Bringing home your new baby is a joyous experience, but it comes with a lot of new responsibilities. The best part of being a parent is that as they grow you learn and adapt as an ever growing and learning parent. Advice for new parents is like gold when it comes from a trusted source such as a dear friend or reputable newborn resource. Here are Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny, we hope that we can be your go to resource for all things parenting. We have Newborn Care Experts and Postpartum doulas that can guide and assist you when you come home from the hospital, as well as sleep coaches, and lactation consultants. Looking for a nanny in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island? Let us support you through every step of your parenting journey. First, we’ll start off with offering some of the best advice for new parents in those early months with a newborn.

1. Enjoy the Snuggles & Practice Skin to Skin Daily

There are many benefits of skin-to-skin. Both mother and baby relax. The baby’s body temperature, breathing, and heart rate stabilize. During pregnancy, babies are as close to their moms as they can be—getting warmth, food, protection, and oxygen from their mother’s body. Then, labor occurs and babies suddenly find themselves without immediate access to those essential needs. It is not surprising that study after study has shown a host of benefits for babies who experience skin-to-skin care (sometimes called kangaroo care) with their mothers. When babies are held naked against their mother’s skin, it is the closest they can get to being back in the warmth and security of the womb. Dads you can enjoy it too as baby still benefits!

2. Babies Don’t Need A Lot

Babies need love and nourishment… not too much more. Your baby just wants to hear your voice; it’s calming and reassuring. You don’t need fancy toys or top of the line products. And you don’t need to entertain your baby all day. Everything your baby does, he is learning. He can be lying on a blanket tracking sun rays flittering on the ceiling and that is practicing a developmental skill! Narrate what you are doing with your baby in the front pack as you cook or even read the newspaper out loud. Babies should hear 21,000 words a day to help develop language skills. During awake time you can go for a stroll, read simple books, sing, or practice reaching and grasping small toys like a rattle during tummy time. Pro Advice for new parents: kids love consistency so it is okay to sing or read favorites over and over.

3. Fed is Best!

Your most important job is to make sure that your baby is getting enough to eat, formula or breast milk. The goal is to have your baby back at his birth weight at the two-week checkup. All babies and parents are different and the most important thing is a healthy Baby and Mom. Here at Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny we want to support and empower parents! Yes, we offer lactation services, but we also offer a Newborn 101 parenting class going over both formula and breastfeeding options. Our Newborn Care Experts are trained to support and guide your family in the direction you choose!

Moms if you are breastfeeding but need some alone time, you can pump and have your partner feed your newborn as you take a hot bath, get a haircut or just a nap. This leads me to the next VERY important piece of advice for new parents.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

This is soooo important for new parents, Mom and Dad. You can ask a friend, neighbor, grandparent, or an expert in the field. All these people want to see you succeed and that means taking care of yourself as well. So when a friend asks what they can pick up on their way over, don’t be shy. Tell her you would love if she could pick up lunch or a pack of diapers. Then when Grandma says, “Do you want me to rock the baby or is there something else I can do?” again, don’t be shy because if the individual asked, they do sincerely want to help you. Tell Grandma that you would love if she could clean the dishes in the sink and then baby snuggles are up for grabs. Lastly, if you are struggling in a particular area of care, talk to your pediatrician right away or reach out to a lactation consult, sleep coach, or postpartum doula. Don’t wait until you feel six feet under to ask for help. Let us help you find professional childcare in CT, MA, and RI with our premier nanny services.

5. Put Your Baby Down Drowsy But Awake

Surprisingly sleep is a learned skill. After baby is over a month old you can practice sleep conditioning. You will teach the baby cues that sleep is coming such as dimming the lights, turning on the sound machine, and comforting them but not engaging as you would during awake times. It is also helpful to separate feeding times from nap and bedtime so your child can learn to go to sleep without milk. Lastly, put your baby down drowsy, but awake so over time he can learn to fall asleep on his own. Now you need to remember to sleep when baby sleeps. The bottom line here is that in order to take the absolute best care of your baby, you need to be well-rested. To learn more about healthy and safe sleep habits sign up for Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s online sleep training class.

