Newborn Bits & Pieces
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Newborn Bits & Pieces
Mothering comes by instinct… But a few facts never hurt anyone! Sleeping, crying, eating and getting dressed are all so much more complicated when it comes to newborns so Mother & Child gathered some tid-bits of information about babies in their first few months to help you both get through the first stage.
- The best way to prevent diaper rash is to keep baby clean and dry. However, if your baby develops a rash you should try using an anti-rash ointment and try to keep the diaper off for as long as you can during the day. Don’t let a rash go untreated – tell your pediatrician about it or it can easily get out of control.
- Some new-borns might get red spots on the face but they are nothing to worry about and go on their own with no fuss.
- Holding baby in an almost upright position during breastfeeding is a good way of preventing hiccups and spitting up.
- It is usually a good idea to have a cloth or a small towel placed over your shoulder while you are burping your baby to protect your clothes from any mishap.
- To sterilize your baby’s bottles, you can either use a sterilizing “machine,” boil your bottles and nipples or use sterilizing tablets. Regular washing or a dishwasher is not sufficient for sterilizing because the temperature reached is not high enough.
- Baby is usually the best judge of how often he should feed in the early weeks so don’t get frustrated if you find yourself feeding him ten or more times a day. Just try to keep baby awake long enough to get a satisfying feed by stroking his cheek or tickling him behind the ear.
- In order to breastfeed well, it is very important to drink lots of fluids, especially water. Always keep a glass of water next to you while you are breastfeeding and try to drink a glass per feed.
- Your first three or four months after delivery are a prime opportunity to lose weight. Don’t cut back on your nutritional requirements, but remember you don’t need fats and sugars to breastfeed well so cut down on them and work on returning to your pregnancy weight. This will give you a psychological boost that will help you through this period of time. Having a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables in your sitting area can help keep your snacking urges directed in a healthy way.
- To be able to breastfeed properly, rest is a pre-condition. Even though in the first weeks after delivery this might seem impossible, you should try to base your routine on your baby and sleep whenever your baby does. If you can’t sleep, try to relax or take the opportunity to pamper yourself.
- Contrary to common belief, responding quickly to a baby’s cries does not spoil the baby. A crying baby is not trying to manipulate his parents. He is merely telling you that he needs something. By responding quickly and consistently to your baby during the crucial early months you will actually help him develop a non-crying mode of communication and a sense of independence.
- Crying doesn’t always mean that baby is hungry or wet. Sometimes baby’s crying just means that he needs to be held and cuddled for a while to enhance his feelings of safety.
- If your baby is a constant crier, let someone else try to quite him every once in awhile. If you are anxious and stressed by his crying you may be too upset to calm him successfully.
Take Care of YOU
- Having a new baby is a wonderful experience but it can be exhausting. Meeting the demands of a newborn can wear anyone out and if you add housework and caring for the rest of your family, you may feel that you just can’t keep up. Getting a bit of help from anyone who is willing can make all the difference.
- Baby blues might hit you after delivery and you should know that this is common. Try not to give in to the blues by finding things that cheer you up like going for a manicure or meeting a friends who is in the same stage as you are and sharing experiences. Even something as simple as a long hot bath with aromatherapy oils can relax you and refuel your energy for a little while longer. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself.
- If the baby blues become severe, you may be suffering from postnatal depression. Signs of depression include: lack of appetite, loss of enthusiasm for life, aggressive feelings, drastic mood swings, crying for no apparent reason, and feeling unable to cope. New mothers are especially susceptible because of the hormonal changes occurring in their bodies. If you feel like you might have postnatal depression, ask for professional help.
Dressing Your Darling
- Getting those little arms and legs into clothes isn’t always easy. Put your fingers into the end of the sleeve and hold onto baby’s hand while you slip the sleeve over his arm so it won’t get caught on his fingers. Try the same trick for pants.
- Undress and redress your baby a little a time so that he is never naked. Cold babies are very unhappy babies. Even placing a towel on the baby’s tummy will help him stay warmer, happier and hopefully quieter.
- To guard against SIDS, dress your baby warmly and cover him with one blanket during sleep rather than bundling him up with several covers.
- Your baby’s first stools will look quite alarming – greenish-black and sticky. This is known as meconium and is usually passed during the first few days of your baby’s life. In the next few weeks it will change to greenish-brown, semi-fluid and frequent. Sometimes it might be full mucus and noisily expelled. It will keep changing over the next couple of weeks so don’t be alarmed but don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you sense that something is wrong.
- Some babies spit up a bit of milk after almost every feeding. If it’s just a little bit, you don’t have to worry about it.
- A baby’s umbilical cord looks a lot worse before it starts to look normal. This amazing cord that fed your baby all though pregnancy will dry up, turn black and eventually fall off by itself.
Starting to Develop
- Never underestimate your child’s abilities. Mothers who have higher expectations tend to stimulate their babies more, thus fostering their development. Childcare experts urge new parents to talk to and play with their babies from the moment of birth on.
- Giving your baby something to look at in his crib can keep him entertained and happy for longer periods of time.
- Babies see black, white and red best at birth.