Medline Plus, “Infant and Newborn Care”
MayoClinic.com, “Newborn Health” and “Infant Health”
Berkeley Parents Network, “Advice about Babies” (archived discussions about a wide range of infant-relevant issues and experiences)
“Slide Show: What a Newborn Really Looks Like” (MayoClinic.com)
- On prioritizing, honoring your own needs, and getting useful help (PDF; Transition to Parenthood)
- More information on setting up a “postpartum plan” and smoothing out the early days of parenting (DONA International)
Pediatricians, family practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, and general/family practice nurse practitioners all provide healthcare for infants, toddlers, and children. Finding a care provider who is truly respectful of your values and needs—and with whom you can communicate easily—makes caring for your child immensely less stressful. And although our cultural norm is to take children to pediatricians, some families—mine included—find that having a single nurse practitioner (or doctor) as the whole family’s primary care provider is invaluable. It has served us well to think in an open-minded and questioning way about our options.
How can I choose a pediatrician or other healthcare provider for my child? (KidsHealth: multi-page article)
What typically happens during well-baby checkups? (MayoClinic.com)
Overview of infant male circumcision (MayoClinic.com)
- Two articles from Mothering: “The Case Against Circumcision” and “Why Isn’t Circumcision OK?”
- Intact America
- I should acknowledge here that my husband and I both object passionately to routine infant circumcision. Here’s my perspective: our son has a right to a whole body. There is no clear medical reason to remove part of him. And, on a visceral level, someone would have had to pry that baby out of my cold dead arms—and then my partner’s—if they’d wanted to take him away from us, restrain his little limbs, and cut him for any reason other than a medical emergency. If he decides he would prefer a circumcised penis when he is an adult, he can make an informed decision at that point; a man who was circumcised as a baby is not in a comparable position—because he can’t choose to go back in time and not allow people to cut him. A baby cannot give informed consent, and many parents choose circumcision out of a sort of loose cultural habit (wanting the child to ‘look like his father,’ assuming that’s ‘just what’s done,’ etc.). Because many have never witnessed a circumcision (though videos and photos are available online) and are given a very rose-colored-glasses image of the experience by medical staff, they’re not giving truly informed consent any more than the baby himself would be.
- More information (Circumcision Information and Resource Pages)
- And more (Mothers Against Circumcision)
- Short answer: leave it alone, and make sure everyone else leaves it alone.
How do you give a baby a bath? (MayoClinic.com: multi-page article)
I don’t have a bathtub; how can I bathe my baby? (Berkeley Parents Network)
- “Baby Essentials That Aren’t, Part 5: Baby Bathtubs” (Derek Markham, Eco Child’s Play)
Random personal note: We bathed our baby very, very rarely (like, every few months) until he started getting really active and dirty post-infancy; we were constantly cleaning anything in contact with food/pee/poop, and the rest of him just stayed clean. And for the first chunk of his life, we took Noah into the bath with us rather than bathing him separately. I have absolutely lovely memories of relaxing in the warm water, breastfeeding.
Why am I so tired?: Well, that would be because you aren’t getting enough sleep, and you’re a human being. Often, parents who are really driven and high-performing in our academic and/or professional lives believe that we should be able to push through this challenge. Or if a parent gets seven consecutive hours of sleep for the first time in months, he or she no longer feels a right to be painfully exhausted … even if this person needed eight or nine hours of sleep every night to be comfortable and normally-functioning pre-baby. I think it’s really important to remember that your body doesn’t need any less sleep now, just because you had a baby. That would be awesome, but it’s just not real. Especially when you’re caring for a newborn, try to stay in bed—dressed for bed, un-toothbrushed, curtains drawn, in sleepyville—until you’ve gotten however many hours of sleep you needed pre-baby—even if it means you’re in bed for twelve or thirteen hours. And no matter what, try to give yourself a break.
Overview of babies’ sleep needs and patterns (KidsHealth)
Discussions about infant sleep issues (Berkeley Parents Network)
How can baby-wearing make life easier? (Birthing Beautiful Ideas)
- What are growth spurts, and how can I handle them? (kellymom)
- No, seriously, my baby’s nursing all the time, I’m starving, the baby’s fussing and crying at my breast, I haven’t slept in days, and I think I’m going.to.die. What the hell’s going on? (Hello … Is This On?)
- My two cents: When our baby was little, we never ever realized he was experiencing a growth spurt until it was over. I’d get to the point where I was totally defeated, crying, angry, at the end of my rope, stuffing my face with a desperate hunger, but the sleep-deprivation would keep us from realizing what we were experiencing until the demon-baby (I mean, our son) passed out for like twelve hours and then started eating and sleeping normally again. But the important point is that A) growth spurts put intense demands on our bodies but tend to let up just in time and B) I lived through every single one.
What reflexes does a newborn have? (Children’s Hospital Boston)
“How much should I expect my baby to grow in the first year?” (MayoClinic.com)
- “Average Growth Patterns of Breastfed Babies” (kellymom: includes information on what growth charts mean)
- Birth to three months (MayoClinic.com: multi-page article)
- Four to six months (MayoClinic.com: multi-page article)
- Seven to nine months (MayoClinic.com: multi-page article)
- Ten months to one year (MayoClinic.com: multi-page article)
What about speech milestones? (MayoClinic.com)
- Discussions about teething (Berkeley Parents Network)