Wednesday, May 17, 2017

First 24 hours at home with your baby


You've probably heard that all a newborn baby does is eat, poop, cry, and sleep. Sounds simple, right? It may become simple, but chances are it won't seem that way at first. Knowing what to expect from your newborn will make your first days home together a little less overwhelmingvide.

To help map out what's in store after the big homecoming, we turned to pediatricians and mothers Laura Jana and Jennifer Shu, who literally wrote the book on the topic. The third edition of their book Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality was released in May 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What to expect: Newborn feeding

Because their stomachs are so tiny, newborns need to eat small amounts – about 1 to 3 ounces – frequently. Some want to nurse or have a bottle every two to three hours, while others will be hungry even more often.

While some babies announce their hunger with strong cries, others will give more subtle cues such as sucking on their hands, smacking their lips, or rooting, which is when a baby purses her lips and turns her head toward the breast or bottle.

How to swaddle a baby

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Soothe your newborn baby with these three simple swaddling techniques. See all baby videos
In their first few days, newborns typically lose about 7 percent of their body weight. While this is normal, you'll want to feed your baby every two hours or so until she's back at her birth weight.

Newborns are sleepy, so you may need to wake your baby up to feed and give her gentle encouragement to stay awake while eating. Try undressing your baby down to the diaper, rubbing her head or back, or talking to her. The goal is for your baby to be back to her birth weight at her 2-week checkup.

What to expect: Newborn burps, hiccups, and spit-ups

Some newborns need to be burped frequently, while others burp on their own and need very little assistance from you. If your baby is fussy or uncomfortable during or after a feeding, that's a cue to burp her.

You can also try burping your baby when you switch breasts, after every 2 or 3 ounces, every 10 to 15 minutes of feeding, or when your baby's finished eating. After a day or two of feedings, you'll find a pattern that works for your little one.

No need to bang your baby's back like a bongo – a gentle circular motion or soft pats will bring up the bubbles. There are several burping positions to try, including holding your baby with her head resting on your shoulder, sitting her upright on your lap with the fingers of one hand supporting her chest and chin, or laying your baby tummy-down across your lap.

Don't be alarmed by hiccups or spit-up. Hiccups are normal for new babies and don't cause them discomfort. Likewise, spitting up during and after feedings – in small amounts or what may seem like the entire feeding – is pretty normal.

If your baby's spitting-up seems excessive or is accompanied by her arching her back or crying, read more about the difference between reflux, which is normal and improves with your baby's head control, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which requires treatment. Whatever's causing it, if your baby's a spitter-upper, you'll want to keep a burp cloth handy.


What to expect: Newborn pee and poop

A breastfed newborn will have at least five wet diapers a day. A formula-fed baby may have even more than that – up to ten per day.

There's a large range for what's a "normal" number of bowel movements, too. Breastfed babies tend to poop more than formula-fed ones, since formula takes a bit longer to digest. But breastfed babies vary widely, going as seldom as once every four or more days to as often as once per feeding. Formula-fed babies typically poop a few times a day, but it can range from one poop every other day to several poops per day.

You'll want to keep track of your baby's pee and poop schedule, as the doctor may ask about her urine and bowel movements at the first checkup.

The very first bowel movements – usually occurring during the first day or two, often when you're still at the hospital – are called meconium. These first poops have a black, almost tar-like consistency. The ones that follow won't look much like grown-up poop, either. Be prepared for greenish, light brown, or seedy, mustard-yellow poops from a breastfed baby. A formula-fed baby's poop tends to be pastier and vary in color. Call the doc if your baby's stool contains whitish mucus or streaks or flecks of red, which can indicate a problem. (Red is a sign of blood in the stool.)

Normal poop consistency also ranges from very soft to watery, with breastfed babies having looser poop. This can easily be confused with diarrhea. Basically you want to keep an eye out for a change from your baby's usual pattern or consistency – which is admittedly hard when your baby is first creating a pattern. When in doubt, check with your doctor.

"If you're confused, just remember this," says Jennifer Shu. "Whether we're talking about pooping, eating, sleeping, or crying, every baby is different. Normal is actually a big range. What matters most are sudden changes – and that's when you should contact your doctor."

See our complete baby poop slideshow for a visual guide to what you might find in your baby's diaper.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

The importance of a sleep diary

    No mum can confidently say her baby is a dream to put down at night. For first-time parents it’s the culture shock of all culture shocks, with many of us left exhausted and wondering: ‘why does my baby sleep during the day but keep us up most of the night?’
“Babies are born with an immature body rhythm and as such they don't know day from night,” says The Gentle Sleep Solution’s Chireal Shallow. “They also need to feed every two to three hours and are designed to wake frequently for this reason. Many parents worry their baby isn't getting enough sleep, however, this is usually due to the fact they may simply not be sleeping well at night. Babies often catch-up on shut-eye in the day, with newborns sleeping anywhere between 16 and 18 hours per day.”
Many parents worry their baby isn't getting enough sleep, however, this is usually due to the fact they may simply not be sleeping well at night
While it’s great news you shouldn’t stress too much over your little one waking at night, it’s still wise to monitor your baby’s napping and bedtime patterns by jotting it down in their very own ‘sleep diary’. Helping you to get them in to a good routine, we asked the very best in the way of sleep experts for their essential advice…

What is a sleep diary?

“A sleep diary involves parents keeping a log or journal of when their baby sleeps and wakes,” explains author and baby sleep specialist Alison Scott-Wright. “It can be as simple or as complicated as you wish, with entries consisting of simple sleep and wake times or including more detailed data, such as how long the baby took to go to sleep and what environment this was in.”

Why do I need one?

