|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!|
Your baby is colicky, screaming day and night. Do you have a baby, who is happy as ever, in Mommy's hands, but as soon as you put him down, he pouts and yells. The laundry, dinner and dishes are waiting patiently, but your little buddy does not care. For many parents, a baby swing can be a life-saver. This baby gear product imitates the soothing rocking motion of the womb and can really calm down many unhappy babies. A swing does not work for every baby. On the contrary, some babies will scream louder as they are swung back and forth. You should test it out in a friend or relative's swing, before you purchase one yourself.
Unlike strollers, car seats and cribs that are used for a good couple of baby years, most baby swings are most useful for your baby's first few months of life. There are some brands that have a higher weight limit, of up to 25 lbs., however your pediatrician will advise you to stop using the swing when your baby is beginning to roll over or push up. A bigger baby could climb out of the swing and get serious injuries.
Many baby experts don't recommend keeping your baby in the swing for more than an hour, when he is awake. Human contact is the most important, for a baby's emotional development. But if you find you are holding your baby, for a majority of the day, a swing can give you some quiet hands-free time to rest or tend to household chores.
|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.|
When you enter the baby swing market, you will be dazzled by the large range of models available. Just like when you were shopping for strollers, the models were endless, swings can come pretty close to that. They range from basic no frills models, to full featured entertainment centers. Baby swings also come in small portable travel units, if you are space constrained, or you need to transport it a lot.
Examine the swing for safety issues. Like your baby stroller, it should have at least a three point safety harness, if not a five point one, with shoulder straps. Make sure the frame has a wide base for sturdiness, and is made out of durable material. Check if there are any product recalls on that model. Look for the certification seal from the JPMA, for its conformation with safety standards.
Most baby swings use batteries to run. If you will be using your swing a lot, you will be going through a lot of batteries, which can get expensive. You may want to look out for an electrically operated swing.
Most swings move back and fort, yet some are the side to side motion ones. There are also a variety of speeds, depending on the model. For your newborn, you may want to start with the lowest speed, to get him used to this motion.
Look for a swing that has a comfortable padded seat, that can recline. The seat cover should be removeable and washable, because your baby may spit up or have a diaper leak.
Then there are the extra features that make the swing more exciting. Some swings have trays, toy bars, mobiles, lights and music. These are for your baby's entertainment.
The cost of a baby swing ranges from $50 to $200, depending on the make, model and features. Just like you have researched before buying a stroller or car seat, you can check online, for swing reviews and ratings to help you make this decision. Don't forget, that safety is of utmost importance!
|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.|