Your little one is starting to “wake up”
“The more we fill ourselves up, the more we have to give. And as moms, we have to give a lot.”— Kristy S. Rodriguez, Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby
Remember when you felt like your baby was just a blob and you were just a boob? Even though it wasn’t that long ago, those days and nights of non-stop feeding and soothing a baby—who can’t give you much back in return—seem to stretch on forever. Which is why this phase of coos, grins, and giggles is so glorious. You did all that hard work and now you can relish in the sweet little smiles and joyful babbling from your little one!
Milestones To Watch For
By now, your baby is starting to get juicy, with more noticeable chubby legs and arms. That’s because at this stage, they are getting ready to move and holding on to weight as muscles just beginning to develop. Those muscles will come in handy as they start holding their head up more and make more movements with their arms and legs!
Your little one is also learning how to talk (yes, already) which is what those sweet coos are all about. Even though they can’t speak yet, your infant can hear you and is learning sounds and intonations that create their efforts to start “talking” with you. And the best part? Smiles! Your baby is starting to recognize your face and maybe even the face of other caregivers and close family members and responding with a wide grin. (And if your baby hasn’t quite started smiling, expect those big happy faces to start soon.)
Check out these articles for more on meeting your baby’s milestones:
Finding Time for You
Did you know that even when you are supposedly “doing nothing” your mind is still very busy focusing on your newborn? You are constantly aware of where your baby is, what they are doing, and whether they are safe. Constant awareness requires a ton of mental attention and can be supremely time-consuming. So while being “busy” is often associated with being important, needed, and special, extra busyness is not always great for new moms. You are already so mentally taxed just by your baby existing in the world! Even “basic” baby care”—feeding, changing, cleaning, holding, and interacting with your baby—is consuming.
There are a few ways to really take care of yourself. (Note: taking a shower and brushing your teeth does not count as self care! That’s just basic hygiene.)
- Rest when you can and eat healthy foods
- Create or join a support system for new parents to talk, and try to check in weekly.
- Keep your expectations realistic. Doing everything, or doing things perfectly, are myths. Just do the best you can and give yourself a lot of slack.
- Try to laugh every day. When something’s not working, a good laugh can help you get through. When in doubt? Netflix comedy specials are a surefire way to get a good belly laugh (or ten).
Babywearing and Stroller Safety
Remember way back to your pregnant days when you spent hours trying to figure out what stroller to get and which babywearing gear to buy? Well, now all that research is coming in handy. Here’s the skinny on babywearing and stroller safety and how to navigate getting around with your little one.
Babywearing is great. It can reduce crying, make breastfeeding easier, promote bonding, and keep your hands free. If you choose to babywear in a carrier, there are some basic safety tips you should know. (Tip: Many yoga studios or independent baby stores offer babywearing meetings, and some classes on babywearing can now be found virtually and online.)
Before you start using a carrier:
- Confirm that your baby’s age, height, and weight meets the product guidelines and that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hasn’t recalled the carrier you have.
- Read the instruction manual and watch any instructional videos.
- Practice using the carrier with a doll, stuffed animal, or even a bag of flour.
- When you first start practicing with your baby in the carrier, do it over a soft surface. You can use a spotter until you are comfortable.
- Be sure your baby’s airway remains clear. If your baby’s chin is tucked into their chest or their face is pressed up against your body, adjust the baby.
- Check the baby’s leg position. Their legs should be spread apart and not straddling your body, which allows for healthy hip positioning. Try limiting time in the carrier to 1-2 hours at a time
- Watch your balance and be mindful when going through doorways and turning corners. When bending, bend at your knees and support your baby with one or both hands.
- Inspect the carrier before each use to make sure there are no frayed seams and that buckles are working appropriately.
Things to avoid while babywearing :
- Cooking (chopping with knives or using a hot stove/oven)
- Drinking hot beverages or soup
- Traveling in a vehicle
- Mowing the lawn or chopping wood
- Exercising or rock climbing
For more info on babywearing, check out these tips. And if you need more help with babywearing or have questions about the best carriers or right way to wrap your baby, our Help at Home team can support you.
- If you use bumpers or toys, fasten them securely so they can’t fall on top of the baby.
- Strollers should have brakes that are easy to operate. Lock the brake whenever you are stopped, and be sure your child can’t reach the release lever. Make sure the stroller is securely locked open before putting your child in it.
- Select a stroller with a wide base, so it won’t tip over and avoid hanging bags or other items from the handles of your stroller, which can cause it to tip backward.
- If the stroller has a basket for carrying things, be sure it is placed low and near the rear wheels.
- The stroller should have a seat belt and harness, and it should be used whenever your child goes for a ride. For infants, use rolled-up baby blankets as bumpers on either side of the seat.
- Never leave your child unattended
- Take a look at these new Stroller Safety Standards from CPSC.
INFOGRAPHIC: BABYWEARING GUIDE
(3 types of carriers and what they work best for)
There are many types of baby carriers, but most fall into these three categories. Decide which one works best for you.
Soft Structured Carrier
Features: Made from soft material but have a structured seat. Padded shoulder straps provide comfort and buckles mean there’s no need to wrap. Can adjust straps for size and weight.
Great For: Quickly getting a baby in and out of a carrier. Provides a more stable baby wearing feeling for some.
Tip: Look for one with an infant insert and can be unbuckled/buckled with one hand
Features: Long fabric that can be wrapped for a more specific fit to your body and baby. Stretchy wraps have lighter fabric that provides multiple ways to carry newborns and older infants while woven wraps are secure for wearing bigger babies and even toddlers.
Great For: Breastfeeding in the carrier and babies who like to be swaddled or super snuggly. Provides more flexibility and personalization for wearing.
Tip: Look for a light fabric for summer and a thicker, woven fabric for winter. There are tons of YouTube tutorials for multiple wrapping and wearing options!
Features: Slings are worn over one shoulder and give babies a womb-like environment. Babies can be slipped in and out of the sling and wrap can be tightened with one hand.
Great For: Wearing a baby around the house or bringing with you on stroller or car trips for transitions.
Tip: The ring sling takes a little time to learn but can be the easiest carrier to manage once you get the hang of it. If you tend to have neck or shoulder pain this may not be the best carrier for you.