What To Do With A Newborn

What To Expect At Home

How Babies See The World

Fever is an important part of the body’s defense against infection. Many older infants develop high fevers with even minor illnesses.

occur in some children and can be scary to parents. However, most febrile seizures are over quickly. These seizures do not mean your child has epilepsy, and do not cause any lasting harm.

Sleeping On The Couch With A Newborn In Your Arms Is Really Dangerous

We get it, falling asleep on the sofa with an infant curled up on your chest is one of the best feelings in the world. Many an exhausted new mom has nodded off for a bit while her sleeping baby is sprawled across her lap or nestled up all warm and cozy on a breastfeeding pillow. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics , this kind of co-sleepingon a couch or armchairis a serious newborn sleep mistake. Its way more dangerous than co-sleeping in a bed, due to the risk of dropping or smothering the baby. If youre going to nap or sleep with your infant, opt for bed-sharing. And if youre going to co-sleep or bed-share, watch this video to make sure youre doing it safely.

Giving The Newborn Juice

There are some juices that are packed with beneficial nutrients. Because of that, some moms believe that it is okay to give their newborn juice. If you believe the same thing and end up giving your baby some, you may end up regretting it. Newborns bellies are made to be able to digest formula and breastmilk for their first few months on life.

Plus, they are the only two things that have the correct nutrients that a newborn needs to continue to grow properly and be healthy. Juice can also upset a little one’s tummy causing gas and tummy pain as well.

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Care For The Newborn After A Vaginal Delivery

Healthy babies born in a vaginal delivery are usually able to stay with the mother. In many hospitals, immediate newborn assessments include weight, length, and medicines. Even the first bath is done right in your room. As quickly as possible, a new baby is placed in your arms. Often, the baby is placed skin-to-skin on your chest right after birth. Some babies will breastfeed right away.

In the first hour or 2 after birth, most babies are in an alert, wide awake phase. This offers a chance for you and your partner to get to know your new baby. A baby will often turn to the familiar sound of the mother’s voice. A baby’s focus of vision is best at about 8 to 12 inches–just the distance from the baby cradled in your arms to your face.

This first hour or 2 after birth is also the best time to start breastfeeding. Babies have an innate ability to start nursing right away after they are born. Some medicines and anesthesia given to you during labor and delivery may affect the baby’s sucking ability. But most healthy babies are able to breastfeed in these first few hours. This first feeding helps stimulate breastmilk production. It also causes your uterus to contract. This can help prevent too much bleeding.

Providing Warmth For The Newborn

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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.

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Months: Look At Books

You already read to baby, but at this age, you might have a better time if you set aside time to just look at books instead of trying to go through the story word for word. So stock up on sturdy books and give your child a chance to hold and handle the book. At this age, kids are still learning basic concepts, so simply holding the book and learning how to orient it right-side up and how to flip the pages from front to back is a huge pre-literacy skill that sets kids up for eventual school success.

Good to know: Follow your babys lead. If he or shes interested in looking at the pictures, look at and label the pictures: cat, cow, car. Youll help expand his or her vocabulary, and he or she will begin to understand that books represent things in the real world.

Daily Life With The Baby

Teaching Your Dog to Love the Baby

As the baby settles in, continue to focus on associating him with good things for your dog. You may be tempted to give her plenty of attention when the babys asleep and then try to get her to lie down, be quiet and leave you alone while the babys awake. Its actually much better to do the opposite. Try to give your dog lots of attention when the baby is present. Teach her that when hes around, she gets treats, petting, playingand anything else she likes. When you feed the baby, you can feed your dog, too. When you walk your dog, do your best to take the baby along. . This strategy, though it requires some skillful multitasking on your part, teaches your dog a valuable lesson. Shell learn to love it when the baby is awake and active because thats when good things happen for her.

Obviously, giving both the baby and your dog attention at the same time is easier if there are two adults in the home. But when thats not possible, you can still accomplish a lot by holding your baby in your lap while you talk to your dog and stroke her, give her treats or toss a ball for her.

Also teach your dog that when your baby isnt around, things get very boring. Your dog can be with you, but try to ignore her most of the time. This will make her eagerly anticipate the babys next active time and help her bond with him.

Out from Underfoot

Quiet Time Together

Polite Manners Around the Baby

What Was That?!

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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.

Months: Build With Boxes

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Cardboard boxes are cheap, easy to find and endlessly entertainingnot to mention cognitively stimulating. Children are little scientists, Morrison says. Many kids this age are fascinated with filling up boxes and dumping out boxes. And while that can be annoying for parents , your little scientist is actually learning about cause and effect.

