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New parents feel excited_ tired_ and nervous


									New parents                                                                         What it’s like to be a
feel excited,                                                                            newborn
tired, and                                                                          I need someone to love me, feed

nervous.                                                                            me, hold me, and play with me.
                                                                                    I like to feel warm, but not hot.
Do you sometimes feel you                                                           Watch for these signs that I’m too
will never sleep through the                                                        warm: sweating, damp hair, flushed
night again? Are you a little                                                       cheeks, heat rash, rapid breathing.
nervous about taking care of                                                        I don’t like lots of noise.
this helpless and demanding                                                         I like to be held gently and very
baby? Do you feel tired, but                                                        close.
excited too? If you answer                                                          I like to sleep a lot.
yes to any of these questions,                                                      I am hungry every few hours.
then you are like most                                                              I may be fussy and cry a lot.
                                                                                    I am usually red and wrinkly.
                                                                                    My head is large and my arms and
There are many changes that take place and new things to learn when you
                                                                                    legs are short.
become a parent. There will be good times and bad times and you and your
                                                                                    When you hold me, place your arm
baby will survive them all.
                                                                                    under my neck to help support my
Some fathers feel shy about touching and holding their new baby. Others are
                                                                                    I keep my arms and legs curled up
willing to try even if they feel like they don’t know exactly what they’re doing.
                                                                                    and my fists closed.
Knowing how to care for a baby takes time and practice. Dads, give yourself a
                                                                                    My skin may be flaky.
chance. Pretty soon you will feel like you’ve been a father your whole life.
Newborns can
already see, hear,
taste, and smell.
Newborns can see shortly after
    They see best when objects are
    about 8 inches away from their
                                             Press on the palm of your baby’s
    They enjoy looking at adults.
                                             hand and watch for her hand to
                                                                                    What it’s like
    Newborns can see black and white         Press on the ball of the foot and
                                                                                   to be a preemie
    and bright colors — like red and         watch for her toes to flex.           If your baby was born before the
    yellow.                                                                        full 9 months of pregnancy, he is
                                          Newborns get used to what                considered a premature baby.
Newborns can hear.                        happens in their lives.
                                                                                   Premature babies catch up on their
    They react to sounds by blinking         They learn not to wake up to          development, but are a little differ-
    their eyes, waking from sleep, cry-      sounds that happen regularly.         ent than full term babies.
    ing, or moving their whole body.
                                             They stop paying attention to            My skin may be almost
    They like hearing a human voice          something that happens over              transparent and may change
    and will move in rhythm to talking       and over again. They will pay            in color.
    or singing.                              attention to new things.
                                                                                      I may be a little floppy because
Newborns can taste and smell.
                                                                                      my muscles are not developed.
    They like warm things better than
                                                                                      I may be covered with a thin
    cold ones.
                                          Schedule baby’s                             layer of hair.
    They can recognize your smell.
                                          1 week check-                               My outer ear may not be fully
Newborns are born with
reflexes.                                 up.                                         developed.
                                                                                      I will look more like a full-term
    Reflexes are behaviors that help                                                  baby when I am 40 weeks old
                                          Be sure your baby has the second
    babies survive and learn. Look for                                                from the time the pregnancy
                                          newborn screening test. The first test
    these reflexes in your baby. If you                                               began.
                                          was given in the hospital before your
    don’t see these reflexes, tell your
                                          baby came home. The second test is          I may not be able to suck, or I
                                          done at the first well baby checkup,        may have trouble sucking and
    Stroke the corner of your baby’s      usually at 1 to 2 weeks of age. Call        swallowing at the same time.
    mouth. She will turn her head to      your clinic or doctor and make
                                                                                      I may not cry very much. When
    root, looking for a nipple.           arrangements to get it done by the
                                                                                      I do cry it has a different sound
    Place a finger or nipple in your      time your baby is 1-2 weeks old.
                                                                                      than a full term baby.
    baby’s mouth. She will suck.


