Congratulations Mama! You did it!
Having a new baby in the house is such an exciting and wonderful blessing. But, it can also be overwhelming, especially if this is your first or if you’re trying new things with this baby. Below are some tips to help guide you through this special time.
Feeding Breast is best for you and your baby, but it is a learning process. Allow a few weeks for the both of you to become pros. Get help from your midwife or lactation consultant as soon as possible if you are having difficulty. Some excellent resources are found here on my website.
General suggestions to ease the process are:
Nurse baby on demand or every 1-½ to 3 hours while you are awake. If the baby has a 4-6 hour stretch in the middle of the night, let baby sleep.
If baby is too sleepy to nurse this often in the beginning, try to rouse by unswaddling and undressing, a diaper change, a gentle back rub, or a cool washcloth on the baby’s forehead.
Nurse one side each feeding. Start the next session on the other breast.
Alternate feeding positions between side lying, cradle and football hold.
Burp baby as needed if appears gassy during and after feeding.
Do not give baby glucose water or common formula, especially while you are trying to get the breastfeeding going. Breastmilk alone, including the ‘liquid gold’ initial breast milk colostrum, is adequate nutrition and hydration for at least the first six months when all is well. The water or formula fills up their tiny stomach so they nurse less, which makes you produce less milk, and the bottle’s teat confuses them and can impair their ability to suck on your nipple. If there are issues and you do need to supplement, pumped or donor breast milk from certified mild banks is the choice method of feeding. If you must give formula, go for the organic brands that most closely resemble breast milk. Use a dropper to the side of baby’s mouth, supplemental nursing system or slow flow nipples that are more similar to the breast.
Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs while breastfeeding. Always consult your practitioner before taking any medications or herbal preparation.
Limit caffeinated beverages to no more than 1-2 cups per day.
Supplies for breastfeeding
6 burp clothes (cloth diapers work the best)
Nursing bras (if buying before baby is born, buy one cup size larger than your pregnant bra size)
Nursing blouses and dresses
Breast pump - Breast pumps can be as simple as a basic hand pump or as efficient as an electric model that allows you to pump from both breasts simultaneously. Hospital grade pumps work the best. Here are two great blogs to help you decide which one is right for you. How to Choose the Best Breast Pump. Some breast pumps moms like are Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump, Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump, Hygeia and Spectra 1. Also keep in mind that some insurance companies will pay for a breast pump.
Pumping bra - Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra
Breast pads (disposable or washable)
Your Breast Friend (email me at email@example.com)
Breast shields (only use if lactation specialist suggests using them. I did find a silicone based nipple shield called Tingxuan Shell Ultra-thin Silicone Nipple Shield. But I don't have any experience with it. Here is an article on the pros and cons of Nipple Shields.
Hot/cold gel packs, can soothe swollen or sore breasts. I like the Earth Mama Angle Baby Boob Tubes.
Nursing Cover or just use a light weight blanket.
Hydrogels - Moms love these. - Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pad
Supplies for formula feeding
Formula (be sure to check expiration date and note the lot number in case of recalls). Consider buying organic formula like Baby’s Only Organic Formula (it says it’s for toddlers but it's okay for babies). Also check out Holle or Hipp formula from Germany. But beware because it can take up to a month to get Holle or Hipp Formula so plan ahead. Here is a shop that sells it.
Newborns usually start with the 4-ounce size, but you'll need some 8-ounce bottles as your child begins to drink larger amounts. You'll also need at least as many nipples as bottles (Silicone nipples are preferable and they come in different flow patterns.) Consider using glass bottles. This is the safest way to go because there is no plastic use, and there has been some recent questions about even BPA free plastic's safety. Glass bottle brands:
And one stainless, the Pura Kiki.
Bottle brush - These are handy for thoroughly scrubbing small parts and crevices in bottles, bottle parts, and nipples.
Nipple Brush - for washing nipples
Insulated bottle holder for diaper bag
Sleeping Babies sleep about 18 hours per day. Place your baby on his or her back, or side to sleep, with baby’s back supported by a rolled receiving blanket.
Bowel Movements And Voiding Babies have greenish-black, sticky stool for the first few days. This is called meconium. Breastfed babies’ stool will then become golden-yellow, soft, and seedy-looking. Once your full milk comes in and replaces colostrum, your baby will have 1-4 stools and 6-8 wet diapers in a 24 hour period. Change the baby before each feeding to prevent diaper rash. For a reddened diaper area, use homeopathic calendula, zinc oxide or herbal diaper cream, A & D ointment, Desitin cream plain or with zinc oxide. French green clay is excellent for diaper rashes. Use talcum free baby powder. Place baby on an absorbent pad and allow periods for baby to be diaper free, or read up on elimination communication - training baby to poop and pee on the potty!