Good to know: Building with boxes can also help kids grasp complicated concepts. One of the things that very young children are exploring is the idea of conceptual language, like inside and outside, on top of, underneath, Morrison says. He or she really gets to experience that when playing with boxes.

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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.

Stretch Pedal And Tickle

Lay baby on a blanket and help them get moving. Gently hold their hands while you move their arms up, out to the side, and around. Give those adorable toes a little squeeze and pedal their legs . Gentle massage and tickles from the bottoms of their feet to the top of their head can offer fun for both of you.

This is also a great time to introduce some simple toys. A rattle, high-contrast stuffed toy, or an unbreakable mirror are all good options. Hold them close enough for your baby to focus, talk about what youre doing, and give them a chance to reach for and touch the items while you play.

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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.

Walk Down The Aisle Of A Fabric Store

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For some reason, new motherhood can bring out our inner craftswoman. Dreams of adorable, hand-sewn stuffed animals dance in our heads . Spend some time in a fabric store, and you’ll be inspired to channel your energy into a creative project. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the selection, ask staffers to suggest some ideas, including those of the no-sew variety. At the same time, make the shopping experience a visual and tactile adventure for your baby. Expose him to furry fabrics, yards of shimmery sequins, and rolls of satin ribbons.

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Record Your Babys Move:

Each moment with your baby is unique and shall never come back, so make sure you capture them.

  • Record your babys special moments through pictures or videos.
  • Use different accessories and props to make it entertaining for your infant.
  • Make him or her wear special clothes, try a different hair style. Your baby will thoroughly enjoy the attention.

Take A Trip To The Firehouse

Babies love fire engines. They are red. They are shiny. They have gleaming chrome accessories, and firemen wear really cool outfits. Fire stations always welcome young visitors it’s actually part of the department’s directive to educate little ones about fire safety and help them to feel comfortable with potential rescuers. Many fire stations will deputize your baby and hand him or her a bright plastic firefighters hat.

Under the Sea has loads of indoor activities for babies! Photo by Tiffany Boveland

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Can Newborns Recognize Specific Faces Can They Identify Their Mothers Faces

As I explain my article about newborn sensory abilities, young babies cant see very well. Their vision is blurry. Yet it appears that newborns learn to recognize certain faces very quickly.

In one study, researchers presented babies with video playbacks of womens faces . The infantswho were between 12 and 36 hours oldwere able to distinguish the face of their mother from the face of a stranger. They showed a clear preference for looking at mom.

Other studies have replicated these results, and offer insight into the clues that babies use to tell people apart. They are probably noticing differences in face shape, hairstyle, and hair color .

Getting Help After The Birth

What to Do If a Baby Is Choking

Consider getting help during this time, which can be very hectic and overwhelming. While in the hospital, talk to the experts around you. Many hospitals have feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can help you get started nursing or bottle-feeding. Nurses also are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and care for your baby.

For in-home help, you might want to hire a baby nurse, postpartum doula, or a responsible neighborhood teen to help you for a short time after the birth. Your doctor or the hospital can help you find information about in-home help, and might make a referral to home health agencies.

Relatives and friends often want to help too. Even if you disagree on certain things, don’t dismiss their experience. But if you don’t feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors.

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Care For The Newborn After A C

If your baby is born by a cesarean, chances are good that you can be awake for the surgery. Only in rare cases will you need general anesthesia for delivery. This means you are not awake for the birth. Most C-sections today are done with a regional anesthesia such as an epidural or spinal. With this type of anesthesia, only part of the body is numbed for surgery. You are awake and able to hear and see your baby as soon as he or she is born.

Babies born by C-section are usually checked by a nursery nurse or healthcare provider right after delivery. This is often done right near you in the operating room. Because babies born by C-section may have trouble clearing some of the lung fluid and mucus, they often need extra suctioning of the nose, mouth, and throat. In some cases, they may need deeper suctioning in the windpipe.

Once a baby is checked over, a nurse will wrap the baby warmly and bring the baby to you to see and touch. Many hospitals require babies born by C-section to be watched in the nursery for a short time. All the usual procedures such as weighing and medicines are done there. Usually, your baby can be brought to you while you are in the recovery area after surgery.

Many mothers think that they will not be able to breastfeed after a C-section. This is not true. Breastfeeding can start in the first hours right in the recovery room, just as with a vaginal delivery.

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