First months of life
Having a baby is an amazing feeling but can also be scary since you experience a thunderstorm of emotions. Depending on the length and difficulty of labor, you are a new mom sent home after just a few days without tips on what to expect or an idea where to go for support. You find yourself figuring out much of your baby's behavior all by yourself. An important tip to always remember is that your bundle of joy feels your emotions, so if you are scared, sad or happy they will react to it. Crazy, right? You might panic over something simple and the baby will start crying to the point that you also want to cry and simply don't understand why. If you try to stay calm yourself, I have found that the baby may also calm down in turn.
I have a few tips which I have learned from my mother and from day-to-day experiences with my little Diana.
This is a different experience from mom to mom and can change depending on the baby. We started with formula, first in the NICU with Similac. Once we made it home, we began to use HIPP and HOPPE German cow and goat formulas. We also ventured into using donor breastmilk. Not every woman can produce adequate amounts of breastmilk...and that's ok. You need to understand and work with your body calmly. I had to come to terms with myself that I was not producing enough milk for my little one. I pumped from 8 times a day for 20 minutes to 4 times for 40 minutes but still getting only millimeters of milk. We tried many things but the cow milk formula was giving her very bad colic and the goat formula made her constipated. We were very frustrated but I was told about the New York Milk Bank, which was a great alternative and worked wonders for her little tummy. Unfortunately it quite expensive for our pockets. After more research, I found a great Facebook group called Human Milk 4 Human Milk. Now, little Diana has been on breastmilk exclusively for the last 2 months.
For all mom out there, remember there are alternatives for your little ones it just takes time and research.
When you arrive home with your baby all you want to do is to sleep but you must come to terms with the fact that uninterrupted sleep will probably not happen for quite some time. Every baby is different and may sleep in various places throughout the house; bassinet, crib, cosleeper or hammock. Wherever you put them, try to make sure their head is laying on the back, but it they tend to sleep with the head turned to the side try to have them on different sides each day. I also loved this pillow to avoid my baby developing a flat head.
Don't despair you will eventually get more rest, but stay strong and enjoy each nap they take to rest yourself and be thankful every time they sleep through the night.
Colic doesn't occur with every baby, but its symptoms can starts at just 3-4 weeks old. Many babies on formula can develop colic, but breastfeeding can also bring these famous belly pains. It could be due to a slight dairy allergy or simply a delicate baby's stomach. Some tips to avoid colic are holding them in the famous "football" hold, bicycling the legs, or using gripe water.
Another thing I have learned when this happens is as much as your heart breaks watching your little one cry so painfully is that you need to stay calm. Hold them gently, walk around and try to distract them. Our little Diana had bad ones for about 1 month or so and it was pretty hard on her and on us. Once they grow and their gastrointestinal system gets more accustomed to food it gets better. We also switched to total dairy free breastmilk which has helped her a lot.
What method did you use for your little one?
When a baby comes out of the womb they put a small hat on them. Have you ever wondered why? Baby's loose heat very fast and that makes them burn calories. This is not good since all of their baby strength needs to be focused on their growth.
Diana was born in February which was cold and a hat was definitely a must.
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