Caring for Your Baby

What to do, and what not to do when caring for your baby.

Be a Professional Mother

Professional mothers are full-time mothers who approach their work with the same passion and dedication that other top-flight professionals devote to being engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. If you are a full-time mother, you are a member of the oldest and most honorable profession in the world. If you are not able to be home full-time, it is even more important to adopt the same discipline of the full-time professional mother. When you are with your baby, put out a “Mother At Work— Do Not Disturb” sign. In other words, plan to be alone with your baby and don’t answer your phone. You have the most important job in the world— protect it.

Be Consistent

The most frequent advice we hear from mothers is to be consistent. Whatever a mother decides to do with her baby, she should do it every day. The baby will need and want stimulation every day. His need for stimulation and opportunity does not go away on Saturday or Sunday or even on holidays. Babies do best on a regular routine. It is good for the baby to know what is expected of him. A new mother will also benefit from a predictable schedule. This cuts down on a lot of wasted stopping and starting. When the mother and baby have a predictable schedule, they will work together as a team very well.

Be Flexible

As soon as you make a schedule, real life will intervene and turn your schedule upside down. Be prepared for this by having alternative plans for when your ideal schedule is put aside by some pressing problem or change. But make sure that the problem or disruption is legitimate. Don’t let anything frivolous change your priority to give your baby stimulation and opportunity.

Put Housework on Hold

We all know the old expression “a mother’s work is never done.” It’s not only old but it is true. The house is a big part of this work; it is always screaming for attention. As a Mom, you must come to terms that once the new baby arrives, you can not have as perfect a household as you did before the baby. The baby is simply more important than a perfect house. Dishes, beds and cleaning must take a backseat to baby. The household should be left for last, and whenever possible, divided between mother, father and older siblings.

Stay Home

In the first eight weeks of the newborn’s life, it is best to stay home as much as possible. It will be very hard to maintain the daily routine if the mother has to do a lot of coming and going.

Every time the baby is taken out of his home, he must work very hard to orient himself to the new environment. The result is that he will easily become exhausted and will sleep a great deal. Of course, the baby should sleep if he is tired, but babies who are constantly taken out of their home environment will end up sleeping more than babies who are home.

Travel is also quite tiring to a new parent. At this stage, it is better for a mother to batten down the hatches and make sure she has what she needs. During these early weeks, it is best for fathers, grandparents or friends to do the errands that need to be done.

Eat Properly

Moms are usually very careful about what they eat while they are pregnant, but they can be quite careless of their own nutrition once the baby is born. She needs fewer calories now, but a nursing mother’s nutritional needs are tremendous. Regardless of whether she is nursing or not, it is very important that a Mom eats fresh, wholesome foods at regular intervals. This will help her to maintain excellent health and have the energy she needs to keep up with the baby.

Get Enough Sleep

A new mother never gets enough sleep. In fact, mothers of tiny babies live in a state of exhaustion. After a while, a mother is numbed by her chronic fatigue so that she is no longer even aware of it.

Mothers should take great care to get more sleep, and should nap whenever the baby naps. At night when the baby wakes up to be fed, they should feed the baby and immediately put him back down to sleep. A father would be wise to jump in to make sure she gets more sleep.

A Big Adjustment

The change that takes place in the body after delivery is dramatic. Hormones are powerful. It is a rare person who does not experience a significant alteration of energy or mood or both after the birth of her baby. You may feel a heightened sense of exhilaration and energy at one end of the spectrum to a full depression at the other end.

Oddly, this is an entirely understandable and predictable change, and a well-kept secret. New mothers often have no idea of what to expect or to expect anything at all. When a mother finds herself feeling strange and out of sorts at just the moment when she needs to be at her best, she is doubly distressed. After all, she is supposed to be overjoyed to have her baby. She now has a huge new responsibility and there is a lot to do. All of a sudden, she is frightened and overwhelmed. A few days earlier she was in top form. If a mother does not know to expect this change, she may be too upset to talk to anyone about it. This change may last a few days, or a few weeks or a few months. If you are not feeling well after the birth of the baby, don’t wait it out. Talk to your mother, talk to your aunt or talk to your best friend who already has three children. Talk to the person you respect and trust most in the world, but communicate immediately what is going on. Then find effective help from the source that you trust and respect most. You need to be fully in command of yourself and feeling great again as soon as possible.