Having a baby can be stressful. After all, being pregnant is scary enough when you don’t know what to expect. There’s nine months of your life where your body is changing and you have to get used to the fact that there is a whole new human being growing inside of you. Then you go through labor and have a baby, and having a baby depending on you for everything in its life can be even more stressful. New parents often don’t know what to do. They don’t know what their baby needs or how to care for it. All they really know is that the baby cries a lot and they aren’t really sure why.

In fact, many new parents that don’t have help or assistance are unable to raise their baby on their own. They may experience many different types of problems that could lead to serious issues for the baby and equally to many issues for the couple. That’s why it’s important to be sure you are getting all the help you possibly can from anyone willing to give it. You can be good parents if you work at it, and you don’t have to be worried all the time.

Having a baby doesn’t need to be quite so stressful. Of course there is no way to have a stress-free life with anyone and especially not with a baby, but you will be able to cut down on the amount of stress that your family experiences as a result of bringing a baby into the family. If you just take some advice from people that know and understand children, you’ll be just fine. Don’t think you have to do it all on your own.

Raising a baby properly takes hard work, and that hard work spans over a long period of time. After all, you’re going to be raising that baby from the time it’s born until the time it turns 18. Of course, 18 years is far too long for the scope of this guide, so we’re going to focus on the first three years of your baby’s life. That way we can give you the best and more important information that you need to really understand and to raise your baby to be healthy and happy. It’s not as difficult as you may think, and you’ll enjoy it every step of the way (even on those nights when you don’t get any sleep).


Greatest joys

Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in life for many people; this little person will love you unconditionally and will always be there for you. A baby is completely dependent on you for everything in his or her life from the food the baby eats to the clothes he or she wears and the love and affection you provide. It’s important to keep your baby feeling loved and protected throughout infancy and his or her entire life.

As a parent you are all things to your baby. You are the person that loves that child unconditionally and will always be there to provide that loving care. This means being sure that you do everything you can to care for and protect him or her. Make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your home safe for the baby. This will allow your child to grow up healthy and happy without you having to worry about anything happening.

There are several different things to think about when you are going to have a baby. You’ll have to think about what to name the child as well as the furnishings and the way to raise your baby. All of these are decisions you’ll have to make with your partner, and the two of you will need to consider them strongly. Having a baby is not just something that you do. This is a complete change to your lifestyle and a complete change to everything that is important to you, so make sure that you are ready to make that commitment of eighteen years of your life before you have a baby.

If you aren’t sure if you are ready for a baby and the type of commitment that is required when you have one, then it’s important that you reconsider having a baby. This is a lifelong commitment, and that baby is going to be completely dependent on you. Don’t disappoint the child because earning a baby’s trust is the most amazing thing in the world. Knowing all about your baby is the first step to being the best parent possible. Whether you are a man or woman, you will be able to do everything that is necessary to raise your baby.

There are no gender stereotypes in this guide. No matter what your gender, you, as a parent, play a very important role in the development of your child. Without you, that baby will have no chance in life, which is why you really need to do everything you can and know everything you can. Knowing how to take care of your baby is step one. Putting it all into practice when you have that beautiful bundle of joy in your arms or in your home is step two. Don’t let your baby down and don’t let yourself down. You can do this, and you can be the very best parent there ever was. Your baby is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is a culmination of your love for your partner, and if you always think of the baby that way, you will feel better already.

Don’t be afraid that you’re going to be a bad parent. There are no strict rules about how you have to act or how you have to rear your child. In fact, everyone does things a little differently. The important thing is to make sure that you are doing your best and that you’re paying attention to what your doctor says. You’ll be able to get plenty of help along the way as you rear your baby because you probably have friends and family with children who will be more than happy to help you out. Take their advice as it comes and think about the way you want to do things. If you believe that what they say is best for your child, then definitely take their advice. You’ll be a great parent if you just believe in yourself and your partner. The two of you are in this together, and you’ll be able to succeed with each other’s help.

Getting Your Baby Onto Solid Foods

If you’re starting to think that your baby may be ready for more solid foods, then you may be right. Most babies are ready to start eating more foods than simply formula or milk by the time they are around six months old. In fact, the American Association of Pediatrics believes you should not even start feeding your baby solid foods (nothing but breast milk) until after about six months. Some parents, however, choose to start feeding their baby cereal or rice before this point in time.

