There is little adjustment time for a newborn baby from living and being in the womb to suddenly entering the world; one minute they’re contentedly snuggled in the sanctuary of mum’s tummy, and the next they arrive into an overwhelming reality of lights, cameras and action.
There are a few ways to make transitioning easier for your brand new baby. From the first few moments after birth, through to the next few hours, and even after you’ve gone home, there are things you can do to help your baby be comfortable in the world around them.
There are a theory babies should be in the womb till 3 months postnatal. But if this was the case, they wouldn’t get out of the birth canal because they’d be too big they are born before they are able to cope with the outside world. Humans are the only mammals who cannot walk and move unaided at birth. Relying on their parent/caregiver for all their essential needs. The first 3 months are a time of more than normal crying and we recognize this as the 4th trimester. It needs special and sensitive management to get a smooth transition to life.
Babies benefit from lots of love and cuddles and love to be swaddled, almost like being back in the womb. Helping them feel secure and adapt to this new crazy world. Think of this as helping the baby adapt and not as spoiling them. I’ve never seen a baby spoilt with too much love. They’re only little for such a short period of time. Babies who are held and cuddled in a positive way grow to make secure attachments and healthy emotions as adults. Try and ignore, in a polite way, any well-meaning relation who says you are spoiling your baby with too much love!
Seven Ways To Help Your Baby To Adapt
Cosy Sleep Environment – Swaddling – Dockatot or cocoon-a-baby
Sucking & Regular Feeds
Kangaroo Care is also known as Skin to Skin
A Cosy Sleep Environment
Babies love the feeling of snug. The uterus, towards term, had become very snug and there was little room for them to move. Creating this in the outside world is essential to help your baby feel safe and secure and subsequently to be able to sleep well. There are several ways you can do this. One of them is swaddling. The other is layers of heavy blankets to recreate the feeling of the snugness of the womb. However, in a very hot summer in Australia this may not be practical from heat and overheating point of view. Consequently, the swaddle and use of swaddling were created. The cocoonababy and snuggle pod or dock-a-tot also creates a similar environment.
New babies don’t need a lot of baths as they don’t do a lot to get very dirty! You may decide to only do one bath a day and the rest of the time to do a top and tail daily or twice a day. A top and tail as the name implies consists of washing the face and neck folds and the nappy area.
Keep skincare very simple and avoid soap with perfume and essential oils in it. Suitable cleaning products to help a delicate baby’s skin include QV bath, sorbolene and Dermaveen. Bath products containing lots of ingredients and sodium laurel sulfate should be avoided. Sodium laurel sulfate is a foaming agent and can cause irritated eyes, skin and lead to eczema.
If your baby dislikes their bath try putting a washcloth on their tummy and pouring warm water onto it. Another tip I’ve used a lot is to place the baby over your forearm and onto their front in the bath. Be careful of course to avoid putting their face into the water! Swish the baby body up and down to calm them. In 30 years this has not failed and I’ve never had a baby continue to cry once I’ve done this. Putting a baby on their front or prone reduces stress and the hormone cortisol.
To clean their eyes and face use separate cooled boiled water (especially for the eyes) and clean from the inside to the out with a damp cotton wool ball, dry with a dry cotton wool ball.
Wash their head or hair once a week to avoid the build up of oils to prevent cradle cap.
Sucking & Regular Feeds
Night breastfeeds are important and babies need at least 1-2 breastfeeds.
Prolactin is increased with night feed helping increase and maintain supply for the
following day. By following a strict routine, where baby sleeps through the night by 6 weeks, you risk diminishing your supply, sabotaging your ability to successfully breastfeed. Then baby would probably lose weight and formula creeps in.
During the day following a feed-play-sleep model. Newborn to 6-week babies do well with a feed-play-feed-sleep model. At night it’s a straightforward feed-sleep model.
Formula feeding – generally they need 6-8 formula feeds in 24 hours. The mathematical formula to work out their required amounts in each feed is 150 X weight in KG and divide this by the number of feeds in 24 hours. There is no perfect formula that agrees with ALL babies. Start with a newborn formula or stage one from 0-6 months. When preparing a feed always put the cooled boiled water, hand hot or 40 degrees centigrade, into a bottle and add the exact level scoops next, shake to combine then offer to your baby.
