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I love babies (and kids… I mean, obviously since we have four of them). I also love to share my favorite tips for moms of babies, because babies are so sweet and they don’t stay babies forever… so above all else, remember to soak up these baby moments… they grow up faster than we know it!
1. You know what your baby needs.
When you have a newborn, friends and family are quick to offer opinions on feeding methods, sleep schedules, and everything in between. It can become overwhelming. We all appreciate well-intentioned advice, but sometimes a new mom simply needs the affirmation that her choice matters. She needs to know that she is doing a great job. Whether mom breast feeds, bottle feeds, or supplements with formula, let’s commend her for making the best choice for her baby. That’s what’s important. When it comes to feeding time, “mother knows best.”
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2. Get your baby gear for free.
(Seriously!) Baby slings, nursing pillows… you name it- you can find it for free on my FREEBIES WEBSITES page.
3. Try making your own baby food… and then don’t feel bad if you don’t stick to it.
I was a “half-home made” type of mom. I made some and I bought some. I found that some was just easier to make at home, when I was feeding our other kids, but some was easier to buy. Both were nutritional, so I went with what was less stressful.
4. Try your best to keep your baby safe from germs.
My mom was a nurse, so I take this seriously. Wash your hands often. Keep them inside a little more during cold and flu season. Use the carseat canopy when you go out. Use natural remedies, like sitting in a bathroom with the shower running to let the steam clear up your baby’s congestion. Use natural teething remedies when your child is teething. Just try to do your best to keep your little one safe and healthy. Diffuse some kid-scent oils to promote wellness in your family.
5. Embrace the night shift, too!
Your baby might keep you up all night long, like our fourth baby did, or he/she might just wake up a few times a night… either way- it won’t last long, so embrace that night shift, Mama! You will look back on it with fond memories. ♥
6. Talk to your babies.
Just sit there, enjoy their gaze, enjoy the way that those tiny fingers will wrap around yours… enjoy your babies. Talk to them, sing to them, snuggle them.
7. Keeping your child active and learning, even at a young age, is important.
Read to them, keep them on a schedule, sing to them and just talk to them. Even when your children cannot talk back, they are listening to you and they can understand you far earlier than you will think that they can. I work with many children in my play therapy program that are 18 months and follow great directions, but cannot say a word. It just goes to show you that they are listening… “You say it best, when you say nothing at all”.
If you need more ideas for your 6-12 month old, these should be helpful.
8. Sometimes feeding your baby can be really hard.
Our first son took three full months before he was able to nurse, but then he was able to nurse for over a year (he actually refused the bottle from then on). Our second son was given breast-milk through a bottle for year. I supplemented with formula from the time that he was born. The doctor said that he had low blood sugar and I would always need to supplement with formula. I pumped and bottle fed him for a full year, while giving him formula every morning and evening. Our third son was such an easy baby. He was our only baby to sleep the full 6 hours from day one and he nursed perfectly from the minute that he was born, too. Our fourth baby was given breast-milk through a bottle, given formula when we were out and she nursed- she was like a dream baby! haha! My best feeding advice is this:
Remember that the important thing is that your baby is eating- formula or breast-milk. It is OK either way! Breast or bottle isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you are FEEDING YOUR BABY. That’s what matters.
9. Sleep is as important for you as it is for your baby, but we can’t pick how well our babies sleep. We can, however, help them to be on the road to a good-night’s rest. Here are my very best tips to get your babies to sleep (trust me, I know… I had two great sleepers and two not-so-great… ok… borderline awful… sleepers!)
10. If you already have one baby, you need to find ways to get your older child involved with your new baby. I have found that being honest with our children was always the best route. A simple: “Mommy needs your help to be a great big brother/sister” is always accepted. I asked them to help me change the baby, feed the baby, dress the baby… you name it, they helped me.
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