New Beginnings With Your Baby
The first six weeks or so are very important for you and your baby. Traditionally this was a time when new mothers and their babies 'retired' from the world. Mothers would use this time to recuperate from the rigours of birth and babies would begin to adapt to their life outside the womb.
After birth and for the first few weeks, your baby needs to be kept quiet so that he can get used to his new environment. During this time he should receive little stimulation, stay inside and remain close to you.
This is very important because your baby needs time to adjust. His internal condition is not yet stable and his bones need time to re-align themselves after labor. The brain and nervous system are not fully developed either and for this reason babies need a great deal of care. Too many visitors and loud noise can make your baby fussy and demanding. The first few weeks are an important time for you and your baby to spend time together and develop a strong bond.
Many babies may experience some colic during the first few months. In most cases it is very mild and part of the adjustment period after birth. The baby's digestion needs to adapt and get used to receiving oral nourishment. One of the easiest ways to relieve colic is to give your baby a tiny amount of bancha twig tea. (Please check out 'the magic of special ingredients' for a description of this tea). You can use an eye dropper and simply drop a little of the warm tea in the baby's mouth. Make sure it is warm and not too hot. The tea can be mildly sweetened with rice syrup if needed.
If you are nursing, you may want to look at some of the foods you are eating. A diet that includes whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit is best suited for breastfed babies. However, some vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli can trigger colic. Eliminate them for a week to see if the condition improves. If your baby begins crying a short time after you have fed her, look at your recent meals to see if you can identify a pattern of foods that could cause a reaction.
Your baby will react to your emotional, mental and physical well-being. If you are feeling tired or stressed, it can make the baby more fussy and difficult. Make sure to get enough rest. If the weather is warm enough, take the baby for a stroll or simply sit outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Breastfed babies often take in air while they are nursing. This can cause 'wind' to get trapped in the stomach, which feels very uncomfortable. It is a good idea to 'burp' the baby after each feeding. Many babies will fall asleep while nursing and it seems much easier to put them down. The problem is that they wake a few minutes later feeling quite unhappy. If you keep your baby well wrapped, it helps to keep him sleepy. Pick him up and rest his head on your shoulder and gently rub or pat his back. You can also try to sit him up or lay him on his tummy on your knee. Some babies spit up a little milk when they burp but this is normal. As your baby gets used to nursing, you will find that burping isn't necessary.
Many babies have a fussy period at the same time each day. This is a good time to give your baby a bath to help him relax. Baths are a great way for your baby to calm down and unwind. They also help the baby to smoothly discharge excess minerals and toxins. It is a good idea to bath your baby on a daily basis and at the same time each day. An established routine will make your baby feel stable and secure.
"Babies are necessary to grown-ups. A new baby is like the beginning of all things -- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. In a world that is cutting down its trees to build highways, losing its earth to concrete... babies are almost the only remaining link with nature, with the natural world of living things from which we spring."
- Eda J. Le Shan