If you swaddle a baby, you wrap cloth around it in order to keep it warm or to prevent it from moving.
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12 simple things your baby needs
Month 1: Swaddling As a new mom, your passion for your baby is matched only by your passion for an uninterrupted stretch of sleep. Long nights are the norm at first, but snugly wrapping your infant in a blanket may help him rest better. Babies love it during their first weeks because swaddling works in part by mimicking the close conditions of the womb. That makes your baby feel warm and secure. Month 2: A baby carrier Thanks to a highly developed vestibular system (the sensory system located in the inner ear), babies crave movement: rocking, swaying, pacing. "If you want to calm a new baby, you can't just sit there," says Lise Eliot, Ph.D., author of What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life. A front carrier (most are designed for babies at least eight pounds, and they're especially helpful once you're out of the first-month haze) makes everyone happy. Your baby gets that soothing motion and you get something done. "Dishes, laundry, sweeping -- they're all doable while carrying a baby," says Rebecca Vega of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. And while some naysayers felt her daughter Sydney, now 19 months, would be spoiled by being carried so much, Vega says the opposite was true. "Because her needs were being met, she didn't have a reason to be any fussier than other babies." Month 3: Tummy time Back sleeping has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so it's nonnegotiable. But spending time on his stomach is also important to your baby's well-being. "As back sleeping has become more common, kids are rolling over and crawling a bit later than they used to," says David Burnham, M.D., a pediatrician and medical director of the HealthEast Maplewood Clinic in St. Paul. "Tummy time helps a baby develop those large motor skills." At around 3 months, your baby will be able to hold himself up by leaning on his forearms, so that makes this a good age to introduce a little tummy time into his day. If he hates it, don't force the issue, but also don't feel you have to spend a lot of time on it for him to get the benefits. Even three to ten minutes twice a day will do the trick. To make it more fun for your baby, lie down facing him or put a colorful toy in front of him. Months 4 - 8 Month 4: A mirror Babies love gazing at human faces -- Mom's, Dad's, and even their own. And since by this age they have the muscle control to lift their heads and really take a look around, attaching a baby-safe mirror to the crib slats will give your child instant entertainment (someone new!). Though some experts believe that babies can't recognize themselves until they're around 18 months, a mirror is still a lot of fun for younger ones. They may realize that when they smile or wiggle their nose, the baby in the mirror is doing the same thing -- and that's an exciting discovery for a 4-month-old. Month 5: Downtime Convinced that constant stimulation would make my baby smarter, I danced with Ella in the living room, sang "Ring Around the Rosy," and handed her an endless parade of noise-making toys. When she grew fussy and turned away, I assumed she was tired. But according to Holly Brophy-Herb, Ph.D., an associate professor of child development at Michigan State University, she may just have been tired of me. "If you're shaking a toy in front of the baby and she starts to look away, brings her hand up to her ear, arches her back, or stiffens, it's a cue that your baby's saying, 'I need a break, it's too much for me right now.'" With your baby reacting more to you -- and having so much fun -- at this age, it's easy to get carried away and think she needs a steady stream of excitement to keep her happy (not to mention boost her brainpower). But it's just as important to rock quietly with her or let her chill out by, say, watching the ceiling fan for a while. After some downtime, you'll both feel like playing again. Month 6: A babysitter If you haven't left your baby with a sitter by this point, now's a good time to start. Separation anxiety can appear at around 6 months, peaking between 9 and 15 months, as he starts to remember and recognize familiar and unfamiliar faces. "Before that happens, you need to get your baby used to the idea that someone who doesn't smell like Mom is still safe," says Eliot. By calling in a willing relative or a responsible neighbor now, you'll make it easier on everyone the next time you want to go to a non-child-friendly restaurant. Plus, a date night with your husband will make the two of you more pleasant -- both as parents and as partners. Month 7: A game of peekaboo While Jessica Picasso of Palm Springs, California, had played peekaboo with her daughter, Kayla, since she was just a few weeks old, it wasn't until Kayla reached 7 months that she could play along. "She likes to put a blanket over her head, pull it off really fast, and smile and laugh," says Picasso. Peekaboo helps your baby understand object permanence, which lets her know you still exist even when you're not in sight. Month 8: A routine With an 8-month-old around, it helps to be flexible about your schedule. But not too flexible. According to Dr. Burnham, a predictable daily routine -- breakfast between 6 and 8 A.M., first nap between 9 and 11, and so on -- is associated with the release of fewer stress hormones, so both you and your baby will be calmer. My husband and I learned to put our daughter to bed at the same time every night, and we consistently followed a soothing pre-bedtime pattern of jammies, feeding, and lullaby. By the time we laid her in her crib, she was ready to go to sleep. Months 9 - 12 Month 9: Stacking rings There may be a lot of toys out there that promise to boost your baby's