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Sleep & Naps

Getting your little one to sleep like a baby can be a lot easier said than done. Huggies has compiled articles, advice and answers on how to get both you and your newborn snoozing soundly.

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How We Started Sleeping Through The Night

By: Becka Robinson

That’s right folks, this is the story of how our son started sleeping through the night. And then stopped. And then started again and stuck with it. Sleep and the lack of it that comes along with having a new baby is a hot topic. There is no one right way to teach your baby how to sleep. This is the very true, very unscientific way we regained our sanity and started getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night…

Our son has been a pretty good sleeper always. As much as a newborn can be a good sleeper. For the first weeks we were up with him at one hour and two hour intervals around the clock. At around 3 months, magically, he started to sleep for 5 and 6 hour chunks of time all on his own. Cue the hallelujah chorus! We reveled in our consecutive sleep. And then… like a cruel, cruel joke from the sleep gods, our son stopped sleeping through the night at exactly 4-months-old.

Naturally, I turned to the internet and begged google for the answers. And I got them. In the form of a dirty little phrase known as "4 month sleep regression". Did you know that this was a thing? Because no one told me this was a thing. I learned that sometimes babies will just randomly stop sleeping through the night at 4 months. The experts think it has something to do with sleep cycles and growth spurts but no one knows for sure. Message boards were filled with stories about babies who continued sleep regressing until almost a year old.


There was no way I was going to continue waking up every 2 hours at night for the rest of my son’s first year of life. We tried to wait it out but after 2 months of waking up every 2 hours we were at the end of our rope. We asked everyone we knew with kids, we read sleep training books, we scoured the internet, we asked our friends on Facebook, and we talked to our pediatrician. Advice and tips were all across the board. One person said "do this". Another said, "No, don’t ever do that." It was like a puzzle but no one had the big picture on the front of the box to show us which way to go. If you have gone through this with your baby or are currently going through this let me tell you, there is hope! Also, I feel your pain.

What we learned from the experience was that there is no one right way. And as parents you’ve got to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. You’ve got to decide what you want for your family and then make the best decisions you can. For us, that meant that we went with our instincts and combined a lot of the advice we got and did a bit of trial and error until something worked. If you’re curious… the combination that worked for us was…

  • Increasing the number of ounces of formula he had during the day so we could decrease his night feedings (this was advice from our pediatrician)
  • Adding some scoops of powdered rice formula to his bottles in the evening to help fill him up (this was advice from a bunch of moms and grandmas)
  • Introducing fruits and veggies as solids (this was our own gut instincts)
  • Watering down the bottles we gave him when he woke up in the middle of the night. (this was a tip from our pediatrician that sounded so strange to us but worked like a magic charm in just three nights)
  • Putting him to bed a bit earlier. (this was a tip from the sleep training books)

He is now sleeping (knock on wood) about 12 hours every night and has been for almost 3 months now. We’re so happy to have our nights back to ourselves and he’s happier since he’s so well rested. It’s a happy house nowadays. I hope that by sharing this story some of you might find an answer that works for you and your family. And please know that I am, in no way, saying that this is the only right way or that everyone should follow these tips. You’ve gotta find what works for you. So to all you sleep deprived mamas out there, keep your chins up! Trust your gut and you’ll find your way.


X Number of Ways Your Life Will Change Post Baby

You’ve set up the nursery, stocked up on diapers, and read all the expecting baby books, but nothing can fully prepare you for the arrival of your new baby. Here are just a few examples of how your life is going to change in new and unexpected ways.

  1. You are on baby time. Forget your daily routine, your alarm clock, your live TV. Once your baby arrives your whole day will revolve around feeding, diaper changing and sleeping – when the baby sleeps. You will eventually develop a new regular schedule, but it will be dictated by your baby’s preferences and behavior, not your own.

  2. You will want to put the world in a bubble. Square table corners? Grandma’s purse? Door hinges? Everything suddenly takes on an ominous vibe and seems like potential baby danger. Baby proofing will actually be really fun (and you might stash a few outlet covers in your diaper bag – really).

  3. Taking a shower will be a fantastic luxury. Things you took for granted before baby, such as taking a hot shower uninterrupted, reading a book, or meeting a girlfriend for coffee, will now seem indulgent – and really special. Don’t forget to make time for yourself, but it will be harder to come by in the beginning.