If you’re thinking about feeding your baby solid foods, then there are some things you should look for first. Babies ready to handle solid foods are able to hold their heads up and are able to swallow foods on their own. If the child can’t hold his or her head up, then he or she will not be able to eat anything but formula or milk. A baby who simply spits the food back out is probably not ready for solid foods either. Make sure your baby is ready for these foods before you try switching to baby cereal or rice.

Of course, once you know it’s time to start feeding your baby solid foods, you’re going to need to know what you can feed the child. A baby isn’t going to be able to start eating everything that you do. For one thing, the baby doesn’t have any teeth yet, so you’re going to want to feed him or her soft foods that don’t need to be chewed up. For most parents, this means starting with a type of infant cereal or rice. These things are generally the consistency of grits and don’t need to be chewed, so your baby can simply swallow them.

You want to make sure that you are not putting too much on the spoon each time you offer it to your baby. This means you want to use an infant spoon (these are typically smaller and have rubber covers rather than hard metal) and fill it only halfway at most. You would then offer it to your baby. You may want to try to get the child to eat just a few bites the first time, and you may not be able to get the baby to eat any more than that for the first several times you offer solid food; however if you keep introducing it again and again, the child will come to eat more of it each time.

Once your baby is used to these types of cereal, you may want to start introducing fruits and vegetables. These come in special infant form in jars. They typically have different “stages” ranging from stage 1 up to stage three, when your baby will be eating food that is almost normal consistency. When you first start out, be sure you are giving your baby only stage 1 foods because these will not require the child to chew and will not have big pieces.

You will find a wide variety of different food options to choose from, and you can try as many different ones as you want until you find some that your baby really likes. You want to make sure that you are adding in new foods gradually. That means adding in only one new thing at a time to allow your baby to adjust. It is also very important because this is a way to determine if your baby has any allergies. If you add too many new things at once, you will not be able to tell what is causing the reaction.

As your baby continues to grow, he or she will be able to eat more and more foods and move on through the different stages of store-bought baby food. These different stages gradually introduce foods of thicker consistency to encourage babies to use their teeth as they develop. Of course you will likely want to supplement these meals with snacks or other foods that your child can eat with the family.

By this point you will be able to start weaning your baby away from formula or milk even though he or she may still want it before naps or before bedtime. If you choose to continue to supplement their meals this way, you are definitely allowed to; however, you will want to be sure that your baby is getting enough solid foods and nutrients. As they grow older, babies are not be able to get everything they need from breastfeeding or formula alone, so they need to eat more and more solid foods.

When your baby is able to feed himself or herself (this is typically a messy process, but occurs when the baby can bring things to its mouth on purpose), you can start providing finger foods. You will want to be sure that anything you feed your baby is cut into very small pieces and is not circular. This means you can give the baby pieces of banana that are cut into small square pieces, not simply in half. You can also offer soft cookies as well as pasta or different types of vegetables.

Your baby will gradually start getting used to these increasingly solid foods, and you will be able to wean of the child away from baby food out of jars. You will then be able to switch your baby gradually to more solid foods as he or she begins to develop teeth and is able to chew food. You will still want to be sure that you are avoiding anything that your baby or child could choke on. Small children have a high likelihood of this as well, which means you want to be sure you are cutting foods into small pieces since they are not able to do this for themselves. As they grow older, you will be able to teach them to take bites; however, as young children they will not understand.

Make sure that anything that could be difficult to eat is cut into bite-size pieces and things like corn are cut off the cob so that your child can eat them easier. Remember that your baby’s teeth are very soft, and they will not be able to eat a lot of the things that you can. For example, they cannot eat very tough meats or very hard foods. Keep this in mind as you begin cooking more family meals that include food for your child. You want to be sure that you are offering foods the child can actually eat.


Foods To Avoid For Your Baby

When you have a newborn just starting to eat solid foods, there are some foods that could prove dangerous to your baby and you should definitely avoid. Foods that many people have allergies to such as nuts are definitely to be avoided. (Of course nuts are too easy to choke on for a baby to eat anyway.) You would also want to avoid feeding your baby things like fish or eggs because these can be harmful and can also cause severe allergic reactions.

You will also want to avoid foods with high levels of nitrates. This means that you want to keep away from any types of spinach, beets, carrots or other vegetables known to have higher levels. You will generally be safe with store brands of baby food because these are tested for nitrates; however, you will still want to be on the lookout.



Feeding Your New Baby

Photo by ilyoungko

How you’re going to feed your baby is your own choice. Of course for a newborn there are two different choices. You could feed your baby formula in order for it to get the nutrients that it needs; however, you could also choose to breastfeed your baby. Many people believe that breastfeeding is the better option, but there are many reasons a mother may choose not to breastfeed. For example, some mothers or babies have difficulty with breastfeeding, or a mother may have a medical condition that makes her unable to breastfeed.

It’s also possible that the baby could have some medical condition that requires special formula with certain additives. Some mothers simply choose not to breastfeed. For some mothers this is a way of bonding with their baby; other mothers, however, may choose not to, either because they will not be able to breastfeed the baby all the time (whether they will need to work or for any other reason) or simply because they do not want to.

If you feel that you do not have the ability to breastfeed because you will be returning to work and will not be able to feed the baby all the time, there is an alternative. Some mothers choose to pump breast milk, which can then be fed to the baby by anyone, even at a daycare center or by a babysitter. This is simply an option, of course, and some women prefer not to do this as well; others find it a great way to provide for the baby while still going to work.

You also have the option of combining breastfeeding your baby with feeding formula. This could be done if a mother is going to work all day, but can breastfeed in the mornings before work or in evenings after work. Any combination is perfectly fine, and doctors find this method preferable to mothers not breastfeeding at all because breastfeeding is healthy for baby and also helpful to the mother.



Why You Should Breastfeed

As we said, there are many reasons that people advocate breastfeeding.  One reason breastfeeding is preferable, and probably the most important reason, is that it helps your baby to build up immunities. When you become pregnant, your body begins to lactate. This means that it produces milk whether you decide you want to breastfeed or not. The milk that your body produces is full of antibodies that your body has picked up over the years that you have been alive. These antibodies are to a wide range of different things and offer more protection than your baby could get any other way.

When you breastfeed your baby, the milk you provide will include these antibodies. This protects the child against several different types of diseases in ways that modern medicine simply can’t until he or she is older. That means you are giving the baby a whole range of different vaccines simply by nursing rather using a formula.

A prepared formula can help your baby and provide many different types of vitamins and minerals; however, it cannot give offer the same antibodies that you can. That’s the most important reason that doctors advocate this method of feeding your child and encourage that you do so for at least a few weeks so your baby can get the most of these antibodies.

Another reason that many people believe breastfeeding is beneficial is that it improves the bond between the mother and her baby. This is a time when the baby is with its mother and a time when the mother provides something that no one else can. It’s a time for the mother to connect with her baby and for her baby to realize that the mother is a safe place and will always be there. For many new mothers, this is a very important feeling that helps them to relate to their new baby and also helps them to get to know the baby.

Many of the reasons that a mother should breastfeed are for her benefit as well. For example, breastfeeding helps to burn calories. You can actually burn a lot of calories in this way. Each time you breastfeed, you burn off a large number of calories again and again, which can help you get back to the weight you were before your pregnancy. This is very important to some women and provides a great bonus for them.

Breastfeeding is also very helpful to the mother in many other ways. One of the biggest ways is that it fights off cancer. You can increase your chances of staving off both breast cancer and cervical cancer simply by breastfeeding your baby instead of using formula. This is a great benefit, since cancer can be such a terrible disease. All you need to do to get this benefit is to breastfeed your baby, so by helping your baby, you will also be helping yourself in many different ways.

Now one big question that people have about breastfeeding is how long they should do it and when to start. The best time to start breastfeeding your baby is within hours of its being born. This will help your baby the most and will help to build that initial bond between you and your new baby. You want to be sure that your baby is getting the nutrients it needs immediately and also that your baby understands how to breastfeed. This is a trait that is engrained in infants before they are even born, and your baby should be able to figure out how to do it very quickly.

