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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

o nasal aspirator

o diaper rash ointment

o 2 packages of disposable diapers or 2 dozen

      cloth diapers

o gentle baby soap

o no tears shampoo

o 2-4 pacifiers (you will lose them)

o blunt baby nail scissors

o baby brush and comb set

o alcohol wipes (for the cord)

o 4-6 bottles (4 and 8 ounce size)

o bottle brush

o 2 nursing bras (if nursing)

o breast pads (if nursing)

o breast pump (if nursing)

o 6 bibs

o 2-4 hooded bath towels

o 4-6 wash clothes

o 4 bassinet sheets

o 2 waterproof mattress pads

o 2 quilted crib pads

o 3-4 crib sheets

o crib bumper

o 2 comforters (depending on season)

o 2 crib blankets (depending on season)

o 6-8 snap t-shirts

o 4-6 lightweight sleepers

o 6-8 receiving blankets

o 6-8 baby gowns with pull-ties

o 4 pairs of booties or socks

o 1 sweater

o 1 snowsuit (depending on season)

 

Sleeping Tips

 

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 during sleep.)

 

Keep 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

 

·     Don't 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 Your Baby

 

Parents can set the stage now for baby's good sleep patterns to emerge in the future. Try the following:

 

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."

 

1.    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).

 

2.    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, without 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.

 

1.    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.

 

2.    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 late!

An overtired 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!

 

2. Swaddle

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

Although you 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 sleep.

 

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.

 

6. Co-Sleeping

Sometimes it 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-sleeperhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=pinisbr-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B000HKY1GM, 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 machinehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=pinisbr-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00008439C or a White Noise CDhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=pinisbr-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B000TC68I2.

 

9. Wear Baby

For particularly 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!

 

10. Swing

The mother’s 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.

 

Important Note: 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.

 

Teething

 

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.

 

Irritability:  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 differently.

 

Drooling:  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.

 

Coughing:  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.

 

Chin Rash:  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 Ear Pulling:  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.

 

Diarrhea:  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.

Low-grade Fever:  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 the molars.

 

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. 

·     Teething rings, water filled and chilled rubber teething toys;  

 

Moms 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.

·     Cold 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. 

·     Baby 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.

 

The teething 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 child.

 

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.

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