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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Immunization Schedule



It seems like there are several sick bugs going around, which is always a good reminder to check up on your immunizations and your child's immunizations.

Here is a current chart from the Health Department.  I thought this was a good chart that was easy to understand! 



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where do Animals Live?

FARM, JUNGLE, DESERT, OCEAN, FOREST

Our playgroups last week learned (and most of them knew already) where we can find specific animals.  A cow usually lives on a farm, where as a monkey we would find in a jungle.  We read an amazing pop-up book called The Very Busy Bee by Jack Tickle which has great illustrations that the children loved.
"Bee is buzzing busily, His friend is buzzing too, But when they sniff the flowers It makes them sneeze - ATCHOO!"

We also had a mystery box where the children could pick out an animal and say what animal it is, what sound it makes, and where it lives.

Making a mystery box is really easy.  All you need is:
  • 1 medium sized box that is wrapped. You can use either construction paper or wrapping paper
  • For animals, you can either use small plastic animals (can find some at the dollar store) or I just used CriCut cut-out animals.

The children knew what types of animals they would find in a zoo, and what kinds of animals they would find on a farm.  We sang "Old McDonald on a Farm" and had hand puppets to go with the song...and the children LOVED it!  Hand puppets are always a hit with children, because it almost brings that animal to life.

Our activity was to sort out stickers into two groups: farm animals and zoo animals.  Its amazing to see that even the youngest children knew where they could find animals, and where they live!
From our Springville playgroup

From our Franklin Community Center playgroup

A great activity for the summer is going to the zoo. The Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City has a children's story time this Saturday, June 2 that is interactive with the children. Each class includes a story, a craft, and a special animal encounter. This program is geared towards younger learners but will be enjoyed by children of all ages.

Zoo Storytime

Start: Saturday, June 2, 2012
End: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Times: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Join us for Storytime

$5 per child over two years old: adults free




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: NO, David!


This fun new author, David Shannon captures childhood in his series of No, David books.  Writing from his own childhood experiences, he makes his books humorous, lighthearted and perhaps helps parents to relax!  Raising children can certainly be difficult at times, but this helps me to put things into perspective.  Children are adventurous and curious, but if you are worried about behavioral issues, here are a few things that might help (remember to be age appropriate!)  Don't forget to look for his white dog Fergus in each of his books!
  •  Music (these songs can help reinforce to your children, appropriate behavior) If You're Happy and You Know It...Clap Your Hands or Do As I'm Doing
  •  Active games- these games can help your child practice following directions Simon Says, Red Light-Green Light, Duck, Duck, Goose or musical chairs.  If a child can 'stop' doing a certain behavior in a game setting they can learn to 'stop' doing other unwanted behaviors as well.  When a child is misbehaving, try saying, "Remember when we were playing the game and you could stop running?  Can you stop hitting?"  It will take some practice, but your child will start to learn how to control themselves and their emotions.
  • Make “I Can” outdoor and indoor activity cans.  Save soup or vegetable cans and clean them out. Make a label to cover the cans.  Help your child draw pictures of thing they “CAN” do inside and outside of the home.  Draw pictures such as playing ball, running, swimming, reading, coloring, playing blocks, etc.  Put the pictures in the appropriate can.  Next time your child wants to do an activity, ask them to get their can and see if the activity is in that can.  If it is not, help them pick an activity that is appropriate. 
  • No is a word that parents frequently use to teach their children about rules, proper behavior, and to protect them from harm.  The overuse of the word NO will have the opposite effect that you want and many times children will not listen to you. Try these alternate techniques that emphasize saying what you mean but phrasing it in a positive way. 
Say      
DO NOT SAY
Sit on the swing please
No…don’t stand on the swing
Talk in a quiet voice please
No…don’t shout
Please turn the pages carefully, like this
No…don’t tear the book
Please sit on the chair
No…don’t rock on the chair
Drink your milk
Do you want your milk?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wipes-in-a-box!


