What's in this post...
Inside you’ll find simple and easy to implement baby advice that has stood the test of time. This adds on well to my newborn baby needs post.
A little over 9 years ago, I was pregnant with my first child.
We lived in Scotland at the time, and it’s typical in Scotland to go to a midwife instead of a nurse or a doctor. She gave a packet of information that was full of stuff that I had no idea about.
One of the things that this packet suggested was that you put baby to sleep on their back. This is one of the biggest ways that Scotland had cut down the number of occurrences of SID.
I remember telling this to everyone, and so many people said, “Back in my day, you put babies to sleep on their stomachs so that if they threw up, they didn’t swallow it. Now you put them to sleep on their back. You slept on your stomach and you were fine.“
For a while, it was confusing because, what do you listen to?
Many times, the old advice and traditional ways of doing things work well. But then, new research comes out and you want to do the next best practice.
However, some baby advice has stood the test of time and not changed for decades! Let’s talk about those things..
Simple Baby Advice That Stands the Test of Time
Here are some classic, best practices that have stood the test of time. With this baby advice, you’re sure to have a peaceful time with new baby!
Meet Baby’s Needs Predictably
The first thing is to meet baby’s needs predictably. You baby will need this reliability to establish a proper routine and be able to soothe.
If you don’t choose how and when to meet baby’s needs with regularity you’ll end up trying to interpret baby’s cries all day long. You don’t need to be at the mercy of trying to guess what baby needs.
You know what baby needs. Give it to her before she has to cry for it.
Baby advice to meet needs predictably:
- Feed them full feeds so their tummies are full
- Put them down to nap when it’s time for them to nap
- Change their diapers and keep them at an appropriate temperature
- Give plenty of cuddles and hugs (why science says you must hug your littles)
If you do these things predictably, you’ll cut down on crying and fussing significantly. In fact, you’ll end up with a baby that cries very little.
I’ve had people comment on all five of my babies peaceful demeanor. It was simply because I met the baby’s needs in a predictable way which meant baby didn’t need to cry.
I knew when it was time for baby to feed and I would feed them. When it was time for baby to sleep, I would put them down for a nap.
They were well fed and well rested and they didn’t need to fuss.
Do Not Forsake Routine
Research is unanimous.
There has not been a single study come out by a reputable source on baby advice that says that routine is not good for babies. It has all shown that for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and children on up, routines are key.
Routines bring security, stability, and predictability. Routines help your baby know what’s coming next.
Although interruptions do happen, when you have a routine, you begin to recognize what baby needs.
- Baby’s crying, but this is when we normally feed so he’s probably hungry.
- Baby’s rubbing getting a bit fussy and rubbing his eyes. This is when I normally put them down for a rest so I know he’s tired.
Keeping a routine helps you to meet your baby’s exact needs in a timely manner without the mystery. Because you meet his/her needs with regularity you get tuned into baby’s needs in an eerily accurate way.
Now, that’s good baby advice!
Protect Those First Few Months
In the past when women had babies they would often stay in confinement for months after delivery. Recovering, recuperating, and taking care of baby were key priorities.
Nowadays, people have a baby and three days later – they’re up and at ’em and busy again. To a certain extent this can’t be avoided. Life does go on, especially if you have a few young children close in age.
While you don’t need to lock yourself in the nursery for three months, it is important you establish a rhythm and routine with your baby. That you learn to nurture, feed, and bond.
It takes a while to get used to the new family dynamics. You must learn how baby feeds, how baby rests, what makes baby comfortable, and on and on.
There’s no baby advice that can take the place of this time spent.
And… if you have others at home, you must figure out how to feed baby while taking care of toddlers.
It’s important you take care of yourself those first few months. This is for both you and baby. Remember this: the first few months are not how it’s going to look in the next year, or the next two years.
It’s okay to take special time out. It’s okay to establish a good routine and way of doing things that will benefit you and baby for years to come.
Start Out How You Can Hold Out
My grandmother gave me a great piece of advice when I had my first born…
She said, “Start out how you can hold out.” I’ve always remembered that.
Now, of course, there are things you do when baby is one month that you don’t do when baby is six months old. There are things you do with a six month old baby you don’t do with a one year old baby.
Start out how you can hold out is a general idea that says this… don’t start doing things that are crazy or unsustainable for a temporary solution.
Tips to “start out like you can hold out”:
- If you find yourself looking for shortcuts… back up and think, “What is going on? How can I meet baby’s need without starting a habit that will be extremely hard to break?“
- Stick with the habits that work. If you have a habit or practice that benefits everyone, by all means, keep doing it.
- When something you’ve tried fails time and again…If you find yourself doing something over and over again that doesn’t work and is making you resentful, it’s time to change it up.
- Think long term and don’t be afraid to dig a bit deeper and find the root of the problem.
Let Life Be Different
Those first few months with baby are just so precious…
Often as mothers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to continue to all the things we did before pregnancy. We think we should continue to be everything to everyone in the same way we were before.
But that’s not realistic! You don’t have to do anything that isn’t healthy because… you are the grown-up.
It’s a false guilt that tells you, “You shouldn’t just rest and be with baby.”
Babies grow up so fast and those first months are very important. You have to figure out a new family culture, a new family dynamic. It is important to give yourself grace and rest during this period because you need down time to recover.
Healthy ways to achieve this:
- Scale back some commitments to focus on your family during this time. (If you aren’t in a healthy frame of mind you’ll find it difficult to be the mother you want to be.)
- Enjoy this season knowing it’s just that: a season. (Those first few months and that first year can be extremely difficult if you don’t call a spade a spade.)
- Accept the limitations that come with having a baby rather than try to push through, at the expense of everyone. (Let baby season be baby season!)
It’s just hard at first…
There are so many unknowns with baby, especially when you’re a new mom.
It may be comforting to hear traditional baby advice, but research how they recommend doing it now. Many things have changed over the years, and many thing, for the better.
It’s good to keep in mind that now, we have research for many things. This is a better way, even if it’s just slightly better. For a new mom, learning baby advice based on reserach can be helpful.
In the same way, there are many ways of doing things, that stand the test of time, that really have always been good for a baby, and will always be good for a baby.
That is… for you to:
- Meet their needs predictably
- Establish a good routine
- Protect baby in those first few months
- Start healthy habits that don’t require you to jump through crazy hoops and
- Accept that this season is going to be different
You’ll feel more peace and contentment in the season when you surrender to it.[amffh-sampleroutines]