Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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Parents everywhere took notice when reports surfaced earlier this year about the accidental strangulations of seven babies (and three close calls) by nursery monitor cords since 2002. The monitors were recalled (see box, below) and given a new label warning that the unit should be placed farther than three feet from the crib so babies can’t reach it.
One of the most fascinating things you’ll witness as your baby grows older is his gradual realization that he can explore and control his world without having to rely on someone else to do it for him. “Babies begin to develop an understanding of cause-and-effect, which is a big point in their development,” says Jennifer Butcher, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. “If they shake a rattle, it makes a sound. If they let go of an object, it falls.”
These activities require little to no preparation or materials; but don't let their simplicity fool you! They build on one another, promote developmental skills, provide a solid foundation for learning and, at the same time, promote lasting parent-child relationships.
In the weeks before your due date, you’ll want to gather the necessities, such as bodysuits and diapers. Pack an organic cotton bodysuit or sleep sack in your hospital bag for baby’s going-home outfit; they’re cozy and allow you easy access for diaper changes. Stock up on newborn-sized diapers; your baby will use eight to 12 of them a day.
Limit your list. Use constraint so gift givers aren’t burdened with exhaustive printouts, and be sure to list both expensive and inexpensive items. Find out what you really need, too: “Study baby-product books and get honest feedback from experienced parents first,” advises Kate Ward, editor of TheBump.com.
Read the fine print. Determine each store’s privacy and gift-return policies. Web purchases may have to be returned by mail.
How do babies learn? From play, experts say--interacting with their father, mother and siblings; feeling the texture of a simple piece of fabric; watching shadows on the wall. A baby doesn't necessarily need a lot of toys to activate his mind, but he does need to be engaged with his family members to reach his potential.
Although your baby is not likely to remember anything about her first birthday, it’s still a milestone that adults like to commemorate, usually with a party. Follow these tips to keep the celebration simple so you don’t overwhelm your little one.
Keep the time in mind Schedule festivities to begin soon after your baby wakes from her morning or afternoon nap, and limit the party to one-and-a-half to two hours.
Just Give Me a List
As any mother of a toddler will tell you, a child often knows what she wants long before she can say it. Sign language may be the key to avoiding communication meltdowns as long as you're committed to learning and using signs. Here are some pointers: