How To Parent A Newborn

Have A Backup Babysitter In Place

Newborn Posing | How to Pose PARENTS During a Newborn Shoot

Even the most carefully laid plans can fall through. Thats why its smart to have a backup sitter, family member or close friend who can babysit in case your caregiver cancels, the day care is closed or theres another emergency.

Another idea: Try to find a fellow mom in the neighborhood who can reliably help babysit for you in a pinch and vice versa.

Your Social And Family Ties Will Be Tested

New parents also undergo a rearrangement of their social life, including how they interact with extended family and friends.

Some friendship networks get reconfigured . Kelly noticed that other people changed in their relationship to her as she became a parent. The new demands on her time made it harder to meet friends away from Winnie, and yet, happily, new friends also emerged.

Kelly noticed that just as her identity started changing as a parent, there was a tendency for people to converse with her exclusively about motherhood. She was naturally thrilled that her loved ones were excited about Winnie, yet she longed for relationships that also nurtured her individual identity as a painter, counselor, yoga enthusiast, and traveler. With all the changes involved in new parenthood, it is important to have someone still see you as an individual, reminding you of yourself.

Your Brain Tries To Prepare You Emotionally

In 2014, Ruth Feldman, a researcher in Israel and at the Yale School of Medicine, conducted an experiment with her colleagues. They went into the homes of 89 new parents and collected samples of oxytocin , and they recorded videos of parents interacting with their newborns. Later, the researchers put the parents in a functional MRI machine and replayed their videos back to them, observing which parts of parents brains lit up when they saw their own infants versus videos of unrelated babies.

The researchers found two main regions of the brain particularly active in new parents, both moms and dads. The first is the emotion-processing network. This is located centrally in the brain and it developed earlier in evolution than the neocortex. It involves the limbic, or feeling, circuitry and includes:

  • The amygdala, which makes us vigilant and highly focused on the safety and survival of our newborns.
  • The oxytocin-producing hypothalamus, which bonds us to our newborns.
  • The dopamine system, which rewards us with a squirt of the feel-good hormone to keep us motivated and enjoying parenting.

All together, this network creates more emotions in parents for their own newborns. Other researchers, Laura Glynn and Curt Sandman, add that these regions actually grow in density in new mothers, and that that growth is associated with more positive feelings toward their infants.

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Sneak In Snuggle Time

Whether its during a late-night feeding or an early-morning diaper change, make time for a little cuddling with your baby. You might not get to spend all day taking care of your little one, but try to truly enjoy the time you have.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Surround Yourself With Supporters

Expecting a Baby? Take These 3 Steps Before the Big Day ...

Talk to your partner, relatives or friends about how youre feeling. If youre worried about anything, pick up the phone to your midwife, health visitor or GP.

Remember the old saying about how it takes a village to raise a child. You cant do this alone, no matter what your situation, so learn to ask for help.

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Keeping Your Newborn Healthy

  • 1Give your baby “tummy time” every day. Since your baby spends so much of its time on its back, it’s important to also give your baby time to stay on his tummy so that he develops both mentally and physically and strengthens his arms, head, and neck. Some doctors say babies should get 15-20 minutes of tummy time a day, while others say that you should just place your baby on his tummy for 5 minutes during different parts of the day as he develops.
  • You can start with tummy time as soon as a week after the baby is born, once the umbilical cord falls off.
  • To make tummy time fun, get level with your baby. Make eye contact, tickle your baby, and play around.
  • Tummy time is hard work, and some babies will be resistant to it. Don’t be surprised — or give in — if this happens.
  • 2Care for your newborn’s umbilical cord stump. Your baby’s umbilical cord stump should fall off within the first two weeks after they’re born. It will change in color from a yellowish green to brown and black as it dries and falls off on its own. It’s important to care for it properly before it falls off to avoid infection. Here’s what you should do:XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Keep it clean. Clean it with plain water and dry it with a clean and absorbent cloth. Make sure to wash your hands before you handle it. Stick to giving your baby sponge baths until it falls off.
  • Your baby also may just need to be burped.
  • Sign Up Your Older Child For A Mothers Day Out Program

    A mothers day out program is more like a pre-k than it is daycare. Often, but not always, these are run by nearby churches. But you dont typically have to be a member of the church to sign up. They also arent usually overly religious in nature.

