You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Q & A with Vegas Family Doulas.
Written By: Aisha Fanning, Vegas Family Doulas
Raising children is a fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, anxiety-filled ride of emotions, questions, and uncertainties. As parents, we are in a constant battle-of WTFs and yes, nailed it! What has been proven time and time again, is that we are not the only ones with questions and huhs. Many parents have the same questions!
Las Vegas Baby Magazine has launched a new mobile app where you can find questions answered right at your fingertips. Aisha Fanning, owner of Vegas Family Doulas, takes questions from parents like you, and answers with evidence-based information, with real-life, practical explanations.
I’ve heard there are benefits to swaddling. However, my baby HATES being swaddled. Any suggestions on what to do?
Babies dislike getting swaddled, but they enjoy being swaddled. Often times when a baby is getting swaddled, they are overstimulated and overly tired. So they’re fighting and trying to figure out what’s going on. Being swaddled for a baby is just like being back in the womb. Baby is snug, warm and comforted. Make sure the swaddle fits the baby (not too big or too small), that it’s pulled taut with no loose parts, and only utilized when baby is preparing for sleep.
When can I start giving my baby solid food?
The choice is ultimately up to each individual family. With that said, baby’s digestive system has matured enough to process solids around 6 months. Your preferred form of milk choice (breast/formula) is the ideal food from birth to 6 months. From 6 months on, introducing solids (purées, steamed, baby-led, etc), helps baby’s digestive system adapt to the additional foods, while working their motor skills. Breastmilk and/or formula are still vital to baby’s nutrition at this age as well.
My baby only sleeps for 30 minutes at a time. That means I’m not sleeping either. HELP!
Babies need and crave sleep. That’s when they grow and the body works to digest. Babies have a circadian rhythm that wakes them up in 30 minute intervals. As the caregiver, we get to help them feel safe to continue to sleep on.
When your baby begins to rustle around the 30 minutes, quietly go to baby, pat on the belly, replace the pacifier, make sure the white noise machine didn’t turn off, and that the sleeping space was not disrupted. If baby does not need a diaper change or feed, avoid picking baby up and gently rock. Baby is still very much sleepy, and needs the rest. Pulling them out of the sleeping state will teach that 30 minutes of sleep is enough. It may take 5-10 minutes to get baby back to sleep, but think of it this way: you’ve helped them sleep another 30 minutes to an hour … or more. And that’s good for you, too.
How should I entertain my baby?
I love this question! Babies 0-3 months don’t require a lot of entertainment. Their new surroundings provide plenty. The sounds, the smells, the lights of your home provide new adventures for your baby daily.
At 3-6 months, books, walking around the house, talking about the pictures on the walls, stepping outside for some fresh air are all fun and free ways to entertain your little one. At 6-9 months, activity mats and saucers, stroller walks, dancing and singing are fun interactive ways that will get baby smiling and laughing with you. For the older babies 9-12 months, pull out food coloring paints and create mini master pieces. Banging on pots and pans to create the worlds greatest home band will excite your little one. Play explorer by getting down on the floor and crawling with your little one around the house. This will also let you see any baby-proofing spots that may have been missed!
For your toddlers, singing, dancing and learning sign language are healthy activities to tire their bodies and minds before naps. Bubbles and coloring will work different parts of motor skills, while pretend-play is great for working the brain and promoting imagination.
I feel overwhelmed. How can I find balance as a new parent?
First, breathe … good! Check-in with yourself. When was the last time you had a good night’s rest, a full healthy meal? The last time you laughed? When was the last time you cried? These small questions make us stop and check in with our subconscious. New parents are often living off of fumes, and soon those fumes distinguish. So, check-in with yourself and ask “What do I need?!”, and make that happen. If it’s a good nap, great! A tasty meal full of protein, yummy! Time away from the house and kids, go for it! It’s not selfish to tap into what you need as a caregiver, and making it happen. You will feel better, your domain will feel in-sync, and your relationships will flourish. And if you are needing emotional support, call on a friend (or your favorite doulas!) Right now we all could use some connections.
We want to hear from YOU! What questions do you have? We’d love to help answer your questions. Search the App Store or Google Play for Las Vegas Baby Magazine and download the mobile app today. Sign up to submit your questions under the Q & A tab!
For more information on Vegas Family Doulas, visit us at VegasFamilyDoulas.com