Helping Your Baby Sleep

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You will need to decide exactly where your baby should be sleeping.Some parents insist that your baby sleep in his own crib in his own room. Still other parents want their baby in their bedroom. Neither is right or wrong and there are advantages to both. If your baby sleeps in her room you will likely get more rest for yourself since you won’t be disturbed by the snufflings and other sleeping noises that newborn babies make.

Your baby may wake less often if she is in her own room but this is not always the case. If your baby is sleeping in the same room as you are, you might find it less disturbing and easy to be able to attend to your baby’s needs right there. If you not only have your baby in the same room as you but also in the same bed, you should be aware of some of the dangers of sleeping in the same bed together. Baby experts are completely divided over the issue of sharing the same bed with your baby. You will have to research the safety versus the emotional issues and decide for yourself if you are going to be bringing your baby into bed with you.

You will likely need more sleep than your new baby. New babies most often are not able to sleep through the night until they have at least doubled their weight. This usually happens when your baby is between four and five months old. The following table shows the amount of sleep that babies should be getting. Keep in mind that this is just a guideline and don’t be discouraged
if your baby doesn’t fall within the norm.

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Too much bathing may dry the babies skin (see: baby skin care), so bathe the child 3 times a week and thoroughly clean the diaper area every time you change the baby’s diaper.

Sponge baths are recommended for babies in their first 2 weeks. It’s best to clean the baby gently with a damp cloth and mild lukewarm soapy water. While giving a sponge bath the baby can be kept in a towel, exposing only those parts that are being cleansed. Try and avoid using soap on the baby’s face.

After 2 weeks or so your baby is ready for his first bath. Fill a basin with luke warm water. Undress the baby and gently help him to sit down in the basin while holding him constantly. See to it that her head and upper body is well above the water level. Then gently clean with a damp cloth. You can pour water over his body using a small mug. Shampoo her hair once a week and when washing her hair, make sure that the soap doesn’t go into the eyes, but don’t panic if it does - Just clean the baby’s eyes with a clean damp cloth.

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First Days at Home

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The first few days home from the hospital are important for both baby and parents. As parents you will have gone through n intense birth process that is unlike anything else you have ever experienced. As a new mother you will be drained - both emotionally and physically. The father can often have feelings of being overwhelmed by the huge responsibility he now faces. There
probably is not much anyone can say or do to help you to fully prepare for what you are about to experience.

During your first days at home it may be wise to limit the amount of visitors that you welcome into your home because you’ll need a lot of time to recover from the birth process. Other than your immediate family and good friends you might want to ask other friends to wait a week or two before they descend on you with gifts and wanting to hold the new baby.

New mothers will want to pay attention to the way that they feel so that those “baby blues” don’t creep up and surprise you unexpectedly. It is normal to feel a bit out of sorts and sad for the first couple of weeks after giving birth. Your body is going through some major physical changes after the birth of your baby. Your hormones will be changing and you likely will be feeling a lack of sleep. It is important to remember that this is natural and to allow yourself a good amount of time to recover from this. If you find yourself feeling more and more depressed it is advised that you should discuss it with your doctor to see if you are suffering from “postpartum depression”. Symptoms of postpartum depression include:

• Overwhelming feelings of sadness and depression accompanied by
• Having little or no energy.
• Feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
• Having no interest in your baby or being overly concerned and
worried about your baby.
• Weight gain accompanied with overeating or Weight loss accompanied
by not eating.
• Insomnia or oversleeping.

If you do have postpartum depression then there are a few ways that you can try to beat it:
• Try and get as much rest and relaxation as possible. When the
baby is asleep use this quiet time to get some rest yourself.
• Try to limit the time that you spend just alone – keep your mind
and body relatively active (for example by taking short pleasant
• Get professional help if the depression seems to be ongoing.
• Discuss with other mothers their experiences after birth. You may
find that your friends and family members also went through the
same issues as you.

During the first few days at home your family will be adjusting to the additional member of your family. If you have other children at home you may be dealing with feelings of jealousy as the new baby takes centre stage. Make sure that you include your other children in the day-to-day activities that are part of the new baby’s routine. Remember that you are trying to adjust to some huge changes in your life so allow yourself the understanding and care that you would give to family and friends in your situation.

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Mothers - What To Expect

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Your first baby can be a daunting thought – not all the preparation in the
world can probably ease the anxiety that can be felt but if it is any help even
doctors and paediatricians get overwhelmed when they bring their firstborn
home from the hospital.

Before we go onto the topic of caring for your baby we will talk a little
bit about what the mother can come to expect the day after labour. First, the
mother will probably expect an all-over pain derived from the stresses of
labour. The arms and legs are likely to be sore. One point to note is that
although aching legs are normal it would be prudent to go to your doctor if you
get symptoms of tenderness, warmth or pain in the calves – this can include
swollen or red veins. This is important as these symptoms could indicate
thrombophlehitis – a condition when veins become inflamed due to blood clots.
Pregnant women are more at risk to this condition because the vein walls tend
to relax a little during the pregnancy. You can greatly reduce the chances of
thrombophlehitis by walking soon after your delivery.

Other symptoms of pregnancy include stretch marks (which usually fade
a few months after the birth, darkened areas of skin (the linea nigra and aerola
are common), and a line running from the belly button to the pubic bone. You may also notice some hair loss about 3 months after birth – this is due to the
change in the level of hormones and can be expected to stop within a couple of
months after starting. Now that we are aware of a few of the common issues
that mothers face immediately after childbirth, lets go on to caring for your
new baby.

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Baby How To Choose A Pediatrician For Your Baby

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Caring for your child will naturally be one of your biggest concerns. There are
more tips on immunization and care in the first year in future chapters, but
right now let us talk a little about how you can choose a good paediatrician for
your baby. Here is what to look out for when choosing your paediatrician:

• Find a doctor who has a nice personality and communication style.
Finding a doctor that is patient and listens to all your concerns is very
important. Try and start the search for selecting your paediatrician
ahead of your baby’s birth.

• Ensure that that paediatrician’s office has a good staff – remember
that your baby will spend time with nurses, medical assistants, and
other support staff. When going to the office see how the place is –
the atmosphere and way staff dress can be indicators of the type of
place it is.

• Does he/she come recommended? One of the best ways of finding a
good paediatrician is by talking to someone who has had first hand
experience. Do you have close family or friends who have used a good

• The location of the office may also be a factor – we live in busy and
stressed times so if time is a factor make sure that the paediatrician’s
office is fairly close by.

• Ask Questions – this is the only way that you can “feel out”
prospective doctors and see if their philosophies closely mirror your

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