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15 Parenting Tips for Looking After Your Newborn Baby

15 Parenting Tips for Looking After Your Newborn Baby

Before your first baby is born you really don’t have a clue what it is going to be like, and people tend to underestimate how challenging it really is. My mum laughed when I said I would be a lady-of-leisure after Coby was born, after six children she knew better. It is a full-time job looking after a baby, more like two jobs as the job is 24 hours a day. However, it is a job you cherish, and you don’t think about the sleep deprivation or feel hard-done-by, because you have the most beautiful baby in the world to spend quality time with. I am going to share some parenting tips that I wish I had known eight months ago, before my baby was born.

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    1. Prioritize your newborn

    It is incredible how quickly babies grow. Your newborn baby will be unrecognizable at six months old, so cherish every moment. It is a steep learning curve having your first baby and I think you need to focus on them to become the best parent possible. By prioritizing your newborn, hopefully, you nurture a more content baby.

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      2. Be flexible

      Having a set idea of how things are going to be once your newborn has finally arrived might not work; all babies are different and need slightly different approaches. Also, once you are relaxed in a certain routine, your baby’s routine can change. You need to be flexible to meet his specific needs.

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        3. Learn what your baby’s needs are

        The first few months are about learning what your baby needs at any one point. If your baby is upset you need to find out whether he is hungry, tired, too hot or cold, has a dirty nappy, overstimulated, bored, or simply afraid.

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          4. Relax, it gets easier

          Everyone told me that the first two months were the hardest, and they were right. After a couple of months it feels more comfortable as you get to understand and respond to your baby’s needs. And after six months, again, it feels even more comfortable. I remember at five weeks having no clue how to get my baby to fall asleep, and that was challenging as it could take up to four hours of trying to settle him. That was tough.

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            5. Ask for help

            Any help friends and family can provide in the first few months should be welcomed. Don’t be afraid to ask people if you need help; some people are just afraid to ask you if you need help.

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              6. Share the workload

              If you have a partner, try and share the workload as fairly as possible. Just because your partner is working during the day doesn’t mean they shouldn’t help out in the evenings.

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                7. Reach out to other mums

                Try and link up with other mums, as they can provide you with a huge wealth of practical information. Linking up with other new mums can also help prevent you from feeling isolated if you are home alone with a new baby.

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                  8. Try breastfeeding

                  Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for your baby, but it can take up to six weeks to learn. It isn’t always as easy as it is made out to be. If you want to breastfeed but it isn’t working out, you can easily express milk from a breast pump. Some people want to breastfeed but can’t because their milk supply is too low. One way to prevent that happening is to breastfeed or pump many times during the day, ideally every 3-4 hours, to keep your milk supply up.

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                    9. Manage your baby’s sleep

                    I learned the hard way that it is best to have a sleeping routine for your baby. For the first six months my baby’s naps were only 30 minutes long, which isn’t long at all. After I took him on holiday we turned a corner as I was putting him in his cot for his naps, in his sleeping bag, and after a huge supply of milk. It worked. He now sleeps for an hour and a half, sometimes two full hours. It can be restrictive as you need to be at home and the naps happen at a specific time. If you miscalculate the timing, he can become overtired and unable to sleep. However, it is so important for him to sleep well, and it gives you a chance to recharge your batteries.

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                      10. Manage your sleep

                      It is equally important to ensure you get enough sleep so you have the energy to look after your baby. If have a late night you can no longer have a long lie-in, and it is difficult to entertain your baby for the entire morning with very little sleep. When your baby naps during the day, you can nap too. This is sensible because your baby might be up during the night several times, which is exhausting.

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                        11. Buy a baby monitor

                        Without a baby monitor, my baby would wake up and cry for many minutes before I would hear him, by which time he would be extremely distressed. Of course, this doesn’t lend itself to nurturing a happy baby. I would highly recommend buying a monitor if you don’t have one. If nothing else, it provides you with peace of mind.

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                          12. Get scratch mitts

                          Your baby might need scratch mitts for the first six months of his life to prevent him scratching his face whilst sleeping. It might be better to get babygros with scratch mitts built-in, as the mitts can be too big or small and fall off.

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                            13. A baby gym is useful

                            I bought a Fisher Price Neptune play gym and it has been the best investment. Coby played in his gym for the first six months daily, and would be happy playing in it for 30 minutes at a time. This gives you 30 minutes to wash and tidy up first thing in the morning, which is priceless. This particular gym is well-designed, as it has a black and white toy for newborns, and the other toys are primary colors. It also incorporates a teething toy and a musical slideshow.

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                              14. Find sensory play classes

                              Young babies learn through sensory play, so if you can find a sensory baby class near where you live it would be great for your baby. These classes also give you lots of ideas for toys and activities suitable for your baby.

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                                15. Simple toys are the best

                                Several people bought very sophisticated toys for Coby that were used briefly and then discarded. He seems to prefer simpler toys and regular household objects. For example, a good purchase was a foil blanket, which provided hours of fun. Before he was born I bought him some baby books but they were totally unsuitable as they were too wordy. If you buy books for your newborn, they should be in black and white and have one word per page.

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                                Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                                One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                                In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                                Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                                1. Cat Camel Stretch

                                Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                                Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                                Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                                Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                                2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                                This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                                Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                                The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                                Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                                Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                                3. Jumping Jacks

                                Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                                Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                                4. Abductor Side Lifts

                                Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                                Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                                5. Balancing Table Pose

                                This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                                Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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                                  6. Leg Squats

                                  Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                                  Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                                  The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                                  7. Push Ups

                                  You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                                  An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                                  Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                                  This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                                  8. Bicycle Crunches

                                  There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                                  Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                                  9. Lunges

                                  Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                                  Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                                  This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                                  10. Bicep Curls

                                  You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                                  Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                                  Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                                  Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                                  Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                                  These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                                  You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                                  Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                                  More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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