Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tips For Your First Nights With Your Newborn

My first son was born over 12 years ago, and I remember how amazing and new and strange those first few days with him were. Though I had experience with children, babysitting, etc... having my own child to take care of completely on my own was a little intimidating. For those of you currently at that stage of life, expecting your first, here's some tips from reader Allen West for your first few nights together as a family. 

There’s nothing on this earth more precious than a newborn baby. They’re the absolute epitome of love and innocence incarnate. It’s important, during the first few days, to establish that connection with the baby as a new parent. If you’re bringing home a new child, you have to safeguard that experience with everything you’ve got. While you may think at first that it’s a difficult and frustrating experience, it’s actually the exact opposite. It’s peaceful and beautiful. It’s the strongest connection one can feel with another human being. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind, especially if you live in a place with lots of stimulation around.

Here are some good tips for your first few nights with the newborn.

Natural Light Patterns

As much as possible, keep the unnatural light to a minimum. You’re trying to make sure that the baby’s pineal gland and circadian rhythm sets over time. That means keeping the lights off when they’re meant to be off, or making sure things are concentrated and dim enough so that the baby doesn’t get the feeling that day and night are a single thing. The pineal gland is incredibly important for establishing a state of awareness and this is done primarily, in its initial stages, through first establishing when day and night are. This carries over to a whole host of other cognitive functions being optimized down the line.

Minimize Sound

Natural sound is a great way to make your baby aware of the world around it. But the first few nights should be spent protecting those tiny ears. Things outside are too loud for new ears and can do some strange and permanent damage in the future. That’s not to say keep the child inside and in a soundproof room forever. It’s about keeping a quiet protection around the baby. Introduce sounds that are naturally soothing to the child. That doesn’t mean Beethoven. Taking a cue from experts from A Quiet Refuge, naturally soothing sounds mean the sound of your voice. That means the sound of a whisper and the soft rush of notes from your sigh. It means soft white noises to drown out the absurd amount of noise pollution. These are the sounds you want to introduce to your baby at first. Not jackhammers and motorcycles.

Skin Contact

Keep as much physical, skin to skin touch as possible. If you had a natural, vaginal birth, you can rest assured that there are skin flora being established by the newborn baby. But that’s not the only healthy skin protection you’re giving it. Having your baby on your skin is how you transfer your own blend and brand of skin-protecting natural bacteria over to your baby. It’s a communication of organisms meant to keep him or her safe. It’s like giving the initial programming down to them. It’s a beautiful and scientifically amazing phenomena. Keep skin to skin contact as much as possible during the first few days.

Having a newborn baby seems like a daunting task. But the love and affection one feels completely overrides that. Just be sure you give your baby the best. That doesn’t mean the best shoes. That doesn’t mean a silk blanket. What that means is quality time, skin to skin, some quiet, and exposure to natural light/light patterns.