Feature image from LINDSEYORTON
1. Make your boobs a good shape to help feeding.
Babies can’t get a good latch when your boobs are really full as the nipples are tight. To ensure your breast don’t become over gorge, don’t drink excessive amounts of water.
Slowly increase fluids to meet the baby’s needs to prevent me getting too engorged. If you do get too full, it helps to squeeze some milk out in the shower to soften the breast.
2. Babies can’t even fart or burp without your help.
Babies literally can’t do anything on their own! Anything. This was a bit of a surprise to me, I knew you had to ‘burp’ them but never could have imagined the time it takes to get bubbles out of babies.
With an unsettled baby, the challenge is to work out if you need to get milk in or bubbles out. Sometimes I found it was better to err on the side of bubbles out as milk in always risked making the bubbles worse. Patting for longer than I thought always seemed to yield a burp/ricotta spew and a settled baby ready to feed.
Always burp a baby for a bit longer than you think you should, especially if they won’t be left lying on their back (a classic sign of bad burps)
3. Follow a colic diet just in case, there is no harm in trying
Colic describes general fussiness from a sore tummy (bubbles as described above but coming out the other end). The diet assumes that gassy foods are present in the milk and can upset the baby more. Avoid the obvious (beans and cabbage) but also spicy (onion, garlic, chilli) as well as too acidic (tomatoes, citrus) the internet should have lost of suggestions for what worked for others.
4. If he isn’t hungry or gassy but still unsettled the key to rocking is the head jiggle.
They seem to settle well when rocked in such a way that the head jiggles just a little.
5. Swaddle Your Newborn
Full disclosure: swaddling is generally a great way to help newborns sleep longer and more soundly, but not all babies like to be swaddled. You may need to try different swaddling techniques until you find one that works with your baby’s temperament.
If your baby doesn’t seem to like swaddling, to begin with, I suggest sticking with it just in case they are simply adjusting. Swaddling is a miracle if you can get it to work.
6. 3/4 Month Sleep Regression.
Why are we including a link to the 4 month regression
in a newborn-focused article? Simple – this is the first big sleep regression a baby goes through, and it usually jumps up and bites parents in the backsides, in our experience! Most parents are floored by this regression – just as they get baby sleeping well at night and napping better, BAM.
Baby is fussy as all get out, sleep falls apart, and mum and dad are left wondering what on earth happened. But don’t worry – we’ve helped thousands of parents with this sleep regression, so we know a thing or two about it!
7. Ask friends and family to do specific jobs.
If someone asks, ‘what can I do to help,’ have an answer ready. Now is the time to learn how to ask for help. Now is the time to make use of all your friends and family who are desperate to be involved in the excitement of a newborn.
You have nothing to prove by making like hard on yourself.
8. Limit Visitors
Ban visits. We told our families that we didn’t want them to visit on the first day. We asked them to give us a week to get used to being a family of three. Of course they ignored our request but it did mean they weren’t there every day and we had given a clear message that we needed some space.
9. Take Advantage of Naptime
“A lot of newborns sleep a lot. Take advantage of this; It doesn’t last long.” There is no job more important in the first few weeks than getting as much sleep as possible.
Sleeping will increase your patience with your newborn, help maintain a stable relationship with your husband, keep you from binge eatting in the middle of the night, help you skin stay clear and your eye look brighter.
It doesn’t matter if your dishes are done and your house is clean if you’re fighting with your partner because you are sleep deprived.
10. Whatever approach you take to parenting, be consistent.
Whatever your choose and however you choose to sleep feed and take care of your child – Make sure you give it time to work. Don’t just do something once and give up. At least three weeks for the baby to learn what is going on and settle into a pattern. -Give the technique a chance to work. Whatever method you choose when settling your baby, give it enough time to work.
Stick with your plan for at least 6 weeks before you scrap everything and start again. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so allow you and your baby the time and space you need to get settled with each other. Nothing ever works well the first
Keep reading here for PART TWO of our newborn advice.