To calm a screaming baby that is too upset to nurse, try:
Changing the diaper
Swaddling baby in a blanket
Giving baby a warm bath
Cradling or cuddling baby close to your chest
Talking softly to baby
Giving baby a gentle back massage
Taking baby for a walk or car ride
Holding baby in a position that allows application of slight pressure on his or her abdomen
If all else fails, give baby to your partner, take 30 minutes, and try again.
Cord Care Keep the cord stump dry by folding the front of the baby’s diaper down. Squeeze a saturated cotton ball of witch hazel or hydrogen peroxide to the cord stump three times per day to keep it clean. Open a capsule and apply powdered goldenseal herb or herbal combination cord powder around the base. The cord stump should fall off by itself within 3-8 days after the birth.
General Care Newborn babies really need very little.
It's good to keep in mind that what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream within seconds. And babies put everything in their mouths to chew and suck therefore swallowing whatever is in and on the material. We need to protect our little ones from as many toxins as possible. Babies and children are more susceptible to toxins, because their organs are still growing and maturing. So it's best to invest in their health by buying safer and healthier products for them.
When its time to bathe baby, use mild natural soap and water, and wash the baby’s hair with a gentle tear-free natural shampoo ( see my list provided below)
After the first 24 hours and the baby’s body temperature stabilizes, dress him according to the temperature as you would dress if you choose. Skin to skin is best for the first few weeks of life.
Best to file than cut long nails with scissors, so baby does not scratch her/himself.
Wear your baby. Experiment with a few baby carriers and see which one you and baby like the best.
Clothing Baby clothes come in different sizes:
What size should you buy? You won’t really know how big your baby will be until the day it is born. So it’s a good idea to have both newborn and 3 month sizes handy. Babies usually weigh 10 - 12 pounds when they are 1- 2 months old. Some babies are born big. Some of my moms have had 9 pounders! You'll want to focus on buying baby clothes that are soft, breathable, roomy and comfortable. Newborn skin is very sensitive. It’s a good idea to buy 100% organic cotton. But if 100% organic cotton is out of your price range, the next best thing is to buy 100% cotton. Avoid clothing that has dangling strings, tassels, and ribbons because these are choking hazards. First Wardrobe
4 - 7 one piece, stretchy (terry-cloth) sleepers. They have snaps or zippers down the front and all the way down to the leg. The benefit is that it will allow you to change your baby's clothes easily without pulling things over his/her head. Make sure whatever you buy opens easily at the bottom for diaper changes. (New moms swear by the ones with zippers!)
4 - 7 undershirts or onesies (mix of short sleeve and long sleeve (kimono style) and make sure they have plenty of room in the neck)
3 - 5 pairs of leggings or pull up pants (look for stretchy waistbands)
5 nightgowns (for use until the umbilical cord falls off)
2 - 4 newborn hats - make sure they are stretchy
4 - 8 pairs of socks or booties (to wear with nightgowns and outfits)
2 pairs of scratch mittens, to keep baby from scratching his/her sweet face
2 - 4 receiving blankets
Burp cloths (cloth diapers work best and get a bunch cause babies spit up a lot)
As Baby Grows
4 rompers (snap at the crotch)
2 washable bibs
4 outfits for dressing up (optional)
2 - 4 sleep sacs (optional)
2 hats: sun hat, lightweight with brim and a heavier ear covering hat for colder weather
2 cardigans or jackets for cold weather
Bunting bag with attached mitts or snowsuit for cold weather
2 blankets, weight according to season
Organic Clothing Brands
Bambino Land Polarn O. Pyret (not totally organic) Finn and Emma Funkoos Nature Baby Swaddle Designs (some organic) Estella NewYork Halo Sleep Sac Best Baby Organics Broken Tricycle Hanna Anderson Burt’s Bees Wild Dill (one stop shop) Monica+Andy The Spunky Stork Swaddle Designs (some organic) Mini Mori
Should you wash your baby's clothes before he/she is born? YES. And remember that you and your partner will be holding your baby A LOT so you'll want to wash your clothes too, with non toxic, fragrance free, laundry detergent. Watch out for the dryer sheet....they are often loaded with fragrances.
Good brands of laundry detergent for infants and family:
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
Biokleen Laundry Liquid
Eco Me Laundry Detergent
Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Free & Clear (great for whole family) This is what we use.
Molly Sud's Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder
Fit Organic Baby Laundry Detergent
Honest Laundry Detergent
Environmental Working Group (EWG) just put out a Products For Baby Rating List. Least toxic to most toxic that you may want to checkout. Click here.
