Posts tagged “newborn

CONTEST! WIN YOUR FREE COPY!

Enter to win your free copy of Newborn Baby—Tips & Videos

You Could Win!

You Could Win!

‘TIS THE SEASON

In the spirit of giving I would like to give away my book to 6 lucky winners in this easy contest.  There will be 3 eBooks given for iPad, and 3 eBooks for Kindle. The drawings will be held on the last 3 Sundays in December 2013. Odds of winning this weekend Dec. 15th are high with only a couple of days to enter!

PURPOSE

I have been sharing observations, experience, wisdom, and research about newborn babies, and about the experience of having a newborn. Perhaps I’ve missed some things along the way that are important to you. Here is an opportunity for you to share your newborn concerns, questions, requests for more or new information about newborns and newborn care. You may enter as many times as you like.

RULES

Anyone may enter the contest.

You may enter as many times as you like, a different concern or question per entry.

You may give you winning prize as a gift to someone else.

If you have an iPad, start your contest entry with the word iPad for the Apple version of the book.

If you have a Kindle or Kindle Reading Application, start your contest entry with the word Kindle for the Amazon version of the eBook.

Entries will be numbered consecutively as they appear on the website. All iPad entries will be assigned consecutive numbers (1-n) as they appear in the list. All Kindle entries will be assigned consecutive numbers (1-n) as they appear in the list.

Research Randomizer will be used to generate the random winning numbers, one for each group, each week, for a total of 6 winners.

Winners will be posted on Sundays, the day of the drawing.

Each week will start with a new Post to announce the last winner and to request new entries. You may resubmit entries from a prior week, and you may add new entries too.

You will have 2 days to accept your winning eBook. After 11:59 PM on the Tuesday following the Sunday drawing your win will be forfeited if not claimed.

Prizes will be sent via email.

Apple Codes expire 4 weeks after issue.

THAT’S IT!

So jot down all of those questions that have popped into your mind, and go ahead and start entering them here at the end of this blog. Remember to start each entry with iPad or Kindle.

GOOD LUCK!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Note: There were no entries for the first drawing Dec. 15, 2013.


Golden Hour Benefits

The Golden Hour offers benefits for both of you.

Skin to Skin in the Golden Hour

Skin to Skin in the Golden Hour

What Is the Golden Hour?

As you may remember from the last post, the term Golden Hour is used to refer to the time immediately after your baby is born when being in close contact with you is beneficial for both of you. Holding your baby skin to skin is one of the most important parts of this practice that allows a myriad of benefits to unfold.

Special Opportunity

Because your newborn has a sustained period of wakefulness in a quiet-alert state, this hour or so after birth presents the perfect opportunity for bonding, imprinting on each other, and learning about each other to occur. Although other shorter periods of wakefulness will present themselves later, the high levels of oxytocin present right after birth play an important role in establishing, and maintaining, this special bond between you and your baby. Oxytocin acts to lower stress levels for both of you, setting the perfect stage for short and long-term benefits to unfold. Oxytocin generates changes in brain chemistry that increase your desire for nurturing, and creates the desire for further contact for both you and your baby. Dads who have significant contact with their newborns also experience a rise in oxytocin that creates this desire for further contact too. All of this bonding activity is beneficial for your new family, and provides long-term benefits for your baby’s overall health and development.

Benefits

Skin to skin contact makes it easier for your newborn to transition from the womb to the outside world. Research has shown that your baby will be able to regulate heart rate and rhythm more easily, will breathe more regularly and easily, and will be able to maintain a warm body temperature more easily when held skin to skin. These three things are the important measurements of your newborn’s stability and vitality. Scientists first made these observations about the power of skin-to-skin contact in the early 1980s when the practice of Kangaroo Care (mothers holding their premature babies skin to skin) in Bogotá, Colombia more than doubled the survival rate for these pre-term babies. We now know skin-to-skin holding is beneficial for all newborn babies.

Skin to skin contact also encourages successful breastfeeding, but especially during this first hour after birth. Your body chemistry during this Golden Hour promotes more successful letdown and latching, allowing breastfeeding to occur more easily. The same hormones that help you push your baby out also help to release the flow of milk for your baby (letdown). The readily available milk makes feeding more interesting for your newborn. The smell of the milk, the instant gratification, and the calm-alert state work together to help your newborn “figure out” a proper latch for sustained and successful feeding. And for your benefit mom, the combination of skin contact and breastfeeding releases hormones which cause the uterus to contract and to stop bleeding, both of which are desirable outcomes after delivery.

Overall

The Golden Hour with your newborn held skin to skin offers many wonderful benefits. My hope for you is that you both get to have the intimate and amazing experience of sharing this first hour of life together.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour and Your Newborn

Dad Helped Too

Dad Helped Too

What Is the Golden Hour?

