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Preparing for the New Baby
It's amazing how
much equipment and how many items that you need to prepare for the arrival of a
new born! A new born baby's checklist is essential
diaper rash ointment
packages of disposable diapers or 2 dozen
gentle baby soap
2-4 pacifiers (you will lose them)
blunt baby nail scissors
baby brush and comb set
alcohol wipes (for the cord)
4-6 bottles (4 and 8 ounce size)
nursing bras (if nursing)
breast pads (if nursing)
breast pump (if nursing)
2-4 hooded bath towels
4-6 wash clothes
waterproof mattress pads
quilted crib pads
3-4 crib sheets
comforters (depending on season)
crib blankets (depending on season)
6-8 snap t-shirts
4-6 lightweight sleepers
6-8 receiving blankets
6-8 baby gowns with pull-ties
4 pairs of booties or socks
(depending on season)
Caring for any newborn
is a lot of work, but it's even harder when parents are sleep deprived and
exhausted. The good news is that by 4-6 months, most babies have developed a
regular sleep pattern and the ability to sleep through the night. The bad news
is that until that time, it's unrealistic and unfair to expect your baby to be a
great sleeper. In the first months, the average infant sleeps around 16 hours or
so, but that sleep may occur unpredictably and for just a few hours at a time.
As the brain matures
over the first months, you'll likely begin to see a sleep pattern emerge: longer
periods of sleep (hopefully at night), more activity during the day, less
activity at night, and more sleep during growth spurts. (Much of growth occurs
your expectations realistic.
Plan for unpredictable, sporadic sleep for your baby -- and therefore for you --
in the first few months.
Tips for Parents of Newborns
try to sleep train your baby yet.
It's too early to let your baby "cry it out." Since it takes 3-6 months for a
baby's brain to mature enough to establish a regular pattern and to sleep
through the night, wait until then to try sleep training.
Never wake a sleeping baby during the night
(with a few exceptions, such as a need for extra calories).
Establishing Sleep Patterns for
Parents can set the
stage now for baby's good sleep patterns to emerge in the future. Try the
Regulate your baby's
day-night sleep cycle.
As soon as
possible, try to teach your baby that "nighttime is when we sleep, and daytime
is when we have fun."
During daylight hours, keep things stimulating and active for baby. Play
with her a lot. Try to keep her awake after feedings (often a losing battle).
When it's dark, become a more low-key, boring parent for your baby. Feed
her in a semi-darkened room. Cut down on all stimulation (e.g., keep light and
noise soft and low). Hopefully, she'll learn that daytime is fun time and
nighttime is boring, so she might as well sleep when it's dark outside.
Begin to teach your
baby to fall asleep on her own,
getting used to (and then becoming dependent on) being held, rocked, fed, etc.
The goal is that when she awakens in the middle of the night (as most babies
do), she will be able to get herself back to sleep without the need for you to
come in and rock, feed, or soothe her.
After a few weeks (when everyone is not so sleep deprived and things are
settling down), begin to put your baby to bed awake and drowsy whenever you can,
so she learns to fall asleep on her own.
Your goal should be to try to do it, when it's possible. If your baby conks out
right after a feeding, don't wake her just so you can put her back to sleep.
This is a skill that may take months to learn. If you are reasonably consistent
in your efforts, she will get the message.
When to Worry About Baby's Sleep
It's rare that a
baby's sleep pattern is a cause for worry in the first few months. An infant
sleeps as much as her body tells her she needs to. Talk to your pediatrician if
you have any concerns.
When you bring
your baby home no one tells you that “sleep like a baby” only lasts a short
time. This article will give you 10 tips to help your newborn sleep better.
