Your baby is a month old… what happens next?
Baby will sleep most of the time during their first month of life (the best sleeping position is to swaddle baby and place them on their side), however they should not sleep for more than a 4 hour stretch without feeds. Baby will be awake and eager to engage for between 45 mins to an hour, before they are ready to sleep again. Babies favourite place during this time is their home environment, especially in their room.
Love to dream has a beautiful sleeping bag to swaddle your newborn.
In my previous post, I discussed how baby interprets the sensory input they receive. During this month baby is unable to independently regulate their sensory systems.
It is up to mummy, read your babies cues (e.g. agitated, irritated, hot, cold) and try to remove them or stop the adverse input before your baby is over tired and cries. It is important to know what pushes your baby to the edge and what calms him/her.
During the first month a calm, relaxed and soothing environment is optimal for baby. It is best to create a safe, comforting environment similar to what baby experienced in your womb.
1. Keep colours dim and neutral.
2. Avoid excessive visitors and busy, noisy environments.
3. Provide baby with deep pressure input. E.g. Firm hugs, deep massage, swaddling.
4. Slow rocking movements are best to calm baby.
General routine tips:
1. Nappy and changing time:
Baby is usually awake, so it is a good time to perform face to face play, where you make eye contact with and sing or talk to baby with exaggerated facial expressions. You could also hang a mobile above babies changing area to provide some stimulation.
When changing baby after bath time, a massage is highly recommended. There are numerous benefits to a baby massage:
It calms baby, helps them learn the boundaries of their little body. It encourages bonding between mother and child. Use an appropriate oil and gentle but deep pressure. Start from the head covering every area of babies body working down to their feet.
I absolutely love Oh So Heavenly’s baby range.
3. Bath time:
Speak to baby in a calm, soothing voice. Provide firm massage during bath time. Allow baby time to move around in the water.
Talk and sing to baby (except during night feeds), try to keep baby awake.
5. Awake time:
Face to face play. Show and engage baby in age appropriate play (bright, shiny, noisy toys). Baby can be placed on their tummy(either on the bed or on your chest) for ‘tummy time’ for a few minutes to start strengthening the neck.
6. Out and about:
A pram or baby carrier is best e.g. Sling. Avoid excessive light by covering baby with a blanket as needed.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Next month we will discuss babies needs, development and appropriate stimulation at 2-months old.
Read Rashika’s last blog post: www.youbabyandi.com/baby-friendly-environment
Rashika Singh completed her Bachelor of Sciences in Occupational Therapy at Wits in 2011. She is currently employed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto where she works as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist. She is also a locum therapist at Talk Sense OT in Bryanston. She is currently completing her qualification in sensory integration.
She is passionate about kids and ensures her therapy is child and family centered and of course fun and playful.