Most newborns who come in for check-ups tote along parents who bring laundry lists of questions about this challenging stage. Why does my baby sleep all day, then keep me up all night? Will a soother cause “nipple confusion”? Is her head too flat? When can I feed him eggs?
Most first-time parents are keen to learn more about their growing infant, but there are millions of parenting sites and books to leaf through to find credible answers. So, while your wee one is napping, take a catnap yourself, then grab a cuppa and peruse some of these resources that will help make your first year a breeze.
1. The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood. In this book, Tracy Hogg (a former British nurse), and Melinda Blau share their secrets to get your newborn on a manageable “schedule” (yes, it’s possible!). They troubleshoot hot topics such as sleep, crying, breastfeeding and the introduction of solid foods. The best part? The “Y” in their E.A.S.Y. plan for raising newborns makes time for “You”! A must-read for first-time parents. And, my most-gifted baby shower present.
2. The Lull-a-Baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way to Help Your New Baby Sleep Through the Night and Prevent Sleep Problems Before They Develop. This sleep bible was recommended to me by a lactation nurse. It’s a great complement to The Baby Whisperer and provides a bit more detail for those parents who have troubled sleepers. Cathryn Tobin’s tricks? A combination of patience, timing, pacifier, ninja swaddling and “shhh-shhh-shhh”… can’t you just feel yourself drifting off?
3. Better Baby Food: Your Essential Guide to Nutrition, Feeding and Cooking for All Babies and Toddlers. Written by a dietician from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, this book covers all the common questions, and more. When should I start solids? How much should my baby eat at 6 months? 12 months? What foods can I introduce, and when? Plus, there’s a stellar section on easy recipes to get your baby off to the right start. (Please keep in mind, however, that your baby may not be able to discern between the labour of love that is your homemade apple-peach puree and the one your husband grabbed at the grocer’s, so if a nap’s in your future instead — sleep on, my friend.)
4. Canada’s Baby Care Book: A Complete Guide from Birth to 12-Months Old. From Sick Kids Hospital, this book is written by two of its physicians: doctors Friedman and Saunders. They answer questions about the first year of life, and they even include “real-life” photos of common medical conditions. For the basics, it’s like having a doctor in-house. From pregnancy to milestones to safety, this book is a good reference guide and supplement to your usual doctor visits.
My prescription: cherish these early days. Add these books to your reading list, and you’ll be a pro in no time. And remember, everyone has their difficult days. The days are long, but the years are short. How time flies.