6. Don’t Jump into Action Every Noise Baby Makes

Here is a favorite and key advice for new parents to avoid stressing out over the sound of crying. If your baby is happy in the crib or bassinet it’s okay to let him learn to entertain himself; independent play is a valuable skill. Or if he wakes from a nap and is just laying there cooing and looking around; that is okay too. This is developmentally appropriate! Grunting may sound like a call for Mom or Dad, but your baby could also be experimenting with his new found voice. If you jump up and run to your baby’s side every noise he makes, he will learn the cause and effect and his habit of waking up happy talking to himself may soon turn into crying because he wants to be picked up right away. Please note that it is safe to let a 2 month old fuss for a few minutes. However, a 2 month old baby is still way too young to be left crying. So of course when the noises turn into crying, pick him up and soothe him.

7. Babies LIKE Being Swaddled

Does your newborn fuss when you are trying to swaddle? That doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t like; swaddling is magic and an instant soother! Have another soothing tool handy such as a pacifier, rocking, or shushing. Walk around to settle your baby, he will soon realize being swaddled feels just like being in the womb. For more soothing tips read about The 5 S’s from Dr. Harvey Karp.

Practice swaddling at the hospital and ask the nurses to show you as many times as you need. If you hire a postpartum doula or newborn care expert they are there to teach you all new parent tips and tricks as well.

8. Set Up Baby Centers Around the House

Set up baby stations around your house. This is especially helpful if your house is more than one level or if you gave birth to multiples. In a basket put together some of the following supplies: wipes, diapers, cream, burp cloths, swaddling blankets, an extra outfit, water bottle and a snack for yourself. Remember it’s important to take care of yourself too so you can be the best parent possible for your new baby. Remember this pro tip: drink an 8oz glass of water every time you breastfeed in order to stay hydrated and therefore build up your milk supply. You can learn more pregnancy tips and get expert advice for new parents in the award winning parenting book, Newborn 101.

9. How to Avoid Diaper Rashes

Getting ahead of a diaper rash is key. Babies’ skin is so delicate and easily irritated in the first month of life. You should avoid scented items and change baby’s diaper as often as possible, but change bowel movements as soon as you notice them. If wipes appear to be too harsh for your newborn’s bottom, you can just use warm water on a cloth in the first few weeks.
There are two types of diaper ointments. First you have the thick, white zinc formula that is used to clear diaper rash. Then there are petroleum based ointments, such as Aquaphor. These creates a barrier on the skin and are a life saver for a rash that is already present so that urine isn’t directly touching the already irritated skin. You can even put both on, the zinc cream first to heal and the Aquaphor on top of that to create a barrier from future urination in the diaper.

10. Practice Ways to Reduce Stress

Try not to use the words, “I should have..” Move forward and try again. Parenting a new baby is hard work. Before baby is born start to incorporate a mindfulness techniques that you can carry with you such as meditation or yoga. A peaceful mom is the best gift you can give your baby. Babies pick up on our stress, so have tools in your toolkit on how to reduce your stress and remember you happiness is just as important. Set aside time for yourself and get out for a walk, taking in the sunshine, read a book, or bake if that is what brings you joy.

Providing Advice for New Parents & Childcare Resources

Every new parent runs into one hiccup or another; we’re all human. Do your best to try and go with the flow—you’ll be much happier if you give yourself some slack right from the beginning! Trust your instincts as you know your baby best and there is no one right way. If something doesn’t feel right call your pediatrician they can point you in the right direction or may even refer you to specialist such as a lactation consultant or new parent postpartum support group. For postpartum day or overnight newborn care in Boston area, contact our team of experts today! Additionally, for assistance hiring a nanny in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island we are your trusted resource! Call us today at 781-444-4063.