Archives for November 2011

10 Tips for Creating a Newborn Care Plan

Creating a game plan for caring for your newborn is a smart idea. Knowing what comes next can help quell the anxiety you may feel. Here are a few tips for creating a plan for you and your baby.

  1. Get an early start – Don’t wait until the baby gets here to create your care plan. You will be too busy being a parent to have time to think about what you want to do, and when you aren’t busy, you’ll be resting.
  2. Brainstorm – What things are important to you? How detailed do you need to be with your care plan? Take as much into consideration as you can and write down the things that come to mind. You will sort them out later.
  3. Talk to other parents – Sometimes the best way to figure out what needs to be done is to talk to others who have already been there. Experienced parents are a valuable resource for you, so make sure you tap into their expertise.
  4. Watch videos about newborn care – There are a lot of good videos out there that answer questions and give advice about newborn care. Use these as another resource when creating your care plan. Videos are especially helpful if time is a premium for you.
  5. Read books – If you have time and the inclination, choose a book or two that appeals to you and get some ideas.
  6. Talk to your pediatrician – If you know your baby may have special needs you may want to talk to your doctor and get some guidance for creating your care plan. There may be certain things that you will need to add to your plan to make sure you and your baby are well taken care of.
  7. Prioritize – Once you have gathered enough information you will want to sort it out and prioritize items on your list.
  8. Don’t leave out your needs – It’s easy for mothers to forget that they need care also. When developing your plan, be sure to include your needs as they relate to the baby. You will need to get your rest, so schedule in some time for Dad or someone else to be in charge of baby while you sleep.
  9. Have designated helpers – Figure out who your helpers are going to be and when they will be available; schedule their time on the plan. Get solid commitments from people who offer to help.
  10. Be flexible – Understand that the best laid plans of mice and men (and mommies too!) can go astray. Your care plan is a guide to help you get through the days, and you will find that it will change as time goes on and you get used to being a parent.

Keeping your baby and yourself on a schedule is critical, and coming up with a care plan will help you do just that. It doesn’t need to be strict and set in stone, but it should be something that sets a reasonable routine for you and your family. Settling into a pattern will help you get the rest you need and your baby will learn to expect certain things at certain times, which will make your life easier. Once a routine is established, you will find that everyone is calmer and happier.

10 Things People Leave off of their Newborn Care Checklist

The amount of newborn care equipment on the market is staggering, and can be confusing for first-time parents. Whether it’s the result of a limited budget or simple forgetfulness, there are many items that new moms and dads don’t realize are necessary until they find themselves in need. Here are ten of the things that parents tend to leave off of their newborn care checklist, and may find that they have a need for.

  1. Baby Sling – Parents often choose to forgo a baby sling, thinking that it won’t be useful. Quickly after bringing a newborn home, they find that their hands are always full of baby. Chores go undone as nervous new parents are hesitant to leave a sleeping infant in the next room; opting for a baby sling is a great way to keep your little one with you at all times, but still have use of your arms.
  2. Portable Crib – The collapsible crib/playpen combo is an item that many parents feel they’ll have no use for; with no plans to spend a night away from your newborn, it seems superfluous. However, the convenience of moving the portable crib from room to room as you go about your day is enough to justify the expense. Also, it will prove invaluable in the event of an unexpected need to travel.
  3. Stroller Sack – Buying a stroller can be pricey, and is widely considered a new baby must-have. However, many models don’t come with an attachable stroller sack, which protects tiny babies from chilly wind. Some styles can fit over your stroller and car seat to stretch your budget and the sack’s usefulness.
  4. Hot and Cold Compresses – Because hot and cold compresses for breastfeeding moms aren’t used directly in the care of a newborn, they can be inadvertently left off of a checklist. These items are absolutely necessary, and should be included in your registry or on your checklist.
  5. Infant Swing – When faced with the potentially exorbitant cost of outfitting your home for a new baby, an infant swing can seem like a luxury item. In fact, they’re one of the best ways to soothe a colicky infant.
  6. White Noise Machine – Many parents consider a white noise machine one of the most important weapons in their newborn care arsenal, but they’re easily lost in the shuffle of shopping and registering for shower gifts. These little gems generate a variety of sounds that greatly aid in your newborn’s ability to sleep.
  7. Waterproof Mattress Pad – Your newborn’s mattress is one of the few things that will still prove to be useful into toddlerhood; protecting it from inevitable diaper leaks and spit-ups is as simple as investing in an inexpensive waterproof pad. However, this easily-overlooked item often doesn’t make it onto the list.
  8. Bath Thermometer – In addition to ensuring safe bath water temperatures during infancy, many bath thermometers double as a floating to to keep your little one entertained as they get older.
  9. Washcloths – Towels and clothing are staple baby shower gifts, but washcloths especially for baby may be forgotten. Because fabric items that come into contact with your newborn’s skin need to be washed separately in fragrance-free, specially formulated detergent, it’s a good idea to buy some washcloths just for Baby.
  10. Bulb Syringe – When the need for a bulb syringe presents itself, you’re not likely to have time to run to the store. Add one of these infinitely useful gems to your checklist before baby’s arrival, so you’ll be sure to have one on hand.