Today we are very excited to feature 5 new parent tips from the baby experts -- or more accurately, "baby whisperers" -- over at Dream Team Doulas! Their highly trained staff, which has been supporting families since 1997, provides unique services including private in-home newborn care, breastfeeding support, mother's recovery, and gentle sleep training for babies and toddlers. Please visit their website for a full list of services and to learn more about them: DreamTeamDoulas.com
**GIVEAWAY ALERT** Dream Team Doulas has also generously offered to give away a FREE one-hour phone consultation (valued at $60) -- please "like" their Facebook page by 12pm PST on August 12th to be entered to win!
And now, for their 5 must-have tips on making life easier with a newborn baby in the home:
Many breastfeeding mothers will experience engorgement a few days after birth when their milk comes in. To relieve full and tender breasts, most experts recommend a hot compress before or during feeding and pumping to help the milk flow, followed by a bag of frozen produce covered in a towel to reduce swelling. As Doulas, we found that our traditional hot compress would lose heat very quickly requiring numerous reheating with each feed. We have found this quick tip to be an ideal solution to a longer-lasting hot compress:
Pour 1/2 cup of water into a newborn disposable diaper and microwave for 25 seconds. Test the diaper to make sure that the temperature is not too hot. Wrap diaper around the breast avoiding nipple and covering the entire side of breast closest to the arm where most ducts are located. Massage breast while feeding and/or pumping to help relieve milk ducts.
Many newborns have blocked tear ducts that can cause watery eyes and sometimes yellow discharge. This is very common in newborns, and because it can take a few weeks for tear ducts to open, we want to offer a wonderful tip to prevent infection and help the duct to open:
Keep eye clean by wiping gently with a warm baby washcloth. Use an eye dropper to apply two drops of breast milk into the baby’s eye. With clean hands, gently massage the inner corner of the eye in a circular motion for about 20 seconds. Repeat up to 3 times a day.
Because newborn’s skin is so thin and delicate, it doesn't take much to develop diaper rash. We have found the absolute best way to heal the skin the fastest is letting baby "air out" with no diaper several hours a day. Be sure to hold baby with a cloth diaper, as babies are sure to relieve themselves often. When the rash looks like it's drying up, apply mother’s milk to their bottom before any ointments and re-diaper. Talk to your doctor about RX diaper rash ointment if this persist. For older babies and toddlers, persistent diaper rashes can be a sign of allergies. Talk to your pediatrician for possible dietary solutions.
Another common newborn condition is dry skin forming on the scalp in patches. In most cases this is just extra skin that will eventually flake off with time and does not require treatment. If it persists, try rubbing raw organic coconut oil on the dry patches of your baby's scalp. Apply several times in a 24 hour period. With a very fine-tooth comb, gently comb baby's scalp. The dry skin should lift effortlessly off the scalp. If it doesn't, try coconut oil application several times a day for another 24 hours and try again.
So many of us new mothers find it hard to take care of ourselves with the new round-the-clock baby duty. Self-care is so incredibly important as a new parent to be able to maintain the stamina it requires to care for your baby day and night. Here's a tip that provides self-care, baby care and skin-to-skin bonding all in one! You will need your partner or support person available to help.
1. Draw a warm (not hot) bath just half full. 2. Put a few drops of organic baby wash in the water. 2. Get in and have your partner hand the baby to you. If you are breastfeeding, the baby will latch right on. To keep the baby calm, put a hand towel in the water to cover the baby’s body to prevent cool air from upsetting him. You can add a drop of organic baby wash to a washcloth and gently clean baby at your pace. The warm water is a familiar and safe place to your baby and reminds him or her of the womb. Breastfeeding and having skin-to-skin contact lowers stress hormones and creates attachment. Most little ones are in heaven with this mommy and me bath. When baby is done, hand him off to your partner and enjoy the rest of your bath or shower. Now you have a clean baby that’s happy and fed with intimate bonding all in one sitting. ☺
- Side tip - have your partner pop a baby towel in the dryer after they hand you the baby. When it's time for them to retrieve the baby, they will have a toasty warm towel to prevent the cold air upsetting them.