  4. You will find your silly. Babbling, cooing, making goofy faces – get ready to bring out your silly side to engage and communicate with your baby. You’ll find yourself knowing every word to the most ridiculous children’s songs, dancing unconsciously to puppet videos playing on TV, and giving over your playlist priorities to making your baby happy. Unleashing your inner child will be one of the true delights of being a new mom.

  5. You will have new respect for your mom and the moms in your life. Caring for your baby, worrying over every little hiccup, persevering through sleepless nights, and putting yourself second will give you a new appreciation for what your parents went through raising you.

  6. Bodily functions and fluid will not faze you at all. Spit up? Vomit? Poop? No big deal. You’ll be cleaning up messes you never imagined possible, and then you’ll just move on with your day.

  7. You will see your body differently – and it will be different. After nine months of watching your body change you will now watch it transform again. You will have a new respect for what your body can do, and care a lot less about what other people think about it.

  8. You won’t take selfies; you’ll take hundreds of baby pictures instead. Instead of filtering everything just so, you’ll be busy taking endless photos of your baby and trying desperately to capture every single moment. And, of course you’ll be sharing them all with friends and family!

Enjoy the changes that come with having a new baby. Your life will never be the same - it will be richer and full of many wonderful surprises that no parenting book could ever prepare you for.

Image: Getty


Tips for getting great baby pics.


What New Moms Need


Three things to keep in mind before you travel

Stick to your regular schedule

Try to schedule the departure of your trip around your baby's regular naptime or bedtime — if he has one. That way your baby will sleep for at least part of the trip. "I would recommend that a parent refrain from interrupting a baby's sleep schedule before a flight," says Daniel R. Bronfin, MD, clinical pediatrics professor at Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans and physician at New Orleans' Ochsner Foundation Hospital. "Trying to sleep deprive an infant, for example, in order to make him/her sleep on the plane, will often backfire."

Planning ahead

Catharine Shaner, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and advisor with the American Safety and Health Institute in Holiday, Florida, recommends parents try to schedule flights during non-peak times or days, so it is less crowded and less overstimulating for your baby, which can make for a very fussy baby. She also recommends parents call and confirm their travel itineraries with the airlines ahead of time. At that time, request any special seating requirements, such as asking for a bulkhead seat — where there is no seat in front of you — which should offer the most room.

"Some airlines do not make these available ahead of time and sometimes the bulkhead may be the emergency exit row," Dr Shaner says. The emergency exit rows are typically off limits for parents traveling with young children.

If you can't get a bulkhead seat, ask to be seated in a "noisy" area of the plane, recommends frequent flyer Phoebe Dey of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. "I think most airlines do this anyway, but if not, I would request it," she says. "Most of the babies were seated in the middle of the plane, right over the engines. Not only does it muffle some of the sound from crying babies, the vibration seems to knock the babies right out."

Elizabeth Pantley, parenting expert and author of Gentle Baby Care, says parents also should ask airlines if they have any special features for families traveling with babies. "Some companies offer bassinets, gate check for strollers or early boarding privileges."

What to bring

You probably will have loaded your suitcases up with all the essentials, but don't forget to have a diaper bag — preferably one you can carry as a backpack — handy and packed with the following:

  • Plenty of diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream for the trip. (Ask friends or relatives to have some diapers on hand for you at your final destination.)
  • A bag to hold dirty diapers, especially if you use cloth.
  • A bottle of hand sanitizer so you can "wash" your hands when you don't have access to water.
  • Bottles and extra pacifiers.
  • A baby blanket — good for warmth as well as for privacy when breastfeeding.
  • A change of clothes — or two — for Baby. You may also want to dress him in layers, since airplanes can be rather cold or get very hot!
  • An extra top for you (in case you are breastfeeding and leak breastmilk).
  • A travel-size diaper changing pad or disposable diaper changing cloths.
  • A small can of disinfectant spray or wipes that kills bacteria and viruses to clean surfaces where you change your baby, such as Lysol or VIROFREE.
  • A bottle of water for mixing formula and for you to keep hydrated! Make sure to ask the flight attendant for a cup of warm water to put the bottle in to heat the formula or breastmilk.
  • A bib, bowl, spoon and baby food if your baby is on solids, along with snacks for babies on solids.
  • A cloth to quickly wipe up spills or spit-up.
  • A carrying case that can keep pumped breastmilk bottles cold.
  • Some toys to keep baby entertained.

You may also want to bring an umbrella stroller — maybe even one that reclines — or a front carrier to make getting around the airport a lot easier. Typically, you will be allowed to check your stroller just before you board the plane and it will be stored with the luggage. The airline workers will then bring it up for you just after you get off the plane.

Kerry Zarend Camp of Memphis, Tennessee, first flew with her son when he was three months old. "I nursed him on take-off and landing — making many business men blush!" she says. "The flight attendants were very helpful and one was delighted to hold the baby while I used the restroom. Of course my dad got the terminal mixed up and was late to meet us so we were waiting a long time. I was very glad to have my stroller!"

Christina Tillsley, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, who flew with her baby when he was just a few months old, recommends changing your baby's diaper right before you board the plane. "Bring plenty of wipes and [zipper plastic] bags, plus any favorite 'lovies' your little one might have," she adds.

Dr Bronfin also suggests that along with your essential items that you try to make friends with those you are sitting next to on a plane. "You will feel a bit less guilty when the baby wails or spits up on them," he adds.

Pantley says if your baby is unhappy and begins to cry, take a deep breath and focus your attention on your baby. "Fellow passengers who are unhappy about the disruption may forget that you have as much right to be on the airplane as they do," she says. "They also may forget how difficult it is for a baby or young child to be patient during a long flight. Your best defense against an unpleasant stranger is to say with a smile, 'I'm doing the best I can.' And then tend to your baby."

Ear pain

When traveling by plane, the change in altitude, especially when taking off and landing, can cause an infant to wail! There are a few things you can do to keep his ears from hurting.

Dr. Bronfin recommends you either breastfeed your baby, offer him a bottle or give him something to suck on — like a pacifier — during takeoff and landing. This, he says, will prevent increased middle ear pressure and pain. Dr. Shaner says to keep nasal passages dry and to prevent stuffiness, parents should make sure their baby is well hydrated.

"Dry nasal passages make Eustachian tubes [in the ear] stickier and more difficult to operate," Dr. Shaner says. "It is important to begin as soon as the plane leaves the ground or as soon as the pilot announces the descent, for waiting too long may make simple maneuvers such as swallowing ineffective." Dr Shaner says a decongestant may help with nasal stuffiness and suggests giving the medication one hour before takeoff. Always check with your doctor before giving your baby any medications, to make sure the medication is suitable as well as for dosage allowances.

"It is NOT recommended to fly with a cold, sinus or ear infection," Dr Shaner warns. "Eardrums may rupture in those cases."

Pantley recommends taking your baby to your healthcare provider a week or two before your trip to ensure he isn't "harboring an ear infection or other illness. If possible, avoid exposing your child to other children the week before the flight so he's less likely to catch one of those many kid-carried bugs," she adds.

Along with taking care of your precious baby, don't forget to take care of yourself! If you are traveling just a few months after childbirth, don't be too hard on your body. "Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, especially if you are breastfeeding, and don't lift anything heavy off the carousel or anywhere else. You could easily hurt yourself," says Paula Shelton, of Wellington, New Zealand, creator of the website "When you nurse on the plane, make sure you use the pillows to support yourself, or invest in an inflatable lumbar support to help your back. It really makes a difference to be comfortable when feeding."


Dr. Shaner says the safest place for a baby during the flight is in an FAA-approved car seat. You may have to purchase a seat for your infant as well. Many airlines, however, do allow a child under the age of two to ride on your lap. "Check with the airline to see if your brand [of car seat] is approved when purchasing tickets," she says.

Sounds easy, right? Keep in mind you will soon be at your destination and in the arms of happy people who can't wait to see you and your baby! Just remember to take everything in stride, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!


Getting to the germ of truth

A newborn’s immune system is vulnerable during her first six weeks. You don’t need to hide away, though — just take some commonsense precautions:

Try to commit to breastfeeding for the first six weeks, or as long as you can.

