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The Instruction Manual You Wish Your Baby Came With

The Instruction Manual You Wish Your Baby Came With

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Congratulations! It’s a baby.

Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, let’s be honest. Babies are entrancing, heart-melting, and absolutely terrifying.

Did she eat enough?

Is the bath too hot?

How often should I bathe him?

Why is she crying?

Does she need a burp?

Is he gassy?

Is she constipated?

Why is he crying?

Why is he crying?

Oh, for heaven’s sake! Why is he crying?

Parenthood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.

While it would be fantastic if babies were born with a guidance-loaded backpack, the reality is that once you leave the hospital and its wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff, you need to don the caregiver cape. Because now it’s up to you to care for this tiny human being.

Rest assured! You can navigate this incredible journey with confidence and ease. You’ve got what it takes to be an amazing parent to your baby. 

If babies were born with those elusive manuals, here’s a snippet of the advice it would probably contain:


Understanding Your Baby's Cues

Babies come without instructions, but they do come equipped with their own unique way of communicating. 

From cries and coos to facial expressions and body movements, your baby is constantly sending you signals about their needs. 

Cue the cues:

  • A whiny, persistent nasal cry that intensifies as if to say, “I had enough!”

Check if your baby needs to be diapered

  • Fussy cry, with a slow intro that morphs into a frantic, demanding siren  accompanied by flailing arms and clenched fingers

This baby wants his food now!

  • Yawns, jerky movements, and whimpering that steadily escalates to high-pitched crying

This tired baby needs her beauty sleep.

Remember, sometimes you’ve fed, diapered, burped, changed, napped, massaged, and met all of the baby's needs, and the baby is still  WHINEY, IRRITABLE, AND FIDGETY!

And that drives your mama nerves absolutely wild. Especially at 3 a.m. or when you’re trying to tackle some laundry midday.

While colic may be the culprit, know that some babies just like to hear their own voice, and some love to be held. Baby only wants mom is a real thing!

Stay calm, because they breathe in your calm.

And you may want to try settling those shrieks with the baby-favored Bibs pacifier or a soothing Frida Baby belly-rub.


Eat, Sleep, and Repeat

Babies thrive on routine, and you’ll love the predictability of a scheduled day too. And because newborns pretty much fill their days by eating and sleeping, let’s get your baby’s schedule downpat.

Some food for thought

Everyone’s got their own food preferences and babies are no exception. You’ve got the ones that give a classic three-hour-stretch between mealtime and the feisty foodies that can’t get enough.

Whether you're breastfeeding, formula feeding, or doing a combination of both, pay attention to your baby’s eating patterns.

What’s their stretch between feedings?

Do they like their bottle warm or room temp?

What position do they nurse best in?

Always, follow their lead but try to get in a full feed, instead of letting your baby nosh all day. It ensures a proper feeding routine and helps establish healthy eating habits

Once the feed is over, make your baby completely comfortable by burping and diapering them. And when you think your baby has burped enough, try to get just one more. It makes a huge difference in providing a good stretch until the next feed.

If any issues arise, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced lactation consultant. Hey! That’s what they’re there for. Reach out to your local La Leche League for assistance and support so that both you and your baby have a positive feeding experience.


Navigating Sleep

Ahhhh, a good night’s sleep is the fervent dream of every parent (Or should we say, if only Mom and Dad slept long enough to get to dream-phase at night?)

While there's no magic Sleep Fairy, healthy sleep habits for your baby are attainable. 

Set a Schedule: Establish scheduled and consistent napping times throughout the day, which will lead to a smoother bedtime routine.

Comfy up: While it’s crucial to adhere to safety and avoid soft cushions or layers, observe how your baby prefers to relax and drift off. An afternoon nap can be taken in a securely-fastened swing. Being that blankets are a hazard, either swaddle or give your cuddler an adorable security blanket for that plush, yummy feel against the cheek.

Bedtime Routine: As evening approaches, engage in calmer activities like soothing music and a warm bath to help your baby wind down for bedtime. Stick to the same bedtime routine, at the same time every night. Applying lotion is soothing and relaxing. Once your baby has eaten and is comfortable, dim the lights to signal the transition to nighttime and gently settle them into their crib.

Disclaimer: As with all parenting advice, these feeding and sleeping regimens are easier said than done. It may take some trial and error and you might feel like everyone else managed to schedule their baby except for you.

The Truth: Even if your baby may not cooperate, consistency is key. By habitually repeating and adjusting the routine to your baby’s preference, especially during growth spurts, teething, or illness, things will fall into place.



Is this a problem?

Trust your maternal instincts and seek support when you need it.

Running to check your baby’s pulse the first week is perfectly normal. And while your baby’s stuffed nose is nerve-wracking, a monitored common cold is usually not life threatening. (Pssst Fridababy Electric NoseFrida is a game-changing reliever!)

However, fever at a young age, changes in your baby’s stool, a skin abnormality, or lethargy are all concerns that warrant immediate attention.

Doctors and helplines are always available to assess your baby’s condition and guide you far more effectively than your coworker.

And, no! There’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to your baby’s well-being.

Enjoy your Baby

The days are long, but the years are short. It's so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of caring for an infant, but savor this incredible stage.

  • Snuggle up in the morning! Nothing like those sunrise cuddles.
  • Rattle some toys and giggle together.
  • Jam your camera with those toothless smile photos.
  • Cozy up next to your baby (this playmat is perfect for it)
  • Whip out your stroller and go for a refreshing outing.

And for the best advice ever: Embrace the beautiful chaos of parenthood with an open heart and a sense of humor.  

Happy parenting!

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