What Should I Do To Prepare For My Baby
Many new parents take prenatal classes before the birth of their first baby. The classes help prepare you for the birth and provide information about basic newborn care. While each class is different, they usually include advice on feeding, common illnesses, day-to-day care, and car seat safety.
Consider learning about resources for new parents in your area. Many local public health offices offer support with breastfeeding and can answer questions about your babys health and well-being. Community centres often have programs where you can meet other new parents.
Before your baby is born, you should decide who will provide your babys regular ongoing health care. In most parts of Canada, your baby will see either a paediatrician or family doctor for routine care. Midwives may provide newborn care for a babys first 4 to 6 weeks.
Some other decisions to make before your due date:
- whether to breastfeed,
- how to prepare pets and siblings for the new family member, and
- whether to use cloth or disposable diapers.
The busy days after childbirth are not the best time to make these decisions. If you have a partner, discuss ahead of time and become comfortable with your decisions so that you can focus on your baby in their first days instead of these issues.
To bring your baby home in a vehicle, you should have a properly installed rear-facing car seat. Be sure you know how to safely secure your baby.
Months: Make Musical Instruments
Babies love to experiment with different sounds. For just one day, let your inner neat freak have the afternoon off and pull the pots, pans and plastic containers out of the kitchen cupboards. Arm baby with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, and demonstrate how to pound on the containers. Baby will have fun , make some scientific observations and may even show some rhythm. Try turning on some music a few babies will drum or sway right along with the beat.
Good to know: You can also try putting some uncooked beans or rice in different-size plastic containers and let your child shake the containers to make different noises. Just make sure theyre closed securely so baby doesnt put things he or she isnt supposed to in his or her mouth.
When Should I Take My Baby For A First Doctors Visit
A health care provider should check your baby within the first 48-72 hours of leaving the hospital or at any point if you feel your baby isnt well.
If your baby was born preterm, you will develop a plan for follow-up care with your health care team before your baby leaves the hospital. They will also make sure you recognize the early signs or symptoms of any problems.
At the first visit your health care provider will:
- Weigh your baby and measure their length and head circumference, if this was not done in hospital.
- Check on how feeding is going for you and your baby.
- Do a physical health exam.
- Ask how the family is adjusting to the new baby.
- Complete any screening tests not done at the hospital.
This visit doesnt have to be with your regular paediatrician or family doctor. The exam can be done by the doctor at the hospital where you gave birth, your midwife or a public health nurse. And it might be at home, in the office or in a hospital clinic. If your baby doesnt see their regular doctor at this visit, it will happen soon after.
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What Kinds Of Things Are Required When Flying With A Baby Do I Have To Have A Special Seatbelt
YES, you do need a special seatbelt for toddlers and up to a certain weight. Babies will likely need their own carseat, or you can typically hold them in your lap. If the airline doesnt require you to purchase a ticket for a lap-child, this is a great way to save money as long as youre comfortable holding your little one the whole time.
In instances like this its handy to have a baby sling which can be tightened to hold baby close, or loosened to act as a lap-cradle to relieve your back and arms while baby sleeps.
Verify the TSA requirements for traveling with small children here.
Here are some links to the relevant car seat rules for the major US airlines so you can be prepared for your next flight:
Months: Do The Laundry
You might think that laundry is a drag, but baby begs to differ. For some reason, babies are endlessly fascinated by anything in laundry baskets or hampers. So use that interest to your advantage. Bring up a big basket of clean laundry. Let baby pull up on the side of the basket and explore the clothes inside, says Brandi Fisher, a former early childhood educator. Want to have even more fun? Try balling up a sock and playing catch.” Or place baby in the laundry basket and push it around the room on the floor. You can even play hide-and-seek with the empty laundry basket and a pile of clean clothes.
Good to know: Pulling up helps baby strengthen his or her legs and refine his or her gross motor skills, and touching and feeling the clothes inside stimulates babys tactile senses.
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How Do I Know If My Child Has Autism
Once your baby is a bit older, toys will start to be of interest to him, but even then you don’t need to buy a lot of them. I have bought my baby some toys, but he seems like he will enjoy playing with a muslin cloth or a water bottle as much as any purposely bought toy.
Some educational experts suggest less is more and making your baby a “treasure box” out of household items like wooden spoons and sponges. They also say spending time interacting with your baby is more valuable than buying them any all-singing, all-dancing “educational” baby toy.
Months: Put Together A Puzzle
Simple wooden puzzles are great for children starting at one year of age, and they help to develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, Moreno says. Start with puzzles with just a few pieces and chunky wooden handles, since the handles are easier for small, chubby hands to grasp than regular puzzle pieces.
Good to know: If you dont want to invest in high-quality puzzles, check your local library. Many libraries offer puzzles for check out, or allow patrons to play with puzzles in the library.
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Keeping Your Baby Warm
Your baby needs to be kept warm, especially outdoors . But its also important to make sure they dont get too hot or overheat.
A good rule of thumb is to give your baby one extra layer of clothing than what youre wearing . For example, if youre in a t-shirt and jumper, dress them in a vest, sleepsuit and cardigan or jumper.
Remember to remove extra clothing when you come in from outside or go into a warm car, bus or train.
Do You Need A Sleep Consultant
Babies younger than 3 months need to eat every few hours. For that reason, sleep training isnt appropriate for newborns.
However, you may choose to hire a sleep consultant when your baby is a bit older, usually around 4 months. Sleep consultants will consult with parents about their babys sleeping habits. They also may need to observe your baby in your home.