Why is it that no matter how many toys you have (complicated, brightly colored, expensive, noisy toys), babies always seem to love the things that you DON'T want them to play with?  For example: the brand new box of baby wipes.  It's just so fun to pull out wipe after wipe with the added bonus of getting a great reaction out of mommy when she realizes what you've done!!

I don't know if this has ever happened at your house, but it seems like it's been a fairly regular scenario in all my years of baby care.  Luckily, I have found a wonderful solution! So if this has ever happened to you (or if you just want a cool new toy for baby), this post is for you!!

I found this lovely blog post with an amazing sanity saving idea!  I have dubbed it the "wipes-in-a-box".  All you have to do is take an old wipes container (if you have a baby, then most likely you have a few of these hanging around!) and fill it with colorful fabric pieces for your "wipes" and voila, an entertaining alternative to wipe destruction!

What you'll need for this project:
  • 1 empty baby wipes container
  • Fabric (you can cut up old t-shirts/clothes for this)
It's a short list and most likely you can find it all in your own home (I love projects like that!!)

Step one: find your box and, if needed, make it pretty!  Most baby wipe boxes have a cute little button on top that pops the lid open, which is perfect for babies to play with and learn cause and effect!  I like to use a brand that has a fairly large rubbery opening for making this toy, just because it's gentler for little hands!  Also, some brands have boxes that already have cute patterns, but if yours doesn't and you want to make it prettier, you can decorate it with some nice looking contact paper.  If you don't mind, and I'm sure baby won't, you can also just leave the box how it is!  Just make sure your box is empty and dry, and you're all set!

This box is already super cute!
This box has a great opening for little hands, but it's not so cute... It just needs a little decoration!

Step two: make your "wipes".  To do this, take your fabric (or old t-shirt) and cut it into pieces that are 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (or about the size of a DVD case).  You can hem the edges if you'd like, but if you don't have a sewing machine (or the time or energy!) you can leave the edges raw :)  I love to use fabrics with lots of patterns and colors, just because it's fun and stimulating for baby!  Another great idea from the original post was to applique numbers and letters to each "wipe" for an added educational element!

I made my wipes out of some extra flannel I had lying around :)

Step three
: put your wipes in the box and let baby have at it! If you want you can try folding them in on one another (like the wipes come when you buy them) so the next one will pop up when you pull a wipe out, or you can just smoosh them all in!
  
I love letting baby "discover" this toy, it's very cute ;)


Final product!

Baby loves it!!

Hope you find this as fun as we have, and maybe it'll ease a headache or two for all you mommies out there!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yellow and Blue make what????


GREEN!!

Many things come in the color green; broccoli, trees, four-leaf clovers, grass, Kermit the Frog, my face on a roller coaster....

Our playgroups this week learned about colors and how colors are made. We read the book little blue and little yellow by Leo Lionni which is such a cute book about two friends; blue and yellow.  The are separated but when they see each other again, they hug and turn GREEN!  They have to figure out how to get back to the original colors they once were.

 We learned that primary colors are RED, YELLOW, and BLUE.

These three colors are mixed to make secondary colors.  Primary colors are used in different combinations to make ALL the other colors that we see in this world. The colors of the rainbow are all made from red, yellow, and blue.

Secondary colors are made from primary colors.  They are: PURPLE, ORANGE, and GREEN.  

Our friends got to see for themselves that yellow and blue make green, and yellow & red make orange, and red & blue make purple.  We used clear jars, water, and food coloring.  When we stirred up the first color then added the second color, the second color made a "water tornado"which the kids loved.


Here are all three secondary colors that we made...
With our craft/snack we combined the two. We had yellow cupcakes already made, then we made different colored frosting out of white vanilla frosting, and food coloring.

The children loved making new colors and eating them too!!

