You and your Baby at Home
There is so much to do and to understand and learn about your baby’s development and first-time parents can be quite apprehensive when they initially return home from hospital with their baby. The first week at home will be a very busy time as you adjust to your new arrival.
It is vital that you dedicate specific time to bond with your Baby and spend as much time as you can with them. You will also be establishing either breast or bottle feeding during the first 2 weeks of demand feeding. For smaller and premature babies, demand feeding should be extended to 3-4 weeks. In order to avoid discomfort after feeding, you will need to establish a method of burping that works for your Baby. Burping gets rid of any excessive air from feeding, which becomes trapped.
Listening to your Baby’s cry is important as you will learn that there are different pitches and tones as well as differing volumes in your Baby’s cry which in turn relate to the differing needs your Baby is trying to communicate that require to be met.
Vision – Focus is developing and your Baby will only see you clearly from very close distances. It is recommended that you hold your Baby’s gaze straight in front of your face. You will see your Baby examine your face in great detail.
Senses – Smell and sound are huge recognition senses to your Baby at this stage.
Mobiles – Mobiles hanging above cots should have a huge contrast in colour. Black and white mobiles are recommended at this stage.
Hands – Your Baby may take some time to realize that their hands are not only connected to them but also that they are in control of them. The natural way for your Baby to hold their hands is in a fist.
Voices – Being vocal with your Baby is essential, and your Baby will turn toward your voice when they hear it. Within 3-4 days your Baby will know your voice.
Singing – High sing-song sounds will achieve the best response, especially if you look directly at your Baby while making these sounds. All of those nursery rhymes you enjoyed from your childhood will come flooding back!
Speaking – Speaking slowly and accentuating every word will help babies to develop their own language and speech skills.
Smell – Your Baby can recognize you and your partner, mainly by smell after the first 4-5 days.
Crying – Your Baby will also realize that their needs will be met if they cry.
Sounds – Your Baby will show signs of response to your voice, and will move their arms and legs when excited.
Vision – Some “home-made” mobiles or pictures can be created with white paper and a thick black marker. Draw some simple shapes and patterns. Your Baby will easily detect the contrasting shapes.
Touch – Skin to skin contact is hugely enjoyed by your Baby. They will also enjoy lying on your chest where they can look at your face and feel your heartbeat and breathing rhythms.
Stimulation – the Company of another person, being talked to and being fed.
Contact – Being held over your shoulder as you rock from side to side. Being carried in a Baby sling and walking around the house and outside.
Attention – Gentle patting on the back either over your shoulder or as they lie on their tummy across your lap.
Senses – Stroking with a soft brush or toy or gently blowing on their face. Your Baby will also enjoy Baby massage.
Sounds – Calming music, in particular music you may have listened to while you were pregnant.
Mimicry – Hold your Baby in front of your face and poke out your tongue. Your Baby will attempt to mimic you.
Sounds – Talking and singing to your Baby
Vision – Tie some coloured ribbons to the handle of a wooden spoon for example. Slowly wave these in front of your Baby’s face. As your Baby ages they will try to catch the ribbons, which assists with their hand-eye co-ordination.
Touch – Try placing your Baby on lots of differing materials from soft blankets and sheets to wool and silk.
Hand co-ordination – Let her grasp your finger and other small objects of various materials
Viewpoint – Alternate your Baby’s position from lying on her back to lying on her tummy during playtime.