From learning your child’s cries to figuring out a new normal, there is a learning curve when it comes to raising a new baby. While we can’t hand over a list of how-tos, we can offer you some of these baby tips and trends to help you through everything from crying babies to breastfeed, water births and much more.
1. Crying babies are not inevitable
Getting newborn babies to stop crying and to sleep might seem like a product of witchcraft
“Babies don’t cry for no reason,” says nationally renowned Happies Baby on the Block Dr. Harvey Karp, who is part baby whisperer, part grandpa. “They actually have an off-switch for crying and an on-switch for sleep.” the key is to nail what he calls his 5 S’s: the art of swaddling, shushing and swinging. Holding baby on his or her side, stomach or over your shoulder helps, too. And some babies go to deep la-la land when they suck a pacifier.
2. Winning at breastfeeding
Think you’re a breastfeeding wiz? The Breastfeeding Trivia Card Game puts your smarts to the test – and helps increase awareness, too.
Detroit mom of three, Moon Afrykan Aku, is a devoted breastfeeding advocate who late last year released Breastfeeding Trivia Card Game Volume 1: Fun Facts with the goal of educating mothers, families and everyone else on the actual science and practice of breastfeeding.
3 What’s in a name?
We know picking a name for a baby isn’t easy.
While we wait for the Social Security Administration to release its latest most popular names list, delayed due to COVID-19, Nameberry released its trending names for babies in 2020 so far. The top baby names? Luna and Milo.
Other top names for girls, according to Nameberry: Maeve, Aurora, Olivia, Isla, Ava, Ophelia, Eleanor, Eloise and Aurelia. Other top names for boys: Asher, Atticus, Oliver, Levi, Silas, Arlo, Leo, Theodore and Jasper.
When it comes to unisex names, Avery is tops. Riley, Jordan, Angel, Parker, Sawyer, Peyton, Quinn, Blake and Hayden round out the top 10.
And just in case you think baby needs some luck: In a bizarre analysis of the Nameberry list, gambling site, compare.bet, determined Iris and Asher are the luckiest names. It says 94% of parents it surveyed believe using a “lucky” name will help their child later in late.
4. Babies are sweet enough: no sugar needed
For the first time ever, the national 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has added infant and toddler nutrition recommendations in its report to the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.
“Nutritional exposures during the first 1,000 days of life not only contribute to long-term health but also help shape taste preferences and food choices,” the committee wrote.
Among its recommendations (but make sure to talk over with your own pediatrician before adopting):
- Avoid foods and drinks with added sugar – that’s a big NO to juice – for the first two years.
- Don’t give baby food, other than breast milk or formula before they are 4 months old. That means ignoring the old wives’ tale of adding cereal to their night meal to help them sleep through the night.
- Supplement vitamin D to baby’s diet if fully or partially breastfeeding and breastfeeding moms should make sure to eat foods rich in iron and zinc after six months.
- The committee suggested introducing peanuts and eggs, “in an age appropriate form,” after 4 months of age may reduce the risk of food allergy to these foods.
5. Mixed up babies
While “sleep when your baby sleeps” is promising advice for new parents, that often means becoming nocturnal, as newborn sleep patterns are often reversed.
According to Dr. Harvey Karp, nationally renowned pediatrician, child development specialist and author of The Happiest Baby series, babies are “mixed up” from the beginning. “When the womb is nice and jiggly from their mom’s activity, that’s when they like to doze off. But when the womb is still and boring (Mom is at her desk working or asleep in bed), that’s when they like to play.”
Once a baby is born, Karp says parents often perpetuate the confusion, allowing babies to sleep all day and feed at night. Instead, he recommends parents recreate the sleep cues babies loved so much in the womb.
“Snug surroundings, motion and whooshing noise of the womb helps babies sleep while they were inside of you, so once they’re born, use tight swaddling, white noise and motion at night to signal to your little one that it’s time to nod off,” he says.
He also recommends adding a dream feed to a baby’s nighttime schedule. “Before you go to bed gently take your baby out of bed and feed her while she’s not fully awake,” Karp says.
Pediatric Sleep Consultant Maggie Moore, the owner of the digitally based Moore Sleep, suggests providing lots natural or artificial light during the day, particularly in the mornings.
“Open the blinds, take them outside (weather permitting) and fill your home with light,” Moore says. “This will help them begin to associate light, or daytime, with awake time.
6. Water births A-OK, study says
A University of Michigan study has found water births are as safe for moms as non-water births.
The study, which included data from 397 water births and 2,025 land births from two midwifery practices, found “no differences in outcomes” between the two birthing methods for NICU admissions and similar rates of postpartum hemorrhage. It did find that women in the water birth group had fewer first- and second-degree tears.
7. No belly busting worries
Birmingham-based skinnytees’ Maternity Collection is just right to make mom feel good while showing off that growing baby bump. Designed to stretch but never stretch out, the basic one-size fitting for sizes 0-12 tanks, tops and dresses can take moms from that BFP to beyond.
“We wanted to make a wardrobe staple that is ‘easy’ for soon-to-be moms to wear, a nice comfy ‘go to’ garment she could wear during all nine months of her pregnancy, and afterwards too because they do not lose their shape,” says Founder Linda Schlesinger-Wagner.