Baby and parenthood tips 👶

I have a relative who will have soon a baby.
She’s always telling me that she’s not ready and feels anxious about being a mother.

Do you have some tips that you can share (in real life or from what you’ve seen in dramas, TV shows :slight_smile:)

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Tell her that nobody is ready. You learn along the way.
I can share a couple of things about breastfeeding because I actually went to “school” about those things (a training center for mothers). As a result, I successfully breastfed for two years each child.

BREASTFEEDING DOs and DON’Ts

  1. Breastfeed when the child wants, forget about the clock.
  2. Only one breast at a time. The first milk is thin, and it’s good for hydrating, the last milk is thicker, it has more nutrients. Let the child finish completely one breast.
  3. Never give other liquids like water, chamomile etc.
  4. Never give a pacifier. The breast will do.
  5. For six months, nothing else than breastmilk (you may have to pump some if going back to work). 7th month: substitute one meal for fruit. 8th month: substitute another meal with vegetables. You can grate almonds and put dried raisins in the fruit cream, for iron. Don’t give cereal creams, the baby will become fat and its stomach can’t digest grains that well yet.
    If you are a meat eater, no meat before the 1st year. Also no walnuts, strawberries, chocolate, eggs.
    After 1 year or so, introduce all those other foods. No sugar, ever. You can keep just 1-2 breastfeeding meals, one of them of course before sleeping. And of course any time the child is stressed or needs pacifying. You will not use plastic pacifyers which are bad for gums and for teeth development and become an addiction.

BREASTFEEDING TECHNIQUE (VERY IMPORTANT)

Rest near the end of a sofa or on an armchair, with a pillow on your lap, and put the child on the pillow.
You want to have control on the nipple (where it goes and when) and of the baby’s head.
So, forget about this image, which leaves the baby free to bite you.

Maybe later, when you will both have become “pros”

Latching:
So, with one hand cup your breast from below, with the other hold the child’s head from behind.

This is the best position for the start. The cushion supports the baby and you have both hands free to control what’s going on with the feeding.
Later on, you can change it.
What’s so important about control? Well, you don’t want the baby to bite your nipple. That’s about it, and it’s all-important.
NEVER give him the breast unless he opens his mouth VEEEEERY wide so that he can take the hole aureola, not just the nipple. Otherwise you can expect wounds and you’ll have to stop breastfeeding. Fresh gums can be as sharp as teeth! You can stimulate the baby to open the mouth wider by touching its lips with the nipple (teasing?)
See here. This opening is NOT enough. Naah, little guy, you’ll have to do better than that if you want to drink that milk.

That’s the opening you’re aiming for!

Here’s a drawing to help you visualize it better:

and when it “latches” on:

Later on, when the baby is used to opening the mouth every time, you just have to guide its head with your elbow, so you can do this position.

And many others.

After a few months, you’ll both be so used to it that you will be able to breastfeed in any position, even while hanging from a branch!

HAPPY AND LONG SLEEP
This is the position for the night.
The single best tip I can share is: make yourself a favour and sleep with your child. You can put a wooden fence at the outside of the bed, with a soft padding, then the child outside, you in the middle and your partner on your other side. This way you can have sex without the baby waking up, you can breastfeed without your partner waking up, and almost without you waking up completely. Blissful sleep!

This is the safety rail I’m talking about. But be sure to put some fluffy thing to cushion it. Not pillow.

A SLING
The next and last tip for today: tell the new mom to buy a soft padded sling. For carrying, breastfeeding, everything.
In the next picture, the breast is visible, but for discreet breastfeeding while outside, you can cover the baby’s head and your breast with the sling, and nobody sees anything. You can also carry a very light (almost transparent) cotton shawl to cover even more.

Lastly, the dad can use it too for carrying:

Look on youtube for “ring sling” and you’ll find tons of videos.

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wow irmar, you hit the nail about breastfeeding, there is also la leche league worldwide if a mom needs help. You pointed out good things about feeding and I agree the pacifier is really bad, saying this as a mom of 3.

https://www.llli.org

@piranna although there are many books I think going by good instinct and talking to other mothers and getting the help needed from family to help with laundry and cooking is a good direction, each child is different as well.

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I learned the hard way. My first chld was a biter… I (and many others) owe that good doctor more than can be expressed with words. If blessings have an impact, that lady must live to a hundred years old.

