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Handy Tips for New Parents

Updated on August 26, 2010

As a new parent it is sometimes difficult to know what to do all the time.  With your first child you are constantly second guessing yourself not sure if you are doing the right thing.  Here are some tips that I have learned along the way that have helped me with my first child and hopefully will help you.

A friend of mine gave me the tip after my son was born that within the first 3 months “Do whatever you need to do to survive.”  You are going to be sleep deprived because you will need to wake up to either breastfeed or give you baby formula at least once or twice throughout the night.  Hang in there it won’t last forever.  Also if you find that your baby will not settle down unless they have a soother or pacifier, in my opinion I would give it to them.  I had fears that my child would never give it up or that it would make him less likely to want to breastfeed, but in the end my son adapted.  Most newborns are very adaptable and can transition from soother, to breastfeeding or to a bottle.  Your partner and even friends and family members can be of great help within the first 3 months.  Take turns waking up to take care of the baby.  Also use friends and family members who want to help.  When a baby is first born, everyone wants to see them and spend time with the baby, but you need to remember that the first few weeks of the baby’s life are key for bonding with his/her parents.  Therefore early on when friends and family want to visit use them to help you out around the house or with some cooking.  This will give you time to bond, they are helping out and they will also get a chance to visit with the new baby.  It may sound harsh but in reality if they truly cared about you and the baby’s well being they would understand.

Some other tips that I have come across that I found really helpful covered colds, gas and sleeping in. There is nothing worse than seeing your baby sick with a cold. They cannot tell you what is wrong and what would make them feel better and if you have never dealt with it before it can be heartbreaking. Some cold remedies for infants would be to use a cool mist humidifier, give them a warm bath or take them into a warm shower with you, use an aspirator to clear out their nose, use Vick’s BabyRub or elevate one side of your baby’s crib mattress. When elevating the mattress do not raise it too high and be careful not to create a space where the baby can get stuck and suffocate. Of course if you are ever concerned seek advise of a healthcare professional.

For infant gas there are a few things you can do. You can gently massage your baby’s stomach, pump their legs as if they are riding a bicycle, burp them often, use the “Tiger in the Tree” position when holding them, give them a warm bath, use drops (read the labels carefully and ask a healthcare professional before using drops) or if your baby is old enough to support their own head, you can let them lay on their stomach.

Now if you like to sleep in there is a way to do this. However, it may not be ideal for all parents. On the weekends you could take turns with your partner on who sleeps in. If your child is an early riser on weekends, then one day you get to sleep in and your partner wakes up early to take care of the baby. Then the next day you wake up early and your partner gets to sleep in. This is ideal for parents who both are back to work.

Hopefully you new parents found these tips informative. If you have any tips yourself I would love to hear them, just leave me a comment. For other children related posts you could check out Common Breastfeeding Myths, Tips for a New Father, Umbrella Stroller Information, Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers or Facts for New Parents.

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