If your baby seems to have problems feeding or refuses to eat, there could be a problem. This is something you would want to discuss with your doctor immediately. It’s possible that your baby will not be able to feed this way, and you may have to give your baby a bottle in order to provide the nutrients that the child needs. Your doctor will be able to give you some tips on breastfeeding, and if they don’t work, will be able to get you the best types of formula.

Breastfeeding is a very important thing for your baby and for you; however, you want to make sure that you are doing it for a long enough amount of time, but not too long. Many would say that the longer you breastfeed your baby, the better it is for the child. It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby for at least the first few days. This is the time when they are getting the most antibodies from you, and this will help to build up their immune system.

The entire length of time that you breastfeed is up to you. Some mothers choose to do it for a few months and others go up to a year. Still others may choose to breastfeed their baby for even longer than one year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed for at least one year because this helps to aid in your baby’s growth as well as their development. The Academy also recommends adding in solid foods after about six months. Of course, once again, the length of time you breastfeed is entirely up to you.


Basics on Children and Parenting

New parents have many things to think about. For one thing, you will need to understand your baby. After all, a baby is a human being, and you want to make sure that the child is getting the right type of attention and that you are doing the right thing. Having that person rely on you completely can help you feel more important yourself and can also help you accomplish more in your life. Make sure you are showing your baby how much you care about him or her.

With a newborn, there are several things that a parent should know. After all, newborns require a lot of attention and also a lot of work. As babies get a little older, they will be able to do even more things on their own, from dressing themselves to choosing their own music and what they want for breakfast. It may help, in times that you are feeling overwhelmed with your newborn, to remember that the time is coming when the child will become more and more independent as time goes by.

Making yourself ready for your new family addition means learning more about pregnancy. For the nine months that you are pregnant, there are several different things that you need to do. Once that baby is born, however, your role does not stop. In fact, there are actually even more things that you need to do as a parent. You are responsible for a child. That means that anything that child does before turning 18 is technically your responsibility.

Before you even bring your baby home from the hospital, there are several things you’ll want to do. While you are preparing for having your baby, you’ll want to get your home ready. This includes baby proofing your home, which we’ll discuss later; however, it also means getting your nursery ready for when you bring your baby home.

Some parents choose to have their baby sleep in a bassinet or crib in their room for the first few nights or even the first few months. This allows them to be nearby when the baby gets upset or cries or needs anything in the middle of the night. Other parents prefer to allow their baby to sleep in its own room from the very beginning. They will typically set up the room and use a baby monitor that either conveys just sound or gives a picture as well as sound to keep track of how their baby is doing throughout the night.

Whichever method you are going to choose, you want to make sure that you have everything you’re going to need for your baby ready before the baby comes. Clothes are important, but you’ll also need to think about setting up your nursery with everything for your baby. You’ll need a crib or bassinet, of course, for the baby to sleep in. You may also want to get some toys and things for your baby to play with. Setting up the room can help new parents to really start focusing on the baby and thinking about how things are going to change or what needs to be done. This is a big step and is very important to getting ready for your baby.



This book is mostly focused on your new baby; however, it is important that we include a little section on mom. New mothers can often have very serious problems after their pregnancy and the birth of their baby. Not only does a new mom have to work through all the different things necessary to raising her new baby, but she sometimes may have to slog through her own depression as well.

Post-partum depression affects a large number of women after they have had a baby. This can cause very serious problems for the mother and, if mom is not careful, for the baby as well. People have different levels of this type of depression, and some people are able to shake it on their own or simply with time. Other mothers may require intense therapy or may need to speak with a doctor about medications.

Post-partum depression is just like any other type of depression. It’s symbolized by feelings of inferiority or worthlessness. A mother may feel that she is not fit to raise her new baby or may not even feel interest in her child. These things tend to occur with many new mothers, and some believe that this is a result of the fluctuations in hormone levels throughout and after pregnancy. It’s important that if you feel this type of depression, you seek out help. There are plenty of people who can and will help you if you just ask for it. Don’t feel that you have to go through any of your feelings alone.


