Helpful Tips for New Moms
Becoming a new mother can be exhilrating,exhausting, and frustrating. And as a mother of two myself, I have found that the last thing I want to hear from other moms, when asking advice is,"Every child is different."
Although this may be the case. There are some basics about babies and small children that ring true in every case.
The fact that our children need love, being a give-in of course. Is only a start at what makes them secure and happy people.
Children in the age range of newborn to 1 yr or older deprive us from the much needed sleep we need and that they need. Without the proper amount of sleep for either the parent or the child can make parenting a nightmare and children unhappy. So her are some tips from me on helping your child and you get some more of those much needed "Z's". And as added reference for yourselves, the book titled "On Becoming Babywise" was my baby bible so to speak.
At the start most newborns sleep and sleep well, during "THE DAY" (an unless your an Owl, you would prefer them awake).
So many times when you visit the friends or famlies of new borns and babies. The say "shhh" , "The baby is sleeping,try to be quiet." I made that very mistake when I had my first. Poor boy he was such a guinea pig. Luckily he seems to not be too detrimented thus far.
Getting your baby used to the sounds of your home during the day will help to differentiate between the night and day. Although it may be hard with a newborn it is incredibly important to Not let your child fall asleep while feeding them. Many problems can occur if you do so. Examples being; tooth decay, interrupted sleep from gas, increased signs of separation anxiety,(startling) and problems with their weight.
The earlier we teach children to fall asleep on their own the easier it is for everyone in your home. I would sing to both my children,change feeding them from one arm to the other and burp them every two oz. during their feeding.
Even now that my children are the ages of 10 and 11 I still keep my children on a schedule. It can be very hard but it is well worth it. Say your just starting out with trying this. You pick the time of morning you would like to start the day ie.. 7:30 am. Whether or not your child is still sleeping it's your schedule you want them on not theirs. Wake the child at your designated time every day. And then proceed with your daily schedule. No child wants to eat with a wet diaper. So change them and dress for the day first. And here is an example of the schedule:
*7:30 am- change and dress the child
*8:00 am- feed the child their bottle or breast feed
*8:45 am to 9:15 am- Playtime
*9:30 am to 11:30 am-Nap time
*12:00pm- Feed them again then repeat the previous schedule from the morning and same for dinner time until it's time for them to sleep for the night.
*With newborns and children the feeding is as doctor recommended
The most important thing I have found is to remain consistent in your schedule. I know it can be hard. As I said earlier in this article my first born, my son was not on a schedule like this from the time he was born and it took some real dedication from me to get him on a schedule like this, with many hours of him crying and wanting to be rocked to sleep which I did for the first 5 or 6 months of his life. But when he was 7 wks old my father passed away from cancer. And after many months of not getting enough sleep and grieving I was willing to try almost anything to get the sleep I needed. When he was 5 months old I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and that was also the last straw for me and not getting the sleep I needed. On the other side of the coin, I did use this way of getting my child to sleep at the start with my daughter and at 2 wks she was sleeping through the night. I am not a doctor and am no authority on child rearing but this is what worked for me.
So anyways, here are some other helpful tips. Things that I included in the same bed or naptime routine. My children really love specific toys for this. Toys that at night were very condusive to helping them fall asleep. My son had one of those Fisher Price ocean toys, where the were fish swimming in what looked like a tank and it played songs and put on the ceiling what looked like water it hangs form the crib railing. I bought my daughter one of those cd players that hang on the crib railing and I would play the CD (Celtic Lullabies, (dreaming for little souls is the title) for her. I love that CD myself and you probably will too. My son also had one of those Elmos that ride along the railing but I believe those might be for 6 months and up you would have to look it up. And for play time depending on the age I would use one of those saucers you can get at Babie's 'R' Us I believe those are for children that are at the sitting stage they have things that spin on them and they have springs so they can bounce up and down in them. My poor neighbors in my apartments must of hated it. He would stand in it and watch his Veggie Tale Movies (if you watch T.V. with the closed captioning on researchers have said it helps your child to learn how to read easier)and he would bounce to the music but he loved the thing and boy did his legs get strong from the excercise. Once he practically knocked a nurse and I away once when I had to take him for his immunizations. We just sorta looked at each other in shock and made sure we held him down better before we tried again. And of course there are the baby swings you can buy. Which luckily I had one of those too. However one time I was foolish enough to leave the tray that helps keep him seated up while preparing his food and he must of tried to sit up while I was in the kitchen cause I went into the living room and he was dangling there only held in buy the straps, I about had a heart attack. So if you get one make sure you strap them in and put the tray down.