Children love to help mom bake! Letting them add ingredients like sugar, flour, eggs, etc. is an excellent way to get them involved.  Frosting is the best part, and let them choose which colors to make.  Ask them "If I want to make orange frosting, which colors would I need?" Always find teaching opportunities within your home because being an Everyday Learner promotes child development, autonomy, and creativity.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Breastfeeding: Our Story



There has never been a question in my mind about how I wanted to feed my baby.  I grew up (the oldest of nine kids) with a mother who was a huge (and very vocal) advocate for breastfeeding and all its benefits.  When I got older I started studying health, and of course when it came to infant nutrition, we learned all about how wonderful breastfeeding is for babies.  So with all that in my background it was never really anything that I had to think about; it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

Then I had my very first baby.  

She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen!  Everything went really well, she was healthy and perfect; the only problem was that she didn’t want to eat.  The nurses ended up giving her formula in the nursery because they were worried about her weight, and when the lactation consultant came to visit us, baby refused to even try nursing.  That was the very first big stress of our breastfeeding journey.  The lactation consultant gave us some basic tips and talked a little bit about technique, but that was about all she could do.  When I finally did get my baby to try it she had a lot of difficulties latching on.

We took our beautiful baby home and I started the intimidating process of figuring out how to take care of this little one on my own.  

It hurt every time I nursed her, but I knew that it was normal to be a little sore when you first start out, so I decided just to wait it out and hoped that it would get better…  And so it took 2 weeks and getting to the point where I was actually crying out in pain every time she latched on (which was about every hour, on the hour!), before I finally decided to find help.

I felt like such a failure at that point.  It was terrible!  I mean, babies and mothers are designed to do this, so why on earth couldn’t we figure it out??  I just wanted to do what was best for my little one, and it wasn’t as simple or easy as I thought it would be.

We visited a lactation consultant who helped us solve a lot of our problems, and things started to get better.  Unfortunately, we ended up needing to see the lactation consultant again when baby was about three months old with a whole new set of problems!

My sweet little girl is now five months old and (FINALLY!!) nursing like a pro!  It took us a lot of pain and a LOT of hard work to get this whole breast feeding thing down, but we did it, and it was so very worth it!  I truly do love nursing now (and I thought I never would); it is an amazing bonding time that I wouldn’t really get with her otherwise, and it’s good for her health too!

I’m not sharing my story to discourage those who are thinking about breastfeeding (our situation wasn’t typical!); I just want to let those out there who are struggling know that it is possible.  It might seem like it’s never going to happen, but if you really want it, you can do it! 

 Here are some helpful hints I wish I had known when I started:
  
1.       Find out as much as you can about how breastfeeding works (you can read more here).
2.       Talk to the lactation consultant before you leave the hospital, if an L.C. doesn’t come visit you, make sure you ask!
3.       Find support.  Talk to other mothers who have been successful, they can give you hints and be a support when things are tough.
4.       If you have problems, get help ASAP!  The longer you wait the harder it can be to correct problems, so don’t be afraid to get help.  There are there are lots of resources for nursing mothers (here are a few!) so please don't feel like you have to struggle on your own!

Friday, May 18, 2012

How to Breastfeed with Confidence

This is a great article about Breastfeeding by Judith A. Lothian (RN, PHD, LCCE, FACCE).  I just wanted to share this great information from her!



The simplicity of breastfeeding should inspire confidence in all of us. Nature intended your baby to be breastfed, and your body is perfectly designed to produce milk for your baby. During pregnancy your body prepared your breasts for breastfeeding. Colostrum was ready and waiting for your baby right after birth, and your body will continue producing high-quality milk for your baby, as long as he continues to nurse. Your baby is able, right from birth, to let you know when he is hungry, to attach to breast, and to suck, swallow and digest milk that is perfectly designed to meet his specific needs, for as long as he nurses.