This article will give you 10 tips
to help your newborn sleep better
Newborn Baby Sleep
1. Short Wake-time
The first week
or so, your newborn baby will most likely hardly be awake, but after the first
week or two, the #1 key with your newborn is to keep wake times very short, at
first. You should soothe your baby for sleep after just 1-2 hours of wake time
TOPS. You should look for signs that she is getting sleepy and start soothing
her. If you wait until she is fussy, cranky or crying, you are actually too
baby will have more trouble settling down and going to sleep and
staying asleep. Some
babies are much more sensitive to being overtired than others, so while others
will barely notice their child get sleepy before they drifts off to sleep,
others will begin to realize just how in tune with their baby they need to be!
To help mimic
the feeling of the womb, it helps to swaddle your newborn baby. This basically
means to wrap him up in a blanket like a little burrito. You may have seen them
do it at the hospital. This helps him feel safe and secure and also helps him
stay asleep during any startle reflex moments. It is said that those reflexes
are similar to how we have the feeling we are falling while falling asleep. It
can take up to 4 or 5 months for your baby to stop the startling.
3. Days bright / Nights dark
might be tempted to keep things quiet and darker for your newborn to nap well,
it might prolong the day/night confusion that almost all newborns will have.
Day/Night confusion can last up to 6 weeks. When she was in mom’s belly, mom’s
movements lulled her to sleep and when mom was resting, she’d have a party. When
she comes out, she doesn’t know she should act in the complete opposite fashion.
So, keep days
bright and upbeat and nights, dark and boring, and it will help your newborn
sort out her days and nights faster. This might be more than you want to know,
but light is what cues our eyes to tell us to stay awake or whether it’s time to
4. Limit Naps
If he is taking
longer to sort out days and nights (or you are having a very rough time keeping
up with him being up all night), you can further speed up the process by
limiting naps to no longer than 3 hours during the day.
5. Post-feeding Routine
To help your
newborn baby sort out day and night sleeping even more, you may want to develop
a play routine after the baby eats during the day. Keep them awake 30 minutes
after feeding by playing, singing, bathing, etc. Again, the light stimulating
their eyes will help them sort out that daylight is for being awake at least a
little bit. Many people recommend the eat-play-sleep routine for newborns.
helps to have your newborn in the room with you for quick access for
middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. This also can help give the
baby more comfort being close by as the baby will be able to hear and smell you.
For safety reasons, you should use a co-sleeper, sleep positioner, or bassinette, rather
than have the baby in bed with you.
7. Angle the Mattress
For babies who
spit up a lot or have reflux, it helps to angle the mattress when they sleep, so
the baby is not flat on their back. You’ll want to angle the mattress so that
the baby’s feet are lower than his head, so his stomach contents can stay put.
To angle the mattress, you can simply change the support platform level on one
side on most cribs. If that is not feasible, you can put blankets and pillow
under the mattress.
Please note that the mattress should still remain flat at all times, just at an
incline. You must make sure that you do not tilt the mattress so much that your
baby slides down the bed, either. We strongly recommend that you first check
with a knowledgeable health care provider to make sure that what you do is best
and safest for your child. This is only an idea that we reference.
8. White Noise
White noise is
made up of the sounds like a fan whirring, vacuum cleaner, hair-dryer, etc. It
helps a newborn sleep because inside the mother’s womb was all white noise; such
as the sound of her blood flow, heart beating, etc. That’s why the baby finds
comfort when you may run the vacuum cleaner, or turn on the blow-dryer. Of
course, you can’t run the vacuum all day, so I recommend getting a White Noise
machine, sound machine or a White Noise CD.
9. Wear Baby
fussy babies or just for parent’s convenience and snuggling, it helps to “wear”
baby using a sling. They get very folded up in a sling, but again, it mimics the
womb and babies love it!
movements lull the baby to sleep while in the womb, so we recommend trying a
swing, but don’t be surprised if your newborn only likes it at high speeds.
Some say it might
not be safe for a newborn to sleep in a car seat, so be cautious about that.
Some say it’s just fine.
When Does Teething Begin?
When a baby begins
teething, there is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will take
and how painful it will be. For one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight
without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and
painful experience. You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for
several weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the
tooth actually appears.
