Baby Care 101
Some women seem to glide into motherhood with more grace than others. But fact remains that no one’s born expert and perfect when it comes to baby care.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, read or saw, babies and moms don’t come with instruction manuals. No matter how many books, articles, thesis and studies you read on how to make a baby stop crying, it doesn’t guarantee it will work on your baby. Motherhood and baby care is a trial and error setup – mostly. Again, some might pick up on it fast, but everyone starts somewhere.
Nobody’s born perfect, everyone picks something from somewhere. This article offers you a little bit of everything, offering answers and solutions to help make your baby care easier than ever – from basic know-hows to helpful tips.
Why Babies Cry
Getting a good night of sleep is something most parents wish for – especially if their baby is prone to waking them up at night.
Babies cry – that’s natural. They cry because it’s the only way they can communicate their needs and discomforts. For toddlers, crying is a stress mechanism that allows them to alleviate the effects of frustrations, fear or a difficult situation.
There are a lot of reasons why a baby cries, but the main reason always has something to do with their diaper. Although some would say that the best way to stop a baby from crying is with the right baby toy, this isn’t always the case as some veteran mothers would say. In their case, they’ve already pegged certain cries or noises a baby makes.
Here are a couple of reasons why babies cry, and its corresponding solution:
Hungry or thirsty. Try feeding your baby – breastfeeding or give your baby a milk formula. For newborn babies there are two things they constantly do – eat and sleep.
Diaper change. Check your baby’s diaper for any signs of wetness. This is one of the most common reasons why babies wake parents up at night.
Teething. You can choose to either give your baby a teething ring or a chewable food. Babies need to chew on something to lessen the discomfort they feel when they start teething.
Needs to burp. This one can be tricky, especially for new moms, as the usual response when the baby cries is to either feed it or diaper change. To make a baby burp, place him or her belly down on your shoulders and gently rub or pat your baby’s back.
Tired or sleepy. Again, babies need a lot of sleep and food. If a baby is tired or missed a regular nap, try rocking him or her to sleep.
Baby Feeding Schedule
How often do babies need to feed? That is the question every new parent worries about getting right. In a quest to get the best solution to this, they seek advices from different people and search from different sources – usually coming up with conflicting answers.
As mentioned, babies need sleep and eat a lot, hence most newborn guidelines say about every two to three hours a day. The bottom line remains for every new parent out there – feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry.
Babies cry in order to express any discomfort or needs, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll miss out on your baby getting hungry – a loud wail is all it’ll take to get you running for that milk formula, or picking up your baby in order to breastfeed.
Most experts advise keeping the baby with you in the room since this can prove beneficial for every parent when it comes to night feeding. Having your baby in the same room with you or in your bed allows you to nurse the baby without fully waking up yourself.
There will be changes in your baby’s feeding schedule as your baby grows. Because your baby’s stomach is growing, his or her feeding schedule starts to normalize – meaning more time between feedings. As early as nine months – though some experts recommend a year – you can start night weaning your baby.
Like other developmental stages, night weaning takes time. Some parents put off weaning because of all the crying and sleepless nights they’ll be subjected to. But babies who are developmentally ready are more susceptible to night weaning.
Because studies show that babies consume 25% more if they aren’t distracted by their environment, nurse your baby in a quiet room one last time before going to bed. This can lessen the number of times you’ll need to wake up at night, eventually leading to no more night feeding.
Baby Sleeping Positions
Many parents are at fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), hence putting their baby to sleep can be a simple yet frightening task especially for new parents. SIDS, also known as crib death, is the leading cause of death of infants age one month to a year. What makes it scarier is the fact that no one really knows what causes it.
There are researchers though that say babies positioned belly down while sleeping tend to be the ones who die from SIDS, which is why most experts and professionals highly recommend a supine (lying face upward) sleeping position for your baby. There is a risk though for older infants rolling over in their sleep or getting suffocated with the blanket or pillows in the baby’s crib.
Best solution for this is to make sure the blanket is tucked under two baby pillows placed on either side, preferably larger ones so your baby won’t be able to lift it and end up suffocating himself or herself.
Using sleep positioners may be more of a comfort for parents, rather than the baby’s. Till now, there is still no sure-fire way to prevent SIDS, although some do believe it’s a form of infant apnea.
Nurseries before were as the name implies – a place to nurse and care for the baby. Although it still pretty much is to this day, modern times have extended extremely the simplicity of those tasks.
When you say diapers back then it’s a cloth and pins. Today, not only are there too many brands of disposable, easy to use, diapers, but the necessity to store diapers has developed to an extent in terms of convenience and security.
Diaper bins now are an added regular for every modern baby nursery. These bins serve as seal-tight lockers to keep odors in until the diaper is disposed of permanently or washed. Keeping germs at bay is as easy as a spray with antiseptic. Boxes to stock up fresh diapers, on the other hand, come in different styles – and sterilized to ensure sterility.
Other nursery add-ons include nursery boxes which could contain various toys, CDs for babies or art materials. These boxes can come in different colors and sizes, giving the nursery room more life and color.
Times may change, more products will evolve and tips will continue to pop up like daisies but the essentials and basics when it comes to baby care are as solid as during the ancient days. No one can perfect mothering or child care, but every parent can thrive to do the best that they can with all the help they can get.