7 Helpful Tips For Babies To Support And Encourage Your 1st Year

Babies are a beautiful blessing to a home.

Having a new one in the family can be such a joy. With our first "Christmas take home package" we learned very quickly from day 1 taking care of this new addition was going to be a full time job -- 24/7.

Here are our top 7 helpful tips to encourage, support and guide you from the first day through your first year.

Helpful Tip #1: Baby Names
Whether you are choosing a boy or girl name, consider these 5 strategies

1. choosing the same first letter for each child
2. Use a relatives name to pass on the family lineage
3. tap into names that connect to your cultural backgrounds
4. choose names based on their meanings
5. match names that complement your new arrival as you hold it after delivery

After you have selected your 'short list' write out each name, spell it out, sound it out, check out their meanings, check the initials and see which ones fit best with your family name.

Helpful Tip #2: Baby Care
It is wonderful to have your new one at home even though it can seem like a daunting task to care for your new responsibility.

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Here we will share some practical advice to reassure you and help you in caring for your newborn:
-what you need checklist for new baby before you are bringing them home
-how to make it through the 1st 6 weeks with ease
-bonding and diaper changing to keep them clean
-How to give sponge baths and a full bath
-how to sooth, swaddle and relax your newborn
-how to communicate, play and recognize needs
-taking care of your newborn's umbilical cord stump
-how to deal with fussy and high need babies, and
-their sleeping

Helpful Tip #3: 'Breast is Best'
Breastfeeding is a loving nurturing experience that strengthens the bond between the two of you. We will compare breast to bottle. When medical reasons make bottle feeding your only option we will share strategies to maintain your bond with your newborn. The most important aspect of breastfeeding starts with learning to get a good 'latch on'.

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Nursing is a learned skill that can take at least a week to become good at. Rest assured we will walk you through some of the basic breastfeeding techniques to practice so that you will feel more confident and prepared. Whether you have had a C-section or a natural birth there are 2 basic variable feeding positions to choose from. We will look at these options with you. We will also discuss some breastfeeding problems like breast engorgement , latch on difficulties, mastitis , producing and maintaining a good milk supply to dealing with sore or cracked nipples . We will also encourage you with when to wean from breast milk to solids, including some of our favorite baby recipes.

Helpful Tip #4: Baby Fitness
Your little one's fitness starts with newborn exercises and continues to progress through each monthly growth stage during the first year. We will provide you with some exercises that you can have some fun with. Sleep and an appropriate napping routine helps to maximize brain development and your child's physical and mental recovery. Massaging your baby helps their body and mind connection, strengthens and tones their muscles, increases joint flexibility, improves circulation and boosts their immune system.

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Massaging is great for their health and it helps you to connect with expressing your love through positive physical contact while letting your newborn know and feel loved and secure. We will help you with how you get started and how you can add massaging into your busy day. Communicating through playing giggly games, 'peekaboo' and including lots of smiling and laughter gives a clear message of love and security and the payoff is a baby that is content and relaxed. Ideal physical and mental development includes eye contact, black and white color focus, back and neck extensions, crawling games and balancing activities of every kind to progress up to walking. Exercises helps the brain to refine your child's circuitry for fine motor skill development.

Helpful Tip #5: Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting can help you become more in tune with your child so you can respond with confidence in your ability to meet their needs.

We will talk to you about some of the key points in attachment parenting including baby wearing, infant bonding, co-sleeping, breastfeeding and, believing & responding to your baby's cry. Dads can also improve their attachment bond throughout the first year through reading and singing songs to their new son or daughter and by keeping their hearts close to each others while holding or rocking them. Dads send off deep soothing vibrations to this new family member. Both mom and dad can benefit through attachment parenting.

Helpful Tip #6: Siblings and Jealousy

Siblings can be tough on the new addition to the family. We will share with you some quick, simple and effective ways to deal with sibling jealousy and territorial issues by changing the family members' view from trespassing to welcoming. Siblings play a vital leadership role as a Big Brother or Big Sister. These roles are important in helping the new baby learn and grow within the family. This is no doubt a tough one, and with some extra preparation for the family before the birth, hospital visits and even a welcoming gift from the new little brother or sister to their older siblings can help with their acceptance and reduce jealousy. These tactics have been 'well worth their weight in gold' through each new addition in our family. Holding, hugging, cuddling and talking with the new family addition will also help older siblings to connect, interact and accept them as a part of their family life. We will also look at some of the different adjustments to encourage siblings to make throughout that first year of development. Sometimes it will feel like it is constant and never ending. Have faith, we are here with you.

Helpful Tip #7: Baby Education
Education and learning starts with communication to trigger neuron connections in your newborn's brain. Communicating with an infant is simply talking with them throughout the activities of your day, to literally have a one on one conversation. Integrate these conversations during exercise and massage times, changing their diapers, cleaning up around the house, doing the wash and even while preparing food. Explain what you plan to do and what you are doing during the activity to your child with the full belief that they in fact understand everything you are saying. Include in your communication both verbal and non-verbal cues such as using gestures and eye contact. Crawling, reading, music and math allows your child to develop both sides of their brain.

Marketers are constantly trying to tell us the infant toys we need every month for our child's most effective education and development. We will break this down for you as to what is really needed through the first year and what we have found works great.

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