The Ultimate Guide to Growing A Healthy Baby

The Ultimate Guide to Growing A Healthy Baby

Jessie Wallace
By Jessie Wallace
Nothing can be more nerve-wracking than those moments when your baby is only a newborn and you are filled with so much uncertainty. It can seem like there are so many things that can go wrong and you probably have a million questions. This tiny and fragile baby that you love so much is completely helpless. You may be wondering if you’re feeding them enough, burping them the correct way, or even holding them the right way. It’s hard to imagine them as tiny as they are while you’re expecting, and even moms who have had children already will still be surprised by how small they are in those first few weeks. After all, they grow so quickly that it’s easy to forget. Newborn development happens at a rapid pace, and it’s one of the most delicate times in a child’s life. Knowing some tips and tricks will help to make it a bit less stressful as you navigate through your new life with your little one.

You Can Never Have Enough Advice

Advice is something you will receive a lot of when you’re expecting a baby or after you’ve brought your bundle of joy into the world. Some of it will be sound and wise, some backed by real science and experience, and some will be completely ridiculous. One thing you have to keep in mind is that your little one will be an individual with their own feelings and thoughts. You may find yourself at a loss trying to understand what they need, but someone else may be more familiar with specific issues. Listening to advice doesn’t mean you have to follow it, but you may learn something that will help you. You can decide on whether you actually follow what they say. Of course, you should always research for yourself and if it doesn’t sit right with you, don’t do it. You are the momma, and therefore you have some strong instincts to drive you. You should also seek out advice from professionals when you feel stuck. From your pediatrician to your OBGYN, there is someone who knows what they’re doing that can help you along your journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them as well.

Take Time to Learn Some Basics

Before your little one makes their big appearance, take some time to learn the basics. Yes, there is a lot that you will need to adjust or practice with your baby, but if you have the foundation of skills you will need, you’ll be in a better position. Learning all about baby growth and newborn development is vital, but so is learning how to burp your infant or swaddle them. Trust me, swaddling will save you sanity some nights. You’ll want to get used to supporting the head while holding your baby and knowing how to clean them properly. Newborns are completely different from a six month old, so if you don’t have any experience with one so little, or you have limited experience, don’t be afraid to practice on a doll. You may feel silly, but it will give you increased confidence when your baby is born. If you don’t have the means to practice everything beforehand, make sure to ask questions at the hospital. You can even put together a list before that you can ask while you’re there. Just throw it in your hospital bag.

Don’t Worry So Much about the Future

A lot of moms immediately start to stress over whether their baby is developing bad habits or if they’re caring for them the “wrong way”. Many worry about things such as if they’re holding their baby too much or getting them on a feeding schedule. The more we learn, the more we find out that all that worry is pointless. Feeding schedules will make it harder on breastfeeding mothers, as it prevents your baby from stimulating increased milk production by feeding more often, and holding a baby, especially skin to skin or swaddling does no harm at all. In fact, it can relax an infant which will help with baby growth. During those early stages, if a baby wants something, chances are it needs it too. Comfort and security are just as important to newborn development as food and cleanliness. Don’t worry about your little one developing bad habits or becoming spoiled so early. For the first few months, your baby will set their own schedule. Their body knows what it needs for health and happiness. Listen to them and your newborn will grow strong and stable.

Don’t Panic Over Weight Differences

For many women, especially after giving birth, losing weight would be a welcome change. However, when they see that their precious new baby has 2lost weight since birth it can be concerning and you may wonder if something is wrong. Rest assured, this is completely normal. Almost all babies lose some weight and depending on the little one, it can be into their second week before they’re back at their birth weight. Usually, breastfed babies will gain slower as they will be starting on primarily colostrum, a vitamin rich substance full of healthy benefits, until mom’s milk comes in all the way. This trend of 3breastfed babies gaining slower will often continue since breastmilk has more condensed nutrients than formula, so they need less. You may notice a difference in how quickly your little one grows compared to other kids. This is fine. Genetics play a role in this as well, and it doesn’t mean that your little one is malnourished or underdeveloped.

You Can’t Do Everything

There’s an old adage; ‘sleep when baby sleeps’. It’s definitely true. It can be hard to let things go around the house. You’re exhausted, but you don’t want to leave a mess or you just want to finish something. However, baby life is tiring and time consuming. Your little one needs all your attention while they’re awake at first. It can be tempting to tackle other jobs while your little one is napping, after all, they nap a lot. If you do this, you’ll likely reach a point where you’re too tired to deal with anything. You won’t be able to enjoy spending time with that tiny person who has taken over your life. Your baby doesn’t care about some dirty dishes left in the sink or laundry that never gets folded. Your baby wants you to be by their side and that is the highest priority. Babies grow so fast. Let yourself nap while they are so that you both can be rested together and in a much better mood than if you tried to stay awake all day. You can’t do it all. Baby life is a busy life, and those little ones really need round the clock care. There’s no way you can keep your household together at the same time. This is why it’s important to 4rely on others. This could be your partner, or it could be your mother-in-law. Whatever it takes to keep everything afloat and keep you from losing your mind.

Try Different Things

Usually, when someone thinks of a mother feeding her newborn you envision the baby cradled in her arms and held close to her chest. What you might not know is many mothers end up in different positions to perform this task, especially for breastfed babies. Every baby has different preferences and every mother is a different shape. Some have larger breasts and others are smaller. Some may be longer in the torso and others shorter. Trying out different positions to see what works best for you is key to making sure feeding time is the best for both you and your little one. Even while bottle feeding, the position can matter. Don’t just settle one way because it’s what looks right. Find what feels right. It may change as your child grows and becomes more capable of holding themselves up. Being open to adapting will go a long way.

Milestones Are Not Set in Stone

Many new moms will immediately begin to look for all the newborn development milestones and will often worry when their baby seems to be falling behind. Children are individual and each one will reach their developmental stages when they’re ready. There’s 5no evidence that infants who reach milestones early are particularly gifted in any way. They just happened to reach that stage sooner. Don’t push your little one to do something they may not be ready for. That often leads to frustration and can actually slow down their process. There are even situations where what seems like early development may indicate a problem. Unless your doctor says there is a cause for concern, you should allow baby growth to happen naturally and at their own pace.

Taking care of a newborn can be tricky, but it is also one of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences anyone can have. Being open to new ideas and staying in tune with your little one’s needs will make all the difference in how much you are able to enjoy this brief and precious time in your child’s life.

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