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Congratulations – after months of waiting, you can finally hold your baby in your arms! That brand-new bundle will bring you much joy, a million pride-filled moments – and a few surprises. Read on to learn about the biggest newborn bombshells.
Newborns are funny looking
You may notice that your baby looks nothing like the chubby, smooth-skinned angels gracing the magazines in the doctor's waiting room. No, there's nothing wrong. It's just that the babies in the magazines aren't newborns!
This makes sense, given that the "newborn look" is – to put it bluntly – a bit bizarre. Think big heads, scrawny limbs, and scaly skin.
"They basically look like aliens," says pediatrician and writer Gwenn O'Keeffe.
The birth process itself accounts for some of the oddity. All that squeezing and molding on the journey through the birth canal can result in squished features and a head that's more cone-shaped than round (c-section babies typically have rounder heads).
In addition, says O'Keeffe, because your baby has been floating in fluid for nine months, she hasn't had the chance to develop much muscle tone. This lends her facial features a certain slackness.
Your baby's skin might also surprise you. If your baby arrives late, her skin might look wrinkled and may peel from losing the white, creamy vernix that covered the skin in utero. Full-term and premature babies may also peel a bit from the exposure to air after the vernix is washed away.
Preemies are more likely to emerge covered with a fine, downy (or sometimes dark) hair called lanugo. Lanugo typically sprouts from certain parts of the body, such as the back, shoulders, ears, and forehead, and falls out in a matter of weeks after birth (although it persists for quite a bit longer in some babies).
Soon your baby will pile on the ounces, lose the newborn look, and become decidedly babyish in appearance. Until then, enjoy this phase while it lasts. Because while newborns may not be ready for commercials, they have a strange loveliness, at least in their parents' eyes.
As one mom puts it, "My oldest looked like a monkey, my second looked like a little old lady, and my youngest resembled a frog. I thought they were beautiful."
Babies can be explosive
Newborns may look delicate, but when it comes to spit-up and poop, they can pack a serious punch.
In a recent our site survey, 41 percent of new moms said spitting up was their biggest feeding nuisance. "I was surprised by how many times I had to change my own clothes," says mom of two Rachel Teichman.
Why is spitting up so common? Simple physiology. "The tiny muscle that acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach is immature in newborns, so it's easy for food to come back up," says O'Keeffe.
If you have a major spitter-upper, don't forget to burp him and keep him upright after he eats. This can help reduce the volume and frequency. And don't worry – he won't have to take burp cloths to college.
"Most babies outgrow the spit-up phase by 4 or 5 months of age," says O'Keeffe.
(However, if your baby seems uncomfortable after eating, if he's losing weight, or if the spit-up is projectile, talk to your doctor. It could be a sign of reflux or another medical problem.)
Poop explosions are another normal part of the new-parent initiation. "At our baby's second doctor's appointment, poop exploded all over my husband's shirt," says one our site mom. "It was like a jet engine!"
Again, you can thank immature biology. "Babies can't willfully poop until they get older, so sometimes it just reaches a critical mass and it all comes out at once," says O'Keeffe.
There's not too much you can do about poop blowouts, other than carrying a well-stocked diaper bag and trying your best to keep your sense of humor intact.
Want the full scoop on baby poop? If you can stomach the photos, check out our slideshow.
Babies are unexpectedly time-consuming
It's the quintessential conundrum of early parenthood: How can caring for this doll-like, sleepy creature eat up such massive amounts of time? Instead of the productive, project-filled weeks you may have envisioned while you were pregnant, your post-birth days trudge by in a blur of diaper changing, feeding, rocking, burping, and endless laundry.
As for zipping out the door for a quick errand with your baby? It's likely more a slog than a zip. "What surprised me the most was what a production it is to get out of the house," one our site mom says.
"It's common for moms to be overwhelmed and surprised by how much time a newborn takes up," says Whitney Moss, mom and coauthor of The Rookie Mom's Handbook. In our survey, 64 percent of our site moms said finding time to get things done – or time for themselves – is the biggest challenge of new motherhood.
It can be helpful to adjust your expectations and remember that parenthood has a steep learning curve. "Go easy on yourself, just as if you were at a new job," says Moss.
So shelve those plans to clean out your garage during maternity leave and know that as you gain experience, all those baby-related tasks will become both easier and quicker. It may take you ten minutes to change a diaper now, but soon you'll find yourself doing it offhandedly while you chat on the phone. And pretty soon you'll be able to get yourself and your baby to the grocery store without breaking a sweat.
Bonding follows its own timetable
For some moms – including 34 percent of our survey respondents – the biggest shock of new parenthood was the instant love they felt the first time they saw or held their baby. "It hit me like a ton of bricks," says one mom.
Others find the exact opposite: Their biggest surprise was that they didn't fall in love instantly (11 percent of our survey participants fell into this category). For these parents, bonding developed more gradually. "My daughter is 3 1/2 weeks old and I love her to death," one mom says. "But it wasn't this overwhelming magical moment. It took time."
Like pregnancy, labor, and birth itself, the experience of bonding varies from parent to parent. If you're feeling stressed because you're not as bonded with your newborn as you thought you'd be, give it time and remember that there's no "right way" for bonding to happen.
