Ever notice that the happiest people in society are usually the ones who take the effort to make other people happy? Many have heard the saying "What goes around comes around" from different sources, including a song by Justin Timberlake; however, most people hardly take the time to think about this saying seriously or even to live by it.
If we all decided to only do to others the things we would want them to do to us, then the world would be nothing short of amazing. If we all treated the people we're in relationships with the way we'd want them to treat us, no one would be unfaithful to his or her significant other, and we would all compete to do good to each other. One way a new mom can handle raising her new bundle of joy like a boss is by knowing the secrets to what makes her baby happy and actually doing those things as often as possible. The main reason for this is that no one can reason out issues with a baby, and even using the best explanations in the world will never calm down a newborn baby.
When the baby is happy, then mom and the rest of the family are happy, but if the baby is sad, for whatever reason, the mom and everyone else in the family will be very sad. Here are 25 things a new mom can do to make her newborn happier, and as a result, she will surely be the happiest mom out there.
25 Keeping The Baby Warm
Since babies don't have enough body fat and they can't control their body temperatures, new mothers should do everything they can to keep them warm. Cold temperatures temperatures are not ideal, especially to a newborn. Keeping the newborns in warm environments helps them to stay comfortable, healthy, and happy.
New moms can keep the baby warm by drying the baby well immediately after their bath and dressing them up with warm clothing, especially when it's cold outside. Also, the baby's crib should not be too close to a window, or even close to a fan or a vent, since the cold drafts affect the baby.
24 Soothing The Wailing Baby
Newborn babies can only express their needs or discomforts through crying because they can't talk. Figuring out what the baby's cries mean can be a challenging affair, even for experienced moms. Therefore, since new moms may not always get to know the reason for the wailing, they can greatly help make the inconsolable baby happy by soothing the baby to calm them.
Moms can respond to the baby's cries by holding them and letting the baby feel safe. Soothing can also be done by mellow motion, gently stroking the baby, giving them a pacifier to offer comfort, or even taking them out of the house for some fresh air.
23 Not Ignoring Or Leaving Them Alone For Long Periods
Children, more so infants, rely on the companionship of their mums and dads to care for their needs, most of which they cannot do on their own. When left alone for long periods, babies become sad, insecure, and needy.
Research has revealed that the portions of a newborn's brain responsible for emotional control should be stimulated through the provision of caring attention. This not only comforts the baby and helps him or her to feel secure, but it also develops the baby's intellect and social skills. This companionship offers the baby an environment in which he or she can develop both emotionally and intellectually.
22 Cuddling Your Baby
Cuddling is very important for a baby because it is one way of showing the baby affection and of making the baby comfortable. Holding a baby is a vital aspect of offering care, especially for newborns in their early days. Cuddling involves positive touch and slow caressing of the baby, which makes them feel calm, comfortable, and safe through the reduction of the stress hormone called cortisol.
Cuddling promotes bonding between the new mother and the new baby. It forms a critical part of proper healthy and happy development for the babies. This means that holding a baby is a huge sign of affection and has lasting positive outcomes on the baby's life.
21 Helping The Baby To Latch
Many babies have problems latching during breastfeeding due to either the shape of the mother's form or issues with the baby's tongue. Problems with latching can make the baby fussy as they are not able to draw enough milk for their satisfaction and nourishment.
Latching is a learning process for both the new mother and the newborn baby. The mother should patiently assist the baby to latch on so as to effectively remove breastmilk and suckle adequately. A good latch ensures that a baby is happy because he or she gets satisfaction and adequate hydration and nutrition necessary for his or her development.
20 Learning To Read The Baby's Feeding Cues
Babies give cues about how they feel or what they need, which is the reason experts say that crying is a late indicator that a baby is hungry or needs something. New mothers are therefore encouraged to pay close attention to their newborns in order to learn cues for when the baby is hungry and differentiate it from other cries.
Learning a baby's cues for hunger allows the mother to feed the baby when they indicate hunger, and avoid frustrations of struggling to latch on and feed when the baby is frantically crying. Cues such as lip smacking, rooting, hand-in-mouth, or fidgeting while trying to suck on anything nearby allows the mother to breastfeed the baby before the baby results to crying. Such attention keeps both mother and child calm and satisfied.
19 Regularly Changing The baby's Diaper
One of the most important tasks a new mother has is to ensure that the baby's bottom is dry and clean at all times. If a mother does not change her baby's diapers on a regular basis, she could be exposing her baby to serious infections and diaper rashes.
Diapering is also a good opportunity for mother and baby bonding because a mother can use this time to interact with her baby through talking or even singing to him or her. Diapers are a critical part of a baby's good health and happiness, so mothers should ensure they have a sufficient supply for their newborns.
18 Letting The Newborn Sleep
Healthy sleep habits make for healthier and happier babies. Newborns up to 3 months need to sleep an average of 18 hours a day, split in 2 to 4 hours to be healthy and well rested. However, different babies have different sleep requirements, so it's up to their mothers to make sure that their babies rest properly in a safe environment with the right temperatures.
