Summer Stork Deliveries Are Expected To Be Brisk
More babies are born in the late summer than any other time of the year. In 2014, adiposity the Center for Disease Control reported that more babies were born in July than any other month. If those birth trends remain the same, online there’s a good chance that you or someone in your circle may know of a new arrival.
Babies will stretch your finances
Babies sure are cute and cuddly – and expensive! Some studies have shown that adding a new baby to the family can increase your bills by $500 per month, depending on if you choose to breastfeed or use formula.
Building and sticking to a budget will be one of the biggest adjustments parents may experience after baby arrives. The time before pregnancy is best used to prepare financially, stashing as much money away as possible into a savings account. The further you can get ahead, the more confidence you will have in yourself to adequately provide for your baby.
While breastfeeding is regarded as the best option for feeding your baby – and for maintaining your savings – it is not always a viable option. Parents who turn to formula to provide the essential nourishment for their baby may be surprised by its cost. A typical container of formula that makes 60 four-ounce bottles can cost more than $30. Keep in mind that before your baby switches over to real milk at age 1, they can be guzzling about four 8-ounce bottles a day.
Proper diaper changing – every time your baby soils or wets the diaper – leads to about 70-80 changes per week. That’s a lot of diapers and a lot of money. A large box of name-brand diapers can cost more than $40. You can help defray some of these costs by stocking up during pregnancy. Ask guests at your baby shower to bring a box of diapers in lieu of a gift. Or simply budget to pick up a box of diapers every time you go grocery shopping. Your stockpile will be full in no time.
The Other Costs
As most new parents can attest, spending on baby begins well before the birth. The simple task of completing a nursery can hit your wallet in a hurry. There’s the paint, the flooring, the crib and the furniture. Before you know it, you’re hundreds of dollars down in anticipation of your little bundle of joy. While buying all new items for your baby is part of the fun of being pregnant, don’t be afraid to accept hand-me-downs.
You also can find perfectly functional furniture at yard sales, flea markets or antique stores that, when properly reclaimed, can be charming and less expensive.
The benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable. Many medical authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend breast milk as the best option for feeding a newborn.
Breastfed babies are generally healthier, able to stave off viruses and bacteria and at a reduced risk for having asthma or allergies. In addition, breastfeeding burns extra calories for mothers, helping them lose pregnancy weight faster.
Breast milk is the perfect mix of vitamins, protein and fat, which is everything your baby needs to grow. The specific benefits are hard to ignore:
- Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores later in childhood in some studies.
- The skin-to-skin and eye contact can help you build a bond with your baby.
- Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the optimum amount of weight as they mature.
- The AAP reports that breastfeeding plays a role in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome.
It’s Your Choice
Virginia’s new breastfeeding laws guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child in any place where the mother is lawfully present. There are many factors to consider when deciding if you want to breastfeed your newborn. And for whatever reason, the act seems to draw strong opinions from friends and family members.
Just remember the final call is yours. Something to consider is the amount of time and energy you will be devoting to your newborn, especially if you choose to be an on-demand feeder. Within the first few months, babies can struggle to settle into a structured feeding schedule. This means minimum sleep for mom.
Also when you’re breastfeeding, you must pay special attention to your diet. Make sure you are continually fueling your body — and your baby — with the right kinds of foods.
Keep Their Skin ‘Baby Soft’
Baby skin is as beautiful and soft as it is easy to maintain. By taking simple steps of preventive action, you can keep your baby from having to experience uncomfortable rashes or irritating acne.
Most newborn babies need a full bath only three to four times per week, as bathing more frequently can actually dry out their skin. But you are urged to wash your baby’s face, chin, neck and bottom every day. Avoid using soap on your baby’s belly button or on a circumcision until it is healed.
When bathing your baby, be sure to test the water temperature with your elbow to determine if it is too hot. If you are unsure if the water is too hot for baby, it probably is. Let it cool to just above room temperature for optimum safety.
Keep Skin Shining
Babies’ skin is naturally soft and moisturized, so adding lotion and powder is not necessary unless it is recommended by a health care professional. Other things to keep away from baby’s skin are the fabric softeners, bleach and chemicals that can be found in laundry detergent. Use hypoallergenic or mild detergent to keep your baby’s skin from becoming irritated.
Avoid Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is caused by persistent wet, soiled diapers and the use of baby products on the bottom, when not recommended. The American Academy of Dermatology’s recommended treatment includes changing diapers frequently, using a warm washcloth instead of pre-moistened wipes, and keeping the diaper area open to the air as long as possible before putting on a clean diaper.
The Second Baby
If the thought of bringing home your second child is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking, you are not alone.
Many parents are unsure of how exactly their lives will change with the addition of another baby. The financial and sleep (or lack thereof) adjustments are easier to forecast compared to the emotional ones, especially the ones that your older child may feel. Siblings who already have an established role can experience jealousy, resentment or even anger toward a new baby with whom they now have to share attention.
Preparing Your ‘First Baby’
By now, your older child has settled into a routine. Just like adults, the child may be stubborn to change a comfortable lifestyle. Getting the older child involved in the baby preparation phase can pay huge dividends once baby arrives. Let your older child help choose new toys, furniture and clothing for your second child.
Once Baby Arrives
An act as simple as asking your child to help you fetch a diaper for baby’s changing can mean the world to your firstborn. Involve them in everyday tasks to help them understand exactly how much work goes into caring for a newborn. Explain that the extra attention isn’t because you love your new baby any more but is necessary because babies aren’t big kids yet. Use language that will empower your child and that maintains their confidence in your love.
Finding Special Time
Your first child needs to know they matter. They are likely experiencing a range of emotions they are struggling to control. It is your job to help them through this sometimes difficult transition. Luckily, the steps you can take are not overwhelming. Simply arrange special time for you and your older child. A trip to the grocery store or one-on-one book at bedtime can help your child understand that they are still important.
Dealing with Stress
As many new parents can attest, long nights with little sleep can have an impact on mood and overall happiness.
Before you can sufficiently care for your infant, you need to make sure your health and well-being are at full strength, as well. This includes keeping your stress level low. Your irritability can lead to impatience with your baby, which is not healthy for your relationship.
Try finding some extra time for yourself, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help from friends or family members. Your baby’s care may depend upon it.
Healthy Eating Habits
Parents of newborns need extra vitamins and protein to keep their bodies moving and minds sharp. Trade in the bottle of soda for water, and the cheeseburger for a grilled chicken salad. Healthier eating and drinking habits will help you see immediate improvement to your energy level, which can lead to a healthier, happier you.
Go with the Flow
Babies are unpredictable. Some flow right into a structured routine, while others adhere to no rules or expectations. Be ready for the roller coaster. Be patient with your new baby as he or she adapts to life outside of the womb. If you decide to take a day trip with your newborn, give yourself plenty of time to leave so you’re not stressed if you are a tad behind schedule.