Newborns can be a lot to handle, especially if this is your first child and you’re not exactly sure what to do. Here is a list of great tips to help out mothers with newborns.
1. Make Noise While Your Baby is Sleeping
You don’t have to be quiet while your baby is asleep. If the house is silent while your baby is sleeping then it will become used to sleeping in the silence. If you are making noise while he or she is sleeping then it will be able to sleep while it is noisy. If you are able to get them to sleep while the house is noisy, this will be a lifesaver for you and for them. You will be able to do chores around the house like vacuum without waking up your baby.
2. Soothing your Newborn
The best way to soothe your baby is to follow Dr. Harvey Karp’s five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding him/her on his/her side, swinging, or letting him or her suck. Sometimes one of these will calm your baby, but other times it takes all six to calm him/her down.
3. Help Your Baby Latch On
If your baby is having trouble latching on to you while breastfeeding, using breast shields to help that process. Sometimes it takes a while for your baby to latch on, these shields really help when they are not able to do so.
4. Make Sure to Prepare
After you and your baby have been home from the hospital for a couple weeks, your baby’s days and nights begin to become more predictable. This means that you will be able to start planning in advance to make your life a lot easier and less stressful. You should start having everything ready for you and your hungry baby by the time he/she wants to eat. You should begin prepping for the next feeding as soon as you finish with the previous one. Take advantage of the baby’s nap time to take care of all of the things you need to like workout, shower, or catch up on e-mails.
5. Keep Your Baby Awake During Feeding
If your baby is eating slowly or getting sleepy, massage his/her cheek, that will stimulate him/her to eat faster. All you need is a gentle stroke of a finger to keep your baby eating fast and staying awake. This will help cure your long sleepless nights. If babies eat efficiently until they’re full before going to sleep, they will sleep a lot longer, which means you’ll be able to sleep longer too!
6. Sleeping in the Crib
Some newborns have trouble adjusting to sleeping in the crib versus sleeping on top of you. This is due to the lack of warmth. A great tip to help them overcome this is to warm up his/her blanket with a heating pad while you’re feeding them before going to sleep. Warming the blanket in the dryer works as well.
7. Sleeping Trick
Many times your newborn baby will lay in the crib unable to fall asleep. A good tip to help him/her fall asleep is to run your finger from the top of his/her nose all the way down to the tip over and over again until he/she is asleep.
8. Bonding Time with Daddy
Make sure to allow plenty of time for your newborn to bond with his/her father. His voice and touches are different than yours. Your baby needs time to adjust to being taken care of by other people or else you will never be able to have your time for yourself. Make sure your baby is well fed and well rested, this will give you at least an hour or two before your baby needs to be fed again. Then leave your baby and his/her father alone. If you absolutely can not stay away, then make sure to stay out of sight and hearing range from your baby, as well as resist the urge to go and comfort him/her if he/she starts crying. The father need to be able to comfort your baby as well and by doing this your baby will learn that there is more than one way to be comforted. This will help a lot if you ever have to leave your baby with a sitter or another family member.
9. Let your Baby Lead the Way
As a first-time parent, everyone else always wants to tell you what to do and how to take care of YOUR baby. The best thing to remember is if someone is telling you how to raise your child and what they’re saying doesn’t sound right just thank them for the tip and ignore it. You need to make sure to listen to your baby. If he/she is crying because he/she is hungry, then you need to feed it. Do not let anyone else tell you when or how often to feed your baby.
10. Another Reason Babies Cry
People always say the main reasons that babies cry is because they’re hungry, bored, or need their diaper changed, but they never tell you that it could be because they’re tired. A lot of the time babies are getting too much stimulation from their parents, which causes them to cry all of the time due to exhaustion. If your baby won’t stop crying, maybe you should try less letting your baby sleep more.
11. Baby’s First Baths
After your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off, which usually takes about 3 weeks, you can finally give him/her a real bath. If your house is on the colder side, try turning up the heat before giving your baby a bath. This will prevent a rush of cold air after the bath, causing him/her to hate baths. It also helps if you apply a warm washcloth to his/her tummy while in the bath to keep them warm.
12. Layer His/Her Crib
If your newborn has an upset tummy or a diaper blowout in the middle of the night, this can be very difficult on you and your baby to have to completely remake the crib. The best thing to do is to keep two layers of sheets and waterproof mattress covers on the mattress at all times (mattress cover, sheet, mattress cover, sheet). This will prevent trying to find new bed clothes as well as doing laundry at 2 am. This is also great because if something happens, you can just pull off the top two layers and then changer him/her and put her back to bed.