If you have stumbled upon this article, it is very likely that you are either a new parent, or you are on your way to becoming one. CONGRATULATIONS! Motherhood is beautiful, motherhood is divine. The beauty of it is that we see our kids blossom a day at a time, and every day we experience something new. Not every day will be easy on us, which is why a few hacks for surviving the newborn stage will be a total lifesaver for us!
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Particularly for first time parents, it can be scary to take home a newborn baby without any prior experience on raising one. Obviously, such a teeny tiny little angel needs a ton of care, which some of us might not be conversant with. But the good news is it gets better with time! You only need to know how to survive the fundamental stages.
Hopefully these hacks and tips will save you some frustration!
Getting the baby to sleep
- Sleeping problems in babies comes from the fact that the womb was warm and dark, which made them get used to such sleeping conditions. To get past this problem, it is advisable to keep the house lit during the day and dim the lights at night. This will help the baby understand the difference between daytime and nighttime.
- Avoid being cuddly with the baby during sleeping hours because it gives them an impression that you want to play or that it is eating time.
- Place your baby on their crib when they are sleepy rather than when they are already asleep. This will encourage your baby to be independent in getting their sleep and you won’t have deal with luring a 2-year old to sleep in your arms.
- I also recommend 2 bonus tips here! To make it easy and almost effortless for your baby to sleep, you should mimic the womb conditions that they had got used to. One of these tips is swaddling the baby. It will make them sleep longer and give them the coziness and warmth almost similar to the one they were used to in the womb. This Halo Sleep Sack will totally come in handy. They are available in different fabrics and designs and for different seasons (heavier ones for winter and lighter ones for summer).
- Another tip is using a White Noise Machine. Most people think that the baby needs pin-drop silence during their naps, but this is not entirely true. Remember we’re trying to recreate the womb experience. Inside the womb, the baby was lulled to sleep by your heartbeat and the sound of blood rushing throughout your body. This proves that they don’t need a soundless room to fall asleep in. The white noise machine, which I highly recommend, simulates a similar experience. It is actually necessary to not create a pattern for your child by having them sleep under quiet conditions all the time.
Getting yourself to sleep
Newborns will sometimes know when their mommy is sleepy and they can start crying, which makes most parents to stay up late and get really tired and grouchy. Parents of newborns need to figure out a way to sleep. Parents of newborns who don’t get enough rest tend to be at a high risk of suffering from post-partum depression. The solution to this is quite simple. Follow the steps in (a) above to train your baby to sleep and THEN sleep when your baby sleeps. Syncing your sleeping cycle with that of your baby will ensure that both of you get enough resting time.
Holding the baby properly
This is not only important for your baby’s safety, but also for their comfort. When holding a baby, always ensure that their neck is supported by keeping one of your hands under their head. This is because a newborn’s neck muscles are too weak to hold their head up.
Taking care of their umbilical cord
A baby’s stump should always be kept clean and dry. Until the cord shrivels up and falls off (it takes about 2 weeks), the baby should only have sponge baths. After the cord has fallen off, you can switch to full baths. Bonus tip: newborns don’t need a bath every single day because their skins are very soft and can get dried out and irritated. Most doctors recommend about 3 times a week.
Always ensure that you wash your hand before and after changing a soiled diaper to prevent bacteria from getting onto the baby. Always wipe the baby front to back, especially girls, to prevent infection. Make sure the baby skin is clean before getting them on another diaper to prevent diaper rash. Make sure the diaper does go on top of the umbilical cord if it has not fallen off yet.