Baby’s First Days: Ways to Survive and Even Enjoy Every Moment of Those First Few Months
The months leading up to the birth of a new baby are an exciting time filled with anticipation. Soon-to-be parents often envision what life with their little one will be like. Most imagine a picture-perfect scene with a smiling baby and a beaming mom and dad. Nobody dreams about a fussy baby, and few new parents are totally aware of the sleepless nights that the first few months may present. Here are a few helpful hints that will help you survive –and even enjoy– the first months with your brand-new baby.
Day and night attention
You are probably aware of the fact that a newborn requires ’round the clock attention. What you might not know is everything that 24-hour newborn care entails. How will you know what your baby wants or needs? What does it mean when she or he cries? Is your baby hungry, or does she need a fresh diaper? Should you ever let your baby ‘cry it out’ and settle down on her own? Every new baby is different, and experienced moms and dads can be of great help when it comes to getting to know your brand-new bundle of joy.
Harvey Karp is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California as well as the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. As described in Today’s Parent magazine, Dr. Karp recommends thinking of the first three months of life as the fourth trimester of your pregnancy.
A recreation of the close and cozy environment of the womb is very familiar to new babies. The age-old technique of swaddling a baby in a snug blanket may come in handy when calming a fussy newborn. Slings that hold a newborn against her mother’s body during day-to-day activities are another great idea that provides a mother and child the always-close intimacy they experienced before delivery.
The first weeks and months of your new baby’s life will be a lot easier if you have everything ready before the blessed event. Install a car seat in your Dodge Durango or other family vehicle, and learn how to use it in advance of your due date. Many hospitals won’t let you take your baby home without a proper car seat. Get one now, and save yourself a lot of stress later.
Grandmas and aunties can be fabulous allies during the first weeks and months after the arrival of a new baby. Having a trusted relative tend to the baby while mommy takes a shower or a nap can go a long way toward easing post-birth tension and new-mom exhaustion.
Sometimes, all it takes is a half-hour break to help a new mother feel joyful and relaxed about her brand-new child.
Parents magazine offers a number of handy hints about breastfeeding. Be sure to ask hospital staff for help, especially if you’re a first-time mommy who’s never breastfed before. Feeding a baby this way is the most natural thing in the world, but breastfeeding can baffle a new mom if she doesn’t know what to expect.
Foundations such as the La Leche League also offer free assistance and super helpful advice to new parents.
The number one hint about new babies is to relax and follow your instincts. Yes, a new baby can be a challenge, but with plenty of love and attention, both mom and baby will thrive.
Olivia Sharp is a Mom of two girls who are growing up far too fast! She regularly writes parenting and lifestyle articles for several blogs who are happy to have her on board.
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