Potty Training

Potty training is one of the more difficult things that parents face. They often don’t know when and how they should begin potty training their children, which leads to many parents trying far too early or far too late. You want to make sure that you are getting your child along on the right track to potty training because this is an important step. Make sure that you are paying attention to your child because chances are that he or she will let you know when it’s time to begin.

The biggest mistake most parents make is ignoring their child on this issue. Your child will know when he or she wants to be potty trained, and it’s important to wait for this point. If you try to potty train your child too early, you won’t be able to succeed because the child simply won’t be ready to understand. You also don’t want to start too late because your child has already passed the best time for potty training and is likely very unhappy with continuing to use a diaper.

The best time is when your child tells you–that’s right, tells you. As children begin to get a little older, they start to understand what it means to have a wet or dirty diaper, and they won’t like it. After all, how would you like to have to sit in your own mess for any length of time? Your child will start to feel that way too, and when that happens he or she will start to tell you as soon as the diaper is dirty. Make sure you’re listening and change the child immediately, but even more than that, take him or her into the bathroom and ask if the child needs to go to the bathroom. If so, you can take the opportunity to show what to do if needed.

This stage in their development will likely occur around 22 to 30 months. This is just around two years of age. Once your child starts telling you that he or she is dirty or wet, you want to start asking frequently if the child needs to go to the bathroom. Many parents buy their child a special toilet that is smaller than the regular one. Some of these are separate from the regular toilet altogether and have their own reservoir that needs to be emptied. Others may be special seats that fit over the regular toilet seat to make it small enough for a child. One of these two options is recommended, as your regular seat will likely be too big for your child; however, when you go out somewhere, you will need to help your child to use a regular toilet.

By the time your child gets to the point of noticing being wet or uncomfortable, he or she may be able to tell you about feeling a need to go. The important thing is to make sure that you are taking the child to a bathroom as soon as he or she tells you about the need to go. That means that even if you are in the middle of something, you need to take him or her to the bathroom immediately. Missing even one time that your child has to go could set back your entire attempt at training.

Another important thing about potty training is the opportunity to make your child feel good. That means celebrating every time that the child makes it to the bathroom on time and goes on a toilet like a “big girl” or “big boy.” It also means being careful when your child does not make it to the bathroom because you don’t want him or her to feel too upset or depressed. Don’t make too big of a deal of the issue, but instead simply clean the child up and put on a new diaper. Continue asking frequently if the child feels the need to go and take him or her whenever asked. Not making it one time could set your child back as well, and you don’t want to do that.

If your child doesn’t tell you about the need to go to the bathroom or if he or she resists it, the child probably is not yet at the right stage in development. It may take a little longer to get there. Children who experience high levels of stress from anything at all could suddenly have problems with toilet training even if they were previously doing very well. The important thing is to be sure that you aren’t making too big of a deal out of it. Continue to praise your child for making it to the bathroom on time and don’t stress mistakes too much. Your child will likely feel bad enough about the mistake, and a negative response from you may make the discomfort worse and make the child even less likely to try the next time.


Warning Signs

Several different warning signs may indicate that something is wrong with your baby. It’s very important that you understand what these signs are because your goal is to keep your baby safe and healthy. If you don’t know what to watch for, then you won’t be able to do that properly, and your baby could end up hurt or very sick.

The first thing to watch for is fever. A fever is a bad sign for anyone. This means that your body is very sick and is trying to burn off any type of infection. For your baby this can be very serious, and you want to be sure that you address it right away. You don’t want your baby to have a fever because that fever can cause even more problems. It doesn’t take much for your baby to get sick, especially since children do not have very many immunities. This means you also want to be sure you are keeping your baby away from people that are very sick.

Another problem you may notice with your baby is a rash. A diaper rash will occasionally happen to your child and should be treated, but you will not need to worry about this as much. That’s because diaper rash is so easily treatable. If your baby has an unexplained rash, however, you will want to make sure you pinpoint the cause.

It’s possible that your baby could have allergies to food or other products. If so, then a rash might develop as a side effect; however, a rash as part of an allergic reaction will eventually fade away. If the rash does not go away after a couple of days or if it seems to be getting worse instead of better, be sure to see a doctor. This could be a sign of something very serious, and you want to be sure it is taken care of right away.

