Your Newborn: Welcome to the World, Baby

You did it! And you’re more than happy to tell anyone who will listen exactly how you did it. How long your labor was, who was in the room, what baby’s APGAR score was, yada yada.

You spare no gory detail of your glorious birthing moment … and why should you?! What You’re Thinking: “Woohoo! I’m not pregnant anymore! No more heartburn! I have toes! My boobs are still big! And the bonus? I have a totally amazing new baby!”

 

Baby Milestones

 

  • Happy birthday, baby!
  • You’re so in love, you don’t even notice that baby’s face is all squished, swollen and bruised from his tight squeeze into the world (if you had a C-section, baby’ll look a bit less squished but may still be puffy). If youhave noticed, don’t worry. He’ll be looking picture-perfect in no time!
  • Ditto with that cone-shaped infant head. Just put on one of those cute little knit hospital caps to hide it. It’s all good!
  • Because he’s been curled up in your belly for the past nine months, your baby may still be huddled in the fetal position after he’s born. Your heart will melt watching his little grunts and stretches as he works out the kinks. Keeping him swaddled a good deal of the time will help him feel safe and secure.
  • Until baby’s umbilical cord falls off, you’ll have to give him a sponge bath rather than immersing him in a tub.
  • Some babies are born with a mop of hair while others are total cue balls. Whatever Junior has now, rest assured that come kindergarten, he’ll be sporting some locks. (And if he takes after his grandpa, he’ll lose them all by age 40.)
  • Mommy Milestones

 

Yay you! You’ve already accomplished the most amazing Mommy Milestone there is: You had a baby! So bask in your success, the new glow of motherhood and your ability to take a full breath again. And keep in mind that it’s totally normal to experience any or all of the following postpartum symptoms:

 

  • If you had a vaginal delivery, your perineum hurts like hooey and you can only sit comfortably on a donut or a Boppy. This too shall pass … we promise!
  • If you had a C-section, the incision at your midsection is killing you. C-section recovery takes a while, but don’t worry, it will get better.
  • No one told you that after giving birth you’d have the mother of all visits from Aunt Flo’s great Aunt, Mo’ Flo. Postpartum bleeding can be pretty intense and you may be wondering where all the blood is coming from!
  • You dread going to the bathroom because postpartum urination andbowel movements can feel like you’re peeing and pooping pins and needles (if you can even manage to poop, that is).
  • If you’re nursing, your boobs are serving up colostrum—that nutrient-rich pre-milk milk—and you and baby are hard at work figuring out this whole latch-on thing.
  • If you’re bottle feeding, you’re on the hunt for the perfect bottle (BPA-freeNatural nurserGlass, plastic, liners?) Oh, and you’re also hunting for the perfect nipple, and warming method, and feeding position!
  • Now that he’s here, you’ve got a million baby-care questions about:holding a babybreastfeeding, bottle feeding, baby clothesdiapers. We recommend finding a mom—even your mom!—who’s been there/done that to help you through these first few days. (Our message boards are a great place to find lots of moms who love to help!)

Home Front

 

Got everything you need to care for the newborn and the new mom (Hey, that’s you!)? If you didn’t quite get the “nesting” finished, it’s not too late for some last-minute preparing your home for baby. Our quick list will help you make sure the cupboards are stocked, the kid has clothes and your postpartum body is well taken care of. Read more …

Everything you ever wanted to know … and were just about to ask …

Do It: Stamp to Say Thank You:
OK, so you’re not thinking about sending those thank-you notes … yet. But when it’s time, look no further than baby’s munchable feet for inspiration!
Buy It: Baby-Gami
Help for swaddling-challenged moms and dads.
Share It: Baby Love
One mom gushes about how utterly ga-ga she is over her new baby. Share the love.
Discuss It: Chat with other new mamas and papas on our Birthday Groups.

Check Off Your Sleep Coaching Checklist

Before you officially begin the “sleep coaching” part of this boot camp, you need to make sure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s so you can be well on your way to some serious zzzz’s.

 

  • Talk to your pediatrician and get the “green light” to start a sleep coaching program for your child. Have your doc rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your child’s sleep problems like reflux, asthma, allergies, ear infections, sleep apnea, etc. Most sleep problems are behavioral, not medical, but better safe than sorry. Make sure medications, including over-the-counter remedies, aren’t disturbing her sleep.
  • Check with the doc to see if you can stop night feedings. If you’re feeding your baby during the night, ask your pediatrician if she thinks given the baby’s age, weight and health whether he needs any calories at night. Review with your pediatrician how much your child is eating during his waking 12 hours.
  • Make sure your kid’s bedroom is sleep friendly.
  • Review (or create if you haven’t yet!) a comforting bedtime routine.
  • Talk with your childcare providers. Work with babysitters and child care centers to develop consistent sleep rules and schedules. If your nanny can’t handle sleep coaching, particularly nap training, which can be hard, do your best to work around her and improvise where you have to. Ask that she focus on “filling the day time sleep tank” any way she can.
  • Continue keeping your sleep log and make sure that anyone else who puts your child to sleep jots their notes on there too.
  • After reviewing your preliminary log, look for your child’s naturalbedtime window. Regulate your child’s wake-up time between 6-7:30am. This is for kids over 5 months who are waking up at all different times; sometimes even sleeping until 9:30 which then throws off the entire next day and confuses their internal clocks.
  • Decide WHEN you’re going to begin sleep coaching your child. You want to start when you can expect about three weeks without any disruptions or major changes, including travel, moving, or having a new baby. If something unexpected occurs once you’re in the middle of the program, such as illness, do the best you can to stick with it. You can plateau in your chair position until your child is feeling better.

Once you’ve ticked off all these items, you’re ready to begin!
Are you ready to get started? What do you still need to do to be good to go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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