There is a lot to tell about the first six weeks of a baby's life. Plenty of changes are happening in the life of the mother and in the development of her child. Some of them are exciting, while others are quite challenging. After all, having a newborn at home is no small undertaking.
The way the mother behaves during these first weeks and the things she does with her child have a huge influence on the subsequent development of the baby. Not realizing the value of this time, many moms get into the routine that consists of feeding, changing diapers, and napping. There's nothing bad about it because the baby will grow and develop anyway. But it's a much better idea to do some other things to facilitate the development, increase the baby's capacity to learn, and create a stronger bond with them.
What are these things we can do with a newborn? Surprisingly, there are a lot of them. Moms can even take a baby on a hike, for a road trip, or to a museum. To do it, moms only need to know a few simple tips. Or if they want to stay at home, they can still boost the baby's development by playing special games with them or listening to music.
So let's discuss what moms can do with a six-week-young baby to feel the joy of motherhood and keep a little one happy!
20 Have A Stroll
By the time your baby turns six weeks, you can start taking strolls with them. It's going to be very beneficial for both of you to get some sunlight and fresh air, so just make sure that you follow some of the common precautions to keep your bundle of joy safe.
According to Very Well Family, you should generally avoid large crowds and prefer a walk in a park to a shopping mall visit. Always dress your baby to the weather, which means that you shouldn't dress them too warm or too cold. The rule of thumb is to add one more layer of clothes to what you have. And it's also a nice idea to use a sling, especially in a colder season.
19 Use Gentle Smells
You might be surprised to learn that even though your baby is so small, their sense of smell is very well developed. It's actually even stronger than yours. According to Mom365, the baby needs this sense of smell to recognize their parents and understand when someone they don't know wants to hold them. It's kind of a survival mechanism that helps the little one understand that they're in safe hands.
It means that while your baby is still little, you shouldn't use strong-smelling perfumes, shampoos, or creams. If you do, you'll confuse your baby and they won't be able to recognize your personal, natural smell.
18 Use Some Sleeping Tricks
A lot of babies only want to sleep only on their mommy's chest. Even if you love it when they do so, because you get to smell their head and see them being so cute, it's not always good for you (or even for your baby) to allow it. So to prevent them from waking up, when you want to put them in a crib, you can use a nice trick offered by a mom on Mom365, who realized that her little one just wanted to stay warm.
"I started wrapping a blanket around a heating pad and letting it warm up her bed while I fed her," says Pam from Newnan, GA. "After she was done and had fallen asleep, I removed the heating pad and slipped the baby between the folds of the warm blanket. She would snuggle right in."
17 Don't Exclude The Daily Noise
If you want your baby to sleep well, don't exclude all kinds of sounds when they're in their crib. Keep in mind that it was never quiet when they were in your womb, so your little one is actually used to some background noise. It soothes them.
To keep the white noise going in your baby's room, you can purchase a noise machine or download a decibel reader app and turn it on when you're putting your baby to sleep. Be sure to upload it to your phone, because you might need it on the go.
In fact, turning on the white noise machine can become a part of your baby's sleep time routine that will help them understand that it's time to catch some Zs.
16 Act Emotionally
According to Mom Junction, acting emotionally with your baby and exaggerating your emotions is a good way to communicate and to help your little one develop. There are many ways to do it.
For example, when you talk to your bundle of joy, use animated gestures and expressions. Talk in different voices using various pitches. When the baby pays attention to something, describe this object as vividly as you can, being very emotional about it. You'll be amazed to see how your baby reacts to all these things! It'll increase their attention span, strengthen your bond, and help them learn and recognize different emotions.
15 Let The Baby Lead The Way
As soon as you come home with your baby, be prepared to have your family members and friends around to give you advice on parenting. Literally everyone will want to put in their two cents and tell you what you should do in this or that situation. Of course, they probably do it from the best of motives, but it can get nerve-racking at some point.
For example, if everyone tells you that you should feed your baby once every three hours, not more often, but you see that your little one is crying their eyes out in two hours, just feed them. Your baby is the one who should tell you when they're hungry, tired, playful, happy, etc. Not someone else.
14 Set Easy Goals
It's totally understandable if you want to be the best mom in the world, while still remaining a perfect wife and a great employee. But you should remember that all other things tend to change a lot when the baby comes.
Patricia Carswell, a life coach to new moms says, "Set yourself easy goals." It's good advice, especially since in the first few weeks after childbirth you can even consider it a challenge to take a shower or get dressed. So don't expect yourself to do all the same things you used to do. Go slow and establish a new routine both at home and at work that will reflect the new priority of your life.
13 Talk About Something Else
When you have a newborn at home, you tend to talk only about your baby in particular and motherhood in general. If you do it, at some point you might even wonder what you'd been talking about with your partner before your little one was born. To avoid this kind of situation, make sure that you have other topics to discuss, however tempting it is to show a new video of your baby cooing or smiling in their crib.
"Set aside 10 minutes a day to talk to your partner about anything but your baby," says Patricia Carswell on Made for Mums. It'll help you refocus on your relationship and, probably, even rekindle the romance. Isn't that important?
12 Go Hiking
If you don't want to limit yourself to a simple walk in a park, you can take your baby hiking, as well. You shouldn't think that it's unsafe to do it. Just make sure to choose the simplest trails, start small, and (obviously) take your partner, friend, or family member with you, so that you don't have to be alone in case something unexpected happens.
Choosing a carrier for your hike is important. Be sure to test the one you choose beforehand by taking your baby in it for a simple walk. Both you and your child need to be comfortable with it because otherwise, neither of you will enjoy the hike.
11 Take A Road Trip
If taking a hike is possible with a little baby, why shouldn't a road trip also be fine? So don't hesitate to plan a visit to your parents and just keep a few simple tips in mind to make your little one's first road trip safe and smooth.