A young baby at 0-6 weeks can generally take 100-160 mls within 20-30 minutes at each feed. My preferred bottle and teat is a Pigeon wide necked peristaltic teat.
Burping or winding is something I generally do and recommend but only for 5 minutes.
Sucking is a primal reflex and newborn babies can soothe using one. If your baby has reflux or is premature they can be a useful addition to help your baby adapt to extra-uterine life. However, once your baby is 2-3 months of age it is a good idea to wean of them to avoid a 4 month sleep regression. At 3 months the baby has hand awareness and likes to put them into their mouth. Then at 4 months the extrusion reflex makes an appearance and the dummy or pacifier is forcefully ejected from the mouth. Hence the perfect storm of trouble has arrived.
It is better to look at soothing and sleep from a preventative approach and move your baby on at developmental milestones. By continuing to use a dummy or pacifier longterm you are preventing the baby to use their own self-soothe reflex. Preventing the self-soothe reflex being used at 3-4 months has been linked (evidence-based) with sensory processing disorders. This is something we need to be talking about, parents need to know this. When you know things like this you can then make positive parenting decisions.
Kangaroo Care or Skin to Skin
Putting your naked baby on your chest and doing skin to skin can help increase your milk supply and help breast feeding. Especially if you do this within an hour of birth. Kangaroo care, as skin to skin is called when used for premature babies, decreases cortisol and helps keep heart rate and breathing constant, helps feeding and weight gain. If you’re having problems with breast feeding doing skin to skin for half an hour before a feed will help your letdown and supply.
Just 10 minutes of skin-to-skin contact reduces babies’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increases levels of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to make babies feel calm and safe, says Ludington in the journal AACN Clinical Issues.
Less stress = better sleep. Premature babies who were cradled skin-to-skin slept more deeply and woke up less often than those who slept in incubators, reported the journal Pediatrics.
As a parent, the moment when you heard your baby’s first cries after birth was probably the most unforgettable and heart-warming. After all, they were the earliest sounds your little one made. As time passes, your infant’s non-stop crying could leave you with so many questions unanswered. This can be a difficult time for a parent, especially when you are clueless if the constant sobbing and screaming is normal or healthy.
Even when your baby is perfectly fine, his or her crying may get worse especially at around two months of age. This difficult period of your little one’s life is called PURPLE crying when he or she starts to sob regularly for long periods of time.
Curious about how this stage negatively affects your newborn’s life? Read on to learn all the important facts about PURPLE crying—including the definition, history, and some parenting tips to soothe the condition.
Everything Parents Should Know About PURPLE Crying
What is PURPLE Crying?
PURPLE crying is a term used by experts and other parents to describe colic or persistent crying. However, since the word “colic” has a negative connotation (in which babies are sick and should be treated medically), more and more people nowadays prefer to use the phrase, “period of PURPLE crying.”
This period of PURPLE crying usually starts at about 2 weeks of age, peaking at 2 months old, then lasting until 4 months of age. At this stage, it’s important to remember that some babies can cry a lot while others far less but they all go through it.
And unlike what the term might suggest, PURPLE crying has nothing to do with your baby’s colour whenever he cries. The acronym was coined by Dr. Ronald Barr, a developmental paediatrician and an expert on infant crying. He came up with the idea of the word in order to reassure parents that colic is simply a normal phase that many babies go through which may include increased and prolonged sobbing. PURPLE crying simply describes the common characteristics of the particular period or phase in a baby’s life.
What does PURPLE stand for?
P for Peak of Crying
The letter “P” refers to a baby wailing a lot (regardless whether it’s day or night) which becomes worse as time passes. He or she may cry more often—reaching the climax at two months old and gradually slowing down at three months to four months of age.
U for Unexpected
Unexpected crying means that your little one is consolable during mornings but can be very cranky once afternoon and night-time arrive. He or she stops crying then resumes sobbing again for no particular reason which can drive new parents insane.
R for Resists Soothing
Soothing your baby during the period of PURPLE crying might not be the easiest task. This is due to the fact your baby will continue on wailing no matter what kind of soothing you try to do. Whether it’s rocking, bouncing, swaying, or even driving around.
P for Pain-like Face
This is the particular characteristic in PURPLE crying worrying parents the most. It may even lead to them thinking it’s a sign of something wrong or a disease. Thankfully, there’s a high chance it’s just a normal phase in your little one’s life. During this period, expect your infant to exhibit a pained expression when crying even when there’s really no pain felt.
L for Long-lasting
Your baby’s cries may seem never-ending during the period of PURPLE crying. In fact, most newborns can cry up to five hours a day or more which may ultimately exhaust both baby and parents.
E for Evening
Your little one may cry the most during the late afternoon and evening. This fact proves to be a challenge to every parent as it’s harder to put your baby to sleep when he’s full-blown sobbing.
What Causes PURPLE Crying in Babies?
Doctors are unsure why infants experience increased and prolonged sobbing during the period of PURPLE crying. They did recognise, however, humans are not the only ones who go through this stage. In fact, other mammals also exhibit more whimpering and wailing at this early phase of life.
Do note increased crying is perfectly normal for babies at this age. However, consult a doctor immediately if the crying seems more excessive than usual. Alternatively, if you have a gut feeling something far more serious is happening.
10 Effective Tips to Soothe PURPLE Crying in Babies
By now, you’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do to ease (if you can’t stop) the period of PURPLE crying in infants. Fortunately, there are some methods you can try in order to soothe babies suffering from this developmental phase. It’s important to remember that not all of these tips would work out as all babies are unique in their own different ways.
#1. Try Feeding Your Baby
One of the common reasons your baby can’t sleep is due to the fact he or she might be hungry. In order to ease this discomfort, you should feed your little one with food appropriate to his or her age. Two-week-old infants should only take in breast milk while four-month-olds can start eating solid food.
And since feeding is naturally designed to nurture a child, it can ultimately lull him to slumber. Furthermore, the warmth of your arms and breast can also comfort a crying newborn.
It’s important to check your baby isn’t hungry when breastfeeding. Breastmilk can vary in supply and it’s important to get baby weighed on a regular basis in the early weeks and plot their measurements in their child health record on the graph. Average weight gain is 150-200g in the first 3 months. It’s also worth checking for other medical causes and having your baby checked by your GP or Paediatrician to rule out anything organic e.g. reflux.
Most babies don’t have the ability to burp by themselves which may result in uneasiness and eventually, crying. In order to help infants release the air inside their stomachs, gently lay them on their sides and gently rub their backs. Doing this would ultimately soothe them and even pacify their crying.
#3. Swaddle Your Baby
Another reason why your baby may exhibit unusual crankiness is the fact that he or she might be cold. At a young age, most newborns can’t regulate their body temperature on their own which can eventually lead to fussing and whimpering.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do to ease his or her discomfort. Simply lay down your little one in a safe and flat place. Then gently wrap him or her with a cosy blanket. Make sure not to secure the covers tightly as this can pose risks for your baby’s safety.
#4. Play White Noises
Try playing white or repetitive noises such as a washing machine spinning, a fan turning, or even water pouring to soothe babies. In fact, these repetitive sounds remind infants of the time they spent inside their mum’s womb so they’re more likely to calm down and relax once they heard it.
However, if you opt to purchase an actual white noise machine, it’s recommended to place it at least 7 feet away from your baby’s crib to avoid potential developmental problems.
Did You Know? According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), regular exposure to white noise through a sleep machine can affect hearing, speech, and language development.
#5. Give Your Baby a Warm Bath
You may find it surprising that giving your little one a warm bath helps soothe his or her crankiness. This is due to the fact that like white noise, newborns also find the sensation of warm water against their delicate skin similar to the feeling of being inside their mum’s womb.
#6. Massage Your Baby
After bathing your baby, you can also opt to massage him or her to further alleviate discomfort caused by prolonged crying. Use gentle and rhythmic strokes against his or her skin and pour moisturisers or oils to let your hands glide on smoothly.
#7. Sing a Lullaby
Your voice is a very powerful tool you should use in order to calm and relax your baby. In fact, singing lullabies can regulate emotions and stimulate positive reactions. Furthermore, it can decrease stress and anxiety levels, making it one of the top choices when getting your baby to sleep.
#8. Hold Your Baby Close to You
Swaying, rocking, or just simply holding your baby against your chest make calm motions that can pacify his or her crying.
You can also try placing your hand on your baby’s chest and gently rub it back and forth. The soothing touch lets him or her know that you’re safely nearby and ultimately comforts any uneasiness he or she might be feeling.
#9. Shower Your Baby with Kisses
Aside from gently wrapping your arms around your little one, you can make him feel loved and cherished even more by showering him or her with kisses. This loving act ultimately calms down and reduces the tension your crying baby might be experiencing.
#10. Try Making Eye Contact with Your Baby
If all else fails, you have to remember that the simplest things can actually do wonders.
Try staring deeply at your baby’s eyes in order to distract them from the sensation of excessive crying. Prolonged eye contact can also calm down your little one and even stimulate them with positive emotions.
As parents, it’s normal to get upset or frustrated when your baby starts exhibiting endless crankiness and crying. However, you should know that it’s most probably just part of a period called PURPLE crying when he or she undergoes a developmental phase. Hopefully, with this definitive guide to soothing PURPLE crying in babies, you have a better understanding of this stage in your newborn’s life. With that being said, it’s still best to consult professionals if you feel like something more serious is happening.
If you’re having trouble putting your baby to sleep due to PURPLE crying, you can always consult the baby experts at Nurture Parenting. We offer the Nurture Sleep Program that can take your little one from sleepless to slumber in just seven easy lessons. Contact us today to learn more!
news of a baby’s arrival is exciting for every parent. In spite of this, there
are a lot of things you need to prepare for this new addition to your family.
One of these considerations includes buying the right newborn essentials.
However, as a new parent, you probably don’t know where to begin and what exactly are the things you need for your little one. In addition, a large majority of baby registries will suggest a long list of baby must-haves which leaves you more confused than ever.
Fortunately, there are guidelines presented by baby experts which you can follow when shopping for your baby must-haves. Take a look at this infographic that shows the ultimate newborn essentials checklist for new parents.
The Ultimate Baby Must-Haves Checklist
for baby clothing is probably one of the most exciting tasks for new parents.
But while fancy baby clothes can look cute on your newborn, always keep in mind
that all he needs are clothing pieces that can keep him warm and comfortable.
Onesies are like jammies that can be used for
both sleeping and playing.
Pick a style that can be zipped down or
snapped open on the front to have easy access when changing soiled nappies.
Pyjamas that can snugly fit your baby can ensure his comfortability during night-time. Look for clothing preferably made of soft and breathable natural fabrics such as cotton.
Tip: Avoid jammies with strings, ribbons, and other decorative additions as they can choke your baby while sleeping.
#3. Sweaters or Jackets
Since babies can’t properly regulate their
temperature at an early age, it’s a must to buy sweaters and jackets to keep
him cozy and warm.
Choose a larger size with loose armholes to
avoid fussiness and unnecessary tugging.
Your baby will also need extra pairs of
short-sleeved shirts to wear underneath a sweater or jacket. Look for ones with
a stretchable neckline so you can easily slip it over your infant’s head.
#5. Leggings or Comfortable Pants
Pants allow changing of outfits without the
need to replace the whole get-up. In addition, an elastic waistband present in
leggings and jogging pants easily fit your baby’s waist and can expand whenever
he’s in a diaper.
#6. Socks or Booties
You might be tempted to buy tiny shoes because
they would look adorable on your baby’s small feet. However, your newborn
doesn’t need hard-soled shoes during his first year. Opt for socks or booties
Did You Know? According to numerous researches, some types of shoes can affect your baby’s development especially when worn during his early years.
Hats provide protection for your infant by
offering shade from the sun during summer and warmth throughout the winter.
Baby mittens are necessary to keep your little one’s hands from freezing during the cold winter season. It can also prevent cuts and scratches caused by his own fingernails.
Changing soiled nappies is a daunting task for
most parents. Fortunately, these diapering must-haves can make the work easier
#1. Disposable or Cloth Nappies
No matter what kind of nappies you choose for
your newborn, you’d probably change it 10-12 times every day so it’s a must to
be wise in your purchases.
For instance, if you use disposable ones, make
sure to start with small packs first as certain types can irritate your baby’s
#2. Unscented Baby Wipes
A baby’s skin is still
sensitive from harsh chemicals such as fragrances. As such, it’s necessary to
clean his bottom area with unscented baby wipes to minimise adverse effects.
#3. Changing Table
You obviously need a place where you can
change your little one’s diaper. And while you can always plop him on top of a
changing pad or towel, investing in a changing table will make the job
#4. Diaper Pail and Liners
In order to keep dreaded scents at bay, buy an
airtight diaper pail that can seal and store your baby’s dirty nappies..
Tip: If you prefer cloth diapers, consider a lidded pail that comes with a washable liner.
#5. Diaper Cream
Since you need to change your baby’s diaper
every hour or so, he is most likely to develop a bad case of diaper rash.
Prevent this from happening by adding a diaper
cream in your shopping basket.
#6. Diaper Bag
It’s necessary to have a diaper bag,
especially when you travel a lot with your little one. Get one that’s big
enough to carry all baby nappy essentials.
The preparation for your baby’s nursery
probably started way before you knew the gender of your newborn. However, you
might still be missing a few more things to complete the room.
#1. Bassinet or Crib
During your baby’s first few months, opt for a
bassinet as it’s more space-saving. You can simply put it beside your bed which
makes it easier to tend to your baby during night time.
However, he will eventually outgrow it so it’s
advisable to buy a crib ahead of time.
Tip: Avoid buying drop-side cribs as they have caused dozens of baby deaths.
#2. Baby Monitor
This gadget allows you to keep an eye on your
little one while you’re in another room. Just make sure to put the transmitter
close enough in order to pick up the sounds your baby makes.
A humidifier can help your baby sleep better
because it eases nasal congestion. It can also help with dry and chapped skin
as it provides moisture to the air.
Tip: It’s a must to clean the machine often so you avoid introducing mould into your baby’s nursery.
#4. Night Lamp
If you often change your baby’s nappies in the
middle of the night, use a night lamp and keep the lighting as dim as possible
to avoid overstimulating him.
are a lot of fancy bedding sets in baby stores but all you really need are
these essential things.
#1. Fitted Sheets
Equip your baby’s crib with fitted crib sheets
to minimise the risk of SIDS and accidental suffocations.
#2. Crib Mattress Pads
Oftentimes, your baby will have bowel and
bladder movements when sleeping so it’s a must to buy a couple of crib mattress
pads. This will help protect the bed sheets underneath so you don’t have to
wash it everyday.
#3. Swaddling Blankets
Most newborns love to be swaddled to sleep. As
such, having a blanket specifically made for this purpose can make your life
#4. Wearable Blankets (for colder climates)
Wearable blankets are good alternatives to
traditional blankets because they keep your little one warm without the risk of
Breast milk provides all the necessary
nutrients for your newborn. That’s why it’s important to buy the right items to
help you with breastfeeding.
#1. Nursing Pillow
Nursing pillows are designed to support your
baby while you’re nursing. It also helps you avoid neck and shoulder strains.
#2. Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are specially made for mums’
lactating breasts to allow your little one easy access to feed.
#3. Breast Pads
Your breasts tend to leak whenever you’re
nursing. That’s why it’s advisable to have breast pads to keep your clothing
#4. Nipple Cream
Nipple creams, such as those with lanolin, can
help treat and relieve tender breasts and sore nipples.
#5. Burp Cloths
It’s a must to have burp cloths whenever
you’re breastfeeding in order to catch spit and wipe other baby fluids.
you prefer feeding your baby with formula, here’s a list of baby must-haves to
make it easier for the both of you.
#1. Baby Formula
There are a lot of options when it comes to
infant formulas. Carefully review each one and talk to your provider to see
which one is the best for your baby.
#2. Baby Bottles
100 mill baby bottles are perfect for your
newborn when you’re just starting formula, but you will eventually need 300
mill bottles as he begins to drink more.
#3. Insulated Bottle Carrier
If you’re always on the go, buy insulated
bottle carriers to keep the formula milk warm or cool.
