Bringing Home Baby can be an exciting, wonderful and often anxious time, and with a little planning beforehand, your family will
be able to relax and treasure this special time together.
Safety First - Of course your newborn isn't going to stick their fingers into an electrical socket, but you should still prepare your home with basic baby-proofing. Your baby will take their first steps before you know it, so prepare now by covering outlets, moving harmful chemicals out of reach and securing cabinet doors.
Feeding Baby - Breastfeeding is hands-down the best for baby. Infants who are breastfed have fewer ear infections, less allergies and diarrhea, and their mothers reduce their own risk of certain cancers. Try to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before your little one is born. Meet with a lactation consultant and seek breastfeeding advice. If you choose to use formula, consult your baby's pediatrician to find the best for your baby.
Rest for Parents - Get some shut eye when your baby sleeps. This may sound like an easy concept to grasp, but can be difficult when you have household chores, phone calls and visitors. Do your best to take a nap, as sleep deprivation won't help you care for your little one.
Sleeping for Baby - Babies who sleep on their backs have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Take extra care to keep the crib free of extra blankets, pillows and toys.
Soothing Touch – The benefits of infant massage include improved sleep, healthy growth, development and reduction in the symptoms of colic. Sign up for a class soon after your baby arrives. Babies are welcome in infant massage classes from as early as three weeks of age up until the time they begin to take their first steps. Learning early will give you more time together to enjoy this loving interaction.
Bath time - You don't have to worry about giving your little one a full tub bath until after their umbilical cord has healed. In the meantime, only the diaper area needs regular washing. When it's time for a more thorough bath, have all the supplies close by, relax and enjoy! By the time a baby is old enough for a tub bath they generally have fun and enjoy themselves, too!
Diapers – Cloth vs. Disposable - Newborn babies will generally go through eight to ten diapers, a day. Although the debate continues of cloth vs. disposable diapers, cloth diapers may actually save money in the long run, especially if you are planning to have another baby. If you choose to use disposables, don't buy too many in newborn size. Your little one is going to grow fast and will quickly outgrow newborn size diapers.
Time for a Change – Get organized! Gather all supplies before you begin -diapers, wipes, rash ointment and you might need a new fresh outfit. For babies, talcum powder is not recommended as it is made of finely ground particles that are both easily carried in the air like dust and can reach the smallest areas of the lung. Talc can cause pneumonia, inflammation (or swelling) of the airways of babies, and even death. If your changing table has a safety belt, use it. After you remove baby's diaper, clean and dry your little one and replace that stinky diaper with a fresh new diaper. Roll down the top of the diaper to avoid the tender umbilical cord area.
Crying - It's just a fact, babies cry. But when it is your own baby crying, it can sometimes feel much more personal. It can become frustrating for parents who are trying everything to help their little one to calm. Then when you add sleep deprivation to the mix, mom or dad can have a meltdown. As new parents you should expect to feel some frustration or disappointment. Plan to call a friend or trusted family member when you need a break. And remember, you can always place your baby safely in their crib while you take a few minutes to regroup. Sometimes just taking ten minutes for a shower, a walk or to get some fresh air can provide a new calmer perspective.