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What I know about it is what I read in books and on the world wide web.
In the Netherlands mothers will receive ‘kraamzorg’ (postnatal care) by a ‘kraamzuster’ ( a nurse specially educated to provide ‘kraamzorg’) Most nurses work with the principles of the 3 R’s: Rust, Reinheid en Regelmaat. (Rest, Cleanliness/Hygiene and Regularity)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraamzorg

The first and second R are pretty self-explanatory, but the 3rd R of Regularity is also interesting. Regularity is doing the same things in the same order and at the same time. Babies like it when they know what is going to happen, because it will give them a sense of safety. For example, first bathe the baby, then let him/her drink, then let him/her spend some time with the parents and then it is time to sleep. After a while, the baby already knows what is going to come next and will look forward to it. Well, as much as a baby is able to do that of course.

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Thanks a lot to everyone for these tips!! :blush:

I watched somewhere that a woman was sleeping with her baby during the night and lost it because of lack of oxygen. She didn’t know.
Now, she’s a member of an association promoting that babies can’t sleep with mothers until they reach a certain age.

Some info here too (co-sleeping or co-dodo in French):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-sleeping

Your Wikipedia article clearly says that
parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol and whose children died while bed-sharing
OBVIOUSLY having drugs or alcohol and then sleeping with a baby is a no-no, for more than one reason! If you’re breastfeeding you’ll be passing on all that stuff to your baby!
If you noticed, my way is not to to put the baby between the parents - as in the Wikipedia picture - but near the edge of the bed.
And no soft objects, I fully agree with that. The foam padding I attached to the bed railing was very thin, and firmly attached to the railing, there was no way it could become loose and fall on the child to suffocate her.
What happens to new mothers is that their sleep becomes lighter, they become aware of every little movement or sound coming from the baby.
I can confirm that. I used to sleep like a log, my mother said, it was impossible to wake me up. Yet when I became a mother all this changed drastically! If the baby started to stir even a little bit, even before really waking up, before crying or anything, I was immediately alerted.
But hey, every parent should make their own choices.

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Irmar, I think you must be really careful when you sleep.
I know that for me, I wouldn’t dare.

I’ve just met someone who’s studying medecine. She has met a pediatrist who slept with her baby and the baby…
She explained me that:

  • studies show now that having a baby sleeping on the belly increases the % of sudden death: so better to make the baby sleep on the back.
  • no blanket/pillow/teddybears, nothing in the cradle: it can cause sudden death (studies).
  • sleep separatly from your baby: same reason + can obstruct the baby’s airways (studies).

Was it difficult after for the child to sleep alone?

Child either on the back or on the side. And yes, no foreign objects around - unless you count me as a foreign objet.
Not difficult at all to change to his own room at the age of 3. For his birthday we had his own room prepared, as a surprise, with lots of festive spirit.
Of course, I stayed iin the room until he was asleep or almost. There was a small mattress in the room, I used to lie there and tell stories. Gradually I started getting up and leaving the room before he was actually asleep. It was pretty smooth that way.

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:joy: You made my day XD
Nice tip for the room :slight_smile:
I don’t want to have any babies soon, I’ve just spent some time with a baby, it’s tiring! Crying, feeding, pooping, sleeping… It’s not human to be a mother and it’s not the same thing than on TV! The worst feeling: feeling powerless when the baby’s crying and you don’t know why he is crying… I’m happy that when we grow up we learn to communicate with words to convey our feelings.

That’s where breastfeeding comes very handy. You try, in order, checking

  1. Is his diaper dirty?
  2. Is he hungry?
  3. Is he hot/cold? (most parents have the tendency of overdressing their kids. Usually, dressing them as much or as little as you works well)
    If nothing of these works, is it colic? (not much to be done for this except soothing etc… and you, the mother, being more careful of your diet, excluding possible allergens)
    If nothing of these works, and the baby is a bit older, is it teething? (Can’t do much about this, unfortunately)
    If nothing of these works, baby might just be anxious for some reason. Especially if you’re anxious, it is contagious. Calm yourself, take it in your arms and stick a tit into his mouth. Of course breastfeeding will calm you as well.
    If you can do Reiki, by all means do it, it works wonders.

It’s the same for cats. Only that cats don’t cry and fuss unless they’re REALLY very sick.
But again, the feeling of powerlessness, of not being able to communicate is terrible.

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