In addition, make sure you get some breaks. Ironically, a little time away from your baby can help the bonding process along.
"It's really important to get a breather," says O'Keeffe. "Don't feel guilty about leaving your baby with your partner or a friend while you go for a walk or get your nails done. When moms feel less overwhelmed, bonding becomes easier."
If, after a few weeks, you're still having trouble feeling connected to your baby, talk with your doctor. Sometimes postpartum depression – which is both common and treatable – can get in the way of the bonding process.
You'll be a different kind of parent than you expected
Parenthood comes with many lessons, and humility may be one of the biggest of all.
Maybe you thought you'd never give your baby a pacifier, and now your house and car are filled with neon-colored binkies. Or you thought you'd never worry about germs, and now you meet visitors at the door with a bottle of hand sanitizer. Or you thought you'd stick with cloth diapers, but you can't resist the disposables. And here you are, doing exactly what you swore you'd never do.
"We all go through this," says O'Keeffe. "We think we'll be a certain way, and then we realize that we just need to do what works for our individual child."
"I was totally not a baby/kid person. The day before I gave birth to my first, I thought I'd be saying, 'Here you go, Grandma. We'll be back from our weekend trip in a few days....' But the moment he came out, I was overwhelmed with love and protection and joy. I never thought I'd be like that. I've been away from him exactly one night, because I had to, for work," says one our site mom.
Another mom says, "I always thought it was disgusting when parents cleaned their kid's nose with their own hands, but now I'm one of those parents!"
And Melissa Byers writes in her story The Princess and the Pacifier, "When my youngest was an infant, I was terrified of the pacifier.…This thing wasn't going to get me. Oh no. I was smarter than that. Or so I thought.… After a few weeks, the crying was too much, and I was done being a human pacifier."
5 Things Your Gynecologist Wants You To Know: Getting Pregnant
Summer holidays, it's nice! Two months to rest, have fun ... But a few days before the start, it is important to find a rhythm adapted to this academic recovery and to organize well to avoid stress. Our advices.
1. We set the record straight!
- A good week before the start of the school year, it is useful to put back in place a certain regularity in the sleep schedules. Advance gradually (about 15 minutes) the bedtime, but also that of the alarm clock. And no exception last weekend. This will disturb your child's rhythm again and may be delayed for the first day of school.
2. At mealtimes too ...
- Summer is often synonymous with meal times a little off. Again, enjoy this last week to resume a pace close to that of the school year. Eat earlier and at regular times. Take the opportunity to put "shape" in the plate of your future schoolboy by proposing a well balanced diet. A trick? Sprinkle dishes and desserts with yeast or wheat germ, concentrated in vitamins and minerals anti-stress.
3. We move!
- In the morning, it is also necessary that your child resume the habit of being active as soon as possible after waking, once he has had breakfast. This may be a family ride, a ball game in the garden or other, the main thing is to move.
- In the evening, however, promote calm. No stimulating activity after 8 pm, but instead make the most of the evening story or hugs.
4. We store the books and leave the books on the school
- Even if the return is approaching, your child is still on vacation, let him enjoy his last days of tranquility ... If you worked together regularly during the summer, he will be ready and if you have not done it, he is a little too late to get started. On the other hand, it's time to offer him books about the school. It's reassuring to see that his favorite hero is also concerned by this big day ...
5. Supplies, we are in focus
- Do not wait until the last minute to buy school supplies. You may find some empty shelves and, in addition, it promotes stress! For supplies, there is no question of giving in to all his requests, but it is important for your child to choose at least one favorite item, be it the binder of his dreams or the kit with the likeness of his favorite hero.
Books You Can Read To Your Baby Before Sleep
There are many children who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux problems (when food rises back up from the stomach to the mouth through the esophagus) and although there are medications specially designed to alleviate these symptoms, it is something that can be solved through home or natural remedies .
We are going to know all the possible options that can help our son feel more relieved and the problem of gastric reflux gradually disappears.
Gastric reflux is not a serious problem. More than half of children under one year of age suffer from it, so there is no need to be alarmed at such a problem. This problem occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter, which are the muscles that allow food to pass into the stomach and that when contracting prevent it from returning upward, has not yet matured and lacks the strength to stay closed.
We offer you some tips for you to try to relieve your baby's reflux:
- Fattening food: In very young children who suffer from reflux, it is advisable to thicken the liquid to be ingested since it helps to lower the food towards the stomach by making it more dense. Cereals or pharmaceutical preparations can be used.
- Bottle frequency: There are children who do not tolerate large amounts of food in a single feeding and it is the excess liquid in their digestive system that causes the expulsion of the liquid into the mouth, so a good solution would be to give bottles with less quantity, but with higher frequency. The feeding will remain the same only less spaced out in time.
- Do not over-beat the bottle: One of the mistakes parents make is shaking the bottle excessively when the preparation is made with porridge, since this will generate air bubbles that will complicate the baby's digestion of food and favor the appearance of reflux.
