I have a lot of experience caring for newborn babies! I baby sat for 10 babies/toddlers when I was 14-16 years old while also helping raise my baby brother. Later I was an infant care provider- watching 13 newborns (2 at a time) for 7-12 hours a day from when they were just 4 days old till 5 mos old-when they would transfer to a regular day care.
My collection of useful information for giving birth faster and easier infant care:
To jump start labor:
– drink 1/4th bottle Caster Oil. It will give you the runs. Having the runs is normal right before you start labor naturally- your body flushes its self out. By drinking Caster oil- you trick the body into thinking its time to start labor. If you drink 1/2 a bottle- you will get bad stomach cramps along with the runs. Takes maybe 30 minutes to work. Alternative is to give self an enema (which also mimics having the runs) Contractions may stop after 6 hours so get to hospital before that and they will keep them going.
Fact: if you ever get a panic feeling inside that you need to get the baby out now- like right now! And the feeling only gets worse- LISTEN to your body! Especially if your past your due date. These days – having your body fail to start labor is getting more common. Normally- your body will have braxton hix contractions- practice contractions- in the last weeks of pregnancy. If you don’t have any or just one or two- its a sign your body may have hit a glitch. Waiting for your body to decide when its time to give birth more than 2 weeks past the due date can cause your baby to die. The Placenta starts to fall apart after 2 extra weeks. By 3 weeks past due- the cord will break free from the disintegrating Placenta and your baby will die. I was 3 weeks late. When my daughter was born her cord detached right after she came out. The Placenta fell apart and had to be scoped out. I had her with only moments to spare. Never wait 3 weeks!
Name of the game is to spend as little time at the hospital as possible. Every minute your there increases the cost. Goal is to stay less than 24 hours total. So don’t go too early! It’s every first time mom’s mistake. Take your ipod and head phones- you want to distract your self with loud music during each contraction. Fact: contractions hurt really bad- but the painful part of each one only last 10 seconds. Never hold your breath during a contraction(before you start pushing) It makes it hurt more and takes more of them to get the job done. Ask for an epidural! (shot hurts but totally numbs pain of contractions) Have you ever had stomach flu/runs where you get a cramp that hurts so bad you break out in a sweat? That’s exactly what contractions feel like. Wait to go to the hospital until contractions are 3 minutes apart and you can feel the cervix opening if you check your self. It has to open up to 4″ across before the need to push will start. It normally takes around 4-7 hours of contractions every 3 minutes to open the full 4″. Take several strong flavored lolly pops- they wont let you drink water and your mouth may get dry- the flavor is refreshing. Take lip balm for the same reason. Take salty type soda crackers to nibble on if you start to feel sick.
hint: When your body gets the urge to push- they will try make you lie almost flat on your back with your arms at your sides and will push your legs painfully out and back in attempt to shorten the birth canal- it takes away all your leverage making it take 3-5 hours to push her out. To get her out fast- in about 10 minutes or 3 pushes: Have them raise up the bed at least half way so you can use your chest/upper body like a sit up crunch- to push down. Try crossing your arms over the very top of your belly next to your rib cage. Even without having a contraction- you can curl forward so your chest pushes your arms against your belly-pushing the baby down and out in maybe 4 pushes. It will feel like the babies head is trying to rip a new hole between the existing ones-your brain is just confused. Ignore how impossible it feels! Keep pushing with your arms-her head will be out 1 second later. Stop pushing as soon as her head is out- the doc will clear her mouth and nose and make sure cord isn’t around her neck. They will ask- are you ready- don’t wait for another contraction- just push using your arms again- often a contraction will kick in to help. Using your arms will have her out in a single long push.Look up at the clock so you know when she really is born. They usually forget to check for a few minutes. Tell them NOT to cut the cord for a full 5 minutes. Have them place her directly on your belly -she will have blood and cream colored wax all over her- talk directly to her- so she hears your voice and sees you before they put the goop in her eyes. They will take her to clean her up and return her for a few minutes before taking her for observation. Have someone follow them. Observation means they will put her in the nursery and leave her there until its “feeding time” when they take all the babies to the moms. You don’t want this. Get a private room and firmly insist that the baby be returned to you within 2 hours of birth and be kept with you at all times. If they say they need to run tests- take blood- ask that they do it in the room. Leave within 12 hours of giving birth. They try keep you longer to increase the money they make. As long as the baby is healthy- they cant force you to stay. Drink plenty of water or juice after you give birth. They wont let you leave until you are able to pee- but it will hurt like hell! You’ll need a big bottle of water to pour over the area while you pee for the first couple days. It will still burn like fire. warm water works better. Birth causes the whole area down there to swell up like a foot ball between your legs. This is normal.(don’t show boyfriend- it will turn him off to you) As long as you can pee one drop it proves your able and its ok to tell them you succeeded.
what to take to the hospital: a short night gown that buttons down the front- otherwise they will put you in a hospital gown which offers no privacy if you want to walk around, to use the bathroom while in labor.