Diaper Needs Here is a fun little baby fact...An average baby will go through approximately 2,700 diapers a year. WOW! That's a lot of piss and poop! Whether you use cloth or disposable or something in between (some diapers use a reusable cover with a disposable lining), your baby will probably go through 10 to 12 diapers a day at first, so plan accordingly. Cloth Diapers vs. Disposables: How and what to choose?
1 - 2 package of disposable diapers (newborn size) . Eco Diaper brands moms like are:
For a comparison of diapers click here. Make sure to shop around for best prices because diapers add up. And keep in mind that you may need to see how different brands work for your baby.
3 dozen cloth diapers (I suggest a diaper service if you plan on using cloth diapers.) Here is a link comparing the different cloth diaper brands. Here's another comparison. Great info on the different types and how to use cloth diapers.
Diaper pin, velcro or clips if using cloth diapers
5 - 7 waterproof diaper covers or consider all in one diapers
Dirty diaper pail - diapers get stinky!!!
Cotton balls, cotton swabs
Baby wipes (My favorite baby wipes are Water Wipes they are 99.9%water and 0.1% fruit extract. Other wipes I like are:
For a complete list of the safest baby wipes click here.
*** Newborn baby's skin is super sensitive. For the first few weeks don’t use baby wipes. Buy a roll of very soft paper towels and cut into squares, have a bowl and a thermos with warm water by the changing table to clean baby with or use a washcloth (Charlie Banana) and warm water. Make sure to wash clothes in HOT water. Homemade recipes from Healthy Child Healthy World
HOMEMADE BABY WIPES – BASIC
Soft roll of paper towels (cut in half to make short rolls)
1/8 -1/4 cup castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap)
1/8 - 1/4 cup vegetable oil (ex. olive, almond, apricot, etc)
2 cups lukewarm water
1 plastic or glass container that the roll will fit in
Cut roll in half and remove center cardboard. In container, mix liquid ingredients, and place half of roll in container, cut side down. Place on lid, seal tightly and tip upside down. To use, pull out from center. NATURAL HERBAL HEALING WIPES (from Pennie Mills, LMT)
1 1/2 to 2 cups distilled water
1/4 cup Aloe Vera gel (keep ingredients simple and pure)
1 tablespoon Calendula oil
2 teaspoon castille soap - (Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap)
2 to 3 drops tea tree oil (6 months and older)
2 to 3 drops lavender oil (6 months and older)
Mix solution together and repeat the steps for the “basic” baby wipes. Calendula – Calendula is moisturizing and is known to help heal rashes, burns, scrapes and other skin irritations. Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera gel is used for treating burns and rashes as well as moisturizing. Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and is also a wonderful antiseptic oil. Lavender – The aroma of lavender can help relax and ease tensions. It also helps promote healing of the skin.
Diaper-rash cream (zinc-oxide type) -
For a list of the safest diaper rash creams, click here .
Black and white mobile to hang over changing table area. (great for distracting your baby)
4 waterproof pads for changing table - Firefly Diapers , Here is a bunch on Amazon
2 receiving blankets
Two rubber-backed waterproof pads. Brands to consider - Non-Waterproof Crib Mattress Pad by Naturpedic.
3 crib or bassinet sheets
Bassinet blankets, weight according to season
1 plastic infant tub (or use a large dishpan in the sink, or take baby in the bath with you.) Brands to consider :
12 washcloths, not used on baby's bottom
Baby soap and shampoo - Recommended brands - Dr. Bronner’s Unsented Baby Mild Castille Liquid Soap (Just so you know it’s not tear free. Bars available too) Honest Co Shampoo and body wash, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash But for a list of safe baby washes and shampoo check out - EWG
Baby soft-bristled hair brush
3 soft-hooded towels
Crib and or Bassinet - For Bassinet, Cradle and/or Crib mattress (consider spending money on the non toxic brand) Naturepedic Crib- Cradle/Bassinet Mattresses. You can buy them here. White Lotus, - Cradle - Baby Bjorn , SNOO Cribs (Green Guard Certified) Pottery Barn
Co-sleeper - Snuggle Me Organic Co-sleeper
Changing table or padded work area - (see diaper section)
Changing table covers
Baby sling or baby carrier - Baby Carrier Brands: Ergo Baby Organic, Moby Organic Wrap, New Native, Baby BOBA , Baby K’Tan Carriers, Luvyduds Organic Baby Wrap, Baby Bjorn Carriers (certified Oeko-Tex) , LÍLLÉbaby, Beco Gemini Baby Carrier
Brand Recommendations - Britax and Clek have been proactively implementing policies to reduce hazards in their products while still meeting all safety standards. Checkout this guide or this one. Please read...What You Should Know About Fire Retardants In Car Seats. Some Flame retardant free brands:
UPPAbaby Mesa Merino Wool Car Seat,
Nuna Pipa Lite Infant Seat,
Britax Endeavors in Otto Safe Wash,
Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB in Otto Safewash,
Nuna Rava (except in verona),
UPPAbaby KNOX (coming soon)
Car Seat head support - Dordor&Gorgor's Organic Cotton Newborn Infant Head Body Car Baby Seat Support Pillow (research safety)
Baby Swing - Brands recommended - Nuna LEAF
Baby Bouncer - Brands recommended - BabyBjorn
Baby monitor: Make sure to place monitors 10 feet or more from the crib Due to the EMF’s that are being edited from these devices.
