My wife recently gave birth to our second child, baby Zoe, and she is awesome! She’s very laid-back, sleeps six to eight hours a night and eats like a champ.
Now, while I like to believe some of this is just her natural disposition, combined with our experience in raising our first kid, there are some things that make life much easier, which some folks still may not know about. So here’s a list of my top ten must-haves for newborns:
Glycerin laxatives: Infant digestive systems are constantly changing, especially if you supplement breast milk with formula. although our baby Zoe was a very happy kid, she naturally got awfully grouchy when she got all “backed up.” for our first son, we used little glycerin suppositories, and these things work like a charm! Just make sure you have a diaper handy, because their little GI systems may kick in within seconds. All doctors and nurses we’ve checked with assure us this is a safe way to relieve constipation for infants, and it certainly makes for happier babies and parents!
Simethicone: Unlike an adult (or my five-year-old son, for that matter) who can willingly let a burp rip any time we feel a little bloated, babies sometimes need a little help. Simethicone, whose name-brand equivalent is Mylicon, is a safe way to help break down those painful bubbles and keep them from passing through into the lower intestinal tract. Because the drops are not absorbed into the baby’s system, they’re safe for little ones.
Happiest Baby on the Block: There are tons of baby how-to books out there, and no new parent has the time to read much,but this is the ONE book you need to know about. Why? First of all ,the strategies for soothing a baby, and for helping them sleep well and on their own really do work, as I can attest with two kids now. Second, much of what the book imparts is counter-intuitive, so it’s something we have to learn. If you got nothing other than how to perform the “Five S’s” with your baby, this book is worth it’s weight in gold.
A Swaddling Blanket: Though my personal favorite by a country mile is the Miracle Blanket, there are lots of swaddling blankets to choose from. You can even use any regular blanket, if you know how to wrap your baby up right (see book reference above!). A lot of people think it would be uncomfortable to be wrapped up so tight, but remember that babies spent nine months folded up on top of themselves in the womb, so that’s what feels familiar to them. This, combined with the other “S’s” taught in Mr. Karp’s book noted above, has made a huge difference for us.
Time: One of the biggest regrets I have with my first son is anxiously awaiting each new stage of his development. And while this sort of anticipation is natural, you can miss out on some amazing moments with your child, while waiting for them to grow up. Carve out plenty of time every day just to gaze into your baby’s eyes, to play with them on the floor, to read them books, sing them songs, and generally enjoy every minute.
While it may seem hard in the moment, this time in your life truly will be gone before you know it. Enjoy it all!