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Resource centre - Baby resources
Many mums get home just as
their milk kicks in, the baby blues hit and everyone
wants to come and visit. Try these coping tips:
• Sleep when you can & forget about housework and cooking.
• Remind yourself constantly that the chaos won’t last.
• Don’t get hung up on bath times. If your baby loves
a bath then great. If he really doesn’t like being bathed,
just ‘top and tail’ (wash face and bottom) for a few days.
• Don’t worry about daytime versus night-time clothes
. As long as he’s/she’s clean your baby won’t know
• If your baby is fussy & restless, try different holding
positions and – if that fails – hand him to someone
else. Quite often a calmer pair of arms (and a body that
doesn’t smell of breast milk) will settle
him. If there’s no one else around, place him in his cot/Moses
basket, check he’s safe, then walk away for
a few minutes. Sometimes babies get over-stimulated and
just want a bit of time on their own to cool
• Don’t always try to remember how many times you were
up during the night so you can play competitive
exhaustion’ with your partner or other mums. Far better
to just float through the night in a half-sleep
daze with the lights dimmed and the clock turned to the
wall. After a while you’ll wake up in the
morning unable to remember whether you were up in the
night or not!
New born & the first few days
Limbs are still curled
Your newborn baby will probably look 'scrunched up', with
his arms and legs not fully extended. This is normal,
and his limbs will uncurl as he gets used to being outside
your tummy. Jerky movements give way to more fluid ones
as his nervous system and muscle control mature. Still,
your baby's primitive reflexes, such as sucking and chewing
on his hands, remain dominant. Newborns are adjusting
to a new world very different from the warm, safe confines
of the womb, which is why so many infants take to swaddling
-- being wrapped securely in a blanket.
Ruled by his hunger
Food is the most important thing in your newborn's life,
with sleep running a close second. Most newborn babies
will feed every two to three hours around the clock. Sleeping
patterns are equally intermittent. Most newborns sleep
for a total of 16 to 17 hours in a 24-hour period, but
that's usually broken up into eight or so naps.
Crying is the main form of communication
Your baby doesn't have much of a personality now -- or
at least what you might recognize as personality. But
he's busy expressing himself the only way he knows how:
crying. He spends his time moving in and out of several
different states of sleepiness, quiet alertness and active
alertness. Most babies love to be held, caressed, kissed,
stroked, massaged and carried. Touch is an important means
of communicating with your baby.
Learning begins immediately
You may notice short periods of time when your newborn
is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning. Use
these periods to play and talk with your baby. But if
you try to interact with him and he doesn't seem receptive,
he may have become sleepy or moved into a state of active
alertness. Even this early, babies can recognize faces
and gestures intuitively -- and sometimes even imitate
them. Give your newborn a chance to imitate your facial
expressions by putting your face close to his and sticking
out your tongue or raising your eyebrows a few times.
Repeat it. Then give him some time to mimic your gesture.
It may take him a few minutes, or he may not do anything,
but he's definitely watching you.
Playing with your newborn
Mobiles with high-contrast patterns, and picture books
with strong line drawings will captivate your baby. But
be alert to your baby's reactions to stimulation and interaction.
While it's great to help him start learning about his
world, some babies can tolerate only brief periods of
interaction, or stimulation of just one sense at a time.
Your baby will show you he's over-stimulated by yawning,
averting his gaze, arching his back, turning his face,
fussing or crying. Babies find their own reflections fascinating.
You can amuse him by propping up an unbreakable baby mirror
at cotside for him to focus on. He won't recognize himself
just yet but will watch the movement in the mirror at
least some of the time. A play gym with plenty of compelling
things to watch, swipe at and listen to allows your baby
to practice his arm, hand and finger coordination skills
-- and lying down becomes less boring. In the first few
months, he won't move his arms purposefully to really
try and reach particular objects -- this sort of movement
comes later, in month four or five.
- information provided by babycentre.co.uk