The risks of developing health complications are low when a baby gets the sleep he or she needs. Fostering excellent sleep patterns in a safe environment for the newborn ultimately helps both the mother and baby to get the rest they need and to stay happy.
17 Swaddling Your Newborn
Swaddling involves wrapping a baby with a cloth to keep them warm while restricting their movements. Swaddling mimics the security of a mother's womb and offers similar comfort to a newborn. Studies show that swaddled babies sleep longer, are less anxious, and more soothed.
Swaddling leads a baby to cry less, have a more stable heart rate, and to sleep through startle reflexes. By restricting motor activity, swaddled babies can lull themselves back to sleep when awakened by startle reflexes experienced by newborns. This allows them to move onto the next phase of sleep, thus extending their sleep period. A well-rested and calm baby is a very happy baby.
16 Not Shaking The Baby
New mothers can sometimes feel frustrated by the endless crying of their newborns. They may resort to shaking their babies to stop them from crying. However, repeatedly shaking newborn babies can cause shaken baby syndrome.
Babies generally thrive from feeling loved, protected, and consoled. When a baby seems very irritable, instead of shaking them to calm them down, a mother should be patient to find out what the baby needs. She can then tend to the baby, hold, and cuddle the baby while trying to comfort them.
15 Skin-To-Skin Contact
Several studies have shown that babies are very happy when they are in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers, right from birth and a significant period thereafter. Mothers who have a habit of holding their babies in this manner have led their babies to become healthy, developing stable temperatures, more stable heart and breathing rates, and boosting their immune system.
Immediately after birth, mothers should try as much as possible to hold their babies in this manner for at least an hour, especially if the doctors approve of it. This allows for immediate bonding and instinctively teaches the baby to latch-on better when breastfeeding.
14 Breastfeeding The Newborns
Breastfeeding a newborn offers the best nourishment for the baby's new digestive system. New mothers are advised to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months to provide maximum benefits to their newborns. Breast milk is natural and easier to digest and provides every nutrient the baby requires for growth and protection from illness as opposed to other types of milk. This milk is also easier to pass through stool, therefore reducing the chances of constipation.
Breastfeeding contributes to the overall happiness of the baby by regulating oxytocin levels in the baby and enhancing their IQ levels and social skills. Skin to skin contact with the mother during breastfeeding allows the baby to feel loved, safe and nurtured.
13 Constantly Checking The Baby's Temperature
Experts advise mothers to do full body checks on their babies on a regular basis just to make sure everything, especially their temperature is just right. Other things a mom should always check include making sure that the baby is well rested, fed, burped, and has a clean diaper on.
When a baby's temperature is either too high or too low, the baby will become irritable and cry a lot. Either of these extremes is very uncomfortable for a baby because even a grownup can feel the same discomfort. However, unless if the baby's temperature is through the roof, mothers should always make sure that their babies have one layer of clothing more than what an adult would wear. This makes the baby comfortable and calm.
12 Burping The Baby
Newborns often swallow air when they feed, whether it's from a bottle or their mother's breasts. The air affects their stomachs which makes them very irritable. This gas needs to exit the body to restore comfort for the baby. Therefore, burping is a very important part of feeding as it helps to get rid of some of the gas they swallow during feeding.
It is recommended that a mother burps their baby during feeding breaks and when feeding is complete. For a newborn, this is best done with the baby over the mother's shoulder to help release trapped air. A burped baby is less fussy and calmer and able to sleep better compared to one that has not been burped. Therefore, burping is a way of making a baby happier.
11 Taking Care Of Themselves, As Well As The Baby
Newborn babies need their mothers to be healthy and happy. Mothers have a tendency to put themselves last while meeting other people's needs. This is draining and can lead to fatigue and unhappiness. A very critical step for a happy and healthy baby is a happy and healthy mother who invests time in herself too.
A new mother goes through both emotional and physical changes, and in order to rebuild her strength, she needs to carve out time for herself, get plenty of help, rest, and good nutrition. Healthy self-care for new mothers is therefore very essential for both the new mother and newborn baby.
10 Avoid Having Many People Around Them
The first weeks of a newborn's life are very crucial in determining how his or her health will be. The baby needs protection from exposure to germs that could potentially make them unwell since their immunity is weak. Having many people around the baby is a health risk, so moms should make sure that everyone who wants to touch the infant is clean and is not sick.
Exposure to many people at the same time may be overwhelming to the baby and can over stimulate the baby making him or her unsettled and irritable. Therefore, a new mother should avoid exposing her baby to many people until a baby is a bit older and can handle the exposure.
9 Carefully Choosing What To Feed Them On
Mothers are sure that their babies are getting enough to eat through breast milk or formula if the baby seems satisfied, has regular bowel movements, sleeps well, and is gaining weight adequately. When a parent feeds the baby on Breast milk or formula exclusively for the first six months of his or her life, the baby receives all the necessary nutrients they need.