First of all, make sure that you have a person in a car who will always be with the baby, holding them, playing with them, changing their nappies, etc. Secondly, have frequent breaks and, best of all, plan them ahead. Thirdly, give preference to the route that has a lot of gas stations, restrooms, cafes, and other places you might need on the way. And, of course, always have all necessary supplies (such as wet wipes, bottles, toys, and some medicine) at hand.
10 Celebrate Something
Celebrating something with kids for the first time is a great joy, especially when it comes to such an important family holiday as Christmas or Thanksgiving. So be sure to make the best of your little one's first celebration.
So when you celebrate Christmas, for example, it's a great idea to arrange a special photoshoot with your baby wearing a Santa hat or being dressed like an elf. You'll cherish these photos forever! Besides, you can also use Christmas bells, bright wrapping paper, and other decorations to play with your baby and keep both of you entertained.
Just remember to keep it all simple and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. You're a new mom, after all!
9 Start Cultivating An Appreciation For Beauty And Art
If you think that taking your infant to a museum with you isn't worth it, because "the baby won't care and won't remember anything about it," you're not entirely right. Yes, the baby won't remember the early weeks of their lives, but everything you do during this time still matters.
So as soon as you're ready to visit, your baby's ready, too. In fact, according to Baby Center, "an art museum can be a rich source of visual stimulation for babies." Kids respond to art very vividly. It has been found that if they see an image that they particularly like, they focus on it, smile, and try to reach out to it.
Besides, a lot of museums have special programs for babies. They're really interesting, so go ahead and check them out!
8 Take In Some Tunes
Did you know that listening to music helps your baby grow and develop quicker? Even before your little one is born, it's extremely beneficial to listen to classical music, so it's needless to say that doing it after birth also has enormous benefits.
According to Tiny Love, the positive effects of music on a developing baby are diverse and they touch upon both physical and mental spheres. Among other things, music helps develop creativity, memory, emotional intelligence, as well as language skills. So don't hesitate to start cultivating a good taste in music in your child from the early weeks of their life (or even before birth).
7 Start Learning To Understand Each Other
Obviously, mother and baby spend a lot of time together. Basically, they spend all the time together, except for their naps. And sometimes, even when they sleep, they're still together. For this reason, it's safe to assume that mother and baby learn more and more about each other and begin to understand one another better.
When their baby turns 6 months, some moms feel like they've known them for a lifetime. They've already been together through thick and thin, they overcame a number of challenges, and they have faced many changes. Not only the baby but also the mother is growing and developing very quickly during this period, so we should learn to appreciate it.
6 Give Time To Start Missing Each Other
But since you spend so much time with your newborn, don't you want sometimes to just take a break and do something not related to your motherhood duties? Of course you do, and there's nothing wrong about it.
When this moment comes, don't hesitate to ask your partner, parent, or good friend to cover for you and just do something else. No, your baby won't love you less for it and it certainly won't make you a worse mom. You'll just give yourself time to refresh yourself and your brief absence will make both of you miss each other. Believe me, when you see your bundle of joy again after it, you'll be on the cloud 9!
5 Facilitate Bonding
Besides, if you follow the advice given in the previous entry, you'll facilitate the bonding of your partner with your child. He probably doesn't spend as much time with the baby as you do, but being the father he also wants to bond with this little human being and give as much love as he can.
So make sure that your partner and your baby spend enough time alone together. Give your partner a good chance to learn how to handle the baby properly, how to address their needs, and how to understand their behavior.
It's totally a win-win situation for everyone: you get your well-deserved break, your partner learns to deal with the baby, and the baby sees that there's more than one way to receive love and comfort.
4 Take An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride Together
Postpartum is an incredibly emotional period for every woman. For the most part, it is because of the hormonal change that obviously takes place after childbirth. But it's also connected to the fact that from now on, you're completely responsible for this tiny human being, who depends on you in everything.
You two are in this together and you'll have to handle your emotions together, as well. The baby senses the mommy's mood very well, so even if you're trying to smile, but you're breaking inside, your little one will know it. Remember about it and keep in mind that soon emotions will fall into place and you're going to be head over heels with this tiny guy snuggling on your chest.
3 Get Rid Of Baby Guide Books
You've been reading a lot of them, but you should understand that the time comes to stop doing it. After all, what's the use of reading the books that give you a schedule for a perfect baby that's not perfect for your baby? Any mismatch will only make you doubt yourself and give you the feeling that you're missing out on something.
So dish out all baby guide books you have. If you're wondering how to do it, here are a few options: Donate them to a library, give them to someone you don't like (and want to see struggle...), or just use them for kindling.
2 Forget About Housework
If you still want to be the "supermom" who has time both for keeping the baby well and making the house shine, listen to the words of Patricia Carswell, who works as a life coach to new moms. She says on Made for Mums, "This is the time to focus on your own and your baby's health and forget about things like housework."
You shouldn't care too much about dishes not being done, clothes not washed, or carpets not cleaned. You have much more difficult and important tasks to do – to raise a baby and to keep yourself sane. About everything else, you can ask for the help of your partner, parent, or friend. They'll be more than happy to help you out.
1 Marvel At What The Baby Did
Being a new mom, you'll probably be surprised at how the poops of your baby change. In fact, they can vary from thick, sticky, greenish-black in the first week to yellower and grainier texture in the second week. Besides, they may also have different consistency and smell. It all depends on the way you feed your baby. For example, if you are bottle-feeding, the poo can have a stronger smell and it'll probably be thicker.
Almost any kind of poo is okay for a newborn baby, so you shouldn't be too concerned about it. However, if you have any doubts or questions, talk to your caregiver.