Breastfeeding is a simple process. The baby’s sucking at the breast stimulates milk production. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce. Because of this, pacifiers and supplementing with bottles of infant formula will set the stage for decreasing, rather than increasing, milk production. Your baby should nurse at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours in the first weeks. He may nurse in clusters, rather than every two hours. Let your baby nurse at the breast “until he’s finished.” This insures that he receives the “hind” milk, rich in fat and calories. Limiting nursing to five or ten minutes on each side deprives your baby of this important and nutritious milk.

Regardless of your diet, your body produces high-quality milk. Contrary to what you may have heard, you do not need to drink large amounts of fluid or avoid certain foods. Eat and drink to satisfy your appetite. Some of the weight you gained while pregnant will be used for calories while you are breastfeeding.

Your baby will let you know when he is ready to nurse, not by crying, but with a number of early feeding cues: rapid eye movements under the eyelids (he may seem to be stirring from sleep), moth and tongue movements, hand to mouth movements, body movements and small sounds. If you wait until your baby cries, it will be difficult to help him settle down enough to latch properly and he and you will have missed important nursing time.

Keeping your baby close to you will insure that you do not miss his feeding cues. Consider using a sling-type carrier to hold him close during the day, and co-sleeping, in the same bed or at least the same room, at night.

Babies do not have to learn to attach to the breast. Right after birth, skin-to-skin with their mothers, babies crawl to the breast and self-attach. If you hold your baby in the traditional cradle position, he is best able to latch properly to your breast when he is flexed, relaxed, his head both level with your breast and aligned with his body, and facing you. You should not have to lean toward him, and he should not have to reach toward you to attach. Wait for the baby to open his mouth wide so that he attaches to the areola, not the nipple. Be patient and let your baby lead you. Don’t rush him or pressure yourself. Remember, your baby knows how to do this.

If your baby is positioned and latched properly, when he sucks he will get milk. Watch and listen for his swallowing. This is the ultimate assurance that he is actually getting milk. Your baby will let you know when he is “finished” nursing by coming off the breast himself or falling asleep. He may or may not want to nurse on the other breast. The other breast will feel full when he is ready to nurse again, so you will start with that side.
How do you know your baby is getting enough milk? You can feel confident that he is getting enough if you pay attention to his feeding cues, you nurse him often, you allow him to nurse until he is “finished” and he is producing wet diapers and having bowel movements. At one day of age your baby will have two wet diapers and one bowel movement and over the course of the first week will increase that number gradually; by day seven, you’ll see six to eight wet diapers and three or more bowel movements.

Some babies take a few days or even weeks to breastfeed effortlessly. If your baby is not nursing frequently, you are unable to identify swallowing or he is not producing wet diapers and bowel movements, contact your healthcare professional or lactation consultant immediately. Most breastfeeding problems have simple solutions, but addressing them quickly is important.

You and your baby were made to breastfeed. Have confidence in yourself and in your baby’s ability to breastfeed. And treasure the joy of nursing your baby.

Breastfeeding Basics
Proper positioning can make all the difference to your breastfeeding success. If your baby is positioned correctly at the breast, you’ll feel better and your baby will be more satisfied. Start by making yourself comfortable: Sit up in bed or in a rocking chair or armchair, and use a bed pillow or nursing pillow if that makes things easier. Keep a glass of water and a healthy snack within reach so you can get nutrition while your baby does.

Cradle Hold
The cradle hold is a good position for newborns. The baby should be facing you stomach to stomach, his head and neck should be straight and he should not have to strain to reach your nipple.

You can also use the cradle hold for older babies. To avoid shoulder and neck pain, bring your baby up and toward you rather than leaning toward him. Be sure the baby’s head is nestled in the bend of your elbow.

Football Hold

The football hold works especially well for premature infants and for women who have had cesareans. Support your baby’s head and neck with your hand, and position his face directly in front of your breast. (The side-lying position, not shown here, is also comfortable, especially for cesarean moms. Place your baby on his side facing you in bed and guide him onto your nipple.)

