How to Nurture Your Baby During the First Twelve Months – “Tender 12 Months”

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“I believe in love at first sight…because I’m a mom. “

Babies are a wonder to behold, especially if you are one who gave birth to them. Having a new baby is awesome, but being a new mother can be a little rocky. You always wanted to be a mother. You planned your pregnancy perfectly, got through all the hurdles, and the birth went as good as it gets.

Once the baby arrived, as time goes on, you find yourself uttering the phrases common to almost every new mother, such as: “I’m so tired… “, “If I could just catch up on sleep, I’d feel better.” “My baby doesn’t stick to a routine ― what am I doing wrong? “, “I’m not enjoying this. “Someone else would do a better job,” etc.… 

This article is a form of parenting guide for new mothers and mothers in general on how to properly take care of your baby during the first 12 months, without wearing out.

Baby Sleeping Tips

As much as a mother loves her baby, it’s pretty frustrating when you find every day as you are about to sleep, your baby keeps waking up. Here are a few tricks by sleep experts to help newborn babies (and their parents!) get some good night’s rest. 

– Dream-feed:

The dream-feed is the feeding given to the baby right before you (mom or dad) go to bed, and it helps prevent the baby from waking up just after you finally drift off to sleep. Generally if you can get a newborn to go 3-4 hour stretches during the night from birth to 6 weeks that is pretty good! From 6-12 weeks, it’s great if you can get a 4-6 hour stretch. Some babies will go 8-9 hour stretches with the dream-feed.

– Limit the length of naps during the day:

I know it’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, but when a baby sleeps too long during the daytime, it can rob the baby of nighttime sleep. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your newborn baby sleep better at night. It also enables you to get more feedings during the day, which is very helpful. When your baby sleeps better, you will notice a more patient, more tolerant, more engaging baby after a good night’s rest or quality nap.

BREASTFEEDING TIPS

Breastfeeding is not easy by any means, especially for new mothers. It can be painful, time-consuming, and draining on your body. According to a group of mums and lactation experts, here are some breastfeeding tips for new moms.

  • When breastfeeding your newborn, relax, and don’t stress out. Your baby can sense if you are stressed out and may not latch properly. Just know that moms have been doing this forever, you are going to be okay and get the rhythm of breastfeeding eventually.
  • Breastfeeding moms must stay hydrated while breastfeeding the baby. Always have a large water bottle accessible near your favorite nursing chair. You are going to feel thirstier than usual.
  • If you notice your nipples getting sore, red, or pointy, it means that the baby is not latching correctly. Try to position the baby correctly and get the baby to latch properly. The baby should open her mouth very wide and take in a good deal of breast tissue with the nipple ending up way in the back of the baby’s mouth, thus preventing any soreness or pain.

COMMON COLD IN CHILDREN

Common colds in children, especially in newborns, are not dangerous, but they can rapidly escalate into alarming conditions such as pneumonia. There are over 120 types of viruses that can cause colds. Luckily, most of the colds a baby will get will help increase their immunity. Even so, their very first cold can be scary for parents. 

A runny nose may be your first symptom to show that your newborn has caught a cold. Their mucus from the baby’s nose may start as thin and clear, but turn thicker and yellowish-green in color over several days. Other symptoms include coughing, especially at night, sneezing, and reduced appetite.

Some home remedies for your baby’s cold include:

  • Give plenty of liquids, including breast milk to your baby.
  • A small amount of water may be offered to your baby if they’re over six months old.
  • Ensure the baby doesn’t sleep on their stomach, even if they have congestion.

Over time, the cold would naturally go away. The best thing you can do is make sure that you or another caring adult stays close to the baby to provide comfort. This will help your baby relax and get the rest they need.

BABY SOLID FOODS

Beginning your baby on solid food is exciting! Little spoons, pink-lipped mouths covered in baby food. However, before you rush to start feeding baby food to your little one, follow these tips to ensure a positive experience for both you and your baby. 

When should I introduce solid food to my baby?

Infants don’t yet have the physical skills to swallow solid foods safely, and their digestive system isn’t ready for solids until they’re about six months old. Experts recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months before they try out solid foods. Here’s a well prepared “Healthy Meal Plan” for babies aged 6-24 months. 

How can I tell when my baby’s ready for solid food?

Your baby will give you clear signs when he’s ready to move beyond a liquid diet. Cues to look for include:

  • Head control: Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
  • Sitting well when supported: Your baby needs to be able to sit upright in an infant feeding seat or highchair to swallow well.
  • Curiosity about food: Your baby may begin eyeing or reaching for your food or may open his mouth if you offer him a spoonful.

How can I tell when my baby is full?

Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, here are some signs that he or she is probably done with the food:

  • Leans back in his chair
  • Turns his head away from food
  • Starts playing with the spoon
  • Refuses to open up for the next bite (Sometimes a baby will keep his mouth closed because he hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so give him time to swallow.)

Are you a “soon to be” mother or currently struggling to take proper care of your precious little one? TENDER 12 MONTHS is a parenting guide that exposes the different aspects involved in nurturing your baby during the first twelve months. This guide gives new mothers and mothers in general, quality tips on how to effectively take care of their babies, without burning out through stress and tiredness.

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