Pay attention to your baby as well. You may not realize it if the child is telling you that something is wrong. For example, if your baby cries often and for no reason, it is possible that something is wrong. You will first want to check that your baby does not have a dirty or wet diaper and that the child is not hungry. These physical discomforts are typically the most common reasons a baby will cry; however, if none of these are the reason, you will want to rule out anything more serious. Your baby may be feeling pain or sickness, but simply does not know how to convey that feeling yet.

If your child experiences significant change in his or her eating habits or is unwilling to eat, this could be a problem as well. First, you will want to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the food and then move on to seeing if anything is wrong with your baby. It’s possible that the food is too hot or too cold and your baby does not want it; however, it’s also possible that your baby is sick or has some type of mouth problem. Your baby may simply be teething, but it’s important to be sure of the problem before you rule out anything serious when it could be just that.

Strange sleeping habits or your baby suddenly having trouble sleeping through the night might also be a warning sign that something could be wrong. Your baby will develop habits and fall into routines. Changes in these routines that are brought about by your baby could be a sign that something is wrong. It is entirely possible that your baby may simply require a different routine; however, there could be a more serious problem.

If you notice any type of sudden changes in your baby’s behavior or if you notice fever, vomiting, or lack of appetite, you will want to take your baby to a doctor. You want to make sure that nothing is wrong with your baby as soon as possible. It may be that there is something simple going on such as teething or a cold or allergies to certain foods; however, it is also possible that something very serious is going on. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and that means that it’s much better to take your  baby to the doctor for nothing than it is to not take them and have something be seriously wrong.

Don’t let your baby suffer longer than needed and don’t risk the child’s health and safety by assuming that things will be fine. Your baby is too young to tell you what he or she is feeling or let you know what’s wrong. The child is counting on you to make things  better, and that means you need to take care of the problem as soon as possible.



Making your home baby proof can be difficult for many new parents. You want to be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your home safe enough that your baby won’t get hurt, and that means keeping anything potentially dangerous out of the child’s reach. There are many steps involved in baby proofing your home, and these steps should be started long before you bring your baby home from the hospital. You should be sure that you are getting your home ready and becoming familiar with the new ways you’ll have to do things before the baby comes.

One thing you need to do is lock away anything that could be toxic. That means that all cleaning supplies or chemicals need to be locked or closed up in such a way that your baby cannot get into them. You also want to make sure that any sharp or breakable objects are put away where the baby can’t get to them. This includes things like knives and random trinkets. Anything that you don’t want the baby to get hold of should be kept out of his or her reach.

You must also be sure that you have gates or doors with proper latches at the top of all stairs and that you have blocked off any rooms that might be unsafe for your baby. This would include any bathrooms, as standing water can be extremely hazardous. You will also want to be sure that any time you are cooking, you turn the handles of all utensils so they are over the counter rather than over an area where your baby might potentially reach up and grab them. Many children have been severely burned in this way.

As we mentioned earlier, you want to be sure that you never let your baby out of your sight when he or she is near water. This includes a bathtub, pool or any other type of water. Just a few seconds could be enough for your baby to be seriously hurt, and you definitely don’t want that.

You will also want to be sure that you use plugs to cover any electrical outlets to prevent your baby from being shocked or even electrocuted. In addition, be sure that you use power strip covers for larger surge protectors or outlet strips. Another potential danger you may not have thought about are the cords on your blinds or curtains. These can easily become a strangling hazard, so you should keep them tied up and out of your baby’s reach.

Every so often you will want to be sure to go through your home again. You want to make sure that as your child grows, you are protecting him or her from new hazards. For example, as your child grows bigger, he or she may be able to reach the drawer where you store knives, so you would want to move them again. Growing children may also be able to open doors, which means you may want to install special covers for all of your doorknobs.

Keeping baby safe should be your number-one priority, and there are many different steps to doing just that. You don’t want your baby to get hurt in your own home; however, you also don’t want your child to get hurt in anyone else’s home. That means you want to be sure that you are watching your baby at all times when you go to other places that do not have the same type of security measures that you do. Make sure that you are also teaching your child what he or she should not be touching.

