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Your Newborn Baby Care
Crash Course

Surprise! You're a mom! ...And I'm assuming you have your Newborn Baby Care Master's Degree in hand...What's that? No? tsk tsk...Lucky for you, I've got a set of Cliff Notes all ready and waiting.

For our thesis, let me recommend the phrase... Enjoy being new, avoid being naive.

Isn't that close to perfect? You want to enjoy the wonders of being a new mother, the excitement of a new baby, but you also want to avoid the pitfalls of making naive mistakes that can be costly.

Costly to your sleep, costly to your budget, and even (gulp!) costly to you or your baby's health.

In order to help guide you through the basics of newborn baby care, I've split our Master's Degree into Cliff-Note size portions. Starting with the foundational and moving up from there. (Don't you love how "out there" my method is?)

Side Note: Yes, I'm already going on a tangent. One of the things that surprised me as a new mother was all the tracking I had to do. I had to track the number of diaper changes, time feeding, time sleeping, medical notes, growth rate...ugh! Who has time for all that!!

Lucky for you, recently I discovered a series of new books called Baby's Eat, Sleep, and Poop Journal. This simple book has everything organized and "pretty". You can either choose between girly-girl lavender or manly-man aqua. I recommend at least taking a peek. It's very helpful and perfect for organizationally-challenged and organizationally-obsessed mothers alike.

Newborn Baby Care Masters Course #1:
The Emotionally Prepared Mother

newborn baby care 5
Yes, newborn baby care involves dirty diapers, bottles, sleepless nights, burping, etc. But that's really not the first course you need to pass.

Your first set of courses must evolve on getting you emotionally prepared for this new, exhausting-yet-exhort challenge.

Let's reflect, for just a moment, on the reality of what has just happened. A new person has just entered your life.

A person with likes and dislikes. A relationship has started. And like any relationship, there will be times of deep love and tenderness, and there will be times of frustration and annoyance.

Understanding that fact in the beginning will go a long way in helping your expectations of motherhood be realistic.

Making the daily adjustments of life with a newborn can be difficult. To help you pass The Emotionally Prepared Mother course, I've compiled a few articles to offer what to expect and tips on how to deal with these exciting, yet inevitable trials.

Newborn Baby Care Masters Course #2:
The Bowel Obsession

It's inevitable. You will at some point, start obsessing about your newborn's bowels. Is he going too often? or not enough? Don't think you're exempt! I get more emails on this subject than any other.

In the first month of life, your newborn should have 5 to 8 wet diapers a day. Most babies will have daily bowel movements. However, there are always exceptions to the "poop rule".

My newborn Bella decided to wait 6 days! I called the doctor. Diagnosis? Normal. She wasn't acting like she was in pain. She showed no signs of constipation. On the 7th day she had a bowel explosion. Up the the hair...time for Dad to give a bath.

So, to help you pass The Bowel Obsession Course, here are some articles packed-shmacked with tons of information about poop. (oh joy! No TV tonight!)

  • Deciphering Wierd Colors in a Dirty Diaper

      Infant bowel movements speak volumes about your infant's health. Understanding the "Language of Poo" can be a useful tool for evaluating your baby's overall wellness...
  • Identifying Infant Constipation

      If your baby seems unusually fussy and grumpy, infant constipation could be the culprit. Double check these clues to decide whether your baby is constipated or just plain cranky...
  • Tips on Changing Diapers

      The act of changing diapers is certainly on the dark side of parenting. It is the moment of truth when your love is acted out and you sacrifice your olfactory nerves (a.k.a. nose) to a higher calling...
  • Performing a Proper Diaper Check

      Doing a proper diaper check is not art. It's simply good habits. These steps will start you on the right path for proper diaper changing technique. Why does that matter? Because good techniques make your baby (and you) cleaner, which leads to less sickness...
  • The Difference Between a Newborn Vomiting and Just Spitting Up

      Sometime's it's hard to tell the difference between a newborn who's vomiting, and one that's merely spitting up. Here's a clear definition of what to look for, and how to treat both conditions...

Newborn Baby Care Masters Course #3:
Feed Like a Pro

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{Photo by Chesi - Fotos CC}
Now that we've discussed what's coming out of your infant, it makes sense that our next course be focused on putting things in. Basic newborn baby care requires you to consider the nutrition your baby is receiving.

