7 Super Ways to Combat New Mom Challenges
A guide to help moms discover new powers during their baby's first 12 weeks
Supermoms play many roles when it comes to baby care, and diaper changer may be the most thankless of all. Amazingly, Supermoms can eventually become almost immune to the smell of their own child's pee and poop. Now that's a superpower that comes in handy, since newborns go through as many as 10 diapers a day. Follow our diapering tips to make your changes safe and mess-free:
• If you're using a changing table, keep one hand on your squirmy baby's belly. Never leave him unattended, even for a second. Even tiny babies can surprise you with the ability to roll over when you least expect it.
• Use damp cotton balls or baby wipes to clean your baby's genital area thoroughly. For little girls, be sure to wipe front to back to avoid a urinary tract infection. For boys, use a washcloth to cover his penis and avoid a surprise shower. If your son is uncircumcised, it is important to gently tug back his foreskin and cleanse thoroughly. [Read an important note from the Editors of Babytalk about the care and cleansing of baby boys' penises.]
• Change soiled diapers often to avoid rashes, and always dry the area completely before fastening a new diaper. If that cute bottom becomes inflamed with a diaper rash, wash the affected area with warm water and apply a cream like Desitin. If the rash continues for more than a few days, call your pediatrician; it could be a yeast infection or an allergic reaction.
• If your newborn's umbilical cord stump is still attached, fold down the front of the diaper below the belly button to avoid exposure to waste or moisture.
Two to three hours of crying a day in the first three months is considered normal, according to the AAP. Is it stressing you out? Blame one of your superpowers! Researchers used MRI imaging to show that a crying baby actually triggers a neural chain reaction in a mom's brain, heightening her reaction. But even the most in-tune Supermom can sometimes find calming a crying baby difficult. After covering the basics, like checking to see if he's wet, hungry or tired, Silva suggests the following tactics. Before you know it, you'll be adding these to your ever-growing superpower collection.
• Use a swing. The movement mimics the motion babies experience in the womb, and thus has a tendency to calm them.
• Carry your baby in a sling. You'll be hands-free and can even tackle household chores (or your Facebook status update) while your baby is comforted by the closeness.
• Warm baths can be soothing for little ones. (Others find it irritating, so try it out and see if it helps.) Most babies can take a bath once the umbilical cord has fallen off and healed. Use hypoallergenic, scent-free baby soap to prevent skin irritation, and massage him with soft, circular strokes.
• Yes! A Supermom has the power to morph into her baby's very own human pacifier. It's called breastfeeding, but a simple pacifier can work too.
• Ssshh softly in his ear, run a vacuum cleaner or play a white noise CD. It simulates the constant sounds heard in the womb. It also helps some babies tune out other sounds that subtly stimulate.
• Try swaddling him. The warm, secure feeling is soothing to most newborns. Go to babytalk.com for a step-by-step primer on how to swaddle.