                                                                New parents can stay
                                                                 healthy by eating a
                                                                variety of good foods
                                                                   and exercising.
                                                            New parents need to eat healthy foods so they can stay in
                                                            their best shape to raise their new baby. Each day, eat
                                                            several servings of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and
                                                            calcium-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Cut
                                                            down on fatty foods, sugar, and salt. If you are a breast-
                                                            feeding mom, check the breastfeeding food guide at
                                                            help in planning healthy
                                                            meals. For moms and dads
                                                            who are bottlefeeding, use
                                                            the my pyramid food guide
                                                            planner to help you plan
                                                            healthy meals.


           Couples can develop different styles of
            housekeeping after the baby is born.
Babies bring change, both expected and unexpected.          increased work. Couples are happier when their part-
You may have expected and looked forward to the joy         ners are willing to share the work. Create a plan so that
and love you would feel as a new parent. You may not        each person knows what is expected in keeping up
have expected some of the feelings of stress and dissat-    with household chores.
isfaction that happened when your responsibilities and
routines changed.                                           Allow for different ways of getting household tasks
                                                            done. Your partner may not fold clothes the way you
Babies create more household work. There’s more             do, but try to go with the flow. Sharing tasks and not
laundry, picking up, general cleaning, and errands to do.   worrying about having a picture perfect home will help
Even if you’re happy with who does the different jobs in    you survive the first months of parenthood.
your house, you might have to rethink things due to the

Pick up your crying infant and                                                    Your baby
comfort him.                                                                      learns by
When you respond to your baby’s
cries, you are calming him and teach-
                                          Try holding him and gently
                                          stroking his face or body.
                                                                                  playing with
ing him to trust you. A newborn           Try a variety of positions. Rather
usually cries a total of 2 to 3 hours a   than holding him in your arms
day. Preemies may                                                                 Your baby depends on you to play
                                                      and looking at him, try
cry as much as 6                                      sitting him in your lap     with her. Even at this young age, your
hours a day. Most                                     facing away from            baby will try to tell you that she wants
babies have a                                         you and give him            to play. When she is giving you this
fussy time each                                       your clean finger to        message, be ready to play. The best
day.                                                  suck on.                    time to play is when your baby is
                                                                                  awake and alert. Her eyes will be
                                                         Sometimes babies
It is stressful to                                                                open and bright, her face relaxed and
                                                        find it easier to relax
parents when a                                                                    alert, and her breathing regular. At
                                                        if they are wrapped
baby cries, espe-                                                                 the beginning you must "catch" these
                                                        up or swaddled in a
cially when he                                                                    moments. They don't happen very
                                                        blanket. If you use a
cries for a long                                                                  often and they don't last long.
                                                        blanket, be sure your
time. But it is
                                          baby’s face, nose and mouth are            A baby likes to look at faces. First,
important to answer your baby’s
                                          uncovered — so it is easy to               make eye contact. When the baby
cries. Babies whose parents pick
                                          breathe.                                   looks at you, begin to talk. Say,
them up and comfort them cry less
                                          Take your baby to a quiet, dim             “Look at you. You're gorgeous!”
than babies who are ignored when
they cry.                                 room and try to soothe him for             If your baby continues to look at
                                          about five minutes.                        you, keep talking. If your baby
What can you do to help                   If your baby doesn’t stop crying           stops looking at you and if you
your crying baby?                         and you are frustrated, try putting        want to play some more, try to get
    Check to see if your baby is          him in his crib and letting him cry.       her attention by changing the
    hungry, needs to be burped,           Let him cry for 10 to 20 minutes.          pitch or rhythm of your voice.
    needs a diaper change, or has a       Go out of the room for a moment
                                                                                     Call her by name. When she looks
    temperature and could be ill.         and take some deep breaths.
                                                                                     at you again, make faces, smile,
    Sometimes, infants cry when there     Remember it is not your fault your
                                                                                     and laugh. Remember to stay
    is a lot of noise.                    baby is crying. If you’ve put him
                                                                                     about 8 inches from your baby's
                                          down and he continues to cry,
    Encourage your baby to calm                                                      eyes. This is where she can see
                                          take a deep breath, pick him up,
    down by himself. Help him find                                                   you best.
                                          and try again.
    his thumb or pacifier. Some
    infants calm down to motions          Plan who to ask for help if you get
    such as rocking, walking, or riding   too tired or stressed out.
    in a car or stroller.