Golden Hour is a term used in photography, labor and delivery wards, and in war … and it refers to that small window of opportunity when the action taken, or not taken, directly affects the outcome of an event. Acting quickly with practiced and proven expertise, defined by the circumstances of photography, birth before 32 weeks gestation, or a traumatic injury, significantly increases the probability of a positive outcome. Leaving this small window of opportunity, usually about an hour, to fall by the wayside leads to a less than optimal outcome.

For Your Baby Too

Today, as research documents its benefits, it is becoming the norm rather than the exception to capture the Golden Hour following uncomplicated deliveries of healthy newborns. More and more the expectation is that the first hour of your baby’s life will be spent in close contact with you, one of the most important practices of this golden hour concept, so that you and your newborn can enjoy these benefits too. If needed, medical interventions to save or improve your newborn’s life of course are always performed first, and your baby returned to you as quickly as possible.

Communication

If you would like to have this Golden Hour with your newborn you can start the communication process by talking with your OB/GYN. When you check in to the hospital you can talk with the medical personnel who will be taking care of you. Expressing your wishes verbally, using only positive words to describe what you imagine to be the best possible way for this magical hour to unfold, will bring you more success than writing a list of everything you “don’t want” to happen in a Birth Plan. This suggestion has everything to do with Mother Nature, and nothing to do with hospital personnel. Acknowledging and trusting medical expertise, and talking positively about your desire to have this Golden Hour with your baby, will work wonders to help you realize this dream.

Benefits

A lot happens in the first hour of life as your newborn engages in a play of interactions with the new environment. After the initial crying that brings air into the formerly fluid-filled lungs, your baby typically will transition into a calm alert state, a state of being that is proven to be the perfect state for learning to occur. Being skin to skin with you during this quite alert time adds to the benefits your baby receives. The next post will go more deeply into these benefits, but just know that taking advantage of this Golden Hour, if possible, will provide positive, short and long term, benefits for both of you.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


What’s In a Hug?

Hugs are pretty powerful … let’s take a look.

Hugs are Good

Hugs are Good

Definition

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a hug is “to put your arms around someone especially as a way of showing love or friendship.”

Hopefully you have experienced a hug as defined above, and hopefully you’re fortunate enough to get hugged a lot. And if not, perhaps after reading this you may want to exchange hugs more frequently, every opportunity you get.

Benefits of a Hug

For some insight into the benefits of a hug you can turn to that familiar Kaiser Permanente voice, currently on the radio, talking about hugs as part of their continuing efforts to support you in your quest for health. They say that a hug can lower blood pressure, improve memory, and reduce stress. That’s amazing! And besides that, they say that a hug makes you feel good, and is proven to be good for your overall health. There’s a lot happening when you engage in this simple gesture of wrapping your arms around someone, beyond showing love or friendship.

For Your Baby

So, if a  hug is good for you, you can see that a hug is definitely good for your baby too. Perhaps there is no high blood pressure to lower, but hugging your upset or crying baby will definitely reduce some of the stress of the situation, probably for both of you. And sometimes you might, for no reason at all except that you are so filled with love, just give your baby a hug. A gentle little squeeze with your arms that brings your baby even closer and gives your baby an infusion of your love. Who knows? Perhaps hugging does improve your baby’s memory too!

Hugs Are Powerful

Hugs have the power to improve your overall health and make you feel good, I believe, because they offer an infusion of loving energy combined with human touch. Your baby, a little version of you, is capable of receiving this loving energy too, and can experience the benefits of a hug for improved health and happiness.

Hugs, straight from the heart, can only do you … and your baby … good. You’ll see!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN, BSN


Will You Be Helping Someone Through Labor?

Here is a guide to help you prepare.

Deliver! —A concise guide to helping the woman you love through labor by Julie Dubrouillet and Simon Firth.

Deliver! is an easy read, detailing how you as the supportive Dad (partner, friend, grandparent …) can offer the most productive help throughout the labor process. As labor conditions change, the help you offer will change too.

Gentle guidance is the theme of this book, giving you plenty of room to experiment and modify the support you offer. You will be expertly guided to discover what works best for the two of you, while helping you to create very special memories you’ll share for a lifetime.

As stated in Deliver! “Women who feel they were taken care of, respected and listened to, will typically look back at labor as a positive experience.”

If you’ve been wondering how you can be supportive and involved in this wonderful adventure you’re about to experience, you will find the encouragement and guidance you desire in Deliver!

For more information go to their website

http://www.deliverbooks.wordpress.com.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

 


Ease Your Fears About Having a Newborn

Is it possible to ease your fears about having a newborn?

Newborn Care

Newborn Care

I believe … yes, it is.

Experience Is a Good Teacher

My own experience as a baby nurse allowed me to observe first hand that new parents’ fears were easily quelled and quickly changed to confidence with a newborn care professional by their side. Without fail, demonstrating baby care and sharing tips to make life easier worked miracles for new parents, and for their newborns. With just a little help, happy babies were fed, burped, changed, swaddled, and cuddled with confidence and with ease.