    It also doesnt have to be 5 days a week. When our oldest daughter Astrid was about 2, we signed her up for 3 days a week. That allowed my wife to focus on her younger sister Jolie instead of trying to constantly wrestle both of them at the same time all week.

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    New Parents: Tips For Quality Rest

    As any new parent knows, frequent feedings, diaper changes and walking thehalls with a fussy baby can make sleeping soundly at night nearlyimpossible. While taking care of yourself can be a challenge when you havea newborn, making sure you get enough shuteye needs to be a priority, saysJohns Hopkins sleep specialistGrace W. Pien, M.D., M.S.C.E.

    If youre getting enough sleep, youre going to be better able to fulfill your new responsibilities of taking care of the baby, she says. Youll be more patient and more likely to feel good about parenting. Pien suggests the following strategies to catch some extra ZZZs.

    Newborn Baby Bootcamp: Taking Care Of A Newborn

    How to photograph parents with their NEWBORN baby – BACKLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

    Every new mom and new dad needs some help. Here’s everything you need to know about sleeping, breastfeeding, crying and more to get through those first few weeks with a new baby.

    You’ve no doubt been dreaming about your baby for months: what he’ll look like, whether he’ll be laid-back like his dad or a Type A like you. But chances are, if it’s your first child, you don’t know much about taking care of a newborn.

    Well, we’ve been there, and we’re here for you, with everything you need to know to care for your baby in those exciting but often frustrating first weeks. Let’s get started!

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    Take Care Of Yourself

    This one can be tricky difficult, especially when it feels like there already arent enough hours in the day. But as much as youd like to shrug off personal care, your own health and well-being are key to making everything at home and the office run smoothly.

    If you cant imagine taking any time for yourself, try this to start: Each week as youre inputting events into that family calendar, schedule at least one event for yourself maybe a weekend yoga class, a haircut during your lunch break, a pedicure, or a grocery trip without the baby.

    Once you get into the habit and see how healing and rejuvenating even a little bit of time to yourself can be, youll be hooked.

    Newborn Care: Tips For Parents And Families

    It should go without saying that welcoming a newborn baby into the home is a life-altering event. This can lead to some challenges for Mom and Dad, and while caring for a little one is paramount, its also important to practice self-care, ensuring both parents are in top condition to parent the new child.

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    Getting Started In The Hospital

    If You Choose to Breastfeed, Start ASAP

    Even if the baby doesn’t actually latch on, you can squeeze the yellowish colostrumthe precursor to real breast milk that’s packed with immune-boosting nutrientsdirectly into his mouth.

    Stall the Visitors

    Family and friends will want to visit as soon as possible, but you may want to keep them at bay for a bit so that you and your partner can spend time alone with your baby. Because a newborn is usually alert and receptive immediately after birth, it’s the perfect time to bond, so look him in the eyes and talk to him. He knows your voice from being in your body and may find it soothing.

    Dress Your Baby Right

    A cute going-home outfit is irresistible, but remember that babies cannot regulate their body temperature until they’re about 6 months old. So dress your newborn carefully. Generally, he should wear the same amount of clothing as you, indoors or outdoors. Don’t overbundle himsweating can cause him to become chilled. Layers are a good way to go.

    Work On Being Friends Again

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    I always say getting time away with my husband reminds me why I liked him in the first place. Alone time is a nice reminder of who we truly are, as opposed to the nagging eye-rollers who manifest most days of the week. Now, when I look at the overflowing trash can as he is sitting on the couch watching CNN, I try to visualize that beach in Aruba that brought us so much peace, and then I remind him to take the garbage out.