Here are some “better” brands to choose from:
The First Years Crisp & Clear Baby Monitor,
Safety 1st Sure Glow Monitor,
Anglecare Baby Sound Monitor,
Phillips Event SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor,
Babymoov Zero Emission Video Monitor Camera,
NEST Cam Indoor Security Camera,
BabyMoov Expert Care,
Nanit Baby Monitor
Brands recommended - OXO Sprout Highchair
Birth Ball for bouncing baby
White noise machine - Its great to have one for the baby’s room and a portable one to take with you. Great for hospital room too!
Red light bulb for nightlight - there was a study done that red lights don't disturb the melatonin rhythm in the bodies much as regular blue light, light bulbs.
Baby soothers, toys and entertainment
Pacifiers: Some babies love them, some don't. You don't have to use a pacifier but for some parents and babies, these soothers are an essential item.
Babies love to suck:
Natursutten Natural Rubber Pacifier
Books - Newborns love black and white books.
Toys - Non toxic is best because babies like to suck, bite and chew on them. Stay away from toxic plastic toys especially made in China.
Here are some good examples of fun non toxic toys.
exersaucers: Heimess Insect and Flowers Baby Gym, Plan Toys Activity Baby Gym,
Toiletries and Medical Supplies (for the first couple of months)
Antiseptic for cord - your midwife or doctor will make suggestions
Cotton balls - cotton swabs
Baby nail scissors or clippers and a nail file (newborns need their nails filed)
Eye dropper or medicine spoon
Vaporizer, type recommended by your doctor
My must have baby, breastfeeding and postpartum books:
For a full list of book that I recommend click here.
Safety It is State law and safe practice that babies ride in car seats every time that they travel in a vehicle.
Always make sure that the baby is not unattended on changing tables, beds or other high places.
If the baby sleeps in bed with you, make sure baby is in a sleeping pod or baby lounger, and that the bed has a guard rail. Do not keep pillows, stuffed animals or extra blankets in the baby’s sleeping area.
Danger Signs Contact your pediatrician immediately if:
The baby becomes listless, will not nurse, is inconsolable, has high pitched screaming, or behaves in an unusual way.
The baby does not urinate within the first 24 hours, or voids less than 6 diapers per day after your milk is in.
The baby has no bowel movement for 48 hours, or has more than 10 watery green, foul-smelling diarrhea diapers per day.
The cord starts to smell bad or has pus oozing from it and the area around it becomes red and swollen.
The baby’s temperature is below 97 degrees or above 99 degrees when taken under the baby’s arm.
The whites of the babies eyes become yellow or the skin color becomes a yellow or tan tinge.
The baby’s skin turns blue or white, especially the trunk or around the mouth.
For extra support in relieving common aches and pains, wear an Bengkung Belly Bind. I have a sacred approach to life, including healing after pregnancy and birthing. Nothing replaces abdominal toning and exercise for restoring muscle strength and tone - which I encourage for all mamas as soon as they feel up to it postpartum. Nothing replaces touch, slow deep abdominal breathing, and a 'love your postpartum body' perspective that I promote. But I have found many mamas simply feel comforted by this support garment, especially early postpartum and temporarily as needed....to be used without forfeiting abdominal toning and strengthening exercise, breathing well and touch. I have found Bengkung Belly Bind supportive garment to help like they use belly binding around the world such as in Indonesia. They do aid in early postpartum healing and provide support many mamas feel comforted by. I deal with human beings and the reality is many postpartum mom's struggle with body body image, feel frustrated that getting back to themselves takes longer than expected. Being into sacred health and healing includes being sensitive to real human struggles - the mind, body, heart and soul of each person and their unique situation. Having helped countless women with these issues after having a baby as a doula, I have found many still love that binding and feel better with this support, and ability to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it - especially when they have to dress up and fit into a certain favorite outfit for a special occasion or wedding not long after having a baby.