By BIANCA CARTER
Everyone knows that life is exhausting and overwhelming for a new mom. Let’s face it, everything is uncharted territory, and a lot of the time new moms will rely on friends and family that have been down the parenting road before for advice.
Most of the advice received is very helpful, but here are some new mom tips you can ignore:
- Keep the dogs away from the baby
I know it can be tempting to keep the dog and the baby separate in the beginning. But honestly, your family dog is a part of the family, too, and the introduction to your family’s new addition should be immediate. Don’t isolate them; introduce them, and monitor their interaction well into the toddler stage. Doing this early will encourage a safe and life-long friendship.
- Create a noise-free zone
No one wants to wake the baby, believe me! Further, every parent cringes at any noise louder than a whisper, but truthfully your life will be panicked every time a phone rings if you don’t allow normal noise while putting your baby to sleep. Your baby will become accustomed to the noise in their environment, even the dog barking, as these noises are already familiar to them from inside the womb. The only warning with sound is that when the baby moves into the toddler stage, or even before, they are very aware of their environment and want to explore the world around them, so noise will become an invitation to investigate what’s going on in their world.
- Bathe the baby daily
A baby’s skin is very delicate and bathing them every day can lead to irritation and dryness of the skin. Unless it’s summertime and super hot, there’s no need to wash the hair and bathe them daily during the newborn period. Instead, consider a warm wash cloth to wipe over their little bitty bodies, and a full bath-time experience every other day. Start with the face and work down to the toes.
- Use baby-scented products
A newborn has this baby smell that is totally intoxicating. Not many mothers can resist that new baby smell; babies have their own natural, heavenly scent. There is no need to slather them with baby powder and baby-scented lotions. Honestly, most of the skincare you get in the drug stores are packed with chemicals that can irritate the skin. If you want to nourish and moisturise your baby’s skin, use organic, paraben-free skin care or dermatologist recommended, Cetaphil.
- Burp the baby after every feeding
We are taught that all babies must be burped after they eat, before they go to sleep, but anyone that’s been a mother before will tell you that it’s not always easy to get a baby to burp. One of the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding is this notion that you have to burp breastfeeding babies the same as bottle-fed babies after feeding; this is not the case. Breastfed babies do not need to burp after feeding. There is no air in your milk ducts to get into the baby’s system. Instead, the air is transferred by the bottle to your baby. If you’ve just breastfed your baby and they don’t burp, it’s completely fine. I can’t tell you how many women tell me that they breastfeed and then spend the next 40 minutes trying to burp a baby that doesn’t need to burp. You will have to burp your baby if you bottle feed.
Love and hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor and founder of Bun in the Oven.
For more information, email her at email@example.com. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at http://babybunintheoven.com.