I know for most new parents it's hard to afford much of anything much less baby toys. My family was gracious enough to help out many times with my son and daughter. Buying me a rocking chair and cribs. But as far as background noise for sleep there are the less expensive ways, than toys that you can use. Fans, Dryers and Washers(which end up to be expensive if your always turning them on for white noise.) You can always you a stereo and play classical music. (researchers say that music helps to grow your babies brain. And there is always the T.V. it needn't be loud just a normal volume.
So here is what I would do with my son when I was having a hard time getting into the routine. I would spend quiet time with him reading in his room to him or play building blocks or whatever toy that was age appropriate for him at the time. And even at a very young age kids learn what it is your saying to them by actions and words. I would say to him "It's time for a nap lets go read or play toys and get ready for nap time". "Mommy needs a nap too". So around 10 to 25 mins of down time was enough. Reading, singing, Peek-A-Boo (which helps with separation anxiety) try putting a small blanket over your face and let the child reach out for it after a few times and say Peek-A-Boo to him or her and then on their own face a small blanket and you take it off and say Peek-A-Boo. Hours of good fun. LOL.
So where was I? Then I would make a diaper change if needed, turn on the crib toy and turn down the lights and make sure the shades are drawn. I would always sing to them Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, as a matter of fact it ended up being 8 yrs of singing Twinkle Star at bed time every night until tell they both told me they were tired of it. They do still love to have me rub their backs before bedtime for a few minutes and I always say to them Goodnight, sweet dreams, see you in the morning and kiss them goodnight. Routine, routine, routine. But they seemed to adjust very well even after I divorced my husband they seemed to transition very easily never a skip with school or their social accumen. Once again, I have gotten of course with this, where was I? So you lay the child down and RUN! Ha ha just kidding. And say time for nap now and leave the room. If the child cries don't go back in unless it's one of those I hurt myself cries. And for first time moms you'll know what I mean when the cry is I hurt myself or I just want attention after a few months of hearing the difference. Usually when a child is really hurt no sound will come out of their mouths for a second or so then the wailing begins. Also if you look them in the face when you come rushing back you might just see a smile around their eyes when they are faking just to get attention. So wait 5 mins. then go back in the room if the crying continues don't turn on the light. Just stand at the door and say it's time for your nap and walk away again. Wait another 6 minutes if the crying continues. Stand at the doorway again and say it's time for a nap. Each time making the minutes in between longer 7 minutes, 8 minutes and so on a so forth. When I first started this with my son, he and I would go through this for and hour or two, me having to go back in the room and saying to him it's time for a nap. Eventually he would give up and he would sleep, but if that two hour time frame that was nap time was up, even if he only slept 5 to 20 minutes. I would get him up and feed him at the designated time. And make sure I kept him awake. And then he would have his playtime and then the next time his nap time came around it would only take and hour and a half. But once he got used to it. It would take less and less time as the weeks went on. But remember my son was so used to me rocking him to sleep and he was a stubborn child. That it took me many months to break him of the habit. But as he became a toddler and older he never had night frights never wakes in the middle of the night frightened and sleeps well every evening. And his sister well she has always been a good sleeper, but I learned my lesson the first time around.
So hopefully this article reaches you new moms in this year and time quickly enough. And you don't get as haggered as most of us women do with newborns. And for those of you with toddlers and some children whom may be still struggling with getting your children to sleep, bless you for your patience and good luck in keeping it.