- Posture at bedtime: Bedtime is one of the black spots in gastric reflux, since by placing the child in a horizontal position we are favoring the appearance of the dreaded reflux, so it is advisable to place the crib or bed with an inclination of 30º that will facilitate digestion and relieve heartburn. This can be accomplished by placing a pillow on your back.
- Time between eating food and sleeping: Another thing to keep in mind is the time that elapses between when the child eats and goes to bed. It is advisable to wait between 30 minutes and an hour in an upright position after each meal, since laying it down or shaking it while playing or jumping, would only favor the appearance of reflux and even vomiting.
- Pass gas after every meal: Children need to expel excess gas and air after each meal, and there are children who burp more easily than others, but it is very important that they do so to avoid gastric reflux later on. So if your child has a hard time passing gas, try to do everything in your power to help him, such as regulating the flow of air that the child swallows with a sucker for the slower-flow bottle.
Daniel Fernandez. Editor of our site
You can read more articles similar to What to do when your baby has reflux, in the Eating Disorders category on site.
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New names appear every year that manage to become the favorites of parents when it comes to finding the right one for our children. However, there are others, like the ones we are going to remind you of below, that have remained at the top of the preference lists for a long time.
In our review of the history of the most popular names, today we stop at the first decade of the 21st century to refresh the boy names that were then a trend. These are the 10 most popular boy names in the first decade of the 21st century.
The names of the twentieth century reflected a tradition of family sagas: the male represented the continuity of the family, property, business and, therefore, the name was more determined. With the arrival of the new millennium, new times are running. Fresh airs and greater diversity they are seen in the names of children in the first decade of the 21st century. Gone are the Antonio or the José to give way to the Hugo or Daniel and respond to the new fashions (with a relevant role of television) that enter the home.
Below we recall the most popular boy names in the first years of the century:
1. Alexander: Of Greek origin, it comes from ‘alexios’ (“to put away”, “to reject”) and from ‘andros’ (“man”). It means "the one who rejects the man or the adversary" and by extension "defender man", which ended up leading to others as "protective man" or "the great savior". It is a historical name, of a character from Ancient Greece who created an empire and dominated half of Europe (Alexander the Great). Its saints are very varied, since there are 30 people named Alejandro who were canonized.
2. Daniel: It comes from the Hebrew ‘Dan-El’ which means “judge” or “justice”, therefore its translation would be “God is my judge” or “God's justice”. Daniel, son of Jacob and Rachel, is one of the greatest prophets, highly valued in his time for his wisdom, for his gift for interpreting dreams and for his exemplary actions in favor of just causes. His story is famous because he was twice sentenced to die eaten by lions.
3. David: of Hebrew origin that means “the beloved and dear” or “the chosen one of God”. In the Bible, one of the first times it is shown is giving life to the King of Israel, being one of the few kings chosen by the citizens. He is known for defeating the giant Goliath by throwing a stone at him with his sling and is considered a hero to his people. The celebration of the saint corresponds to the 29th of December.
4. Paul: of Latin origin (‘paulus’) that exists since Ancient Rome and was a cognomen of an illustrious Roman ‘gens’ (family) called Gens Emilia. It derives from the adjective ‘paulus’, which means “little” or “man of humility”. Its prevalence in the Christian world is due to the fact that it is related to the apostle Paul or Paul of Tarsus. His birthday is June 29.
5. Adrien: of Latin origin and variant of Adriano. It comes from ‘Hadrianus’, a Latin word that defines the natural family of Hadria, a town near the Adriatic Sea. Literally it means "the one who comes from the sea" or "the one who has the sea nearby" and also "the boy with dark hair. His saint is March 5.
6. Javier: Its origin is not very common, and it comes from the Basque language (Euskera) and it means more accepted is “castle”, although others highlight a small variant, “new house”. Its popularization is due to San Francisco Javier, a native of Navarra. His saint is December 3.
7. Álvaro: of Germanic origin, derived from ‘alwar’, where ‘all’ means “everything” and ‘wers’, “prudence; or ‘warja’, which means “defense or protection”. Thus, Álvaro will be “the one who is all prudent” or “the one who is the defender of all”. Its popularity spread in the Middle Ages. His saint is celebrated on February 19.
8. Sergio: it has no definite origin. Most historians think it comes from the Latin, 'Sergius'. Its origin may be related to the Sergia Tribe, one of the 35 Roman tribes. Sergio means "the protector", "the guardian man", which indicates that the most important thing is to protect what is his and always be close to his loved ones. His saints are celebrated on September 8.
9. Carlos: It is of German origin and means "free man", although some theorists defend its connection with the Greek ‘gueraléos’ (“old”), defending the meaning of “mature man”, “expert or wise man”. It is a very popular name due to its habitual use in the traditions of the royal houses. His name day is November 4.
10. Jorge: It comes from the Greek ‘Georgos’, which is understood as “farmer”, “gardener” or “one who works the land”. It became popular in the 11th century, at the time of the Crusades, due to the golden legend of Saint George, widespread in the European courts of the 13th century and popularized by being associated with a dragon. His saint is celebrated on April 23.
You can read more articles similar to 10 most popular boy names in the first decade of the 21st century, in the category of Names for boys on site.