Should I give my baby a dummy and other questions first-time parents have answered

It is incredibly important for new moms to trust your own mothering instinct. You won’t get it right 100% all the time, but seeking guidance from sources you trust will go a long way to putting your mind at ease.

With that being said, new parents have many questions when it comes to caring for their newborn. Here are some of the questions I am often asked and how I respond to them.

ALSO SEE: 20 things first-time moms wish they’d known before they had their babies!

Should I keep the house quiet?

I encourage parents to differentiate day and night. Keep daytime (the hours between 6am and 6pm) lively, with activity and noise going on around your baby and in the house. Have the washing machine going, play some music in the background, chat to her as you go about your day. From 6pm things should be the complete opposite to show your baby that it’s now night time, and time to settle down to sleep.

Can I watch TV while breastfeeding late at night (or will this wake baby)?

My personal opinion is that TV before bed is not good for anyone’s sleep habits and is best avoided late at night. Rather keep night feeds calm and subdued so that your little one settles back to sleep as soon as possible. Don’t talk to your baby when she wakes and only change her nappy if she has made a poo.

Should we play music for baby?

Playing soft music with simple tunes to your baby during awake times is a lovely way to get her attention. Keep in mind though, that your baby will recognize and enjoy hearing your voice – talk to her as much as you can and sing to her whenever you get a chance.

ALSO SEE: “Should I constantly entertain my newborn?” asks a new mom

Should I give my baby a dummy?

I love dummies! I think they are a good method of non-nutritive sucking. It is well known that the mouth is full of touch receptors and is a zone of great comfort for little ones. As early as the second trimester of pregnancy, babies start to suck on their thumbs. So, I believe, without any hesitation, that babies need to be able to use their mouth to sooth.

There are three ways a baby can do this:

  • They can suck on the breast for comfort
  • Suck their thumb or
  • Suck a dummy.

So, my advice is: do not stop your baby from sucking – rather guide them into sucking something that works for you and them.

How can I shower if I’m alone with my baby?

Keeping in mind that your newborn cycles into light sleep every 45 minutes, the best time to grab a shower when you are alone at home would be shortly after putting her down for a nap. Let your baby sleep in a room near the shower so that you can hear her if she wakes – if this is not possible then bring a baby monitor into the bathroom with you.

ALSO SEE: Newborn sleep patterns – what to expect in the first months

Should I let visitors hold my baby?

This is a very personal decision and ordinarily I would urge moms to follow their own instinct within the guidelines of limiting guests in the first few weeks, keeping new faces to the minimum and avoiding the unfamiliar, unpredictable touch of visitors.  For health reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic I would recommend that you follow your medical practitioner’s guidelines in terms of accepting visitors in the early days.

Parent sense

Wouldn’t it be great to know what comes next: when to settle your baby to sleep, when and what to feed her and how to optimally stimulate your baby?

Occupational Therapist and infant specialist Meg Faure has created the ultimate parenting hub, with content based on the science of awake times from Baby Sense and weaning guidelines from Weaning Sense.

With Parent Sense you get to Know your baby!

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