To encourage your baby to latch on properly, tease him gently with your nipple. As soon as he opens his mouth wide (very wide, like a yawn), bring him onto the breast, leading with the chin.

When your baby is latched on correctly, his mouth should cover the nipple and at least one inch of the areola. His chin and the tip of his nose should touch your breast.

If your baby is not latched on properly, break the suction by putting your finger gently between his gums. Then start again. Don’t worry if proper latch-on takes several tries at first. Take a deep breath, and remain patient.

Burping Your Baby
After your baby has nursed from one breast, burp him. Then burp him again after the feeding is over. If he doesn’t burp after a minute or two but seems content, no burp is needed. If he seems uncomfortable, keep trying until you hear the burp. Here are three positions that you can use.

  1. Sit your baby on your lap, apply pressure on his tummy and firmly pat his back.
  2. Drape your baby over your shoulder and firmly pat his back.
  3. Lay your baby down and firmly pat his back.

Judith A. Lothiam, RN, PHD, LLCE, FACCE teaches childbirth education in Brooklyn, NY, is the former president of the Board of Directors of Lamaze International and is the chair of its certification council. She has five children.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dinosaurs and Fossils



We had such a fun playgroup on Friday!! Our theme was Dinosaurs and Fossils, a continuation of last weeks field trip to the Paleontology Museum at BYU. We read a book called DINOSAUR ROAR! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland We learned that dinosaurs came in every shape, size, and color.
Did you know that the largest dinosaur was the Argentinosaurus! This dinosaur measured 120 feet from head to tail, and may have weighed over 100 tons. This dinosaur was a plant eater, and was found in Argentina (this is what is was named after).
We also listened to some dinosaur songs, and ran around acting like we were dinosaurs!! Our favorite part of the playgroup was making our sugar cookie fossils!
The kids loved imprinting plastic dinosaurs into the sugar cookies. These fossils were very delicious!


For sugar cookie fossils, you need to find any rolled sugar cookie recipe that you love.  Roll the dough out till its about a 1/4" thick.  Cut the dough out in circles, or if you have a dinosaur cookie cutter that's even better!  Once the cookies are cut out, imprint clean dinosaur toys into the cookie dough and bake for the recommended time.
Once they're baked...they're DELICIOUS!!

Music and Sound

Our lesson for the Springville playgroup was on music and sounds. We read a book called Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer
We learned that we hear sounds through our ears. We can't see sound, but they are waves that travel through the air. Once they enter your ear it vibrates 3 tiny bones in your ear, which travels from your ear to your brain which interprets those vibrations as sound.
We also learned that we can make sound with our vocal cords that are found in our neck. We can make sounds by singing, talking, or humming. The children found all different ways to make sounds with their body without using their vocal cords. By snapping their fingers, stomping their feet, and clapping their hands. The children got to play with some musical instruments, and practiced making sounds. They got to use brass symbols, triangles, maracas, bells, and rain sticks.
For our craft the children made their own shakers.
We used two small paper plates which the kids decorated with crayons, feathers, and glitter. We put some beans in and stapled them together.
Springville Playgroup is now meeting for the summer at the Spring Creek Park in Springville from 10am to 11:30am @ 600 N & 600 E Springville, UT 84663.
Hope to see you next week!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet Our New Welcome Baby Interns!


We are happy to introduce our new Welcome Baby interns.  Each semester Welcome Baby receives new interns to run the program.  We hope you can get a chance to meet them.  They are excited to get to work!

Socorro
I am the oldest of nine kids and I grew up in good old Orem, Utah.  I’m now a senior at UVU and I’m hoping to be graduating this December in Community Health Education.  I love health and helping people to live life to their fullest potentials!   I love to dance and read.  I was a ballerina and a ballroom dancer growing up, and I love to read everything from sci-fi/fantasy to self-help books!  My husband and I have been married for almost four years now, and we just had our very first baby girl this last December.  I absolutely love being a mommy, it has been the hardest, most challenging, and yet the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my entire life! Welcome Baby is such a wonderful program that I’m glad to have been able be a part of as a new mom, and now I’m very excited to have the chance to be an intern and be more involved with the parents in my community!  