A sleep consultant will help you create a sleep schedule. They may help teach your baby to self-soothe without a parent comforting them until they fall asleep.
Theyll also recommend a method of sleep training for your child. Not every sleep consultant recommends the same method, so make sure youre comfortable with a consultants sleep philosophy before hiring one.
And remember, when baby is old enough to sleep through the night, you dont have to hire a sleep consultant. Your pediatrician can give you resources and tips to do it yourself.
Note that sleep training isnt usually safe for babies with certain health concerns or who were born prematurely. Talk to your pediatrician to confirm sleep training is safe for your baby.
Feeding And Burping Your Baby
Whether feeding your newborn by breast or a bottle, you may be stumped as to how often to do so. Generally, it’s recommended that babies be fed on demand whenever they seem hungry. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises.
A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. If you’re breastfeeding, give your baby the chance to nurse about 1015 minutes at each breast. If you’re formula-feeding, your baby will most likely take about 23 ounces at each feeding.
Some newborns may need to be awakened every few hours to make sure they get enough to eat. Call your baby’s doctor if you need to wake your newborn often or if your baby doesn’t seem interested in eating or sucking.
If you’re formula-feeding, you can easily monitor if your baby is getting enough to eat, but if you’re breastfeeding, it can be a little trickier. If your baby seems satisfied, produces about six wet diapers and several stools a day, sleeps well, and is gaining weight regularly, then he or she is probably eating enough.
Another good way to tell if your baby is getting milk is to notice if your breasts feel full before feeding your baby and less full after feeding. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your child’s growth or feeding schedule.
If your baby tends to be gassy, has gastroesophageal reflux, or seems fussy during feeding, try burping your little one after every ounce during bottle-feeding or every 5 minutes during breastfeeding.
How To Introduce Baby To Siblings
Older children may be excited to meet their new sibling. Or they may be angry or resentful about the new baby.
Some parents give siblings a small big brother or big sister gift from the new baby. You can also have a caregiver hold the new baby while you cuddle with your older child.
When youre home and recovered, you can let your older child pick a special spot where they want to take the new baby to celebrate their arrival. Or you can arrange a safe area for the sibling to hold the new baby, depending on the older childs age.
If baby will be sharing a room with their sibling or youre planning to move your older child from their crib to make room for baby, prep the older child well ahead of time.
Plan to transition an older child from their crib a few months before the arrival of baby so theyre less likely to feel like theyve been displaced for baby.
If baby is moving into their room, discuss this change with your child in a positive light. Consider letting them help decorate or set up babys area.
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Newborn Baby Essentials You Actually Need From Day One
From baby clothes to the baby car seat, it can be overwhelming thinking just how much stuff one tiny person needs and the costs can soon mount up.
But the good news is that all these things can be easily split into what’s a baby essential, and those bits and pieces that are by no means a must.
Even if the buggy’s been ordered but hasn’t arrived yet, don’t stress! There are only some baby essentials that you need from day one. You can invest in that all-singing/all-dancing baby sensory system centre later
To make things easier, and make sure you dont forget anything important, we’ve broken everything down for you so you can simply follow our shopping lists below to help you tick off everything on your baby checklist. As with most things, we recommend that the earlier you start, the better as not only does this give you lots of time to do your research before your due date, but it’ll spread out the cost of some of the bigger items too.
In this article:
Vibrating Singing Dancing Baby Bouncers/swings
There are loads of vibrating chair-like bouncers and swinging toys on the market. Some babies love them, and parents like them when they occupy the baby so they can do their stuff.
Ours hated the vibrating one we had that swung and played music and preferred the plain old simple bouncer chair with no special features. He also occupies himself well in the activity gym, or watching a mobile go round and round above his head .
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Months: Put A Twist On Tummy Time
Babies need tummy time to strengthen their back, neck and abdominal muscles, but many dont like being placed facedown on the floor. So instead, try laying baby tummy-down on top of a soccer ball or kickball. Hold baby securely and move him or her around in circles, forward and backward, Lyons says. You can even place toys close to baby to encourage reaching for them, or set out an infant mirror so baby can see himself or herself.
Good to know: Make sure the floor underneath the ball is carpeted or padded for safetys sake.
Holding Your Newborn Baby Safely
Newborn babies often like to be cuddled and need to be held in a safe way that supports their head. Mums should be encouraged to have skintoskin contact with their babies as soon as possible after the birth .
Your baby might be happy snuggled against your chest, where they can hear your heartbeat. They will also enjoy being cradled or supported in your arms or with their head resting against your shoulder.
Some newborn babies like to be swaddled and there is some evidence to suggest swaddling calms infants and helps them sleep . See our article about swaddling and how to safely swaddle your baby for more info.
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How To Transport Your Baby
Pushing your baby in a pram or stroller is a good way for you to get out and about. Make sure the pram meets the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2088. Always secure your baby in the pram with a 5-point harness and make sure you always put on the brakes when you stop. Prevent the pram from tipping by putting bags in the harness underneath, not over the handles.
A baby carrier or sling means you can keep your hands free while youre out. Make sure you adjust it so it is comfortable for you. Wear comfortable shoes and be careful of tripping when you bend over or walk on uneven surfaces. A baby carrier or sling is not a good idea in hot weather because your baby can overheat.
If you are driving somewhere, babies under 6 months must by law be restrained in an approved rear-facing car seat or capsule. All car seats in Australia must comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754.