Tips for new parents issued by Scripps Health
Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Issue 31, Volume 17.
1) If at first one doesnít succeedÖtry, try again!
There is no secret recipe for becoming the perfect parent, so expect some trial and error. While new parents are learning what their baby will respond well to – when it comes to getting him or her to sleep, feeding time and even play time – donít be afraid to try different techniques. Practice is paramount – keep trying until it becomes apparent what works best.
2) Listen to baby
Babies can communicate what they need. Instead of forcing a schedule on a newborn, feel out their needs for a couple days. Try eating on-demand as opposed to "every two hours." Each baby is unique and may need to eat more often. Listening to a baby allows a schedule to develop naturally, making both mother and child happy.
3) Donít overexpose
The arrival of a new child is exciting and proud parents canít wait to show their newborn to the world. While itís not necessary to completely isolate a child after leaving the hospital, avoiding large crowds and lots of other kids may not be a bad idea as a babyís immune system develops – especially during the flu season.
4) Get some ZZZs
Lack of sleep might be one of the most difficult parts of new parenthood! Bottom line, sleep when the little one does. Even if a person just lays down, recharging the battery is extremely important – house chores can wait.
5) Make sure babyís car seat is properly installed
A babyís safety comes first and installing a car seat properly may be more difficult than one thinks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 75 percent of children are riding in car safety seats that arenít properly installed or donít fit correctly.
6) Prepare for the unexpected
One never knows what to expect when it comes to a newborn and there is no such thing as being too prepared! When leaving the house, pack multiple changes of clothes, plenty of diapers and wipes, an extra towel and blanket, and a bottle of breast milk or formula in case he or she gets hungry earlier than anticipated. Remember the American College of Pediatricians recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. †
7) Keep your cool
The life of a new parent can be stressful. If mom or dad becomes frustrated, take a time out. Put baby in the crib or another safe spot and take a 10-minute breather – babies can sense other peopleís frustration.
8) It takes a village
While some may have a nanny to help out, most parents donít. Donít be afraid to ask a spouse, partner, parents, family, and friends to lend a helping hand. Or get professional help if that is an option. Raising a baby is hard work, but solutions can be found to help.
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