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    Helping Your Baby Sleep

    It’s normal for new babies to only sleep for 2 to 3 hours at a time through the night, as well as during the day.

    One reason is that newborn babies are not tuned into day and night yet.

    Babies also grow quickly in the early months and they have very small stomachs. This means they need to feed little and often.

    As your baby grows, they’ll gradually start to need fewer night feeds and will sleep for longer at night.

    Out And About With Baby

    26. Enlist backup. Make your first journey to a big, public place with a veteran parent. “Having my sister with me for support kept me from becoming flustered the first time I went shopping with my newborn,” says Suzanne Zook, a mom in Denver.

    27. If you’re on your own,“stick to places likely to welcome a baby, such as story hour at a library or bookstore,” suggests Christin Gauss, a mom in Fishers, Indiana.

    28. “Keep your diaper bag packed,” says Fran Bowen, a mom in Brooklyn. There’s nothing worse than finally getting the baby ready, only to find that you’re not.

    29. Stash a spare. Holland Brown, a mom in Long Beach, California, always keeps a change of adult clothes in her diaper bag. “You don’t want to get stuck walking around with an adorable baby but mustard-colored poop all over you.”

    30. Finally, embrace the chaos. “Keep your plans simple and be prepared to abandon them at any time,” says Margi Weeks, a mom in Tarrytown, New York.

    If nothing else, remember that everyone makes it through, and so will you. Soon enough you’ll be rewarded with your baby’s first smile, and that will help make up for all the initial craziness.

    Heather Swain is a mother and writer in Brooklyn, New York. Her novel is Luscious Lemon.

    American Baby

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    How Long Does It Take To Adjust To A New Baby

    Motherhood is one of the biggest transitions faced by many women. Thus, itstotally normalto feel a combination of any of the following :

    • Exhausted
    • Unsure youre doing the right things
    • Losing your temper easily
    • Moody & Irritable

    A recent survey of 2,000 US moms by OnePoll found that, on average, it takes over 3 months for new moms to adjust to a new baby. Ironically, thats a few weeks less than a 2012 study by Munchkin which often gets reported.

    But also remember that its not just you thats going through an adjustment period. In your case, youll be trying to help a toddler adjust also, so expect delays.

    One of the best things you can do to help your family is to remember to take care of yourself as much as possible.

    So dont try and return to work too quickly, and dont feel guilty about getting less done than you used to. Do ask for help and support when you need it.

    My wife SWORE by an all-natural tincture called Wish Garden Herbs Baby Blues Mood Support . She took it when she was pregnant with all 3 of our girls.

    Baby Blues is an Organic Herbal Postnatal Supplement, Emotional & Hormonal Support for New Mothers and is for when new moms experience the blues post-partum. This powerful but gentle combination of herbs provides nourishing nervines, liver tonics, and herbal balancers to support healthy hormone levels.

    Its also an Amazons Choice product on Amazon Prime and rates almost 5 stars.

    Think you have to spend a lot of money or hire a lawyer?

    How To Survive A Toddler And A Newborn

    How To Wear A Relaxed Parent Baby Wrap

    When you have 2 young kids, youre naturally outnumbered.

    Thus, wearing your baby on your body can make life significantly easier. In fact, its almost a must when learning how to parent a toddler and a newborn.

    A newborn baby naturally craves mom. Thus these baby wraps that have been all the rage for the last few years help with that greatly, while keeping your arms free.

    But not only does it free you up, but it can also make your baby SIGNIFICANTLY less fussy.

    A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43% less. I dont know about you, but I would LOVE a 43% reduction in fussiness in my house!

    Wearing your newborn allows you to chase your toddler all over the place, whether youre at the grocery store or the playground.

    Not all baby carriers are exactly the same, and, of course, some babies respond differently to carriers than others.

    Thus its a great idea to check with friends or online mommy groups. Try out a few if friends have some.

    Find one thats not quite right, try out a few more. Chances are, one of them will be right for you and your baby and could be a real lifesaver!

    Check out all the Best Selling Soft Baby Carriers .

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