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New Parents

Important Tips for New Moms

This baby is one month old. 

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As a new mom, you will undoubtedly be faced with a lot of unfamiliar trials. That’s a normal part of being a new parent, and a learning curve that every family has to go through. However, there are a few tips that can help you get through the stress.

  • Allow yourself to get away. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick five or ten minute break to regroup so that you are able to handle the demand of a new baby. Don’t guilt yourself for taking a couple minutes to yourself to read something interesting, like Moontomars.org, or walk out under the sun. You’ll be surprised with how refreshed you will feel!
  • Remember to turn off mommy mode. All parents need a break, especially new ones that are stressed. You aren’t going to be helpful when you’re too frustrated to think straight, and you certainly won’t be able to calm down a crying infant if you’re emanating stress from every pore.
  • Your baby loves you. Parenting a newborn is rewarding task, even if it does get frustrating sometimes. Your baby doesn’t expect you to be perfect – they just want you to be there. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do the first time around – in fact, you’re in good company because even second time parents don’t have all the answer!

The most important thing you can do right now is remember to breathe. Eventually, your baby will sleep the entire night and be able to communicate their needs to you in a more effective manner.

 

 

 

Tips for Parents with Babies that Don’t Sleep Through the Night

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Unfortunately, most babies are not born with the ability to sleep through an entire night. However, there are ways to ensure that you will get enough sleep to remain functional when your baby is awake.

  • Try sleeping when they do. Many new parents find that it is easier to sleep when their newborn does, instead of trying to uphold their previously normal sleep schedule. Frequent cat naps are a great way to rejuvenate the spirit and make it easier to deal with stress – which is an added bonus of getting some shut eye while the baby sleeps.
  • Alternate sleep shifts with a partner. If you have a spouse or partner in the house, then you should consider taking turns staying awake with the baby. This will even out the new responsibilities and make it a lot easier to for everyone to get the sleep that they need. If you don’t have anyone living with you that can share the responsibility, you can always ask a close family member or friend to stay with you for a couple of weeks.
  • Seek advice from other parents. One of the best ways to learn how to cope with a new baby that doesn’t sleep is to simply ask other parents how they do it. Reading trusted authorities on the subject of parenting is another great resource for the new parent, and Moontomars.org is a great place to start.

Even though it may seem like an impossible task right now, you will eventually get a good night’s sleep again. Just be patient and learn to go with the flow until both you and your newborn adjust to each other.

 

 

 

Preparing for Your First Child

If there is anything like anxiety and excitement, then wait until you become a father or mother expecting your very first bundle of joy. To be an expectant parent is to be in a mix of emotions. On one hand, you will be expressing feelings of joy and happiness and on the other hand, you will be dampened by the unknown and in no time, you may become tensed.

It must be said at this point that the way you prepare for your child is also quite instrumental to the delivery of such an offspring. To make sure that all goes well, here are some tips that you can make use of as a parent that is eagerly awaiting for the arrival of a bouncing baby.

The first step is aimed at reducing the tension that you have as an expectant father or mother. You can do this by ensuring that the mother who is heavy with the child goes for the various antenatal sessions on a regular basis. While going for antenatal services, you can also request for an ultrasound scan in other to ascertain the sex and number of the baby. This step is very important in the sense that once you know whether the child is a boy or a girl and you know you are not expecting twins, then your load of anxiety has been reduced by half.

Once the sex and number of the fetus has been ascertained, the next thing will be to start buying baby materials and accessories. Some couples begin such shopping as early as possible but you have to select a time that you will be comfortable with. Also, it is important for the mother to desist from strenuous activities in order not to injure herself or even the baby. In extreme cases, vigorous exercise on the part of the mother can lead to a miscarriage.

Getting the Baby’s Room Ready

A changing table for changing diapers.
Image via Wikipedia

A little bit of planning before the birth of a baby can take a great deal of stress out of what is supposed to be a joyous homecoming. If you prepare the baby’s room ahead of time, you will have more time to be able to concentrate on tending to the needs of the child and making the occasion a truly happy one.

