By now, numerous nights with little sleep are compensated with the most gorgeous baby smiles! Your baby can recognize your face and shows real excitement when you talk to him by moving his arms and legs. The little fists open and close while he may already be able to hold a bite ring in his hands. When baby is on his tummy, he can also hold his head up for a few seconds. Though baby trains his neck, tummy and back muscles very hard, it is still necessary to hold his head when lifting him up.

Baby may already be able to imitate facial expressions, such as movements of the mouth. Try to stick out your tongue and see what happens – if nothing else, you will certainly get a big smile!

Baby’s understanding of the world starts slowly to become structured into moving versus static things and people versus things. He is now capable of concentrating and focusing on something, such as a moving rattle or a bell. He can also follow things of interest with his eyes and turn his head.

By about 2 months, baby’s so-called “oral phase” begins as baby takes everything, including his fingers and hands, into his mouth. Developmentally, this phase is plausible as baby’s senses are strongest in his mouth. So even if you worry about hygienic standards, this part of baby’s development is essential in order for him to understand what is going on around him.

If your baby starts sucking his thumb, let him do so. This is also part of his development and calms him. The choice of dummy is only the second best option as parents are constantly on the look out for the lost dummy – not to mention the times they have to get up at night in order to give baby his dummy back.
And even dentists agree that sucking the thumb does not necessarily cause the teeth to deform!

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Breastfeeding Positions

March 10, 2008

As new mothers become more confident in breastfeeding their little ones, they will also discover new feeding positions. However, in the beginning most of them start off with the cradle hold as this seems to be the natural position for both mother and baby. The baby lies on his side, facing the nipple. While mother can hold him comfortably in both her arms without loosing control over what is happening, baby feels close, protected and warm. This tummy-to-tummy position seems ideal for a more relaxing experience, especially in the beginning.

The clutch hold: This position is ideal when you had a caesarean and you don’t want to put too much pressure on your abdomen. It may also facilitate breastfeeding for mothers with large breasts or if you are nursing twins. You hold your baby at your side, holding his legs under your arm. It is recommended to use a pillow to bring baby up to the level of the nipple, so holding baby should not become a strain. You support baby’s head with the right hand if he is feeding from the right breast (and vice versa).

The side-lying position: This position is preferred when baby needs a feed in the middle of the night or when you are having a rest. You lie on your side with baby in front of you on his back. He may either turn his head towards the nipple or lie on his side, so tummy-to-tummy. It is important that his mouth is in line with your nipple. You may find it helpful to support your breast with your hand. Putting a pillow behind baby’s back to keep him from rolling back (if he lies on his side) may also be helpful.

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Nowadays, we wouldn’t even leave the house without it: the changing bag! Some parents cannot imagine leaving the house with a big bag full of necessities. This basic phenomenon can be particularly daunting for new parents as they feel insecure and don’t know yet what to expect from day to day life with their new offspring. They feel pressured to take everything they can in order to anticipate every possible scenario.

Let us investigate what can be found in a changing bag:

For each baby/toddler:

2-3 nappies (dependent on how long you go out for)
nappy wipes
nappy bags
a changing mat
nappy rash cream
1-2 bottles of water
the equivalence of milk powder in a dispenser for 1-2 bottles
a jar
some fruit (fresh & dried)
some snacks like rice cake or cookies
a spoon
a bib
breast pads (if breastfeeding)
a spare bra and top for mum (if breastfeeding)
a blanket
some toys
2 dummies
a book
spare clothes in case of accident
a portable potty
anti-bacterial handwash/wipes
a mini first aid kit
ppropriate outdoor clothing (coat, hat, gloves in winter, sunhat and sun cream in summer)

This list depends on whether you breastfeed, the age of your child and his developmental stage.

By the time we get home there seems to be even more in our bag: everything needs to be sorted and a new bag packed for the next day.

It is a steep learning curve to start cutting down on things we take out. Eventually, the frustration of having to run around the house in order to find all the things to pack, the weight of the bag and the chances of missing your appointment are increased by 150%! This makes parents start to think about the changing bag again. Do we need all this? Can we survive going out for an hour without anything but a drink? The answer is: yes, of course! We have to learn it though. Over time we get to know our little ones better and understand their needs so that we can adjust accordingly. Planning our trips around our baby’s routine can help reduce the size of the bag significantly.

As the saying goes: “Little people, little problems – big people, big problems”. New parents tend to make little peoples’ problems too big!

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