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Bringing Home Baby: Calming Baby, Calming Mommy And Calming Daddy Too

Posted Mar 13 2010 3:49pm

Your newborn goes through a lot before, during and right after birth. Whether the birth was natural or assisted, he/she experiences a great deal of stress as they struggle to cope with the abrupt change in the world as they know it. No wonder he/she is a little out of sorts during those first few weeks.

The first few days at home with baby can be trying, especially for first time parents. Baby is adjusting, mom's adjusting and believe it or not, so to is dad. Everyone is a bundle of nerves. If mom and dad stay calm, however, these simple tips will ease the transition for everyone.

  • Sing and talk to your baby. Babies can hear your voice while still growing in the womb. By the time they are born, the familiarity of that sound has a remarkable calming effect. Talk to them, sing to them your favorite lullaby, and start the process of reading books to them, especially stories that rhyme. This is an activity that fathers can either do to spend quality one-on-one time, or that mom and dad can do together.
  • Make eye contact. While baby’s do not have 20/20 vision at birth, they can see you. By making eye contact with your baby when you talk to or massage them, you are communicating with them, and if you watch their cues, you’ll learn how they communicates with you - and from an early age, they do try to communicate.
  • Touch your baby. It’s a natural and extremely powerful action. Stroke their arms, legs, head, back and tummy. The sensation relaxes both of you and enhances your bonding. If possible, learn about infant massage techniques and incorporate them into your daily routine. Research suggests that simple massage strokes relieve colic and constipation, as well as helping infants to establish regular sleep patterns and form stronger bonds with their parents.
  • Hold your baby close, often. Research shows that keeping your baby close can be good for them. Wearing your baby in a baby sling or carrier keeps them right where they needs to be to thrive. Cuddled next to you, baby feels your warmth and the comforting beat of your heart. The familiar rhythm helps them relax and feel secure.

    Using a baby sling also frees your arms and hands so that you can do a few things around the house, while still enjoying the benefit of snuggling with your baby. And that might help you feel calmer, too.

  • Respond to your baby. It’s that simple. Though crying can be nerve-wracking, it’s the only way your baby has to let you know they need something. They cry when they are hungry; they cry when they are wet; they cry when they hurt or don’t feel well; and they cry when they just don’t know what else to do.

    While this barrage of bawling might make you feel like crying, too, the best thing to do is simply to respond to their need. Pick them up, cuddle them, and try to figure out just what it is they need. Soon you’ll recognize their different cries; their cry for hunger over their pain cry; and be able to soothe them by quickly filling that need.

Worried that you may be spoiling them. Don’t be. Meeting your baby’s needs is not spoiling them. By regularly responding to your newborn, you’re forming a healthy bond that makes them feel secure.

It’s not uncommon for moms ans dads to feel out of sync with their baby in the first few weeks. But communicating your love to them through all their senses goes a long way toward calming those delicate newborn nerves - and it does wonders for mom and dad as well.

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