The prospect of bringing a baby into this world can be both exciting and daunting for parents. When a mother is pregnant, she makes a plan of how she will raise her child and how much she can comfortably afford to use on the child. Mom decides to either formula feed or breastfeed based on how much is in her pocket and in some cases medical or personal preference. She decides that her baby will only eat organic or that he will be vegan. She decides to either be a stay at home mom or have a career.
Making all these decisions can sometimes be a bit much, but the truth is, parenting follows no rule book and no amount of preparation will ever compare to the hands-on experience of raising that little bundle of joy. Every mother has her own unique parenting style and there really is no one-size-fits-all way of mothering children. As children grow up and get their own personality, mothers adapt and tailor their parenting style in line with their baby's needs. There are, however, some commonalities when it comes to newborns and some things that mom should do to ensure that the baby hits his milestones on time and grows up to be a well-rounded person.
20 Increase Play Time
By the time the baby is one month old, he is aware of his surroundings and has started giving mom that broad smile that tugs at her heart. Even though the baby is primarily immobile, he knows when someone is playing with him and will follow the action as it happens.
Playing with the baby will sharpen his social and motor skills and is very good for his brain development. Putting in a few minutes a day of play time with the baby should start early, but at one month, the time one spends in play should increase. This is also a great way to get to know your baby.
19 Sleep When Baby Sleeps
New mothers hardly sleep. The anxiety brought about by the responsibility of having to take care of another human life can be quite overwhelming. Some mothers keep putting a mirror to their baby’s mouth to see if it will mist over as an indicator he is breathing, while others are so in awe of the new baby that they spend all the time staring at the sleeping baby.
We are aware of the fact that a newborn is something worth staring at but mom should remember that she needs all the energy she can get to be able to take care of the child. When the baby hits one month, it is time to ditch the anxiety.
18 Tone the Volume Down
When a baby first comes into the world, his eardrums are still blocked by the amniotic fluid he spent nine months swimming in. This means that mom can get away with a certain level of noise without any issue. By the time the baby hits one month, his eardrums have cleared and he can now hear you trying to hold your breath as you sneak out.
Noise irritates the eardrum and babies can now get hurt by loud music or loud noises on the TV and even people who just can't tone down their voices. At one month, it is time to tone down the volume and save babies brand new eardrums.
17 Get Help
Even if for the first one month of baby’s life mom has been super mom trying to put in as much mommy and me time as possible, at one month, it is time to get some help in raising the little angel.
While before the cycle was sleep, wake up, change and sleep again, when the baby hits the one-month milestone, he requires a lot more attention, not to mention time to bond with a caretaker. More so, if mom plans to go back to work. Since the baby is more aware at one month, it may be time to bring in some help so that he can also bond with them.
16 Prioritize the Baby
Yes, the baby does not do much apart from eat and poop and sleep all day, but this does not mean that it is okay to ignore or only check on him when it’s time to feed or change.
Some mothers think that holding and hugging the baby will spoil him or form some dependency, but what they forget is that babies grow up really fast and before long, this needy baby will not have time to be held. A baby who is showered with love and attention feels more secure and is more likely to grow up into a confident and self-assured individual.
15 Get Dad Involved
Some women are hoarders and this also applies to the new baby of the family. Maybe it is because she is used to carrying the baby in her womb and has formed an attachment to him and has this fear that anyone else will not be able to take care of him as well as she can. Or it could be because she went through so much bringing him into the world that he has become the most prized possession she has.
Either way, as much as mommy wants to protect the baby, it is worth remembering that the baby belongs to dad too, as well as other members of the family and he needs to bond with them too.
14 Take Baby For a Walk
Newborn babies are susceptible to a lot of opportunistic infections because at that age their immunity is lacking. New mothers are advised to keep the baby indoors for the first few weeks of their life to at least prevent opportunistic infections. A gust of wind or cold is likely to give the baby the sniffles, while being around too many people could have him contracting the common cold.
At one month, it may be time to let baby explore the outside world, and so an evening walk each day will do him some good. Going for a walk will also give mom some time to stretch her muscles.
13 Introduce a Pacifier
Most mothers buy a pacifier and shove it into the baby’s mouth as soon the baby gets out of the womb. For some of us, the pacifier was our way of getting the baby entertained and soothing him. What we did not know is that sucking on the breast and the pacifier is not the same and research shows that giving the pacifier too early may lead to nipple confusion.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Wait until breastfeeding is well-established. If you're breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to offer a pacifier until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old, and you've settled into an effective nursing routine.”
12 Get Some Bonding Time In
By the time the baby hits one month, he is aware of his surroundings and he has started to recognize who mommy is and those close to him. In his first month, it is all about keeping him alive and ensuring that he feeds well. All in order to double his birth weight as a sign of proper growth and development.
On the baby’s first birthday month, it is now time to widen the scope and put in some time to bond with him and form that camaraderie that only mom and child can silently voice. This bond is what makes the baby feel safe and secure.
11 Supervising the Baby
Because babies are immobile, we tend to leave them anywhere without a care in the world, after all, they cannot move, right? Wrong. Leaving the baby on the couch is not an option and leaving him unattended stops being an option too at this stage. There is the risk of the baby rolling over or toppling and falling off the couch.