The experience of trying to provide hands-on newborn care for the first few times with a baby professional by their side made all of the difference in the world. Professional support quickly changed fear to confidence and allowed new parents to enjoy having a newborn.

Now You Can Have This Experience Too

Wanting to help ease your fears too by offering this same support to you, and to new parents everywhere, is what prompted the creation of Newborn Baby Manual—Tips & Videos. You can now have a baby nurse by your side 24/7 to provide visual demonstrations of baby care (videos) and share professional tips to make your new life easier.

Repetition

Repetition is the perfect way to learn most anything in life. This guide to newborn care provides that gift of repetition.

You now have the opportunity to learn the important basics of newborn care, even before your baby arrives. Learning tips and techniques in advance can help take the guess work and trial and error out of this new experience ahead of you.

And, having video demonstration at your fingertips can give you the opportunity to reference “Changing Your Baby’s Diaper” for instance, as needed, once you are home alone with your newborn.

Knowing What to Expect

Newborn Baby Manual also provides important information about the first 30 days with your newborn. Learning about your baby’s cues, the perfect design of baby sleep, feeding your baby whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, positively influencing your baby’s body and brain development, and the wonderful benefits your baby care choices can provide, etc. will also help build your confidence about newborn care.

Conversations about these topics happen spontaneously at the bedside when new parents are learning to care for their newborns. Now you can have these same “conversations” before your baby is even born. Having most of your questions answered in advance will help you know what to expect.

Ease Your Fears

Knowing what to expect will ease your fears.

Understanding your newborn will ease your fears.

Practicing newborn care tips and techniques will ease your fears.

The Unknown

There is always the element of the unknown that is part of any new experience … and with it may come a fear of the unknown. But, I believe that the support provided in Newborn Baby Manual will ease your fear of having a newborn, and will allow you to truly enjoy this new experience, starting on Day 1.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Your Baby’s Language

Yes … your baby has a language!

Newborn Attention Looking

Baby Talk

Your baby’s language is composed of coos, cries, and body gestures universal to all babies, no matter where you are in the world. This means that your baby can “talk” to you in a language you can learn and understand.

Coos

When your baby is happy you may hear coos and babble, particularly if you initiate the “conversation” and engage your baby. Your happy, awake, newborn is capable of being engaged and paying attention. You should try it!

Cries

Crying is the sound your baby makes when something is wrong. Since your baby cannot right the wrong alone, your baby is “asking you” for help.  Not only that, but your baby makes different crying sounds in response to the different things that could be wrong. The pain cry, familiar to all of us because it sounds the same no matter the age, sounds different than the hunger cry, or the discomfort cry. You will easily learn to recognize the differences as you pay attention to your baby. The gift of repetition will enhance your learning too!

Body Gestures

Your baby also has a set of body gestures, or cues, that help you understand what your baby wants and needs. These cues usually precede crying. Learning to recognize your baby’s body language cues will help you offer food, comfort, a dry diaper, or soothing care for sleep without the need for your baby to cry. Frequent holding, wearing your baby, staring at your little miracle of life, and paying attention to your newborn’s behavior will help you learn everything you need.

For Example

One body language cue that you will quickly learn to recognize in your newborn is the rooting cue demonstrated by two-week old Vanessa in the earlier post

“How Do I Know If My Newborn Is Hungry?”

 Rooting tells you your baby is hungry … and can happen any time!

Learning your baby’s language is not as difficult as it sounds. Your baby is a good teacher. And, as mentioned above, the gift of repetition is very helpful. It’s so rewarding when you figure it out … and I have no doubt that you will!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


How to Wake a Sleeping Baby

You might ask, “Why would I want to wake my sleeping baby?”

Talk to Your Sleeping Baby

Talk to Your Sleeping Baby

Wake My Baby?

The most common example of when you will need to interact with your sleeping baby is when you have arrived at your destination and your baby has fallen asleep in the car seat.

Wake Without Startling

There is an easy tip that will help your baby wake without being startled. A startled baby usually cries. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Works Like Magic

From the first time you take your newborn out of a car seat you can make the transition easy for both of you. The seemingly magic tip is to start talking to your baby before you touch your baby. A baby in light sleep will hear your voice before coming awake. Your familiar voice, and the calm way you are speaking to your baby, will both be very reassuring. It just takes a second or two of hearing your voice to reach your baby’s awareness. That awareness of your presence is reassuring, and your baby can be unfastened and picked up with ease.

Does Cell Phone Talking Count?

The sound of your voice seems to make a difference in the response you get from your baby. When you actually talk to your baby, your voice is more intimate, and the focus is on your baby. Talking on a cell phone will still be your voice, but who knows what the tone of the conversation might be. Your baby has no reason to respond to a conversation you are having with someone else. So, for an easier and happier life for both of you, simply talk to your baby. “Here we are SweetPea” may be all the magic you need.

