As part of our series of live Facebook chats with our favorite breastfeeding experts in celebration of Breastfeeding Awarness Month, we chatted with certified lactation consultant,Elena Vogel. She answered your questions about what’s in store for you and your newborn in those first 48 hours of nursing—and how to make sure breastfeeding gets off on the right, er, breast, for both you and your baby.
With the right gear and these expert tips, you can bathe your baby with ease. These tub-time essentials make a splash. You may also find this newborn advice helpful: • How to Calm a Colicky Baby
The first six weeks can be a real trial. Hold on to the thought that right around that six-week mark you will be rewarded with one of the most gratifying milestones in your entire parental career--your baby will beam a genuine smile at you. Yes! Your baby can now track objects with his eyes, and can be put on his tummy several times a day for short periods of time.
Even at this young age, your newborn can recognize voices and focus on your face or a toy if it is close to his face. He is learning to track objects with his eyes.
In your baby's second month, he'll flash his first intentional smile. His movements become more voluntary and less jerky, and your baby gains control of his neck. He also starts batting and kicking at toys.
Swaddling your newborn may help her wake less at night, sleep longer and calm her crying, but improper technique could have an unintended side effect: hip dysplasia, or problems with the hip joint, according to some pediatric orthopedists. Seventeen percent of newborns have some degree of “immaturity” of their hips, studies show, which usually resolves on its own in the first few months of life. While this happens to coincide with prime swaddling time, it’s safe to wrap your baby as long as the hips can move and bend, experts agree.
Having a dog or cat in the house during pregnancy may help protect your baby against allergies. Researchers in a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology examined babies from birth to age 2 and found that those whose moms had lived with indoor pets during pregnancy had lower levels of an antibody linked to asthma and allergies.
Breastfeeding is, undeniably, one of nature’s most natural, instinctive and beautiful acts, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its fair share of challenges and questions. Here’s some confidence-building information that can keep you going when things get tough.
Q: Should I avoid gassy or spicy foods to help prevent gassiness in my baby?
You have a free pass to be a terrible hostess for the first few months after your baby is born. Have your husband firmly explain to his parents that you are exhausted from staying up all night; they’re welcome to visit from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., or whenever your patience is at its peak, but after that, you’re going to crash. At 5:01, yawn, mumble something about leaky breasts (that usually gets the men to skedaddle) and head off to your bedroom with the baby. If they insist on staying, your hubby can say, “Great! We haven’t had a chance to do a thing around the house.
When you are invited to visit a brand new baby, you bring food for the parents. It’s just…necessary. Every time I do it, I’m surprised by just how necessary. Parents of a newborn typically hand over the tiny new addition then fall on the food like starved wild animals, forgoing niceties like utensils or reheating. It reminds me every time that taking care of a week or two old baby is so all-consuming that you not only don’t have time to cook, you don’t have time to remember you’re hungry.
In case you haven’t heard, breastfeeding is a pretty rockin’ way to feed your baby. It’s cheap (no need to buy formula); it’s easy (no mixing or warming necessary); it’s “green” (no formula containers in the landfill); and it’s good for his body and mind (a lower incidence of short- and long-term health threats like diarrhea and leukemia, plus an IQ boost). It’s even good for you, conferring a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Shortly after your baby is born, he’ll receive his first shots and medications for some very serious health issues, including a rare bleeding disorder and a few sexually transmitted diseases. Very few parents question why their baby needs these medications, but a few who do, ask: Why should my child be treated for health problems he probably doesn’t have? Because your child is part of the general population.