At Home With Your Newborn
It’s a wonderful thing to bring a new being into the world. But what are the first few weeks at home with your newborn like? Movies all portray the event with lots of smiling faces. Not to mention women everywhere claiming they completely change the instant they become a mother. The truth is, you’re still very much you, but now you have this incredible little person that needs you round the clock for about the first four months.
Once you’ve got your newborn all cleaned up in his or her new little onesie (and that adorable knitted cap!)…now what? What do you do at home with your newborn? Below is a nifty guide that will help pave the road ahead for you and your newest little addition to the family.
First Thing’s First, Get Settled In
After surviving the childbirth experience, the only thing you may want is sleep! Baby of course, won’t let you have any. Every two-three hours you will be up, armed with a bottle or breast and a clean diaper. Newborns do sleep a lot, but they adore being swaddled because it is the closest thing they have to being in their mother’s womb. You can put your swaddled up baby in a crib or in a bassinet.
Sleep When Baby Sleeps
This is the best advice you will ever hear as a new parent when you are at home with your newborn. When your baby falls asleep, drop whatever it is you’re doing and make a running dive for the nearest sofa, recliner, or bed! Your little cherub won’t sleep through the night (about a 4-6 hour block) until roughly four months of age. Bottle fed babies sleep longer than breastfed babies, but breastfed babies get a boost of natural immunities from their mama that are passed through the breastmilk.
Tummy Time or Bust!
In the continuous fight against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), doctors and nurses will always encourage you lay your baby on his or her back when they sleep. Sometimes when babies sleep, they lack a hormone in their brains that’s supposed to signal for them to turn their heads when they are sleeping when oxygen intake is low.
When you are at home with your newborn, be sure to incorporate plenty of tummy time which decreases the chances of your baby developing flat head syndrome caused by too much time on their back. Tummy time is so incredibly important is because it strengthens your baby’s neck muscles. Invest in a newborn play gym to keep your baby entertained.
Choose Quiet Activities
Babies do not like loud or sudden sounds. It scares them! To pass the time when you’re at home with your newborn, pick up a book with illustrations. Your child adores the soothing sound of your voice, even if he or she can’t understand the words. After all, they’ve been listening to it since before they were born!
You can also go for a walk in the stroller outside or simply rock your baby slowly in a rocking chair. Your child won’t be strong enough to sit up by themselves for awhile, so he or she will need some help being propped up for a time.
When you’re at home with your newborn, a calming bath is a great way to help baby go back to sleep. Try a baby tub that has a mesh net for easy cleaning. Babies are slippery when wet! Move slowly and use a soft sponge or special baby washcloth. Most normal washcloths are too rough for baby’s sensitive skin.
Now that you’ve survived all the drama, you’re probably wondering what comes after the first four months? The answer is…anything you want! Other than the routine baby care that comes with having a baby, life is now whatever you make for you and your child. These are the days to create lasting memories for your little angel that he or she will keep forever. They are what they will draw upon when they seek wisdom in your absence. Stay strong, be patient, kind and ever vigilant.
Parents wear a lot of different hats. Utilize your inner strengths. There is no one right way to raise a child. All children are different. So, slide that diaper bag on with pride and never forget – you got this!
Not sure what to do with your newborn during the day? Click here for more ideas