Keep tissues and hand sanitizer nearby as you pass the baby around to friends, neighbors and family members. Don’t hand your baby over to anyone who’s coughing, sniffling or sneezing.

Avoid traveling on planes, trains or buses for the first six weeks if at all possible. If you must travel, keep your hands washed or sanitized or consider wearing gloves that you take off only to handle the baby, 1950s nanny style. Make sure you have your pediatrician’s number stored in your phone, and when you get to your destination, also store the number and location of the closest pediatric emergency services.

Guard your young baby from kootchie-coo strangers. (Try this line: “I’m sorry, but she has a cold and I don’t want you to catch it!”)

Fevers, feeding problems and dehydration can be life-threatening emergencies for a newborn, so always seek medical attention right away if your baby has a fever or wets fewer than four diapers in a 24-hour period.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year. Order your copy from Barnes &Noble.


Flying With Your Baby: Take to the Skies without the Cries

Spread out. “I’ve learned from experience that it’s best to buy the baby a plane ticket and bring the infant carrier,” says Ashley Bryan, a mom of three in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, it’s a little pricier, but It’s also the safest way for a child to fly, and you’ll enjoy the extra real estate.

Back it up. First class: overrated! When flying with your baby, you’ll feel more discreet about nursing and diapering in the rear of the plane. There’s even womb-like engine noise for lulling baby to sleep.

Be prepared. Organizing before you go will make for an uneventful plane ride—a good thing. Cross-check your packing list with this one.

Downsize. An inexpensive, umbrella-style stroller navigates most easily through crowded airports when traveling with a baby. It’s also compact enough to check at the gate, so you can immediately get rolling again upon arrival. (And you won’t mourn its loss if the luggage handlers mangle it—not uncommon.)

Get an escort. Instead of juggling your baby and belongings through security, ask a staffer to move you to the front of the line. Chances are, they will. You’re a VIP now, baby!

Do bedtime onboard. “Walking around for a half hour or so before a flight wears my baby out,” says Eve Durando, a mom of one in Los Angeles, California. “I then change him into pajamas before we board, read Goodnight Moon once we’re seated, and hope that he’ll sleep through most of the flight. It usually works!”

Prepare for pressure. Michelle Norton Brady, a mom of two in Albequerque, New Mexico, had a bottle at the ready during both takeoff and landing to help her infants’ ears adjust to pressure changes without painful popping. “As long as my kids were sucking on something, they were good to go,” she says.

Look, Ma—no hands! “Wearing my baby—I have an Ergo carrier—gave me ultimate flexibility while checking my luggage and buying snacks before the flight,” says Michelle Bonifazi, a mom of one in Hiawatha, Iowa. “It also kept my baby calm, and made nursing and napping a breeze once we were in the air. I was even able to browse the Sky Mall catalog using both hands. Amazing!”


Best Music For Babies (That You'll Love, Too)

“My 7-year-old and 9-day-old like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Even danced in my belly!”—Rebecca G.

“Country music. They both seem to like the same woman their daddy does…the one and only Reba.”—Theresa J.

“They Might Be Giants!”—Rhonda G.

“Our little Cubanita likes salsa, Cuban timba, all sorts of Latin music. Even before she could sit up she would wiggle like crazy. Now she clings to Daddy’s leg with one arm and waves the other while bouncing her little bottom up and down. The child’s born to dance, like her parents.”—Terrie E.

“My girl loves The Beatle’s Hey Jude and Patsy Cline. She’s old school, I guess. :)”—Sarah H.

“She listens to all kinds of weird stuff with my hubby, but 3 Doors Down puts her to sleep every time. We use it sparingly, so as not to dilute its effect!”’—Erin W.

“My 10-month-old loves Wilco and James Taylor.”—Rick H.

“ABBA!”—Erika K.

“The theme songs to General Hospital and Gilmore Girls.”—Brooke M.

“Oh, gosh, I got a list: Tori Amos, Poe, Bob Marley, Paramore, Gwen Stefani, Korn…she likes variety.”—April J.

“My son and daughter love Michael Jackson’s music, especially Beat It and Thriller.”—Nesha P.

“My little man really enjoys Taylor Swift! I listened to her while I was pregnant, and I think he recognizes her voice.”—Heather D.