There are a number of things to consider when decorating the new room for the baby. Do you have a theme in mind? If you are not sure, consult magazines and web sites to get some ideas. A fresh coat of paint and decals or stencils to decorate the walls is a great start. What about furniture? Are you planning to use a crib from when you were a child that your parents saved? If so, you must check it out to make sure it is safe and then paint it or refinish it to match your decor.

As you decorate the room, it is also important to remember what you will be doing in this room. There needs to be a changing table and dresser for storing diapers and clothing. Don’t forget a baby monitor so that you know what the child is doing when you are out of the room. There should be a comfortable chair for mom to be used during feedings and maybe a radio or CD player to provide relaxing music.

An important part of prepping the room for the baby is stocking up on the supplies you are going to need. Diapers and wipes are essential. Make sure there are plenty of clean clothes which will fit the baby because several changes will probably be required each day. There should also be plenty of bibs for feeding and a small basin to bath the baby in.

What to eat While Breast Feeding?

The number one rule for moms who are breast feeding is to eat more food than they are accustomed to. Doctors will typically recommend that women consume an additional 500 calories per day while they are breast feeding but they say those calories should include healthy choices not junk foods or deserts.

The most important element that you should focus your diet on while breast feeding is complex carbohydrates. These types of food should make up the bulk of what you eat each and every day. The National Academy of Pediatrics says fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of complex carbs that should be consumed by all new moms. Examples include; whole wheat bread, apples, oranges, broccoli and beans.

Carbohydrates have been scientifically shown to help the lactation process but it is also important for breast feeding moms to consume some fatty foods as well. Three servings of fat or protein are recommended each day to help produce milk that will be very beneficial to your child.

It is also important to make sure that you are getting your recommended daily amount of both calcium and Vitamin D. These are substances critical for bone development and it might be necessary to take a supplement while breast feeding. Discuss this with your doctor. Many doctors will recommend that the women stay on the prenatal vitamins they were taking when they were pregnant while they are breast feeding.

One common question that many breast feeding mothers will ask is what about alcohol? The use is discouraged during pregnancy but most doctors say it is all right to have an occasional drink while breast feeding. Use alcohol in moderation and do not have a drink within two hours of the time of a feeding. As for smoking, do not even think about it. The chemicals that you inhale from the cigarettes will end up in your breast milk.

How to Prepare for Breast Feeding

After you have made the decision to breast feed your new baby, it is time to start preparing because the newborn is going to be hungry within minutes of coming into this world. There are things that new moms need to take care of in advance including preparing their bodies.

Doctors will monitor a mothers’ weight throughout her pregnancy not only as a way to check on the health of the child but to make sure that the mom is gaining enough weight to be prepared for breast feeding. The mom needs to gain an adequate amount of weight so that her breast milk has the proper nutrients for the infant.

It is also recommended by most doctors that moms who plan to breast feed see a lactation consultant, especially first time moms. These experts can recommend the best positions for breast feeding and will evaluate your nipples for potential problems. Once you make the decision to breast feed, it is important to stop the use of any soap or antibacterial cream on the nipples because that could dry them out.

New moms will have to purchase two or three nursing bras before the baby comes. It is recommended that you spend the money on top quality brassieres because comfort is critical at this time. Cotton will be the most comfortable. Stock up as well on breast feeding pads which will keep you dry, the disposable kind are the easiest to use.

You will also need to buy disposable bags for storing your breast milk and a pump for the times when you are not around to feed the child. If you store up milk, you can also avoid having to do all of the late night feedings and might actually be able to get a little bit of sleep. It is safe to keep fresh milk in the refrigerator for about three days and it will stay fresh frozen for up to three months.

Setting a Schedule for Your new Baby

When you bring your new baby home it is important to try and get into a regular routine as soon as possible. Caring for a newborn can be very challenging and anything that can be done to make things run smoother needs to be explored. Setting up a schedule for who handles late night feedings can help keep mom and dad as fresh as possible.

The most important thing to build into schedule is flexibility. The needs of your baby will vary from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. You can plan on feeding the baby between eight and twelve times every day and changing their diaper at least a half dozen times per day. How you schedule feedings will depend on if the mother is breast feeding, obviously she has to handle that. However, she can store up some milk so that dad can do it once in a awhile to give mom a break.