Other advice: I noticed here in Cali- most mothers under dress their infants. They have new babies out with nothing on their legs and feet- and the baby is all blotchy and holding its legs stiff and strait. Signs of being cold. Babies have much less body fat than adults. They get cold very easily. As a rule- babies feet should be covered at all times until they are 3 months old. Even on a warm day with baby in a daiper and dress- put sox on her. Her temperature is regulated by her feet and head. If the skin on her arms or legs ever looks blotchy-and or her legs arent relaxed- even on a warm day- she is cold. She is only too hot if she starts to sweat around her face. Better to over dress than under dress.
:Wash baby with Physoderm- ask pharmacist where it will be (CVS) it wont sting eyes and rinses off much easier than baby wash. Never use “baby shampoo” it dries out their hair and is really hard to rinse off.
Ask hospital for her rubber nose clearing bobblething. they’ll just throw it away. Stash diapers they provide while in hospital. You aren’t charged for them. Take a pacifier with you. And take your own heavy flow maxi pads and snug fitting underwear that will keep it up against you. The ones they provide in hospital tie on with a strap around your waist- its the worst. Ask for extra bed pads to take home. You will need to sleep with them under you for a few days.(they look like dog training pee pads) Baby will only sleep for maybe 2 hours at a time- they wake up because they are hungry- nurse for 20 – 30 min. Burp for 15 minutes while waiting for her to poop. Change diaper put clothes back on and put back in bed to sleep- another 15 minutes. Total time cycle takes? 3- 3.5 hours. Thats why they say babies nurse every 3-4 hours. This means for the first week- you HAVE to sleep every time she sleeps or you will suffer from lack of sleep. Even if you dont feel sleepy- when baby lays down – so do you. Even if you just watch tv- your body is able to rest.
Best to sleep baby on her side – Roll up a towel and lay it behind her to keep her in the right position.
Keep a radio on when she sleeps and dont try to be quiet- She will learns to sleep with background noise and everyone wont have to be all quiet all the time in fear of waking her up.
Nurse her for at least 1 month to pass on immune system and to nurse of nursing fat from your body (may seem like you didn’t gain much fat but it will add up with each baby you have- it only will be used to make milk so it has to be nursed off. Nurse as soon as you see the baby start turning her head towards your body or your finger when you touch her cheek- with her mouth open- or she starts sucking on her hand. Try to never wait till she cries-you’ll teach her to cry to get what she wants (you really don’t want that) In the first weeks she will nurse every 1 1/2 hours. She will always poop when she is almost done nursing or right after-so when she wakes up at night- don’t change her wet diaper-nurse her first-then wait for her to poop. You’ll use way less diapers. Hint- young babies never cry because their wet diaper needs to be changed (unless they have a rash) with the way diapers turn pee to gel -they don’t even notice.
Babies only cry when they are so hungry their stomach starts to have painful cramps-
when they have gas from what you ate (dont eat beans, cabbage, broccoli as long as you are nursing! Nothing with coffee in it- coffee, red bull, coke, pepsi, mt dew, dr pepper, or chocolate- it will pass thru into baby and keep her awake) For gas cramps use the little pink natural teething tablets- (they sell same looking pills for colic- but doesn’t work as good) you know its gas when she arches her back or moves around when crying and wont nurse. Give her pink tablets(melts in her mouth) and lay her face down across your legs and rock legs side to side-and or place in her swing. Use swing any time she’s fussy- it will put her to sleep every time. Its ok for baby to sleep in the swing all the time.