Use a car safety                             Newborn                                  Breastfeeding
seat to make                                 babies develop                           is good for you
each ride a safe                             their own                                and your baby.
ride.                                        regular feeding                          Breastfeeding is a nutritious, healthy,

Being in a car safety seat is the only       times.                                   and economical way of feeding your
                                                                                      baby. It can take time for mom and
safe place for an infant when in a car.
                                             Some babies may like to eat every        baby to learn. Nurse whenever your
Always put the infant safety seat in
                                             3 or 4 hours and some prefer eating      baby shows that he is hungry – at
the car's back seat. NEVER put an
                                             more often than that. Newborn            least 8 times a day. Let your baby
infant in a car seat in the front seat.
                                                                                      decide how long each feeding will
If you have an accident,
                                                                                      be. Take your time to feed your baby.
children are safer in the
                                                                                      As you relax and as your baby sucks,
back seat. Most cars have
                                                                                      your milk will flow. Being tense can
front passenger side
                                                                                      slow down the natural flow of milk.
airbags and the force of the
airbags can kill infants and
                                                                                      Be comfortable when you are nursing
small children.
                                                                                      your baby. You can either sit or lie
Infants need to ride in the                                                           down, whichever is more comfortable
back seat – facing the back                                                           for you. Have a place to put the items
window of the car – until                                                             that you will need while you are
they reach at least one year                                                          nursing. Some mothers put these
AND weigh at least 20                                                                 items in a basket; some keep every-
pounds. Some car seats will                                                           thing on a table. Ask for help when
hold children rear-facing                                                             you have questions or concerns about
until they reach 30 or 35 pounds.            babies drink only breast milk or         breastfeeding. A mother–to–mother
More information can be found in the         formula. Keeping track of when your      support group can help answer your
article, Car Safety Seats: A Guide for       baby is hungry may give you an idea      questions. Most hospitals have
Families on the American Academy of          of your baby's feeding pattern. It may   lactation consultants who can help
Pediatrics web site.                         help to write down the times that        you and your baby adjust to
                                             your baby eats for several days to see   breastfeeding. The LaLeche League
Read the installation instructions for       what her pattern of eating is.  is a useful
the car seat. Follow them to properly        Newborns change and grow quickly,        breastfeeding resource.
install the seat in your car. It is recom-   so a flexible but regular schedule is
mended that a nationally certified           best. Remember, your baby may not
Child Passenger Safety Technician            be hungry every time she is fussy.
check your child's safety seat. Call         She may need burping, a diaper
your local highway patrol or fire            change, or may just want to be held.
station for information.

                                                          If you think your
                                                          baby is allergic to
                                                                                Back to sleep!
                                                          the formula, talk
                                                                                Put your baby to sleep on his back
                                                          with your doctor
                                                                                to prevent sudden infant death
                                                          so it can be
                                                          changed. When
                                                          you feed your            Do not use soft bedding – such as
                                                          baby, keep the           waterbeds, soft mattresses, pillows,
                                                          nipple full of           blankets or stuffed animals. Your
                                                          formula so she           baby cannot move them if they
                                                          doesn't swallow          get on his face and he will not be
                                                          air. Hold your baby      able to breathe.
                                                          close with her           Use a firm mattress, and clothe
                                                          head up. Don't           your baby in a one-piece sleeper
                                                          leave your baby          outfit to keep him warm while
Use formula to                         alone with the bottle propped up,
                                       and don't put her to bed with a bottle
                                                                                   The Back to Sleep Campaign
bottle-feed.                           because your baby could choke on
If you have decided to bottle-feed     the milk.
                                                                                   has information on SIDS.
your baby, or if you are unable to
breastfeed, you will use formula.      How much                                 WARNINGS:
Formulas are designed to meet the
nutritional needs of a growing baby.   milk is enough                              Do not cover your child with
                                                                                   blankets. Put him in a one-piece
Discuss with your doctor whether
your baby should have an iron-
                                       for your                                    sleeper outfit to keep him warm.