Staying Asleep

As your baby becomes used to this reassuring routine you will sometimes be able to make the transition from car seat to front-pack carrier while your baby stays asleep. This usually happens when your baby is in deep sleep. Once transferred your baby should settle easily in the carrier, snuggled safe and warm next to you, and return to blissful sleep.

Happy Baby

Any time you need to interact with your sleeping baby you will have a happier baby if you talk to your baby before touching your baby. It’s one of the easier baby care practices that gives you lots of happy returns.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Can’t Stop Staring at Your Newborn?

The natural response to newborn babies is to stop and stare in wonder.

Your Captivating Newborn

Your Captivating Newborn

Whether your newborn is asleep or awake you’ll find you can hardly take your eyes off of your new baby. You’ll catch yourself staring at your newborn for long stretches of time without even realizing it. Your new baby is captivating, and rightly so! Perhaps this natural response serves a purpose, another clever design by Mother Nature.

Perhaps this purpose, other than the sheer pleasure it gives you, is to help you learn your baby’s cues. Recognizing body-language cues will help you learn about your baby. Being able to “read”  your baby’s behavior will help you know what your baby wants and will be very beneficial time and time again.

One baby cue that you’ve probably already discovered is the body-language cue called rooting.

Rooting consists of head turning to the side with mouth open as if “looking for something,” flailing hands, and an effort to suck on those flailing hands as coordination allows.

Rooting is an early cue (before crying) that “tells you” your baby is hungry.

Staring at your baby comes naturally. And learning your baby’s cues can come naturally to you too.

With the gift of repetition, and the unique message attached to each baby cue, you’ll soon be able to say … “When my baby does this ____it means this ____.”

So enjoy staring at your baby, as often as you can. It’s good for both of you.

 For you and yours,

 D. Fravert, RN


New Baby New Emotions

Having a new baby awakens new emotions.

That First Night

That First Night

Emotions

Although everyone’s experience is different, most every new mother feels her emotions are overwhelming at some time in the days to weeks following childbirth. A combination of hormones, fatigue, and the desire to do your best with the little experience you have as a first time mom all play together and can throw your life out of proportion at times. Just knowing this common experience is both normal and possible may be helpful for you. Here are some examples.

Responsibility

That first night after giving birth, as you realize there is no going back, an overwhelming sense of responsibility may engulf you. Your life has changed dramatically. Not that you really want to go back to the way things were, but the “24-hourness” of having a baby is no longer a general concept, but is now your reality. Suddenly you have a tiny person totally dependent on you. It can feel overwhelming.

Let Them Help

This overwhelming sense of responsibility may make you feel that you alone must do the work of caring for your baby. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You may have family and friends willing to help you. They know they will never change as many diapers as you will during your baby’s diaper stage, and a few now and then are just part of sharing your baby. Letting someone help you requires trust, and the person who helps is aware of the gift.

Inconvenience

Your overwhelming emotions may make you feel that your baby somehow is an inconvenience to others around you, particularly when your newborn is unhappy and letting everyone know. I assure you that those around you choose you and your baby and delight in the time together no matter what. Your baby is just being a baby, not an inconvenience, something your family and friends (whose emotions are not running rampant) already know.

It Gets Better

Taking the moments as they come, and giving your best in those moments, will help you through these emotional times. And, when the opportunity presents itself, letting someone help you will be beneficial for all three of you. As you become more experienced, and as your helpers prove trustworthy, you will be able to feel more relaxed, and not so easily overwhelmed, allowing you to truly enjoy this new adventure. Little by little, it gets better.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Dressing Your Newborn: How Many Layers?

Deciding how to dress your newborn can be challenging at first.

How to Know if Your Baby is Warm

How to Know if Your Baby is Warm

How Many Layers?

There is a simple rule of thumb that you may find extremely helpful when wondering how many layers to put on your baby. That rule is, put one more layer of clothing on your baby than you put on yourself. For example, if you need long sleeves and long pants to stay comfortably warm, your baby needs long sleeves, long pants, and a sweater or blanket.

A Word of Caution

If you’re a new mom, you might want to use someone else as your guide to comfortable warmth. Some new moms experience an increase in body temperature for awhile after birth related to their pregnancy hormones. You may be warm in a tank top in the middle of winter!

How Do I Know If My Baby Is Warm?

The one-more-layer rule of thumb is a baseline guide. To be sure your baby is warm you can touch the back of your baby’s neck. If the skin is warm and dry, your baby is dressed perfectly. Yay!

If the skin is warm, but damp, your baby is too warm. When this happens the clothing next to your baby’s skin gets damp too. Therefore you should change all of your baby’s clothes and eliminate one layer of clothing or blanket.

