Why To Join Baby Clubs

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:

Online baby clubs are really useful not only as a source of free baby samples, but also for giving good advice on what you really need to buy for baby before she arrives.A useful list of essential and useful items includes:-

– Clothes, including sleeping suits and vests, cardigans, mittens and bootees

– Bibs

– A supply of nappies, (washable or disposable) and nappy bags or a bucket

– A changing mat, cotton wool, soft flannels and baby wipes

– A Moses basket or a cot, along with mattresses and linen and blankets

– Transport for baby (a sling or a pram or both)

– A baby bath (you could use a washing up bowl in the early weeks, or even just a sink)

– Soft sponges, baby soap and a brush or comb

– A car seat (even if you don't have a car you'll need one to travel in other cars)

– Nursing bra and breast pads

– Muslin cloths to use while breastfeeding to catch the spills, or maybe cover your modesty when feeding in public

– A pump for expressing and a steriliser and bottles

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.

All the baby clubs agree that although new mums will want to buy all new stuff for their babies, many items can be borrowed from friends or family and some can be bought second hand at a fraction of the original cost.

The only item which should be bought and fitted from new is a car seat. These should only be secondhand if you are absolutely sure they have never been in a car accident or been dropped and possibly cracked. Any fractures to a car seat's structure will render them weakened and unsafe in an accident.

Otherwise try to accept as many hand-me-downs as you can. Babies grow out of newborn clothes very quickly. Moses baskets will only last around three months, and baby baths will last for years and can be passed to many new mums before they start to look a little tired.

Second hand cots can be as good as new with a new mattress.

As for some of the smaller items, sometimes you can source free baby samples through the baby clubs, baby magazines and even via the supermarkets.

It's worth trying the websites of baby product manufacturers as they sometimes give free baby samples to help them with market research or when launching new ranges.

Look for freebies and money off where you can, too. Supermarket baby clubs and pregnancy websites often have links to special offers or give vouchers away.

The better baby clubs even give a free welcome pack to new members who register for free on their sites.

And don't forget that your baby may have a brother or sister one day so don't throw anything away, and call back loaned items when they are finished with.

Your first born may get mostly new, but babies are perfectly happy with hand-me-downs.

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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