Even if you have locks and plugs throughout your home, you want to be sure that your child really understands why he or she can’t go into those places. This will help the child to understand that even when at someone else’s home, he or she is still not allowed to go into those places. This is important because children who are simply denied access to certain areas will attempt to get into those places when they are able to get into them.




Photo by Yuchao.L

Part of keeping your baby healthy is getting him or her to sleep properly. This means making sure that the child is getting as much sleep as needed each night. For many new parents, this can be a very big problem because babies often don’t like to sleep for long periods at one time. In fact, your baby may wake up frequently throughout the night and need to be changed or fed, especially during the first few weeks or so. At this time your baby may sleep up to 17 hours a day or possibly even longer. He or she probably will not be awake for more than a couple hours at one time and will nap frequently.

As babies get a little older, they will begin sleeping better throughout the night. This means they could sleep for anywhere from eight to 12 hours; however, your baby will probably still get up very early in the morning and may also still need more sleep through the day rather than just the long period of sleep each night. These periods of sleep are helpful in your baby’s development.

Another important thing to note is that your baby will need naps throughout the day. For very young infants, it is recommended that they have at least two naps during the day and get to bed at an early hour. As children get a little older, they will be able to switch to just one nap during the day while still getting the same amount of sleep at night. By about four to six months of age, your baby may start to sleep all night without waking up to be changed or to eat.

When you’re trying to get your baby to understand the difference between night and day and to sleep through the night, there are actually some things that you can do. For one thing, you can help to show the child the difference between day and night. For example, day is when mommy and daddy play and when there are lots of loud noises and bright lights. By contrast, when your baby gets up at night, the surroundings should stay quiet and the lights should be kept low. This is not the time for playing with the baby, but instead for simply taking care of needs and putting him or her back to bed.

Something else to note is that many parents try letting their babies put themselves to sleep. Some parents, of course, don’t like to let their babies cry, and if they put the baby down for bed or even just for a nap, they may pick the child back up again if he or she starts crying; however, doctors have found that letting the baby cry for short periods of time when there is nothing wrong will not cause harm. You can let your baby cry and fuss a little when you put him or her down. In fact, if you’re trying to get the baby onto a routine, this can actually be one of the best things to do because it encourages the child to sleep when it’s bedtime.

Other parents feel this is unnecessarily cruel to their baby and will pick up the child and rock or nurse until the baby falls asleep. Whichever option you use is completely up to you; however, if you are going to let your baby cry himself or herself to sleep, you need to be sure that both parents are agreed on this method. You don’t want the baby pitting the two of you against each other. Likewise, you want to be sure that if you are going to rock your baby to sleep, you are there whenever the child wants you.

The rules for how your baby should sleep have changed drastically throughout the years; however, there are some things that you should definitely know before you put your infant to bed. One important thing is always to lay your baby on its back. This is believed to reduce the risk of your baby developing SIDS, which has claimed the lives of many infants without cause or explanation. Make sure you lay your baby down this way and always roll the child back to this position if you notice that he or she is sleeping another way.

You also want to make sure that you do not leave any toys or extra blankets in the crib with your baby. A baby will actually be much warmer than you and does not need a lot of blankets. If you are afraid your baby will get too cold, you could swaddle them in a blanket, being careful that the blanket is tight enough that they will not untangle it or you may wrap a thin sheet around their waist. The sheet should be tucked snugly under the mattress so it does not move and would not come above your baby’s waist. Babies do not need anything heavier than this even in the middle of winter because their bodies are more able to regulate heat.

Something else to think about is the type of crib you are using. You want to make sure that it does not have drop-down sides because babies have been known to get hurt in these types of cribs. They can easily pinch their fingers or even open the side of the crib and fall out. You also do not want bumper pads on the side of the crib because your baby could easily suffocate. A mesh covering is the strongest thing you should use so your baby can still breathe even if he or she gets right up next to the edge of the crib.

You want to be sure that you are following these instructions because your baby could suffer many different problems caused by sleeping the wrong way. You don’t want anything to happen to your baby, and that means listening to the rules that doctors have researched and put into place specifically to keep your baby safe.