Finally, if you touch the back of your baby’s neck and the skin feels cool, you should add a blanket or another layer of clothing, including a hat and socks.

Temperature Check

Anytime you use this quick check for warmth and your baby feels too warm or too cool you are advised to do a follow-up check with a thermometer. Your baby may be just fine, but you need to know.

AAP Guidelines

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) or below 97 degrees F (36.1 degrees C) may be of concern and requires a call to your baby’s doctor.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Tips for Changing Baby’s Clothes

Here are a few tips for changing your baby’s clothes to make it easier for both of you.

From "Changing Baby's Clothes" Video

Changing Baby’s Clothes

Two Hands Are Better Than One

If your baby is lying down while you’re changing the clothes, not only will you have both hands free for manipulating arms into sleeves for instance, but your baby will be safer in the process.

Change the Diaper First

It’s smart to change the diaper first. Putting clean clothes on your baby when the diaper is dirty is definitely tempting Fate. It’s usually when you’re running late that whatever mess is in that dirty diaper escapes onto the clean clothes before you get to the diaper change. That puts you back to where you started … changing your baby’s clothes. This tip will save you time, laundry, and frustration.

Make a Big Hole

When dressing your baby in clothing that goes over the head, here’s a tip that protects your baby’s face and ears. First gather the clothing in a ring so that it makes a big hole formed by the neckline and the bottom opening gathered close together.

Slip the clothing over your baby’s head by putting the ring under the back of the head first, then slip the large opening over your baby’s face, clearing the face and ears.

Taking clothing off over the head is just the opposite. First take your baby’s arms out of the clothing, one at a time, and gather the clothing around your baby’s neckline. Make a big hole to first clear the face and ears. Then gently lift your baby to remove the clothing from the back of the head.

This tip will make dressing and undressing your newborn, your baby, your toddler, and child much easier for you and more comfortable for your baby.

Socks Are Really Good

Warmth is vital to maintaining your newborn baby’s health. Warm feet help to warm your baby to the core. Socks provide an extra level of comfort that promotes sleeping, feeding, and all of the things your baby needs to do to grow and thrive. Socks are really good.

How Many Layers

The Post “Dressing Your Newborn: How Many Layers?” (click here) will provide tips to help you know if your baby is warm enough, and tips to help you figure out the number of layers your baby needs.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Watch 5-week old Baby Vanessa in a video demonstration of these tips in the ebook Newborn Baby Manual.


The Magic of Attention

Paying attention to your newborn makes baby care magic.

Attention is Magic

Attention is Magic

This mom is showering her newborn with undivided attention … and her newborn is paying attention right back. They both are offering human touch to focus even more intently.

Interacting with your newborn with your full attention sends an important message to your baby.

Attention teaches your newborn to trust in you. Trust is the foundation from which independence, self-confidence, and optimism develop.

Attention allows you to provide consistent, reliable baby care … the care that is proven to promote overall healthy development.

The simple act of paying attention to your baby lays the foundation for success in your newborn’s future … like magic.

 For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


The Magic of Love

Love makes baby care magic.

The Magic of Love

The Magic of Love

Love is the primary building block that permeates intentional baby care. As you remember, intentional baby care is the phenomenal care you give to your newborn (or baby or child) when you intentionally fill your care with attention, love, and human touch.

Love has a powerful influence on the person receiving the love … no matter the age …like magic.

Love is the bridge between you and your newborn that allows the magic to happen.

Confidence, trust, and self-worth develop in your newborn in the presence of love.

Love makes baby care easier and more fun … for both of you.

Love expands within you when you give it away.

Loving baby care makes both of you happy.

You can choose intentional baby care … and watch an amazing human being unfold.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


The Magic of Human Touch

Human Touch Makes Baby Care Magic

Human Touch Benefits Newborn

Human Touch Creates Magic

Holding your baby, wearing your baby, stroking your baby’s downy head and tender skin are ways you can provide loving human touch in your baby care.

Intentionally touching your baby is beneficial for your baby because it promotes healthy growth and development, both mentally and physically.

When you provide abundant human touch for your newborn you are giving your baby the long-term gifts of:

self-confidence

independence (less clingy)

healthy emotional development (less aggressive behavior)

healthy body development (newborns held skin to skin regulate breathing and heart rate better, maintain normal body temperature better, and have fewer infections)

Abundant human touch in baby care is proven to have a positive influence … like magic.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


The Power of Human Touch in Baby Care

The power of human touch is life affirming.

Kangaroo Care with Intentional Baby Care

We know from historical events that babies deprived of human touch will not survive for very long. Here is a more recent event that again demonstrates the power of human touch for newborns.

In 2010 in Sidney, Australia, a premature twin boy was pronounced dead shortly after birth, unable to survive despite medical efforts to save him. My heart goes out to anyone who loses a baby.

