Real Solutions For Parenting A Toddler And Newborn
You are parenting two children who are very demanding in completely different ways. Your 2-year-old isnt listening because hes undergoing the greatest brain development of his life.
Then theres the baby. She has needs too: feeding, sleeping, comforting, bathing. The change from the womb to the outside world is as challenging for her as it is for you.
You want to meet the needs of both children, but they both seem to simultaneously demand your attention, leaving little room for peace and harmony. Not to mention the whole jealous sibling thing
Here are seven REAL solutions to common parenting challenges during the toddler and newborn phase:
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps And Start A Bedtime Routine
Babies under the age of 1 should always be put to sleep on their backs never on their sides or stomachs because back sleep minimizes the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. After the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that babies be put to sleep on their backs, the incidence of SIDS dropped by more than half.
At first, newborns sleep a lot about 16 to 17 hours a day but that sleep is broken up every hour or two by periods of wakefulness. In the early weeks, your baby will mostly wake just long enough to be fed and changed, said Massachusetts-based certified pediatric sleep consultant Arielle Greenleaf. Since your baby will also be awake for short periods throughout the night, which will inevitably disrupt your sleep, in order to stay well rested, you should absolutely sleep when your baby sleeps, she said.
Its also fine to let your baby fuss for a few minutes at night if shes not hungry or soiled you dont have to rock or hold her constantly. Let them see if they can naturally fall asleep on their own, said Dr. Angela Mattke, M.D., a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic Childrens Center in Rochester, Minn.
Arm Yourself With Busy Bags
If you have an infant at home, being hands-on with a toddler at all times can be unrealistic. Busy bags are exactly what they sound likeself-contained, simple toys, craft supplies, and games that are designed to keep toddlers busy.
Keep these bags stashed in an out-of-sight place that is also handy for you to grab when you need to focus on your baby, such as during a diaper change or bath.
Fill the bags with whatever items you think your toddler would enjoy, such as a few stuffed animals, building blocks, crayons, and paper, or soft books, The trick is to not give your child ready access to the bags so that they will have heightened interest in the contents when you want to keep them occupied.
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Handle With Care: How Fragile Are Babies Really
Dont worry if youre afraid that the slightest movement will break your babyits normal to be overly cautious when youre a new mom. When a baby is so teeny-tiny its common to want to be super careful when picking them up and dressing them and just handling them in general, but how fragile are babies really? Not as fragile as you think.
How To Get Rid Of Baby Hiccups
Baby hiccups are caused by a contraction of the diaphragm and the quick closing of the vocal cords. The rapid closing of the vocal cords is what creates the sound of hiccups.
Since hiccups tend to bother adults, you may assume they bother babies as well. However, babies are typically not affected by them. In fact, many babies can sleep through a bout of hiccups without being disturbed, and hiccups rarely interfere with or have any effect on a babys breathing.
In fact, a 2019 study indicated that hiccups may be important to babys brain development and breathing. Hiccups in infants are likely another development tool and one of the earliest they develop in the womb.
But if your baby seems to be uncomfortable, here are some tips:
Lets look deeper at these suggestions:
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Immediate Care For The Newborn
Health assessments of the new baby start right away. One of the first checks is the Apgar test. The Apgar test is a scoring system to evaluate the condition of the newborn at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. The healthcare provider or midwife and nurses will evaluate these signs and give a point value:
Activity muscle tone
Appearance skin color
A score of 7 to 10 is considered normal. A score of 4 to 6 may mean that the baby needs some rescue breathing measures and careful monitoring. A score of 3 or below means that the baby needs rescue breathing and lifesaving techniques.
How To Hold A Baby During Shower
Bath times are fun times for babies. Here is how to hold a baby while bathing, to prevent accidents like drowning or swallowing of water.
- While you lower your baby into the bathtub, hold her with one hand beneath her bottom.
- Use the other hand to support her back and shoulders.
- Once she is settled in the bath, you can use the hand which was supporting her bottom to wash her body.
- With the other hand hold her firm and keep her head above the water level.
You can use a bath support to free your hands. A bath cradle also provides support while bathing a baby. If the child is old enough to sit, you can try a bath seat.
Holding a baby in your hands helps you bond with her. It gives you pleasure that cant be explained in words. However, to enjoy this pleasure, you need to know the techniques of holding the baby. Hope our article has helped you get those techniques. Try each of these positions and see which one suits you and your baby the best.
Let us know your babys favorite position, by commenting below.
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Providing Warmth For The Newborn
A newborn baby is wet from the amniotic fluid and can easily become cold. Drying the baby and using warm blankets and heat lamps can help prevent heat loss. Often a knitted hat is placed on the baby’s head. Placing a baby skin-to-skin on your chest or abdomen also helps to keep the baby warm. This early skin-to-skin contact also reduces crying, improves your interaction with your baby, and helps you to breastfeed successfully.
Pay Attention To Weight Gain And Wet Diapers
Your doctor will know your baby is just fine by making sure shes gaining the weight shes supposed to. If you feel like shes still not feeling satisfied despite frequent feedings, have your doctor chime in on whether shes on track for gaining weight.
Youll also want to pay attention to how many wet diapers she goes through. While weight gain is a better gauge of how well your baby is feeding, seeing enough wet diapers can also reassure you that she is, in fact, taking in the milk.
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Watch The Full Episode To Know More About How To Handle A Newborn Baby
How to handle a newborn baby: New mum and anchor Meghna Pant on first episode of Nine Months | Screencapped from
Some new-mum-questions that this episode answers for you are:
- What baby essentials will you need when you bring your baby back home?
- When choosing a paediatrician for your baby, what should you keep in mind?
- What are the benchmarks of your baby’s good health?
- What should you know about your baby’s first feeding?
- How to help your baby latch on for breastfeeding?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping or putting the baby to sleep separately?
- How to burp your baby?
- How can you deal with a colicky baby?
- What is the difference between a vomit and a reflux throw up when breastfeeding?
Mums, there you have it all from the experts on the first episode of Nine Months Season 2. Remember, there’s no right way or wrong way, but just your way. And it’s important that you trust it.
Nine Months Season 2 is India’s first comprehensive show on parenting and pregnancy.
+ Years Old Toddler Tips
Did you know?Children learn better when they are taught how to behave well instead of being scolded for behaving badly.
- Ask simple questions and listen to the answers. Encourage your child to talk: What is this?, Where is the window?, Which ball is bigger?, Would you like the red cup?. You should see your childs growing interest in interacting with you and responding to your questions.
- Read stories to your child and ask questions about what you see in the book. You should notice your child memorizes and tries to repeat what you read.
- Help your child learn to count by asking how many and counting things together. Your child will make mistakes at first, but learn from repeating things many times.
- Offer your child circles and other shapes cut from coloured paper to compare and sort. She should be happy to try sorting things and will learn how to match and make relationships between different objects, colours and shapes.
* Sources: Steen, The Evolving Brain: The Known and The Unknown, 2007 Dekaban, Annals of Neurology, 1978.
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Be Honest About Your Preferences In Advance
- If you have had a difficult delivery and are not quite ready for visitors yet, this is nothing to apologise for. If your loved ones contact you about planning a visit, simply say that you will let them know when you feel better, or plan the visit for 2 or 3 weeks in the future. If you still don’t feel well, just say so.
- You can let people know that the visits are tiring for you and indicate that they should ideally last for around a maximum of half an hour each. This way, your visitors know where they stand and you can indicate that you would like to sleep or have a rest once the time ends. The visitor then knows it is time to go.
- Let your visitors know that they are only allowed to visit if they do not have a cold or are feeling under the weather, and that it is perfectly okay if they cancel for this reason.
- If you are inviting people who have children of their own, but dont feel up to visits from the children just yet, be honest that this is too much for you right now. Let them know that they are all more than welcome to visit later on, but that you would prefer people to come alone or with their partner for now.
What You Really Need To Be Careful Of
There are a few specifics that you do need to be aware of though when it comes to handling your baby with the most important one being some awareness of something called Shaken Baby Syndrome . Shaking a baby can cause serious injury and trauma that may result in brain damage or death. You may think that you would never shake your baby but constant crying has proven a common trigger for many parents who shake their baby without realizing the consequences of doing it even for just a few seconds. Bottom line is that you do not ever shake a baby for any reason because you can do serious harm.This next point should go without saying but well point it out anyway. You want to be careful to protect your baby from drops and falls. Babies will fall down and bump their heads and scrape their knees once they start crawling and walking, but you still want to do your best to protect them from unnecessary falls especially when theyre newborns. Using caution when placing them on sofas, beds and other surfaces and while holding them is all it takes. You also want to be sure to never let a child hold a baby unattended. And always use caution when handling your baby during bath time and that includes making sure that you place their wash tub on a sturdy surface so it won’t slide or tip.Aside from that, your baby is more resilient than you realize in spite of their delicate appearance. Using common sense and care is all you need when it comes to handling your baby.
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How To Hold Your Baby
Baby care after birth invariably involves bathing your baby, which is one of the biggest challenges for a new mom. Learn how to bathe a baby and make sure you have all of the bathing supplies ready before she arrives so you dont have to miss out on a moment with your new little one. Go for a gentle cleanser formulated for babies, like JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash. If your baby has more hair, you might try a gentle shampoo, like JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo. Dont be afraid to gently wash the soft spot on your baby’s head.
Find A Comfortable Feeding Position
Perhaps the simplest way to handle your newborn constantly feeding is to make it as comfortable as possible. Sometimes we feel stuck in our positions, unable to move around like the rest of the family, making us even more frustrated.
But you can make the most of it by having a comfortable feeding station. Start by using a good nursing pillow and back support. Stock your area with things you might need so that everything is in arms reach, from tissue paper to the TV remote control.
And finally, consider creating several feeding stations throughout the house. That way, you wont feel alone and isolated in, say, your bedroom, while everyone else is enjoying dinner on the other side of the house.
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Helping Your Toddler Adjust To A New Baby
You probably dont need to be told that sharing doesnt come naturally to most little kids. Mine is probably one of your toddlers favorite words. Now try to imagine your little one having to share not just a toy but his mommy and daddy. No wonder suddenly having a sibling something 80 percent of us experience, by the way can be so fraught. Luckily, there are some tried-and-true ways to make things easier.
Set Up A Toddler Area
If you’re caring for a toddler and an infant, setting up areas where the toddler can engage in play by themself is very important. You’ll want to include child-sized shelves or bins that make clean-up easy and allow your toddler to choose toys that encourage independent play.
Think blocks, materials to color with, and other art supplies, play food, and simple puzzles. Make sure you also have a toddler-sized table and chair and that all the items are child-safe.
Depending on the layout, size, and child hazards present in your home, you may want to section off an area with a pen or gate so that you’ll know your toddler is safe and contained. This is particularly important as you will invariably need to step away or turn your back occasionally while caring for your babyand you’re likely to be tired and/or distracted at times.
Equally important is to create a separate safe space for the baby, which could be a swing, playpen, and/or crib, so that you have a place to safely set down your baby when your toddler needs your undivided attention.
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