fortified formula or not.              newborn?                                    Keep the room at a comfortable
                                       Your newborn is getting enough              temperature for an adult.
Formula comes in three different       breast milk or formula if he:               Your baby only needs a crib with a
forms:                                    Wets 6 or more diapers every day         mattress with a fitted sheet.
    powdered                              after 4 days of age.
                                                                                   Never use a pillow.
    concentrated                          Has yellow stools or frequent dark
                                                                                   Do not place an infant on an
                                          stools after 4 days of age.
    ready-to-feed                                                                  adult waterbed. Your child could
                                          Looks and acts satisfied after           suffocate!
Follow instructions carefully. Use a
measuring cup to measure the water        Gains weight and grows longer.
to be mixed into the powdered or          During the first few days of life,
concentrated formulas. Make sure          babies lose some weight, but after
that bottles and nipples are washed       about 10 days, they start gaining
and clean before using.                   weight again and double their
                                          birth weight by 5 months of age.


Talk to someone you
trust if you get the
baby blues.
During the first weeks after your baby is born, you
may feel depressed or find yourself crying for no
reason. This can happen to mothers and fathers,
and may be the let down most of us feel after a
long-awaited event has come and gone. There is
also the worn-down feeling that follows any
sudden change in schedule — like those 2 a.m.
feedings. Many parents have these feelings.

You will recover your energy and good humor.
In the meantime, keep your days as simple as
possible.                                                     Parents need coping
   Only do what you have to do.                               skills when a child is
   Don't expect a great deal of yourself.
                                                              born with a disability.
   Accept help from other people.
   Plan to nap when your baby does.                           In a world where many conditions can be cured, it is hard
   Be flexible.                                               to accept that a baby may have a condition that can be
                                                              treated, but not cured. The news is shocking and brings
When you are having a rough time:                             feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, fear and depression.
                                                              The anger can be directed at those who bring the bad
   Talk to your partner, a family member, or a good friend
                                                              news, such as doctors and nurses. Parents may also be
   about your feelings. It helps to talk with someone close
                                                              angry at family and friends for what they see as a lack of
   to you.
                                                              support and understanding.
   Find groups in your community where parents get
   together to talk and work out solutions to common          Being a new parent is a challenge in itself, but being the
   problems.                                                  parent to a baby with special needs is even more over-
   If nothing seems to help and this goes on for several      whelming! Parents and friends will experience many
   weeks, call your doctor. For some people, medical help     emotions. Emotions are healthy reactions to difficult
   is needed.                                                 situations. These emotions will not disappear. It is
                                                              important that parents accept their feelings and use
                                                              coping skills — such as talking with other parents who
                                                              have been through this — managing stress, and setting
                                                              realistic goals.

Give your new baby a                                            Want to Learn More?
                                                                For more parenting info and updated links, visit
chance to move.                                       

                                                                If you have questions, contact your local Extension office.

 Your baby needs to be placed in a variety of positions to          Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier
 develop strong muscles.                                            or later than described here.
                                                                    This newsletter gives equal space to both sexes. If he
 When your baby is awake, let him have time to lie on his           or she is used, we are talking about all babies.

 back and his stomach.                                          Credits: This newsletter is adapted from Extension Just In
                                                                Time Parenting newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia,
                                                                Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire,
 Let him sit in an infant chair.                                New Mexico and Wisconsin.

 Give him something to look at and soon he will be able to
 lift his chin and then his whole head.

 Let him sit on your lap and against your body, facing out so
 that he can see what is happening in the room.


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