Most new moms will have their own mother or a friend come to stay with them for a few days when they first get home from the hospital. The new mom is likely still worn out from giving birth so she will welcome the help caring for the new baby. Make sure all of your family and friends know who is helping when so that you do not have a number of people in your house just hovering around.

A number of people will offer to help with meals and other chores. This is another time when a schedule can really help. If they are offering to cook for you, give them a day to bring something. This way, you won’t end up with six meals on the first day you come home and can spread out the help so that it truly is helpful.

Father and Mother Know Best

The best advice that you will get in caring for your new baby is from other couples who have recently been through it. Perhaps you have a sister or brother who have a young child and the memory of getting through those first few weeks is fresh in their mind. It could also be a close friend who has just gone through it and may not only be willing to share some advice but maybe baby clothes and other equipment to save you some money.

Another great resource for caring for a child is your own mother. While it may have been a few years since they went through the process of taking care of a baby, they took care of you and no doubt gained some child rearing wisdom. A recent survey found that almost half of new moms rely on their own mothers or their mother in law for advice on how to care for their child. In fact, when they have a question about what to do most say they would call their mom before calling their doctor.

The best advice any mother or friend can give to a new mom is to try and prepare your home for the new arrival ahead of time. This means stocking up on diapers and baby bottles. It also means stocking the refrigerator or freezer so that you have easy to prepare meals for yourself and husband. You also might want to stock up on paper plates and cups so that you do not have the added concern of washing dishes.

Helpful tips from moms who have been through it will come in very handy, however there are those relatives who are a little too free with advice. If you know someone like this who is constantly trying to tell you what to do or how to do something, simply thank them for the advice and tell them you have things under control.

Should You Breast Feed Your Baby?

There are a number of reasons why the American Academy of Pediatrics and health organizations across the world recommend that new mothers breast feed their babies. The consensus medical opinion is that the benefits of breast feeding far outweigh any negatives or inconvenience that the practice might cause.

At the top of the list of the reasons to breast feed are the health benefits for the baby. Research shows that babies who are breast fed develop fewer infections and have no allergic reactions to the feeding as some do with formula. Breast milk is easy to digest and puts no strain on the young persons stomach. It has also been shown to help develop the eyes of the child and the brain. Organizations like the Minnesota Department of Health say breast milk is the perfect food for babies.

There are also a number of benefits from breast feeding for the new mom. It can lower a woman’s risk for developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer and osteoporosis. It burns calories so it can help a new mom get rid of that baby fat faster. Breast feeding is also a wonderful activity to help build the bond between mother and child.

There are other benefits from breast feeding that the whole family will appreciate.
First, it saves the family money on buying formula which can be very expensive. It also saves you the aggravation of cleaning and warming bottles. A baby who is breast fed is also very easy to travel with because you do not have to worry about preparing a bottle while on the road or staying in a hotel. Another benefit to breast feeding is that it prepares the baby better for eating other foods later on. Breast milk will not always taste the same because it depends on what the mother has been eating.

It is a Woman’s Right to Breast Feed

There have been a number of cases where a woman was blocked from breast feeding in public and from those cases new laws protecting a new moms rights have been adopted in cities all across the United States. These laws guarantee the rights of the mom to breast feed her child in public without fear of retribution.

There are a total of 44 states where the mothers right to breast feed at any public or private place is guaranteed under the law. There are also 28 states which specifically exempt a breast feeding mom from the state laws regarding public indecency. Many of these same states will also require public places like malls to set aside an area for breast feeding moms in some location other than a bathroom.

The federal government has also passed legislation that protects nursing mothers once they return to work. The health care reform act that the President signed into law included a provision that requires employers to give breast feeding moms the opportunity several times a day to pump milk from their breasts. The law also stipulates that employers must provide a safe location at work other than a bathroom where the woman can go to pump the milk.

The state of California has the most progressive laws regarding breast feeding of any state in the U.S. Not only does California require that women be allowed to breast feed in any public or private location, the state also exempts breast feeding moms from having to serve on a jury. The state is such a strong proponent of breast feeding by moms because of the research showing the health benefits for the baby. It requires the Department of Health to conduct public service campaigns encouraging new moms to breast feed their babies and requires public hospitals to promote the practice.