The goal with nursing is to try keep the nipples from getting too many friction blisters and to prevent from getting milk rot- a condition that happens when milk that leaks keeps them wet- causing skin to get painful cracks. (they leak a lot for first few months- and any time you hear any baby cry) Here’s how to control it: 1) Buy a jar of Lanolin (greasy yellow stuff)Once milk comes in (up to 2 days after you have baby- the first 2 days she will be getting pure immune system stuff out of them- tell them NO bottle feeding) keep the whole colored part of nipple coated in a thick layer of this stuff all the time- its yucky and smells funky but repells milk. Clean all of it off right before nursing- coat again as soon as your done. (10 min nursing each side) 2)Nursing pads- round pads that you put inside bra to soak up the milk that leaks out continuously. They sell thin type with plastic on outside and thick type with no plastic. Get both. At home- use thick one with a thin one over it- change thick part of it as soon as it feels wet at all. If you run out-fold up paper towel. Change often! note: when you take a hot shower- your milk will often get triggered to come in(suddenly fills up and starts leaking out)
To prevent saggy breasts- be sure to always wear a sports type top over your nursing bra- or any kind of top that firmly holds them against your chest. Even while you sleep.
They cant be allowed to hang unsupported-even when you lay on your side- it stretches out the skin! No movement means no stretching.
-You need to toughen up your nipples starting right now!- every time you shower scrub the nipple area with a wash cloth- pretty hard. Again when you dry off (do this only till baby is born) In the first weeks -You will get friction blisters from her nursing.You can prevent them- or minimize them by having her nurse in a different position every time (turning her so mouth latches on in a different direction- such as football hold- with her body laying under your arm at your side- use stiff pillow to hold her up. If you do get a blister-making it hurt like hell to nurse- they sell nipple shields-clear plastic cover that fits over the whole nipple while nursing. Works perfectly! On the flip side- she can get blisters on her lips- usually one in the middle of her top lip. She will cry when she tries to nurse. Avoid by limiting how long you nurse in the first weeks. Time her- and write down which side she started on – start on other side next time. As soon as she slows down and stops for a few seconds- she’s full. Slide your finger into the corner of her mouth and it will break the suction. Always burp her after waiting 5 minutes with her held upright so the air bubble has a chance to reach the top of her belly full of milk and can come out without pushing milk out of her stomach in the process. If she ever gets a white patch in her mouth that cant be wiped off- its called thrush- it hurts and needs prescription to cure (yeast infection in mouth)
She drinks about 32 oz of milk out of you a day- so you need to drink and extra 32 oz more than you normally do. Water is not what you need. You need stuff that puts nutrients back into your body- If you drink milk- its ideal! Whole milk for first weeks then 2% is ok. Drink at least 3-4 big glasses a day – plus 4 of 100% fruit juice. Variety is key- Orange juice, grape, apple. Figure a soda can holds 12oz if you normally drink 3 cans worth of liquids a day you’ll need to drink 6. Most drinking glasses only hold 6 oz. takes drinking 5 just to replace the liquid baby took out!
Chocolate milk can give her gas and make her unable to fall asleep. Strawberry milk is fine. Ice tea has nothing your body needs and will keep her awake. Soda is useless too. If you cant drink real milk try Almond milk. Take the pregnancy vitamins for a full year after you have her or you’ll feel like crap!
For bottle feeding- use evenflow bottles with the plastic liners and the pacifier shaped tan colored tops. Its the only bottle that collapses as she drinks- needing no air to be in bottle. Eliminates gas and spitting up-and its not a problem if the bottle sits sideways.
You will need to poke bigger holes in the nipple. The flow is too slow. On bottles- the nipple should be soft. Not hard clear plastic. Why?- always try suck water thru new bottle nipples your self- hard plastic type hurt your mouth. Test to see how much comes out when you suck- it should be fairly easy- not a fine spray. Enlarge by pushing nipple inside out and making a tiny slice with a razor blade- flip back the right way and make another tiny slice in the other direction -making a tiny x. Test it. If its too fast flowing – milk will show up at the corners of her mouth or she may sputter or stop to catch her breath. If it takes her 20 minutes to nurse- she should be able to finish a 4oz bottle in the same 20 min. If it takes longer- the flow is too slow.
When she reaches 2 months old -you can choose to switch to a juice tip (cross cut) and add a few spoons of baby rice cereal to her bottle. Experiment with how much to add. It should be thinner than a milk shake. It will thicken the milk so it wont come out too fast and takes longer to digest. Many people say you shouldn’t but have no real reason why. I did it with every baby I watched.
Wash her whole body at least once every 3 days. On the other days- clean around her whole neck area. Dont use powder on neck unless you place a cloth over her face so she wont breath any of it in. A diaper rash needs ointment with Zinc oxide in it or it will make the rash worse. Always change baby right after she poops. Her poop has acids in it that burn her skin- causing the rash. Use wipes “for sensitive skin”. Wipe her even when its only a pee diaper. Good to let them “air out” sometimes (laying on top of an open diaper) Her first few poops will look like black tar!