The secret to a happier baby
Did you know skin-to-skin contact not only makes your little one happy, but can be a nearly-magical solution to breastfeeding troubles? It’s true! It can also prevent many newborn problems and set the stage for optimal brain development. Did we mention babies also cry less? What better reason do you need to strip down and get comfy with your baby (this is also a great opportunity for Dad!). Read all about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact.
Watch for it: the 10-day growth spurt
Just when you thought you had a little break between feedings, along comes the 10-day growth spurt. Babies can have growth spurts at any time, but it’s common to have one at 7-10 days, then again at three weeks and six weeks. How do you know? Your baby may seem fussier than usual and suddenly want to eat much more (perhaps as much as every hour!). It will be tiring for you, but follow your baby’s lead; he knows what he needs, and things should go back to normal after a few days.
The first three months
The exciting changes you’ll see in your little one over the next 12 weeks don’t hold a candle to the incredible progress that’s going on behind the scenes, inside your baby’s brain and body. Here’s a peek at what will happen both onstage and off between birth and three months.
How to put your baby to sleep — safely
If you're like most new parents, you've probably checked once or twice (or twenty times!) to make sure your sleeping baby is still breathing. It's your protective instinct kicking in, and it’s there for good reason.
We can’t stress it enough: Every parent needs to know the safe sleep guidelines to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and understand the issues around crib accessories, co-sleeping, the family bed, and other sleep scenarios.
Good Question! How can I reduce the risk of SIDS?
It's important to remember that SIDS, the unexpected crib death of a seemingly healthy baby, is rare — about one case in every 2,000 live births in Canada. The causes of SIDS are a long-standing mystery, but the following steps will reduce the risk:
• Put your baby to sleep on her back. Studies show this can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
• Give your baby a smoke-free environment. Babies who are exposed regularly to second-hand smoke have a higher SIDS rate.
• Breastfeed your baby.
• Avoid overheating your baby. A room temperature that's comfortable for you should be appropriate for your baby.
• Have baby sleep on a firm mattress. Avoid soft bedding like duvets or pillows, which can trap stale air around baby's head.
Tips from the trenches
“Two words: witch hazel. Have it at all times. After birth it's great for soothing you (you can put it in the tub or soak a pad in it and put in the freezer for a "wearable" solution). It's baby-friendly and can be used for diaper rash, irritations, or bug bites. It makes a great toner when you realize you haven't even cleaned your face in three or four days. The list goes on.” — Dana, mom of three
Sleep tips for moms and dads
After a bit of an adrenaline high in the first week, many new parents experience extreme fatigue as they adjust to the demands of round-the-clock baby care. You'll find the best way to start getting things done is to rest and recuperate, so you have the energy to take them on. Learn how to parent on four hours of sleep a night and get tips on catching some zzzz’s from other Today’s Parent readers.