The process of
teething often follows hereditary patterns, so if the mother and father teethed
early or late, your baby may follow the same pattern. On average the first
tooth comes in during the seventh month, although it can arrive as early as
three months, as late as a year, or in rare cases even earlier or later.
The Symptoms of Teething?
The symptoms of
teething vary from child to child. Due to these different experiences, parents
and physicians often disagree as to the symptoms of teething and how painful it
can be. The list below shows symptoms that a teething baby may experience. While
most parents usually agree that some or all of the symptoms below happened
around the time of teething, it is still recommended that if your baby
experiences any of these symptoms you check with your pediatrician to rule out
other possible causes for the symptoms.
As the sharp little tooth rises closer to the surface your baby’s gums may
become increasingly more sore and painful, leading to your baby being very
fussy. The pain and discomfort is most often worse during the first teeth
coming in and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size. This
is most often the case since babies become accustomed to the sensations of
teething and learn to live with them. But you may find your baby may be fussy
during the whole time that every tooth comes in. Every child reacts
From three to four months of age you may see your baby start drooling more often
than normal. Teething stimulates drooling, which is often worse with some
babies than others.
The extra saliva can cause your baby to occasionally cough or gag. This is
usually nothing to worry about as long as your baby seems fine and shows no
signs of a cold or flu and does not run a high fever.
If your baby is a big drooler, the constant contact with saliva can cause the
skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated. To help prevent this,
gently wipe your baby’s mouth and chin periodically throughout the day.
Biting & Gnawing:
A baby that is teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get
their mouth around. The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve
the pressure from under the gums.
Cheek Rubbing and
Pain in the gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back
molars begin coming in. This is why you may see your baby rubbing their cheeks
or pulling at their ears. However, keep in mind that pulling at an ear can also
be a sign of an ear infection.
While this is a symptom that is disagreed upon by physicians, researchers and
parents, most parents usually notice slightly looser bowel movements when a baby
is teething. It is believed that the most likely cause of this is the extra
saliva swallowed, which then loosens the stool. Be sure and report any diarrhea
to your doctor that lasts more than two bowel movements.
A fever is another symptom that doctors are sometimes hesitant to directly link
with teething. But there are many parents who will disagree with this and find
their baby gets a slight fever while teething. The best thing to do is be extra
safe and notify your doctor if a fever occurs.
Not Sleeping Well:
With teething pain happening during the day and night, you may find your child
wakes more often at night when the pain gets bad enough. Most parents agree
that the night waking happens more often during the first set of teeth and with
Cold- like Symptoms
(runny nose, etc.):
Some parents find that their baby will show signs of having a cold. Runny
noses, coughing and general cold symptoms are believed to come from the baby
having their hands in their mouth more often. Play it safe and always notify
your doctor if symptoms such as this occur.
How Mothers can help their baby with the pain?
There are several
things that you can try to help ease the pain of teething; some work and some
don’t, but most parents agree they’re always worth a try.
rings, water filled and chilled rubber teething toys;
and dad’s fingers can all provide counter pressure that can sometimes bring
relief. Offering your baby a cold bottle of water can also help.
· Sucking on the bottle bothers your child, offer a cold cup of water. The water
can also help replenish your baby’s fluid if they’re drooling a lot or have
loose bowel movements.
food has also been found to be helpful by some parents. Chilled applesauce,
yogurt and pureed peaches may be more appealing to your baby and also more
nutritious than a chilled teething ring.
Orajel and other teething pain medicines that are applied to the gums can also
provide some relief. Some parents say the Baby Orajel type products work great,
while other parents will say it doesn’t. Also check with your doctor before
giving this type of over the counter pain reliever to your baby.
process will come and go just like so many other things with new babies. Keep
trying different things until you find what provides the best relief for your
Note: Before trying
any of the suggestions listed above or any other type of home remedy it is
highly recommended that you contact your pediatrician first. You should follow
your pediatricians advise first before trying anything mentioned on this site or
on any other site. Your child's doctor knows what is best for your child.