Supplements, water, or juices are therefore not necessary. Introducing supplements for newborns can result in health complications, which can make the baby very uncomfortable and unhappy. Therefore, mothers should stick to breastfeeding exclusively or to formula feeding for a happy and healthy baby.
8 Massaging The Baby
Massaging a baby is a great way to soothe him or her because it helps his or her muscles to relax. Massaging also improves the baby's blood circulation, strengthens the bond between baby and mother, and reduces the stress for both the baby and his or her mother. It also helps the baby to become less irritable and fall asleep faster and better.
During bath time, gently rub the baby's scalp, tummy, arms, back, legs, and feet. These massages offer gentle touch which stimulates growth and allows the baby to feel loved and wanted. Massaged babies are usually calm and happy because endorphins are released in response to the soothing touch during a massage, while cortisol is reduced thus relaxing the baby and giving them a good feeling.
7 Not Punishing The Newborn
Punishment may be a form of release for the frustration a mother faces with her newborn; however, it's not effective with newborns as they do not understand their own actions yet. At that tender age, babies need tender loving care so that they feel secure. Punishment will have the reverse impact of inducing stress rather than teaching and may have long-term negative effects on the baby.
Punishment may also be physically injurious to a newborn baby, and create an overall dull and unhappy child. Therefore, parents should not punish newborns, instead, they should offer loving care and support until the baby is old enough to understand repercussions.
6 Not Layering Your Baby's Crib
New mothers should always remember to keep their newborn's crib free of items that could lead to suffocation such as toys, blankets, and cot bumpers. These items put newborns at great risk of SIDS.
A baby's sleeping space should not be overcrowded; it should be free of quilts, blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, and clutter. The mattress a baby sleeps on should also be firm, flat, and tight fitting. Dress babies with extra layers of clothing to keep them warm and to help them sleep well to avoid the need for blankets or other coverings.
5 Grooming The Baby
Grooming a newborn baby should be a routine exercise to make sure the baby is clean. It involves bathing the baby, taking care of the navel, ensuring nails are short and clean, and cleaning and combing their hair. For a newborn, the grooming process is a relaxing process. However, aside from the obvious hygienic and aesthetic value, grooming builds up a newborns' immunity to infection.
A newborn's skin is extremely sensitive, and they are more prone to skin irritations than grownups. However, grooming boosts the baby's overall happiness as they become more relaxed and eliminates accumulated dirt, oil, sweat, and loose skin. This leaves the baby refreshed.
4 Occasionally Getting Out Of The House
Getting out of the house and changing a baby's scenery can offer relief for a fussy baby, by offering a much-needed shift in the baby's environment. This change in environment could change the baby's mood. A crying baby can easily calm down when he or she notices a change in his or her environment.
For instance, taking a stroll outside could offer the baby fresh air and the feeling of sun on the baby's skin. The sun will offer baby vitamin D which is essential for growth and bone development. Daily natural light and fresh air also help the baby to sleep better at night, which makes the baby less irritable.
3 Reading The Baby's Emotions
A newborn has a non-verbal language when trying to communicate to his or her mom what he or she needs. By watching the baby keenly, the new mother can identify the cues being given by the baby and how to effectively meet the baby's needs before crying commences. Reading and responding to these cues and emotions gives the baby a sense of security and ability to regulate their emotions.
Babies give cues for when they are hungry, when they need to be held, when their diaper needs changing, when they want to be left alone, and when they are sleepy. Some of these signs include making faces, body movements, rooting, cooing, and crying. By paying attention to these signs, a mother can improve her chances of meeting the baby's exact needs, keeping them both happy.
2 Sing Soothing Lullabies
Scientists have shown that newborns can recognize their mother's voices from the womb. Therefore, the babies show a preference for the mother's voice to offer a soothing environment over any other voice. Babies respond to music on an emotional level, and listening to their mothers sing offers comfort and reduce anxiety and their perception of pain.
Lullabies are repetitive and offer a rocking movement which reminds the baby of the womb. A study shows that children that were sung lullabies to especially during sleep time fell asleep faster compared to those who were not sung lullabies. Lullabies also help moms bond and connect with their newborns, leaving both with a sense of comfort and happiness.
1 Keep The Baby In A Peaceful Environment
A peaceful environment, which we can define as a place that's calm and free from conflict, is very crucial to a baby's growth and development. For newborns, a peaceful environment will encourage them to sleep well and have a regular feeding regimen. In surroundings that are anything but peaceful, a baby's proper development will be highly jeopardized.
An environment should stimulate a baby without creating overstimulation or disrupting the peace. A peaceful space offers calm to a baby and gives comfort, allowing the newborn to get sufficient rest and relaxation to facilitate growth. Mothers should avoid stressful and chaotic routines and introduce calming activities that will help the babies stay at peace.