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If you find that you need some additional help with the baby, there are several options to consider.

Your baby today

Sometimes babies develop skin rashes or irritations and sore bottoms around this time and, if this is the case, you can call your pediatrician for advice on how to relieve these minor problems, which may require a prescription.

Adjusting to life with a newborn is difficult for some mothers, especially those recovering from cesareans. Sleep deprivation may make it hard to handle all of the new responsibilities. If your husband took time off during the first week, you may want another pair of hands to take his place. If you’re able to hire a babysitter or visiting nurse for a few hours a day, you’ll get some relief. If not, consider asking a good friend or relative for assistance. But before calling in any favors, make sure that the person you ask will actually provide the type of help you need. Do you want someone to care for the baby so you can nap, make dinner, or run errands? Do you want someone to cook or clean while you tend to the baby? Do you need someone to get groceries and pick up your preschooler? Be clear about your needs so your helper isn’t upset that she won’t get to hold the baby the whole time she’s helping.

Your baby loves to be stimulated. He can focus about a foot away and will watch a simple object such as a mobile. Babies soon recognize familiar faces and he will love to watch you talk. Being part of your daily life provides plenty of stimulation. Tell him what you are doing and your plans for the day, read him stories, and listen to music together. When he is awake, give him time on his tummy to develop strength in the arms and prevent a “flat” head, a common problem in babies who spend a lot of time on their back. Always supervise your baby while he is on his tummy.

Sleeping babes

Newborn babies have a least two naps each day and many simply rotate sleeping and eating throughout the day. In the early days, you’ll find that there is little routine to your baby’s sleep pattern since he can’t go for a long period without being fed.

You will probably find that your baby isn’t fussy about where he naps and that this can be wherever it’s convenient for you, whether this is in the car, the stroller, or baby sling. If you’re at home, you may prefer to put your baby somewhere quiet for a nap, such as in his crib, or you might want to keep him close by in a playpen or on a towel on the floor, if this is safe.

Many babies find being carried close in a baby sling deeply comforting and may sleep happily while being transported.

Tips for baby care

Nails and scratching

Babies’ nails grow quickly and are also very tricky to cut! However, to stop your baby from scratching her face, you’ll need to keep them trimmed. Be careful not to rip the edge of the nails since this can cause infection.

  • You can buy special baby scissors, although these may not cut the nails short enough to prevent scratching.

  • Using a soft emery keeps them short.

  • You may want to put mittens on your baby until she is past the scratching stage.

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