New Years Resolutions + The Best Things You Can Do for Your Baby in 2014

Ah, a New Year is upon us!  It’s a time to make some New Years resolutions and start afresh.  As a new or expectant mom, you probably have a ton of ideas about the mother you want to become for your baby and are making plans to implement those ideas.

Just as you might set goals for yourself at work, when trying to lose weight or any other project in your life, mapping out goals as a mom is a smart way to parent, especially when those precious moments with your baby are so fleeting.  We’ve all heard that the first few years of your baby’s life are so important for development.  So take this time when you’re setting goals for 2014 to determine how to be the best mom you can be by knowing the best things you can do for your baby.

Breastfeeding_New Years ResolutionsBreastfeed

Breast is best!  The AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of your baby’s life, and acknowledges positive benefits for extended breastfeeding as well.  Not only is breast milk the #1 nutrition in the world for your baby, but studies show the amazing cognitive, physical and social advantages of children who were breastfed.  Plus, breastfeeding encourages quicker bonding between mother and baby, easier weight loss for mom, lowered risk of post partum depression and lowered risk for breast and ovarian cancers in mothers.

Set yourself up for success by having a wealth of support.  Arm yourself with information about breastfeeding through online resources, books, experienced mom friends and classes.  Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about nursing and discuss ways for your partner to be involved in the experience.  Also, be prepared for breastfeeding with the few essential items necessary for the most gourmet, homemade, wholesome food on the planet:  at least three great nursing bras, a nursing pillow and some cooling pads or cream.

Be a Chatty Cathy

Talking and reading to your newborn, infant and toddler is one of the most educational gifts you can give your child and we highly recommend it for your New Years resolutions this year.  Speaking to children constantly makes them more intelligent and will expand their vocabulary…eventually.  Even if your little one is nowhere near saying her first word, chat away at her about anything in the world – the economy, the latest Hollywood gossip or the weather.  Narrate your life for your child.  You will be stunned at what she will eventually learn to say based on your early one-sided conversations.  Also, instill a love for reading early by doing it often.  Be sure to pick age-appropriate books that will capture your baby’s attention and imagination, like those with textures, bright colors and simple storylines.

Show Love and Affection

New Years Resolutions_LoveOne of the most instinctual ways we care for our babies is by simply loving them.  Babies need tons of affection and attention to feel comfortable and safe in this great big world.  Having come from such a warm and intimate place in your womb, that’s understandable!  Many parents make the mistake of trying to teach their babies a “lesson” by not always going to them when they cry.  Save that lesson for older children and always comfort your baby when she requests your attention, however loudly and however often.  Babies cry because they need something.  It may just be that they need to feel your touch, but nonetheless, they need you.  Psychology Today cites that babies who are tended to quickly after crying actually cry less and become more independent, explorative toddlers.  If you have a fussy baby who wants to be held all of the time, we recommend baby-wearing.  It allows for excellent skin-to-skin contact while also freeing up mom to get some things done.

Create a Village

Stress is bad for everyone, including babies.  For independent women, the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality can be difficult to accept.  But getting some help now-and-then, beginning during pregnancy, is important to relieve stress.  Babies both inside and out of the womb are super sensitive to stress and that is certainly not something you want to transfer.  It can cause developmental and behavioral problems down the road.  Villages are made up of all sorts of people.  If your relatives don’t live nearby and babysitters aren’t in your budget, find some good friends, neighbors or community organizations that can offer a few hours of childcare when you need a moment to breathe.

Interact and Have Fun

Monkey see, monkey do is the name of the game with kids.  Even if babies cannot mimic your actions yet, they will certainly appreciate silly faces and funny sounds.  Make a game out of it.  Use the “peek-a-boo” concept with everything, from sticking out your tongue to, singing a silly song or playing a freeze dance game.  Your baby will delight in stop-and-go motions.  And if you haven’t learned this yet, nothing is better than watching your baby’s face light up from sheer joy.

Have a happy and joyous New Year!

Comments

  1. I am 4 months pregnant and my New Years resolution is to eat healthier for my two boys, me and my unborn child. I will set a good example for all of them and myself.