Most mothers wrap babies in receiving blankets and these, if not well placed, can lead to some devastating outcomes. If that is not worrying enough if the home has a pet, a newborn becomes an instant threat and they too can harm the baby.
10 Wearing the Baby
Newborn babies are rather tiny and so it is not easy to wear them for fear of hurting them. At one month, mom should not worry much and it is now time to start wearing the baby and getting a lot more flexibility. Babywearing is quite convenient and is not as tiring as carrying the baby in your arms.
Babywearing is also safer than turning the car seat into a carrier, something a lot of people are likely to do. This method also supports the baby's head and it will not bob around or take a dangerous position as the mother walks.
9 Give Tummy and Nappy Free Time
New mothers are advised to give the baby tummy time each time she changes his diaper. According to Aota, supervised tummy time will help strengthen his back muscles and his neck muscles in preparation for crawling and reaching.
In the process, the baby should be left without the nappy to ensure that he is introduced to both the good and the bad bacteria to increase his immunity. Most mothers forget this important part of raising a baby, but in case one has not been doing it, the one month mark is as good a time as any to start doing it.
8 Put a Toy in Baby’s Peripheral Vision
When babies are born, their vision is not sharp, neither can they see very far. Mothers are advised though to keep sharpening their vision and to keep their senses active by placing toys in their peripheral vision says Today’s Parent. In doing so, mothers will notice that the baby tends to follow this objects with her eyes and can remain mesmerized for some time.
Assuming that the baby is too young for toys is a misconception and placing a toy at that point is more advisable than placing it in his crib. Get colorful toys as this is more appealing. So are musical toys that are endowed with lullabies.
7 Stop Co-Sleeping
Co-sleeping is a debate that will never end and despite all the warnings that have been given on the same, mothers still continue to co-sleep with their infant children. While this may be convenient for the new mother who is nursing her battle wounds, co-sleeping should not be something that mothers continue with.
According to Kelly Mom, “Sometimes people fall asleep with their babies accidentally or without meaning to. This can be very dangerous, especially if it happens on a couch/sofa where a baby can get wedged or trapped between the adult and the cushions.” As much as a mother may have a hard time kicking the baby out of her bed, at one month, she should make every effort to put the baby in his own bed.
6 Get Rid of Separation Anxiety
I do not think there is any mother who has not gone through this. When we bring our babies home, even taking a shower becomes a hurried affair and even in the middle of it, we tend to hear the baby cry and we rush out with soap all over. The prospect of leaving the baby and going to work is heartbreaking for a mother and even leaving the baby for a few minutes to run an errand can bring tears to her eyes.
While this feeling is understandable, one should not allow it to hold her at ransom. At one month, it is time to get rid of this anxiety and realize that the baby can be safe with the dad or a trusted caregiver.
5 Have Some Me Time
When the baby is born, she or he becomes an extension of the mother and apart from celebrities who have nannies 24/7, most mothers will be where the baby is. A new mother will not be able to get that facial or that manicure for the longest time and some women even go months before they can make their hair appointment.
Just because one has been blessed with a child is no reason to let herself go. At one month, mom can visit the beauty parlor or take an hour or two off, leaving the baby in the company of a caregiver.
4 Express More
Most mothers express milk and a breast pump is probably the first nursing accessory that a mother purchases when she first decides to breastfeed. Babies require more nourishment as they grow and the best way to do so is to express more. Even if the mother is breastfeeding, she should also supplement with expressed milk for those days when she is not around or when she is not feeling well.
Expressing more means that the mother will produce more as the theory of demand and supply takes root and this means the baby will never lack. Mothers should keep expressing, especially if she wants to exclusively breastfeed for six months.
3 Baby Proofing
By the time six months hits, he will be crawling around and can touch dangerous things or go to areas that are considered dangerous. Even though the baby will not be moving for a while yet, it is a good idea to start baby proofing as opposed to waiting to do it at the last minute and even being caught unawares.
Baby proofing is no mean feat and can cost quite a bundle. This requires some preparation and what better way to do it than to start early? Mom can try to cover one area as she waits to do the other and by the time the baby starts moving, the whole place is safe.
2 Hit the Gym
After the baby comes, trying to lose the baby weight is every woman’s nightmare and even those who say they are not bothered by it. Thinking that it will go by itself still means a nagging thought at the back of their mind telling them that they could look better and that they could fit into that outfit a lot better.
Even if it is not for the purposes of weight loss, hitting the gym or doing some mild form of exercise will keep the woman healthy and active. Even going for a walk, in this case, counts as exercise and should not be downplayed.
1 Get Her Groove Back
Labor and childbirth come with a lot of trauma to the nether regions. For most moms, the baby comes and libido goes out the window, while for others, the baby tears his way out of Miss V leaving behind stitches and tears that take quite a while to heal. For the CS moms, there is the doctor’s advice to take it easy for a while.
According to URMC, after one month of nursing Miss V and letting your better half go cold turkey, it may be time to get your groove back, after all, they say the best way to learn to ride is to get back on the horse. There may be fear the first few times, but in the end, that moment of closeness will relieve stress during the day as you run after the baby.