The mother of this newborn held him snuggled on her chest in Kangaroo Care, a special way of holding premies and newborns skin to skin, to say her farewell. She was talking to him, loving him, and gently touching him as a mother naturally does with her baby. Incredulous as it sounds, this premature baby, pronounced dead at birth, started to move.

Not sure if it was just a reflex or true movement the mom continued to hold her son, and continued to shower him with her love, attention, and touch.

The combination of human touch (provided by the special skin-to-skin connection as well as her gentle caresses) her love, and her attention gave her newborn life!

Kangaroo Care, and abundant human touch, are within your ability to give to your newborn baby too. Both are powerful forces that bring a world of goodness to your baby, and a world of happiness to you.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Having a Baby

What does it really mean to have a baby?

Newborn Babies

When you have a baby, if you think about it, you don’t just have “a baby” but you truly create another human being, a person who will make a difference, large or small, in our world. This person you create will be a newborn for only 28 days, and will be an infant/baby for only one year. Your baby will be a baby for a very short time.

So the message is this:

Enjoy your newborn, enjoy your baby, while you can.

Take advantage of your baby’s perfect design and carry, hold, and wear your newborn or baby often to reap all of the wonderful benefits available to both of you.

Pay attention to your newborn and to your baby.

Provide an abundance of human touch, love, and attention (intentional baby care) at every opportunity.

Intentional baby care is proven to help you nurture a capable, independent, self-confident, loving, trusting, optimistic human being … starting from Day 1.

Having a baby means you have the power to make baby care choices that can make a world of difference, literally.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Being Born is Challenging

newborn baby in hospital

A Few Hours Old

Challenges

An awareness of the challenges your newborn faces at birth when transitioning from the warm, fluid environment of the womb to the cooler, dry environment of our world helps you understand what your baby’s doctor and nurse are looking for when they examine your newborn. Here are the three main events that will be new challenges for your newborn to experience once outside the womb.

1: Breathing

The majority of term babies easily transition to breathing on their own. You can tell the newborn in the picture is breathing easily by her relaxed facial expression and pink lips.

Some babies may need a little help in the form of suction or oxygen before they can breathe on their own. And some babies require no additional help at all. Certainly the vast majority of term newborns make this transition to breathing on their own very easily.

2: Regulating Body Temperature

Most term newborns can regulate their body temperature shortly after birth too. Regulating temperature means that whenever you change your baby’s diaper or clothing, your newborn will quickly return to a normal body temperature once dressed and swaddled.

If your baby needs a little help to keep warm, the most common intervention in the hospital is to place your newborn in a warm protective environment called an incubator. This will help your baby stay warm while “learning” to regulate body temperature.

3: Eating Well

Before going home, you and your baby as a team should be able to demonstrate successful feeding resulting in minimal weight loss for your baby. No worries. You will have lots of opportunity to learn about feeding. Your new baby will want to eat frequently.

In fact, for about an hour after delivery your baby will be alert, and will usually be interested in feeding. Professionally, this first hour after delivery is considered to be a very special time to offer that first feeding. So, if at all possible, you should try to feed your baby right after delivery. It’s really good for both of you.

Summary

Although breathing, keeping warm, and feeding are challenges every newborn faces at birth, the vast majority of healthy term newborns master these challenges quite easily. Thank you Mother Nature! As your baby’s doctor and nurse examine your newborn they should share your baby’s progress with you and discuss your plan for going home. To keep the exchange of information flowing, just ask.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Your Newborn: How Power Napping Helps You

Power napping gives you increased energy for newborn care.

power napping

Power Napping

Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps

The most common advice given to new parents is to sleep when your baby sleeps. If you’re not used to sleeping during the day, you might think this advice is absurd. But perhaps think of sleep in terms of power napping. Power napping offers tremendous benefits.

Benefits

Research has shown that the power of napping is positive for your health of mind and body. Napping for 20 minutes or so in the middle of the day allows your brain to rest and regroup. Power napping gives you renewed energy to complete your day, not just a boost in energy for the task at hand. That alone is worth the few minutes of rest.

But there are even more benefits, including stress reduction, heart protection, ability to focus, improved memory, improved performance, greater endurance, and more patience, Now I wonder, why aren’t we doing this in America on a regular basis?

Am I Just Being Lazy?

In order to fully enjoy power napping let’s also address the psychological baggage sometimes attached to daytime sleep, namely that you might appear lazy. Remember, not all societies feel this way. But if it’s your thought, perhaps this will help.

You might think of napping as a form of meditation, a tool for letting your thoughts come and go without paying too much attention to them, to clear your mind and rejuvenate your brain while relaxing your body.

Or you might think about napping like this. Since it’s clearly expected for you as a new parent to be awake in the middle of the night to care for your baby, it should also be clearly expected for you to power nap in the middle of the day so you can, again, care for your baby.

