Skin-to-Skin

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One of the first things I longed to do once home from the hospital with my daughter was nestle somewhere skin-to-skin. Or why wait, as this is an activity you could even do while still in your hospital stay, especially if there for a few days. In fact studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact can reduce hormones that lead to stress, lower a mom’s risk of postpartum mood disorders, improves a baby’s physical well-being, and promote bonding.

At home, find some place comfy and get your baby down to nothing but a diaper. Lay him or her on your bare chest, being sure to cover with a blanket if the room is chilly.

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You’ll be amazed at every bit of this simple activity – the way a newborn’s skin feels like velvet, the way they instantly nestle into you as if they were born understanding how to do this (hey, I guess they were!), the way both of your heart beat’s slow. Make sure both mom and dad get in on the action!

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It’s also a fantastic opportunity for tummy time, even before the umbilical stump falls off. Chances are you won’t want the skin-to-skin to end.

Diaper Time Language

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Introducing to the world… Veronika! Our daughter joined the family just a few days ago, and I’m eager to share our joyful journey together alongside the adventures with my son.

Infant “games” are simpler than those previously posted to Joyful Parenting, but no less important. To wit, don’t be disappointed it, in the first few days home with your baby, you learn that at first they are going to do three things on repeat: Eat, sleep, need a diaper change.

That means lots of time spent at the diaper table, but instead of regarding the task as drudgery (or disgusting – meconium, anyone?), use the time to your advantage.

It’s never too early to introduce language to your child, and more than just vocab words. Of course you can point out items as you use them – diaper, wipes. But even more so, talk in full sentences. Baby’s love “baby-ese” yes, but talking to them with big grown-up syntax helps, too.

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So as you diaper, become like a film narrator. “This is your new diaper.” “Thank you for holding still, that helps me put on your new one!” “Now we’re using a wipe.”

Infants are likely to fuss during a change, so here’s hoping that this simple “game” calms them down.