#4. Bottle-cleaning Brush
This cleaning tool is specially designed to
thoroughly scrub tiny parts and crevices in baby bottles.
Having trouble calming down your fussy baby?
Buy these items to soothe him.
Babies love sucking on pacifiers because it
reminds them of the time they spent inside their mum’s womb.
Putting a mobile above your baby’s crib will
keep him happy and entertained.
#3. White Noise Machine
Newborns find complete silence a little
disconcerting as they are used to the sounds inside your body.
It’s advisable to invest in a white noise
machine to help your little one fall asleep easily.
Bath and Grooming
It’s a must that you occasionally groom your
baby to keep him healthy. Here’s what you need to buy for a proper bath time.
#1. Baby Bathtub
Bathing your baby on the kitchen sink works
well when he’s still a few months old. However, you should still consider a
baby bathtub in order to accommodate his growing size.
#2. Baby Soap and Shampoo
Your baby’s skin and eyes are still sensitive
at a young age so look for no-tears formulas.
Tip: Look for soap and shampoo brands that don’t list “fragrance” as an ingredient as it exposes your baby to phthalates.
#3. Baby Towels
Opt to dry your newborn with baby towels as
regular bath towels are often too big.
#4. Soft-bristled Toothbrush
Your little one might sprout a few baby teeth
at about 6 months of age. Having a soft-bristled baby toothbrush will help you
clean his teeth properly and safely.
#5. Baby Hairbrush
Your baby’s hair is still fine so a gentle
baby brush is a must to properly comb and style his hair.
#6. Baby Nail Scissors and Clippers
This kind of nail clippers are specially
designed to trim and smooth your baby’s nails safely.
Soft washcloths have multiple purposes for
grooming. You can use it to wipe your baby’s teeth after eating, gently wipe
his nose, and even clean his ears.
Did You Know? Ear wax is beneficialfor your baby as it protects his ear from dryness and infections.
for on-the-go parents, these baby gear must-haves will make the parenting job so
Want to bring your baby with you around the
neighbourhood? Simply buy a stroller and you can travel with your little one.
Tip: There are a lot of strollers in the market. It’s a must to think about your needs (storage space for shopping or reclining seat for napping) before buying one.
#2. Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is also useful to take your
baby with you when doing errands. The best part about it is that your two hands
are free to do your tasks easily.
Tip: Check all the straps and harnesses prior to buying a baby carrier to make sure they can support your infant securely.
#3. Infant Car Seat
Having an infant car seat is a must to keep
your newborn safe during road trips. Avoid buying a used car seat as it does
not meet the current safety regulations enforced by law.
#4. Car Seat Cover or Blanket
Your baby should not wear a thick jacket while
in the car seat as it can prevent the seatbelt from being properly tightened.
Opt for a car seat blanket instead to keep your baby warm.
Sunshades in the car window will protect your
little one’s eyes and skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
Make sure to have these items in your medicine
cabinet to treat any unexpected sickness encountered by your baby.
Opt for a digital thermometer to get a reading
of your baby’s temperature in less than a minute or so.
#2. Prescription Medication
Keep your doctor’s phone number and
prescriptions just in case your infant’s sickness get worse.
#3. Infant Tylenol
You can let your infant take tylenol to lower
his fever and ease his pain.
Always have sterile bandages at hand to
prevent bleeding from your baby’s scrapes and cuts.
Use tweezers to remove
splinters and ticks from your child.
#6. Teething Toys
Teething can begin in babies as early as 2
months. Be prepared and invest in toys made of rubber to relieve your little
#7. Electrolyte Drink
Electrolyte drinks can help treat diarrhea-related dehydration.
There are a lot of baby items out there in the market which can overwhelm a lot of new parents. Fortunately, these baby must-haves checklist will help you avoid spending your hard-earned money on things you won’t really need for your newborn.
Need further help in taking care of your newborn? Nurture Parenting, the Australian baby whisperers, has more than 30 years of experience in supporting parents in their new lives with an infant. We also offer the Nurture Sleep Program, a baby sleep training course, which helps newborns self-settle and. Contact us today to get started!
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