The way to make life comfortable for your new baby and easier on yourself is to keep things simple.
We all know that we come from a long line of primitive (comparably speaking) mothers, whom had to do without all the comforts of "new developments", but maybe along the way we have forgotten the basic truths.
Your newborn to 12 month old wants one thing only. No pushchairs, no highchairs, no multi-gym walker, no intercom system and no other entrapments that are supposed to make life easier for us.
Your baby just wants you. Carry your baby. In-arms parenting as it is sometimes called advocates holding and carrying your baby for most of it's early months. The gentle rocking motion stimulates brain growth and your smell, warmth and closeness provide immeasurable security for your infant.
It is therefore important to find a baby carrier that works for you. There are many slings available, but I would advise trying to borrow one first as they all vary. My favourite for babies six months plus is a native back sling,
even a old cloth or sheet can work for this, lay baby in a long piece of fabric and heave onto your back (you'll need help to begin with), whilst bent over, tie securely around your front. I am on the look out for a UK made easy and secure version of this ancient baby carrier and will offer them
We need to regain a lot of the confidence in our ability that has been lost to the western medical world and baby product corporations, that frankly are set to gain from our insecurities. We will buy every gadget and accessory available in the hopes that we'll be better parents (I know, because I've bought many of them ! )
So I have learnt an expensive lesson and observed for free that all babies really need is warmth, breastmilk, touch and interaction.
Clothes are not fun for new babies, they seem to think we're trying to upset them deliberately by manipulating their bodies into these strange garments. Keep clothing simple and comfortable. Clothing made of natural cotton, silk or wool fibres will allow the skin to breathe. A winner is the baby gown, long in the body with a drawstring tie. Baby is free to move comfortably in these and they allow for easy nappy changes (important !).
Newborns and babies up to a year should almost always wear a soft cotton cap also. Newborns are unable to properly regulate their body temperature and really benefit from hat wearing even in summer. Shoes are a waste of money. Babies feet need to be free to grow without restraints and they won't be walking much before a year, so just throw on some nice thick socks or soft slippers/moccasins.
When a baby is born it's vision is limited and it's optimum range (where he can see the clearest) is approx 10 inches from his face. Not surprisingly, this is the distance between his eyes and mum's when breastfeeding ! !
Breastfeeding is a great time for interaction with baby. He will love to hear you hum gently and speak to him. He is intently watching your facial expressions and you'll see him react your gestures.
Keep toys to a minimum, he is only just learning how to live in this world with all it's noise, colours, lights, sounds and smells, this is plenty to stimulate the baby's mind at this stage.
Following your instincts is the best way to meet your baby's needs.
I find it curious that there is a general attitude amongst some people that you can "spoil" a baby.
How ludicrous ! Some people even feel that their baby is trying to "control" them and that if they "give in" the baby will grow up not respecting them or taking advantage etc. ! It needs to be understood that babies do not have the manipulation capabilities to confirm these opinions.
Babies cry and parents respond. This is so and how it should be. We've all heard that crying is how our babies communicate with us, but ideally we should aim to prevent the need for our babies to cry.
Obviously, there will be times that our babies cry, we're often pretty busy people and so can't spend every minute watching our babies to second guess them, but it is possible to learn the rhythm of our babies needs. When a baby rouses from sleep, especially a newborn, it will most likely be hungry, etc.
I have observed with my own children that the babies I couldn't always quickly tend to, (bless, number 5....) then learnt quickly that they would have to cry to get my attention. even when I was right there for them on occasions. It was a lesson they learnt that is not easily (if ever) forgotten.
Breastfeeding on demand will one of the most important ways you can make your baby secure in the knowledge that his/her needs will be met.
Co-sleeping with your baby is the healthiest option in every sense of the word. There is plenty of research to demonstrate that the family bed reduces risk of cot death and promotes healthy independent children. This is something a lot of families practise and may feel uncomfortable about on a social level despite being happy with the arrangement. If you want to know more about this topic or to arm yourself with the facts to feel confident is trusting your instincts, visit our Co-Sleeping Page and visit our Co-Sleeping Links
So to recap.....if you want to make things easy on yourself, "spoil" your baby and thumb your nose at any that "disapprove"!