“The aim of a diary is to see how well you are all doing and to make changes where needed,” continues Chireal. “This is a great motivational tool as it helps identify patterns when sleep is more easily achieved, giving you an insight in to situations where your little one refuses to go down for their nap!”

What’s the best way to compile one?

“Whatever works for you and makes sense is easiest,” says Alison. “You can use loose paper, write it in a special book or diary or even log all the data down in an app. l use good old pen and paper, writing in a lined book with a double page per day – one side for daytime naps, the other for night time sleep.

How long should I record things for?

“Keep a diary for at least four weeks so you can compare the start, middle and end,” advises Chireal. “Ideally your baby should be looking at a total sleep amount of 18 hours for a newborn, reducing to around 12-14 hours for a baby aged three to nine months.”

Are there any diary dos and don’ts?

“Don’t let your diary rule you – it’s just a useful log that can be stopped at any time,” says Alison. “Some mothers, especially those suffering with degrees of postnatal depression, can find the diary becomes a main focus, meaning it's all too easy to obsess over and become panicked when missing an entry. Stop once your baby is sleeping through the night – or use as a temporary tool through the short-term sleep training for babies aged four months plus.”

When should I be concerned?

“It’s doubtful you’ll encounter any real problems with your baby’s sleeping routine,” says Chireal. “However, if your baby consistently struggles to go to sleep at naps and overnight, takes longer than 30 minutes to settle, wakes frequently – within a 40 minute sleep cycle – or will only sleep when being fed, rocked or held, then book a visit to see your health visitor to address your concerns.”

Five top tips for a better night’s sleep

Help your weaning baby achieve the very best overnight slumber with this invaluable advice from sleep coach Niamh O’Reilly…
  1. Always aim to get your child down in their cot when they are still awake, winding them properly to avoid false starts! They don’t have to be wide-awake – just awake enough to know where they are going.
  2. Ensure teatime and any last bottles or feeds are good ones. Tea doesn’t necessarily have to be heavy – just plentiful.
  3. Don’t fret if your baby grizzles in their cot, as these noises are simply the sounds they make before falling asleep. They are actually trying to block out other noises in order to soothe themselves.
  4. Check the temperature of the room at night. If it’s a little cold, it's better than it being a little hot. You can always add layers and extra vests. An ideal room temperature is within a range of 16-20°C.
  5. Have a regular bedtime routine, allowing up to an hour for winding-down. Put away the toys and spend time bathing and reading relaxing stories. Just don’t get too caught up in making this over-complicated. If baths are a pain to do daily, skip them. And bedtime, whether with one child or many, should be manageable by one person.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What to eat in your last 4 weeks of pregnancy


Meet our expert: Dr Nicole Avena, neuroscientist and author of What to Eat When You’re Pregnant (£8.49, Ten Speed Press). 
Tempting as it might be to tuck into comforting junk food in late pregnancy, feeding your body with the right nutrients can make a significant difference to you and your baby at this stage.
Making wise nutritional choices can alleviate late pregnancy symptoms, help prepare your body for labour and boost your baby’s development. .

Squash

Many women experience heartburn in late pregnancy. This occurs because your oesophageal sphincter muscle, which stops acid coming back up from your stomach, is more relaxed, due to increased progesterone levels. ‘Avoid fried and spicy foods, because these will exacerbate the problem,’ advises Dr Nicole. ‘Aim for high-fibre choices instead, such as squash.’ Acorn squash is particularly high in fibre, but the more widely available butternut squash is also worth putting on your shopping list.

Salmon

‘Your baby continues to absorb the DHA [an omega-3 fatty acid] from your diet in the last weeks of pregnancy, and this aids his brain development,’ says Dr Nicole. ‘And salmon is a great source of this. With 1.46 grams of DHA per 100 grams, just one serving has more than twice the required daily amount.’ Do take note of NHS advice though that pregnant women should not have more than two portions of oily fish per week due to concerns about pollutants.

Yoghurt fortified with Vitamin D

Craving something sweet and indulgent? Both Yoplait and Marks and Spencer have yoghurt ranges with added vitamin D. The yoghurt contains calcium, and the vitamin D helps your body absorb it. ‘Calcium absorption increases significantly during the last trimester as your baby builds his bones,’ explains Dr Nicole.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Baby Food Timeline

  When my son turned 4 months old, I knew he was ready for solid (super mashed, pureed) baby food; he had 2 teeth, he was confidently crawling without his belly touching the ground, he was showing interest in the food I was eating and he was almost able to truly sit up on his own without help. Plus… he was super active, and hungry every two hours – food needed to be added to his diet. Many forums do suggest that you wait until your child is at least 6 months of age before introducing solid foods to deter any possibility of food allergy, and to ensure that baby is able to swallow and digest the food appropriately. With my pediatrician’s input, however, we decided that Kaden was ready before that point. The following infographic visually shows which foods are okay for baby to have, and at what ages. We have always recommended all organic foods for your child, especially as their tiny little bellies are still developing (nasty pesticides and such aren’t a good mix for all that), but go with your gut and do what you feel is best for your child – we promise, we’re not telling you how to raise your kids. Remember that all fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly  before introducing to baby. We do want to remind all mommies and daddies out there that once a new food is introduced, to continue feeding your little ones that food ONLY for a minimum of four days – this way, if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know exactly what triggered it. All of these suggestions have been approved by our Pediatrician, but always be sure to talk to your child’s doctor before introducing any kind of food and get their opinion. You know your child better than anyone else, so also keep in mind the textures, size, and chewiness of certain foods, and how you feel your child will be able to chew or gum these items. Let Welldy or I know in the comments if you have any questions at all regarding our food timeline, or about any questions you may have on the introduction of foods for your baby in general!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Baby Girls' Full Flower Print Buttons Ruffles Romper Bodysuit with Headband