A parent-to-patent guide: Cut back on the overwhelm and take care of your newborn baby with our simple and practical, fuss-free tips on everything – from breastfeeding to soothing that cranky bundle of joy!
The first month is always the toughest: sleepless nights, a crying baby and exhaustion the likes of which you have never experienced in your life.
We get you.
We have all been there. Here’s how to make the breastfeeding sessions easier and smoother for the general well-being of all parties involved:
Seek help if you’re overwhelmed with the nursing process.
Have a chat with friends who have breastfed their children. Talk to your mother or sister-in-law. Take as much advice and help as possible. Remember – you’re not alone in this!
People enjoy being around a newborn, especially women whose children have grown up.
Rely on hospital resources.
Your hospital is a great place to learn everything you can about breastfeeding. The staff is helpful and efficient. They’ll show you all the ways you’re doing it right or wrong.
Push the nurse-call button and take the advice from expert nurses around you. They’ll even hook you up with electric breast pumps for a nominal rent.
Prepare for marathon breastfeeding sessions.
Well, it isn’t as bad as that, but some babies like to clutter-feed, and they keep feeding and sleeping and then feeding some more.
So, pee, then grab a big drink of water (breastfeeding makes you thirsty – keep yourself hydrated, mama!) and a nice book or a magazine to read.
Pro Tips: Use a warm compress for painful, engorged breasts and a cold pack for breasts that are sore from feeding.
When you’re newborn is not eating, she is probably sleeping as newborns sleep as much as 16 hours every day! That’s good news for new parents as you can relax and take care of your needs while your baby sleeps.
You will always be tired.
Yes, newborns sleep 16 hours. But not straight! Your baby might wake up every 30 minutes, or 15 minutes, or might sleep 2 hours straight – you never know! So, yes, you’ll be tired a lot those first few weeks. That’s just how it will be.
Do it shift-wise.
Decide with your husband who is going to get the first shift at night. This way both of you get to sleep a few hours each and feel more rested, than one person going at it the whole night.
Help! My baby won’t sleep.
Do what it takes to put your newborn to sleep. Rock him, cajole him, cuddle him. Try swaddling him in a snug but a gentle cotton blanket. Whether it is the car seat he prefers or your chest, let your precious little bundle fall asleep how he prefers. There is no wrong way here.
The first few weeks are the hardest when your baby cries and you just can’t figure out what the heck she wants!
Is it a bottle, your breasts, some toy, a dirty diaper that is making her crabby…what?!
Soothe fussy infants with swaddling.
You’re essentially mimicking the womb by swaddling your child. And the newborns love this as they feel as if they’re right back inside their mommy’s.
Shush and swing when your munchkin’s in a swaddle to put down for a night of deep sleep.
Warm the wipes.
If changing a diaper triggers a full-on meltdown, consider warming your wipes – whether you use paper towels and a thermos, or buy an electric wipe warmer, it doesn’t matter. Cold wipes make most babies fussy.