. This is not something that is going to happen at all times but it can be something that happens every night while the child is sleeping. Have a video monitor or at the very least, an audio monitor in the child's room. It is not only going to help you to keep the child safe, it is going to give you some peace of mind along with 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.|