Newborn Baby | Fit Pregnancy

Newborn Baby

Bonding: Talking To Baby

Feel silly talking to your newborn? You shouldn’t. “Exposure to intonational patterns, as well as the repetition of common words, helps infants learn to communicate,” says Mellisa Essenburg, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P., a speech pathologist in San Diego. Chatting with your baby won’t help her talk sooner, but it will support her ability to say words when she’s developmentally ready (around 1 year). It’s also a great way to bond with your baby from Day One. Convinced?

Here are some fun ways to help your child develop the gift of gab:

Squirmy Baby

As exciting as new milestones can be, they also can present new challenges. “Around the age of 5 or 6 months, when your baby has mastered rolling over, she’ll want to explore and see what’s going on, not stay still,” says Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and co-author of 2007’s Baby 411. “This can make diapering a chore.” Try the following mom-tested strategies to keep a busy baby still—and you clean—while cleaning a messy bum.

Introduce a Bottle

 Introduce-a-Bottle

When your baby is nursing well (usually by 2 to 3 weeks old), give her a bottle at one feeding—or, better yet, ask your partner to do it in the wee hours so you can get some sleep, Karp says. Don’t wait longer than 4 weeks, or she’ll be more likely to refuse it. Also try not to give more than one bottle per day; switching back and forth too much may cause nipple confusion. If you hope to breastfeed for months to come—and experts recommend continuing through the first year—beware of topping off your nursing sessions with a bottle.

Extra Care for Early Babies

Extra-care-for-early-babies

Since your baby had some breathing problems at birth, he is more prone to developing them during the first year or two of life. To keep him from being exposed to germs that could cause an infection, limit his contact with anyone but family and close friends as much as possible during his first winter (when viruses are most rampant), and have people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before holding him. Also discourage all preschoolers from coming into contact with your son (barring siblings, of course), as they are notorious germ carriers.

The Train Wreck That Is My Body

I guess it’s no small coincidence that I’ve chosen the day after our nation’s biggest food holiday to size up my post-baby body.  And let me tell you: It’s not pretty.

The photo you see here is where I’m starting from.  Five weeks ago, my belly was in the stratosphere. I wish I were brave enough to post a photo of what it looks like now. Because there really are no words.

Bonding with Baby

But it may have even more benefits: Proponents say that just five to 10 minutes of gentle touch daily can stimulate your baby’s digestion, boost immunity and prepare her for deeper, more restful sleep. Convinced? Here are some do’s and don’ts from Teresa Kirkpatrick-Ramsey, founder of Baby’s First Massage, a certification program in Dayton, Ohio.

Allergies & Asthma

Prenatal diet Children of mothers who ate apples and fish during pregnancy were less likely to develop asthma and eczema, according to researchers in the Netherlands and Scotland. Low-mercury varieties of fish with the fewest chemicals include wild Pacific salmon and farm-raised trout, says Anatoly Belilovsky, M.D., a pediatrician specializing in asthma and allergies in Brooklyn, N.Y. There’s also a link between low vitamin D levels in mothers and childhood asthma.

Cracked Nipples

Cracked-Nipples

Painful, cracked nipples are most often caused by an incorrect latch, Morton says. So when you breastfeed, make sure your baby is positioned properly: on her side, with your bellies touching. Also ensure that she takes your entire nipple and a good portion of the areola in her mouth. If adjusting your nursing style doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert ASAP; visit the International Lactation Consultant Association at ilca.org for a referral.

Vitamins

Vitamins

Because breast milk is somewhat lacking in vitamin D, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all breastfed babies be given a daily supplement of 400 IU to prevent rickets, a serious bone disease. If your baby is getting some formula—which is fortified with vitamin D—she’d have to drink 27 to 32 ounces a day to meet her daily requirement, so she may or may not need vitamin drops. Ask your pediatrician.

Breast Swelling

Breast-Swelling

Frequent nursing is the best way to ease engorgement, which typically occurs 72 hours after giving birth and can last up to a week, or until your milk production system adjusts to the job at hand. Meantime, aim to breastfeed eight to 12 times a day, or about every two to three hours, for the first several weeks.

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