It’s a Gift

As a new parent you’ll find that if you rest, even a little, while your baby is sleeping, you will have more energy to deal with the awake times, more patience, more efficiency, and more understanding of this new relationship. You are going to give your all anyway, so why not build up your stores to make it possible for you to give more easily?

Consider indulging in this gift that brings you more basic happiness … power napping.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


NEWBORN BABY MANUAL

Now babies come with instructions too! 

New Book Cover Art for WP jpeg300pxEverything you need to provide exceptional newborn care and raise an amazing human being is at your fingertips … literally. This multi-touch ebook offers delightful how-to baby care video demonstrations to show you how to change your baby’s diaper, how to give your newborn a bath, how to trim those tiny nails, and so much more.

“Taking Your Baby Home” helps you know what to expect and what to pack for your first days together.

“Learning About Your Baby” teaches you how to read your baby’s cues, how to have a smarter baby, the benefits of babywearing, the perfect design of baby sleep, etc.

“Tips” offers 65 pages of nothing but practical tips for swaddling, holding, bathing, feeding, changing diapers and clothes, etc.

“Health, Safety & Education” provides peace of mind as you learn about hand washing, preventing falls, fever, when to call the doctor, and more.

“Most Important” teaches you about intentional baby care and the amazing benefits for your newborn, present and future.

Gentle guidance, encouragement, and support fill these 160 pages, giving you confidence and peace of mind.

Having a baby nurse demonstrate baby care and provide answers to your questions 24/7 is extremely helpful in these early days of learning about your newborn. Newborn Baby Manual offers you that opportunity.

The post “Look Inside Newborn Baby Manual” provides a detailed Table of Contents and  complete list of Baby Care Videos for this newborn care instruction manual. You can download Newborn Baby Manual on your iPad or Kindle.

Praise for Newborn Baby Manual …

“I absolutely loved the book. It is personal, yet factual, and supported by science. The step-by-step instruction along with the video tutorials make it easy for new parents to learn….”

Denise Malig, RN, BSN, baby nurse, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford

“We are loving the book, thank you! There is a wealth of information in this guide to newborn care. My husband and I are going through it together. Very helpful! I’ll definitely be telling my friends about it!”

Cara Bailey, first-time mom in third trimester, due May 2013

“….they say “Babies don’t come with an instruction manual.” Well, here it is! This book gives clear, concise information about everything newborn. All of the topics are easy to understand. The videos are so detailed you will feel like you brought your nurse home from the hospital!”

Ana Sanchez, RN III, baby nurse, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford


Babies: The Simple Design

 Here’s a little insight into the simple design of your baby.

 

newborn baby sleeping

Sleeping Peacefully

Babies Sleep When They Are Tired

Unlike adults who push themselves to stay awake to get things done, your baby will happily go to sleep when sleepy. Your baby is most successful at falling asleep when warm, dry, fed, burped, and held. About 20 minutes after falling asleep your baby should be in deep sleep. Deep sleep allows you to transfer your baby to another sleeping place if necessary, without fear of waking your baby. It’s a perfect design.

Babies Eat When They Are Hungry

Like adults your baby will eat in response to hunger. Unlike adults your baby will not eat (or overeat) because of stress, boredom, or a clever commercial. Babies eat because they are hungry, and they stop when they are full. It’s that simple.

Babies Cry For A Reason

Having a baby that cries occasionally is expected, but did you know that your baby isn’t just crying at random? Something will cause your baby to cry, such as pain, hunger, or discomfort of some kind. Pain, hunger, and discomfort are problems your baby cannot solve alone. Your baby is “asking” you, in the baby language of crying, to help solve the problem.

Keeping your baby’s simple design in mind provides benefits for both of you, present and future. Honoring your baby’s design is a measure of respect.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Tips: Newborn Diaper Change

Here are a few diaper-change tips to help you feel more confident and to save you time, worry, and laundry.

Changing newborn diaper

Diaper Change

Gather Supplies First

When planning to change your newborn’s diaper, grab all of the supplies you will need before you begin. Having everything organized within easy reach before you get your newborn makes it easier, and safer, for your baby.

The List

Suggested list: (1) a waterproof changing pad, to keep the bed linen or changing table clean, and/or to provide a protective surface for your baby when out and about, (2) two diapers, giving you an extra one just in case, (3) unlimited wipes, (4) a place to put the dirty wipes and diaper as you go along, and (5) a change of clothing within reach (always wise). When using cloth diapers you will also need your favorite type of fasteners and a waterproof diaper cover.

Pictures Go In The Front

Disposable diapers have a cute little design across the front to assist you in determining the front versus the back. It is possible to put diapers on backward, but they do not fit as well and may possibly leak.

Laundry Saving Tip

Even before you unfasten your baby’s dirty diaper, place a clean opened diaper under your baby. This new diaper may catch any stray stool or urine, and the outer plastic lining helps keep the changing pad or bed linen clean. This tip may save you loads of laundry! And if the safety diaper doesn’t get soiled during changing, it’s already in place for you to use.