Chelsy
Hi, my name is Chelsy. I’m one of the new interns with Welcome Baby and I’m very excited to be working with the United Way of Utah County. I’m currently a student at Brigham Young University and I’m studying Human Development & Family Studies. I love learning about child development and how the family plays an important role in the lives of children. I’m originally from Canada, and I enjoy the outdoors and dancing. I also like to garden and my husband and I look forward to our home grown vegetables this year. I am excited for my experience here with Welcome Baby because it is such a wonderful and helpful program for families.

Maren
My name is Maren and I’m excited to be an intern here at Welcome Baby!  I’m a single mom with three great kids.  I’m a full time student at UVU studying behavioral science with an emphasis in family studies.  I’m looking forward to graduating in the fall.  I enjoy dancing, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.  I hope to learn how to strengthen my family and families in the community.



Brooke
I’m a married mother of four beautiful children; Rielly 13, Brighton 7, Kinilau 6, and Semisi 1.  My passions are playing with my children, reading, and baking delicious treats! Both my husband and I are students at Utah Valley University.  I will graduate with a Bachelors in Public and Community Health summer of 2012, then will be applying to a Physician’s Assistant program.  Healthcare has always been my passion, but interning with Welcome Baby at United Way is an exciting opportunity and will give me great experience within community.



Friday, May 11, 2012

Breastfeeding Resources


Breast milk is full of disease fighting antibodies to build a strong immune system.  Babies who breast feed are less likely to suffer from a number of
illnesses including: asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory infections and many others.  For most babies, it is also the easiest thing to digest, making gas and stomach pains less likely.  Let’s not also forget that breastfeeding can save you
anywhere from $1,000-$4,000, shrink your uterus back to normal size, help fight against cancer, help with postpartum depression and help you loose that mommy fat. 

However, breastfeeding can take time to figure out and you may have many questions.  Don’t worry!  There are many resources at your fingertips! 

Intermountain Health Care (IHC)
Classes, information, one-on-one lactation
consultations ($35 fee) and other services.

Intermountainhealthcare.org/services/womennewborn
Women’s Services or A Mother’s Touch: 801-714-3324

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
In person one-on-one breastfeeding help,
breastfeeding classes to pregnant mothers, free hand breast pumps, free use of electric or pedal breast pumps and other aids to those who qualify (low-income).

Breastfeeding Warmline: 801-851-7312
www.utahcountywic.org


La Leche League
Help over the phone and a monthly series of four
meetings for women interested in learning more about the art of breastfeeding.

801-264-5683 (English & Spanish)
www.lalecheleague.org or www.lllusa.org/UT/Utah

U.S. Department of Health
The National Breastfeeding Helpline from the Office on Women’s Health has trained breastfeeding peer counselors to provide support by phone.

1-800-994-9662
WomensHealth.gov/breastfeeding

Breastfeeding.com
Chat, blog, join a forum, watch videos and find tons of information about breastfeeding.

www.breastfeeding.com




Got the Mother’s Day Blues?


Mother’s Day for the under-appreciated Mom



I’m a single mother with three kids and sometimes Mother’s Day can be kind of hard for me. I have felt a little envious when friends would share stories of husbands who have arranged breakfast in bed with lovely cards and gifts. I’ve come to realize, I’m not the only one.  I’ve had friends who have struggled with infertility which makes mother’s day a painful reminder of unfulfilled dreams.  Some women have had their mother’s pass away and feel very lonely on mother’s day.  Many women feel guilty hearing stories of great moms and don’t feel like they measure up.  A lot of times moms feel guilty about admitting that being a mom is the most difficult and challenging role they’ve ever had to fulfill.  Don’t you love the sleepless nights and stretch marks?  


