Kay was a darling baby.
I had many advantages going into being a mom since I was the oldest child in a large family growing up, but newborn care as a mother is different than being a big sister. I remember waking up the second day of being home with a newborn and so relieved that she was still breathing. Kay’s birth story is HERE.
So many things could go wrong, it seemed, but aside from sleep issues, nothing did. Well and jaundice… and Kay’s projectile vomiting… my own excessive bleeding… and painful, feverish nipples…
Parenting a newborn is HARD. And it is dang important, so you don’t want to mess up. “There is no room for error,” or so I thought. Actually, there is quite a bit of wiggle room within approaches and babies are amazingly resilient. Listen. I had 5 of them and 4 have lived to adulthood! (Let’s hope that the last one survives being a teenager. Some days my teen feels like it is the end of the world.)
I am not a health professional, just an experienced mom. Here are some newborn care parenting tips that I have learned:
- Trust your doctor and your nurses. They are the professionals.
- Take a prenatal course with your spouse. Duncan and I took Lamaze Natural Childbirth Classes. They were so informative and actually romantic! There are many options available. Most insurance companies and hospitals have free classes that you can attend. LEARN as much as you can while you are pregnant because you will be incredibly busy after baby comes!
- Breastfeed. It is absolutely the most nutritious, natural, convenient way to feed your baby. Yes, most breast fed babies feed more often (This may be because it seems that formula stays in the infants system longer, so breastfed babies may get hungry at shorter intervals. Also, my breast milk was skim. Nearly blue. Of course Kay needed to eat more often. Thankfully I produced lots of breastmilk. When I called the lactation specialist (I called the one recommended by my hospital. She was GREAT!) about Kay’s projectile vomiting, I learned that my baby would guzzle such volumes too quickly that her tiny stomach couldn’t handle it. The advice I got was great. Lean back on the couch while nursing to slowdown gravity. Even pressing my forearm into my breast while the milk was descending helped to slow the milk down. LEARN all you can about breastfeeding. It is the main job of a new mother.
“Pyloric stenosis makes it difficult for an infant to get enough nutrition and fluids. They can become dehydrated quickly, so it is important to seek medical attention urgently.”– https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321034
- Take care of yourself. Drink LOTS of water. Eat healthy food when you are hungry. When you are ready, get appropriate exercise. Nurture your marriage. Arrange quality time with your older children, if you have them.
- Feed your spirit. Finding time to yourself is a challenge, but when you are happy, you can serve your family better.
- Be patient with yourself. I am a big believer in doing my best and then forgiving myself for what I didn’t get done or mistakes I made. Every new day is a new beginning. Being a successful parent doesn’t mean you are a perfect parent. It just means that you improve each day, which includes learning from your mistakes. Forgiveness is a key to happiness.
- Sing to your baby. Babies can first focus on your face, the perfect distance for their earliest focus. Singing to them delights their social needs, brings your face into view for mental and eye development, and facilitates parent/infant bonding. HERE are some great songs to sing.
Helpful Pregnancy, Pre and Postnatal Links for New Parents
LunaMother – pre and postnatal exercise
BabyCenter – pregnancy and breastfeeding
PullingCurls – pregnancy, labor, and home
MyBookshelf – books I read while I was pregnant
VeryWellFamily – advice on pregnancy and home
TinyHood – breastfeeding and newborn parenting courses
MusicAndMe – newborn and toddler music courses online
StrengtheningFamily – raising a strong family
ComeUntoChrist – what do I believe?