“Rap. I think it’s because her father would blare it when I was pregnant with her!”—Angelina R.

“I have been playing classical music to Melody since the first day she came home. Music is a great influence—she now enjoys all music and will stop dead in her tracks and sing to almost anything.”—Michelle S.

“Rev Peyton, Johnny Cash, Waylon and Willie and of course, Janis.”—Elizabeth L..

“My GLEE soundtracks. A Gleek in training!”—Rebecca B.

“Sade seems to calm him down. I played it throughout pregnancy, delivery, and anytime he’s a little fussy.”—JaGerre J.

“Les Mis, Janis Joplin, Louis Prima. What a nice break from all the kid music!”—Keely B.

“My 2-and-a-half-month old likes anything we play…so rap in Daddy’s car, and country or rap in Mommy’s!”—Johna V.

“My 5-month-old loves The Grateful Dead, Phish, Beatles and Green Day.”—Sharon W.

“The 80s!”—Kimberly H.

“My son loves Lady Gaga....which worries me.”—Courtney S.

“My baby hates long drives, but as long as Carrie Underwood is playing, she does great. Even if she is screaming, I play Carrie and she stops. Thank heaven for her and her music!”—Misty Z.

“The Ramones. My 2-year-old has been listening to them since he was 3 weeks old.”—Marissa G.

“My daughter likes Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Bob Marley. I’m ready to toss Gaga and BEP out the window; the only one I never get sick of playing is Bob Marley.”—Heather D.

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Help your dog feel the love for the new baby

I'm not a dog person. I'm so much more of a baby person. My best friend has a dog (a big dog) and he licks her baby's face and runs around and it makes me crazy.

Oddly, though, the two of them get on like great roommates.

Bella loves him and he adores her. But there were some heavy adjustments in the beginning and some still. If you have a dog, you can ease your pet into the idea of having a new baby around before you give birth.

Allow your pet to be in the same areas your baby will be spending a lot of time in — say the nursery and living room. However, if you haven't already, start to make sure he's not jumping up on furniture because he could knock over something with your baby on it or knock something onto your baby.

If your dog is super calm in the nursery, give him tons of love and rewards.

I've read that you can get a baby doll that cries to get your dog used to you carrying something new around but that sounds very odd to me. Still, I have heard that it can help.

If your baby is born at home, keep your dog out of the area until after the birth and then take out a blanket that smells of your newborn for him to sniff. Do the same if you're coming home from the hospital.

Use caution. Now that you're a parent, your baby's safety comes first. I've seen babies who were hurt by dogs because the family "assumed" they'd eventually calm down and accept the baby. Not all dogs and babies can co-exist peacefully. It might be sad but the baby comes first. If it's been months and your pet has not adjusted, is still jumping up or trying to nip the baby, it's time to find him a new home.

mom with baby on shoulders

Get Out! Places To Go With Your Newborn

An art museum.

“New babies are still developing their various senses, including eyesight—so things generally tend to be a blur for them,” says Wittenberg. But they can see items with high contrast, so make a beeline for the modern art section. It will also coax along your baby’s ability to see colors, which kicks in at around 2 months of age.

A restaurant.

Your baby won’t be enjoying the special of the day, but she will be exposed to new smells and new faces as you enjoy a well-deserved meal out.

The aquarium.

Zoos are more enticing once you have a curious toddler, but for newborns, this more contained and smaller environment—with its slow-moving, patterned fish—is just the right speed. It can encourage them to track movement with their eyes, which typically happens between 8 and 12 weeks.

An animal shelter.

Infants 2 months and older will enjoy watching the frolicking puppies and kittens. Caution: You may be tempted to add another mouth to feed.

Your old office.

Reconnect with the outside world by visiting the work gang. Hopefully, they’ll take a break from oohing and ahhing over the baby to give you the latest scoop on office gossip.

The farmer's market.

Stock up on fresh food and fresh air. “Outdoor activities are great for everyone,” points out Wittenberg. “Getting a little exercise gives you energy. And the motion and sunlight help parent and baby sleep more soundly.”

Public garden.

Babies can gaze at patterns and colors—or just snooze—as you relax in the tranquility of the place. Take time to stop and smell the roses!

Image: Huggies

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