Remove Booties and Socks

Babies squirm and kick during diaper changing, and it’s easy to lose your grip on one, if not both, active feet during cleaning. For sure the booties will be a mess before you can mange to grab those tiny feet again! It’s easier to remove the booties before you start, wipe clean a bare foot that strayed into the mess, and then replace the dry clean booties.

Fold Tabs Back On Themselves

Disposable diaper tabs are sticky, and not only do they stick great on the diaper, but they stick great on your newborn’s skin too. So when you’re removing the dirty diaper, take time to fold the tabs back on themselves. If you forget this little step, you will feel really bad when you have to remove the tab from your baby’s tender skin. This unfortunately is the voice of experience.

Built-In Diaper Safety Lock

The top front and top back of disposable diapers have a thin plastic border. When folded in toward your baby this border locks in the stool and urine, preventing it from wicking out of the diaper onto the clothes. Warm dry clothes keep your baby happier and reduce your laundry load. This clever detail works well if you take care to use it.

Always Wash Your Hands

The germs that live in the intestines are very happy there. These germs may easily get on your hands during a diaper change, and may wreak havoc if transferred hand to mouth. When you change a dirty diaper, and then eat or prepare food without washing your hands first, you and others may get sick from eating the contaminated food. Washing your hands after every diaper change is a very good habit to develop to protect your family and those around you.

Hopefully these inside tips will increase your confidence, save you a bit of laundry, and make changing your newborn’s diaper easier.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Benefits of Babywearing

Babywearing benefits both of you.

newborn baby wearing

Wearing Your Baby

Happy Baby

Holding your newborn is a way to give your baby many gifts, happiness being one of them. Wearing your newborn is holding sustained and magnified. You’ll soon discover that the secret to a happy baby is to wear your baby.

Less Crying

Research has shown that babies who are worn cry less than babies who are not held or worn. If less crying is part of the definition of a happy baby, and who could argue with that, then wearing your baby is definitely a valuable key to happiness.

Promotes Development

Studies have also shown that the movement your baby experiences helps to increase balance and muscle tone for your newborn, developing your baby’s motor skills and coordination. These are wonderful gifts to give your baby.

Safe Environment

Wearing your newborn offers the advantage of keeping your baby close to you, making it easier to protect your baby from strangers, and easier to share your baby with those you choose. Always wear your baby facing you.

Quality Sleep

Wearing your newborn provides the perfect place for your baby to fall asleep as needed, rocked by the rhythm of your life. You may find that your baby will stay asleep longer when snuggled, warm and comfortable, protected and loved, next to you.

Easy Exercise

You’ve probably already thought of the obvious benefits to you that exercise provides. Wearing your baby while going for a walk should not only promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit but should also make walking for exercise more fun!

Convenience

Another obvious benefit is convenience. Crowded places are easy to navigate, and careful use of stairs or escalators eliminates the trek to find the elevator. Your hands are free to browse your favorite section of the book store, to choose the freshest fruit at the farmers’ market, or to text a friend, all the while knowing your baby is safe even if you’re a little distracted by the details of your adventures.

Enjoy wearing your baby. It’s wonderful for both of you!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


The Football Hold

The football hold may come in handy in several situations.

Newborn Football Hold

Stop and Stare

Football Hold

There’s a way to hold your baby cradled “like a football” that allows you to have one hand free to accomplish other necessary tasks. This hold is appropriately named the football hold.

Stop And Stare

There will be times when you just can’t get enough of your newborn. You want to stop and stare in wonder at the miracle you have created.

In this picture mom has her left hand positioned perfectly for the football hold, supporting her baby’s head, neck, and back. To complete the football hold mom would simply shift her baby to her left side. Braced securely against her side, mom would now  have her right hand free to play with tiny fingers or stroke her baby’s downy head. Precious moments like these can easily be yours too.

You may find this hold very useful many times throughout your day. For example …

Bathing

When bathing your newborn, your baby will be happier if you wash the face and body first, and save the hair wash for last. Swaddle your clean, diapered baby in a dry towel and use the football hold to wash the hair. The water and bubbles naturally fall away from your baby’s face, adding to your newborn’s comfort. Your baby should feel warm and secure next to you, making hair washing more enjoyable.

Breastfeeding

If you choose to breastfeed your baby there may be times when the football hold will be beneficial. When you cradle your newborn across your body for feeding, you are supporting your baby’s head, neck, and back with the same hand and arm position you would use for the football hold. When you are ready to switch your baby to the opposite breast for continued feeding, keep your hand and arm in place to support your baby and simply slide your baby across your body. Your baby will now be settled at your side. Sometimes this easy move helps to keep your baby interested and successfully breastfeeding.

Soon enough the football hold will become a comfortable way to hold your baby in many situations throughout your day. You’ll see!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN