Luiza DeSouza is a much sought after baby nurse for Hollywood clients who want expert guidance from the newborn stage up to three months.
DeSouza is releasing a new book, ‘Eat, Play, Sleep: The Essential Guide to Your Baby’s First 3 Months’ and her former client Cindy Crawford writes the foreward: “Luiza helped create a sense of serenity around our home that most certainly rubbed off on our son. We were able to avoid that ‘nervous new parents’ stereotype and enjoy our changed roles.”
Here DeSouza shares some of her valuable tips and how to navigate through those first few life adjusting weeks with a newborn.
Luiza DeSouza tells Yahoo Parenting: “The most essential part of the first days and weeks of parenting is feeding. ‘If the baby’s rooting side to side, he needs to go to the breast again and again. It requires so much patience at first; a new mother feels that there is no time even to go to the bathroom. But it won’t always be like this.’
‘The same is true of formula-fed babies, DeSouza stresses. They need a lot of time snuggled closely to their parents while drinking. In those first weeks, the baby will eat and sleep, that’s it,” she says. “So get the baby close to you, lie down with her, rest your body and mind as well — and don’t forget to drink a lot of water.’”
Babies will sleep regularly and often for the first couple of weeks, but after that, they need some help learning how to rest. Wakeful periods in the beginning only last 1-2 hours, and then it’s time to sleep again. DeSouza recommends looking for signs like an unfocused gaze, drooping eyelids, or a bit of fussiness. Then take the baby into his crib environment, with dim lighting and quiet music or white noise, to help form a good habit — this is where we sleep.
Another sleep tip: “Young babies like to be swaddled to avoid the jerking movements their bodies make,” says DeSouza. “If they start to move their arms and legs, they get startled and awakened.” Sometimes a full swaddle is best, sometimes leaving arms out is okay — DeSouza recommends observing your sleeping baby and seeing what works for him. Usually, around 6-8 weeks, the twitching movements abate and you can ease off swaddling, but DeSouza says she has kept some fussier babies swaddled longer than that. “It all depends on your baby,” she acknowledges.
DeSouza says that play is about both interaction and space. While it’s fun to get down on the mat with your newborn to smile and coo, it’s also “not too soon to start the seeds of independent play,” she advises. When she cares for an infant and sees that he’s sitting quietly and contentedly, DeSouza doesn’t interfere: “I put something for him to look at pictures with contrasting colors or a bright toy and then I let him be.” She notes that if parents are constantly there to play, babies get used to that and begin to demand it. But left on their own, babies can learn little by little, in small increments of time, to enjoy their space.
Bonding. Because of regular nappy changing, feeding, bathing, and soothing, the baby is in a parent’s hands a lot. These caretaking activities are the perfect times to really focus on your baby and give her your full attention, even talking to her and telling her what you’re doing.
Read more of Luiza DeSouza tips on Yahoo parenting here