brainpower, but there's nothing much better than a set of stackers or blocks -- classic, developmentally appropriate choices. Stacking toys put to use your baby's ability to reach and grasp, which he likely developed around 6 months, but they also stretch him to hone his fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Between 8 and 12 months, they provide just the right level of challenge. "Stacking rings are just a little bit beyond a baby's capability at this age, but he can see the results of his own practice," says Eliot. Month 10: Security object The soft stuffed animals that Bonnie Ferguson of The Colony, Texas, gave to each of her four kids when they were infants quickly became beloved companions that helped them settle down at bedtime well into toddlerhood. According to Brophy-Herb, a lovey can be an effective coping mechanism for babies when they're dealing with everyday stresses like hunger, fatigue, and the care of a sitter. Not all children want a security object, though, so follow your baby's lead: If at this age she doesn't have one but is sucking her thumb or rubbing a spot on her sheet, chances are a lovey could help. Just make sure it's one you can get in and out of the washer and dryer before naptime. Month 11: Other babies As Ella's social director and a stay-at-home mom, I enjoyed her baby playdates (read: the chance for adult conversation) far more than she did. But toward the end of her first year, Ella began to get a kick out of hanging out with other babies. When she and her pal Tommy played side by side, occasionally swiping each other's toys, they entertained one another and learned a little about the rudiments of sharing. Plus, watching Tommy tool around the house gave Ella more motivation to get up and go herself. Month 12: A birthday cake One-year-olds are hyper-attuned to tactile sensations; they figure out the world by feeling and tasting everything. So a piece of cake is perfect for exploration: intensely mushable, squeezable, and, unlike many of the other objects they pop into their mouths, tasty. "Most parents don't want their child flinging food around the kitchen," says Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., author of Why Babies Do That: Baffling Baby Behavior Explained. "But when you let your baby dig his hands into a birthday cake and try to get some into his mouth, you're letting him explore a natural fascination -- and do something he usually doesn't get to without being scolded." Happy birthday!
Last -minute To-Dos before Delivery
hoNow that your baby is about to arrive any day, you need to make some last-minute arrangements so that you don't panic- Buy some nursing bras and nursing gowns The first thing that you’ll need after your baby is born include nursing bras and nursing gowns to aid you in breastfeeding your little one. Buy at least 2-3 comfortable nursing bras and some nursing gowns so that you are all set to nurse your baby. Pack your hospital bag Pack your hospital bag around the 32nd week of pregnancy. You would need baby clothes, toiletries, bottle, formula, diapers, diaper rash cream, maternity clothes, sanitary pads, comfortable cotton underwear, towel, toiletries, baby blanket and a baby towel during your stay in the hospital. Collect breastfeeding essentials While nursing, you might also experience some leaking so you need to have some breast pads handy. At times, your might be away or are unable to produce milk, so a breast pump would be handy in such a scenario. If your nipples hurt, you can soothe using a hot compress and by applying some ghee on them. Keep some homemade ghee in a small bottle near your bedside. Gather baby essentials Before you welcome your baby, buy some baby clothes along with mittens, socks and cap, according to the weather and buy some baby toiletries and other baby essentials such as diapers, nappies, and a car seat. Waterproof your bed Since babies have no control over their urine, expect a wet bed every once in a while. The best way to prevent your mattress from getting spoilt is by putting a plastic sheet on your mattress. Make space for baby stuff Now that you have a lot of baby stuff to keep, you will need to make space for your little one’s clothes and toiletries. Empty out at least 2 shelves so that you can arrange your baby’s essentials there. Baby proof your home Make your home safe for your baby. Remove all sharp objects and put all tiny objects away. Tiny objects can be taken in the mouth by babies and lead to choking. If your baby is going to sleep with you, ensure that your bed is safe, else install bed guards on all four sides. If your baby is going to sleep in a cot or a separate room, install appropriate baby monitors. Clean your house The immune system of babies is underdeveloped and so they are more prone to catch infections. Clean up all the clutter and dirt from your house to give your child a clean house and fresh air to breathe. Make sure all carpets, draperies and bed sheets are clean. This will minimise the risk of infections for your baby. Hire a house help Once your baby is born, you won’t be able to do anything more than looking after your baby and your health, so hire some help to assist with the household chores. Choose a hospital After the 32nd week, be prepared to rush to the hospital anytime, so you must choose a hospital beforehand and it would be better if it is near your house. Finalise a paediatrician Your baby’s well-being will be your top priority once your baby is born, so do some research and find out the best paediatrician near your house. Pre-wash your baby’s clothes Since baby skin is very delicate and can get rashes easily, pre-wash all your baby’s clothes to get rid of any allergens that might be present. Contact your insurance provider If you’re going to be claiming a maternity cover, contact your insurance provider and understand the entire procedure. Gather all the required documents and keep them with your hospital bag. Sleep, relax and have fun While you await your baby’s arrival, you must know that your life is going to change completely once he/she is there. So, have fun, meet with friends, sleep as much as you can, read books, watch movies, spend time at the spa and indulge in some “me time” since you’re not going to get time for all these later! Develop a Birth Plan Discuss with your doctor about your prefered birth plan and the people you would need around you to support you. Talk to your doctor about pain management methods and any other concerns you might have about baby care after birth. Inform your employer You need to inform your employer about your tentative delivery date and maternity leave and handover or delegate your work to others while you're going to be on leave. Featured Image Source