I’ve experienced every emotion on Mother’s Day, I guess that makes me a mom.  I’ve learned how to love and celebrate Mother’s Day in my own way.  I hope some of these tips help you have a wonderful Mother’s Day no matter what circumstance you are facing.


1.   Spoil Yourself!  Do something nice for yourself.  Get a baby sitter, a massage, a pedicure, a treat, that dress you’ve been wanting, or some beautiful flowers and enjoy them!  


2.  Honor the women in your life who inspire you to be a good mom by writing them a note or getting them a little gift.  This could be your own mom, or any other mom you admire.


3.  Don’t cook or clean!  Eat out and your housework will be there for you on Monday to do.


4.  Do some reflecting and journal about your thoughts on being a mother, what kind of mother you want to be, or what you hope for your children.  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What goals do you want to accomplish?  What do you want to improve on?


5.  Give your child a card or letter and tell them why you love being their mother.  When my children were young I started a journal for them that is just filled with my thoughts about them, mile stones they’ve reached, and things I want them to know.  One day when they’re older they will enjoy reading your entries.
I have found that the more I think about others and less about my expectations, the better my Mother’s Day goes.  I’m OK with whatever way my children or others choose to celebrate me and I look forward to my own celebrating.  I think of my mother who has loves me and sacrifices for me, the wonderful mothers I know who inspire me, and my beautiful children who have made life meaningful. 

Happy Mother’s Day!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sleep and Awake States

Newborn Sleep/Awake States


Recently I was talking with some of my friends who are pregnant with their first child. Like most (if not all) first time moms, they had concerns regarding how to respond to their baby. This reminded me of the different newborn states (patterns of consciousness and responding). Basically, there are sleep states and awake states. Knowing the different newborn states can be helpful in understanding your precious little baby.

Sleep States:

Yes, newborns sleep A LOT! For 0-2 month infants, they may sleep on average around 16-17 hours a day (unfortunately for tired moms, it’s not continuously).
  • Quiet Sleep: During quiet sleep, your newborn is motionless with regular breathing. This sleep state is important for their growth. Have you ever seen a peacefully sleeping baby in a busy/loud mall and wonder how that baby could possibly sleep through all that noise? Well, it’s because that baby is in quiet sleep, focused internally, and loud sounds are not likely to cause him/her to waken.

  • Active Sleep: This is when your baby is dreaming (linked to learning). Do not be alarmed if you see your baby startle, have slight body movements, or have irregular breathing. You’ll also want to be quieter when your baby is in an active sleep state because they are more easily awakened.

Awake States:

  • Drowsiness: This is the transition between sleep states and awake states. Eyes open and close, regular breathing, occasional smile.

  • Quiet Alert: Your baby will be still, and scan the environment with their eyes. Their focus is on observing the world around them. Usually this is an easy time to feed your baby.  This is also a fantastic time to interact with your baby (talk to them, make faces, etc.). A newborn will be in a quiet alert state for about 2 hours of the day so take advantage of interacting with them.

  • Active Alert: This state takes up about 1 hour of the day for newborns. Your baby will be more active in their body movements and are less likely to focus on external things.   When your infant is in an active alert state, it’s great to give them “tummy time”, where you lay them on the ground and allow them to learn/experience what it’s like to move their body.

  • Crying: Do I need to describe this state? Crying varies by different babies and across different days. Two things to keep in mind about crying are that when a newborn cries, it’s because they’re trying to communicate a need they have (such as “I’m hungry” or “I’m wet”). The other thing to keep in mind is that crying typically peaks around 2 months and will decrease with time.

For you first time moms, hopefully learning about these different newborn states was as interesting for you as it was for me when I learned about them.


To learn more about Newborn states, check out this link    http://www.marchofdimes.com/nursing/modnemedia/othermedia/states.pdf