If you haven't tried breastfeeding, I recommend giving it a try. For some moms it's as easy as point and latch. For others (like myself) it takes a little more work. However, the benefits are worth the effort.

If you decide to breastfeed, make sure you continue to take your prenatal vitamin every day and monitor your diet for foods that may make him gassy (broccoli, peppers and onions are usual suspects).

If you have to take medication, be sure to share with your doctor that you are breastfeeding, since some drugs can be harmful to your infant and he will get some of the medication through the milk.

If you decide to use formula, start with either free samples or small containers. Every baby will react to formula differently. Purchasing small (or better yet, free) allows you to discard the formula guilt-free if your baby gets too gassy, or just doesn't like it.

Obviously, you'll want to ace your Feed Like a Pro course in our Newborn Baby Care Master's Degree. To do that, here are some additional articles I think you'll find helpful.

  • Top 5 Baby Nursing Myths Exposed (and other Breastfeeding Tips)
      Start your baby nursing adventure on the right foot by discovering the truth behind the 5 most popular newborn nursing myths. It's information like this that can make the difference between a fantastic or frustrating nursing experience...
  • How to Breastfeed: A Step-By-Step Guide

      Learning how to breastfeed is often the first challenge a new mom makes after delivery. These useful tips and easy steps on how to breast feed will help you meet that challenge head on...and win!
  • Burping Baby Tips

      Would you be comfortable with a huge balloon in your stomach? A burping baby doesn't have to live with that discomfort. What is the consequence of popping that balloon? A happier baby. What's the lesson for you? Learn how to get that burp...

Newborn Baby Care Masters Course #4:
Growing By Leaps and Bounds

How do you weigh your baby at home?

Weigh yourself first. (Yes, you have to look.)

Then weigh yourself holding your infant. Subtract the two and...voila!

Your baby's weight.

Besides questions about poo, the second most popular email subject I receive in regards to newborn baby care is rate of growth. Shouldn't she be bigger? Shouldn't he be smaller?

In the first week of life, your baby may lose up to 7 - 10% of his birthweight. After that, you're looking for growth, growth, growth. In fact, by the end of week two, he should be back to his birthweight.

Up to his third month, look for a daily gain of about 2/3 ounces a day. At the 3-6 month mark, your baby will probably slow down growth, tapering down to .5 ounces a day. The older your baby becomes, the slower his weight gain should become. If your baby doesn't seem to be gaining at this rate, call your doctor.

Naturally, you probably won't be able to weigh your baby every day. At the beginning, once a week is fine. Eventually, you can switch to monthly. And then you can just wait for Well Baby Appointments to tell you how he's doing

I'll even give you this permission: You don't even have to weigh your baby at all. Yes, you heard me. NOT weighing your baby doesn't make you a bad mom. Hooray! Just watch to see that he is eating regularly, and growing out of his clothes at a good rate. case you're curious and need to cram for the Final in your Growing by Leaps and Bounds Newborn Baby Care Masters Course, you can cheat by reading the articles in this section on your newborn's growth and development milestones.

  • The Best Baby Learning Toys to Sprinkle "Brain Magic" All Over Your Newborn

      In the world of newborns, there are baby toys...and then there are baby LEARNING toys. I lay out, milestone by milestone, which skills are on the learning table. That way you can find (and hit Grandma up) for the toys that will give you the most for your brain-boosting-buck.

    Newborn Baby Care Masters Course #5:
    Good Stuff Vs. Bad Stuff

    Babies are a billion dollar industry. Yes, there are products out there that are helpful, beautiful, and worth every penny. There are also products out there that are just, well, not worth every penny.

    I've dedicated an entire section of this website to reviewing and discussing newborn baby care products. See the best baby product winners (and losers) here. Enjoy looking around...and add your own reviews while you're there!

    Did You Adopt?
    A Resource Just for You

    I understand many of my visitors may be needing this information for a baby that isn't theirs. If you are a grandparent or foster parent and are interested in adopting a baby, let me happily recommend you check out

    It gives you all you need to know about child adoption: ideas, information, and advice from someone who has been there. It includes adoption options, requirements and more.

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