Today, we focus on the tiny humans, newborns! And more specifically natural newborn care tips.
My little man is already seven months old and thriving.
Life is easier now that he’s sleeping a full twelve hours at night (thank you to The Baby Sleep Solution for advice that worked)!
However, those first three months were rough between the severe lack of sleep, breastfeeding challenges because of a tongue and lip tie we had to get lasered, and the steepest learning curve of my life of becoming a new mama and trying to meet the needs of my new little man without fully knowing what he was experiencing and what he truly needed.
So, I turned to my friends and the seasoned holistic moms I trusted—this made life during this time so much easier.
In this article, I share 4 natural newborn care tips that worked for us – when it comes to constipation, colic, sleep and immune system support – and hopefully they can work for you, too.
My pediatrician told me that it wasn’t uncommon for babies to go three, four, or five days without a bowel movement. I wasn’t really okay with that because I knew he had to be uncomfortable when he didn’t go for even one day and I could visibly see his discomfort.
The #1 mama tip that helped me, and him with this was to add ¼ of a digestive enzyme to a 4-6 ounce bottle no more than once a day.
IMPORTANT: This must be an enzyme without betaine HCL or pepsin which can be very dangerous for babies.
This only works if you’re willing to give your baby a bottle because it hasn’t been tested or proven safe to put the powder directly on the nipple like with probiotics.
We used Digest by Enzymedica and I only gave it to him if he went a full 24 hours without a bowel movement—it worked like a charm. This isn’t a tool to use more than a few times a week.
I also diluted my milk by about an ounce or two once Austin started drooling (he was an early drooler) to keep him hydrated to prevent constipation and sometimes gave him water directly from a syringe if I was breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding.
The other great tip to prevent and release constipation is doing a baby massage at night with Weleda Baby Tummy Oil. It’s a cardamom-based oil that is warming and soothing once absorbed into the skin.
Homeopathics are super safe and worked well for us when Austin had colic.
Our two favorite homeopathic colic remedies were:
Babies are such energetic beings that homeopathic treatments like these typically work very well for most of them.
These help with digestion as well as calming and soothing the newborn nervous system.
Austin used (and still uses) these flower essences in his nightly bottle:
These help him to sleep more deeply.
On the nights when he’s fussy or I can tell he’s really teething, I’ll also add Rescue Remedy to his evening bottle.
According to a June 2018 NY Times Article entitled The Bacteria Babies Need:
“Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that a strain of bacteria called B. infantis that is thought to have been the dominant bacterium in the infant gut for all of human history is disappearing from the Western world. According to their research, this was probably caused by the rise in cesarean births, the overuse of antibiotics and the use of infant formula in place of breast milk. Indeed, nine out of 10 American babies don’t harbor this bacterium in their gut, while researchers suspect that the majority of infants in less industrialized countries do.”
Bruce German, a professor of food science and technology and one of the U.C. Davis researchers, says, “The central benefits of having a microbiota dominated by B. infantis is that it crowds all the other guys out” — especially pathogenic bacteria, which can cause both acute illnesses and chronic inflammation that leads to disease.”
Although I had a very healthy pregnancy and did not have a cesarean, I still decided to give Austin 10 drops of B. infantis a day from the age of one month old to three months old because he was still exposed to a lot of other people with my friends, their kids, neighbors, family, and our whole support network.
I took a probiotic break for a few months and then around five months started giving him Infant Probiotics by Klaire Labs at half a scoop every third day to diversify and strengthen his developing microbiome. He still takes this now in the morning along with his fish oil.
You will have to ask a practitioner how often to give it to your child because you want to be careful not to rev the immune system too much. Here is an important article about how you can overdo it with probiotics in kids and cause adverse immune reactions.
We hope these natural newborn care tips are helpful.
Now, we want to hear from you!
Can any of these tips be put to good use for a baby in your life?
Do you have any ideas to share with our community that worked well for you and your baby? Please share with us in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor or health care professional before taking action on any of this information.