When do babies crawl? 7 Tips to get crawling
Crawling is one of the first major baby milestones in your child’s journey to independence. Once she masters the crawling milestone, she’ll be able to explore the world around her, without relying on you to pick her up. Most babies begin crawling between the ages of 6 to 10 months of age. Every baby is unique of course! Some will start crawling even earlier than that. Other babies will focus on learning other skills, and will start crawling later. It’s possible for some babies skip the crawling stage altogether. They move straight onto pulling themselves up with furniture, for example a coffee table or sofa. Not all babies crawl in the same way too – there are different types of crawling! There are a number of things you can do to help your baby get ready to crawl: Tip #1: Tummy Time- Spending time on her tummy is important for helping your baby to develop the strength to move her body and hold herself up. If your baby cries when you place her on her tummy on the floor, try lying her on your tummy instead. Tip #2: Wrap It Up- Being carried around may not sound like the most effective way of building muscle. But as babies shuffle to reposition themselves in wraps and slings, they’re strengthening their muscles. As they lift their head out of the slings to see what’s going on, they are improving their neck muscle strength. Tip #3: Make It Fun- if your baby is having tummy time on a play mat, entertain her with toys to keep her happy. Dangling toys in front of her, singing and keeping your face close to hers, are all great ways to keep your baby happy during tummy time. Tip #4: Moving Toys- A couple of toys that move may help to encourage your baby to start crawling. Trains, cars and balls are all great toys that may travel out of baby’s reach as she plays with them. Tip #5: Time Limits- Try to limit the amount of time your baby spends in a car seat, pram or bouncer. Babies need time to move and explore in order to master new skills, so give them the freedom to do this. Tip #6: Use A Tunnel- There are lots of play tunnels and tents on the market. If you like, get down on all fours and play peekaboo or chase baby around to encourage her. Tip #7: No Stress- Approach While you may be desperate to see your baby take her first few shuffles towards freedom, try not to get hung up on it. Don’t compare her to other babies, or push her to crawl when she isn’t ready. Just wait, have fun and support her as she develops this new and exciting skill. You should contact your healthcare provider if: Your baby hasn’t become mobile (crawling, shuffling or rolling) by her first birthday Your baby is only using one side of her body to move around (e.g. dragging herself around with one arm) Something doesn’t seem right
Simple ways to soothe your colicky baby
Colic is a condition that causes pain in your infant's gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, it rarely lasts beyond your baby's third month, and usually peaks at about four to six weeks of age. Symptoms include apparent abdominal pain, gassiness, a distended belly, irritability, and long, inconsolable bouts of crying, usually starting in the early evening and lasting for hours. No one is really sure of the cause, but many physicians cite the baby's diet -- either something the nursing mother is eating, or a sensitivity to formula. To soothe your child during bouts of colic, you may follow the tips given below: •Rock and roll him: Rock your baby in your arms. Take him for a ride in the car, or for a walk in his stroller. The steady rhythm of any kind of movement is soothing. •Make good vibrations: Place your child, securely strapped in his car seat, on top of a running clothes dryer, being sure to hold the seat to prevent it from vibrating off the machine. •Swaddle him: Some babies respond well to being wrapped tightly, especially while being rocked. •Give him a massage: Lay him tummy-down across your legs and gently rub his back to help release pent-up gas. •Reduce outside stimulation: Lower the lights, reduce the noise around the house, and speak or sing softly to your baby. •Provide warmth: Place a warm (not hot) washcloth on his tummy or give him a warm bath. •Pedal his legs: With your baby on his back, gently move his legs in a pedaling motion to help him release gas. •Adjust his diet: If you're nursing and if none of the above seems to help, try changing your own diet by eliminating dairy products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, and spicy foods. If your baby is formula-fed, ask the pediatrician about switching to a soy-based, predigested, or other hypoallergenic formula. Formula-fed babies need iron, sow low-iron formulas are rarely recommended. •Calm yourself: If all else fails, put the baby down, make yourself a cup of tea and calm yourself down. Don't let him pick up on your own anxiety. Then snuggle your baby and realise that you're the best person to comfort him and if you can't do it, nobody can. Content source Featured image source