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5 things to do with baby: Infant massage

Now’s your chance to do what you want as baby comes along for the ride.

5 things to do with baby: Infant massage

So your baby is finally here! You persevered through


pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and are starting to feel healed and normal

after making it through month one. So… now what?

New babies don’t seem like they can do much, but that’s a good thing –

now’s your chance to do what you want and baby comes along for the ride. Then

again, why not introduce some mama-baby activities now? Check out the

suggestions below and stay tuned for more!

1. Baby massage

While we would prefer to receive our own full-body massage,

it can be fun to play masseuse to our little ones, as well. Baby massage can

help to enhance interactions between you and baby, as well as help him relax

and sleep, and maybe even reduce crying, according to the Mayo

Clinic.

You’ll find lots of tutorials on YouTube or visit your local

library for books on the subject. We suggest Baby Massage: Soothing Strokes

for Healthy Growth by Suzanne Reese. This handy book not only provides

step-by-step instructions using lots of pictures, but the book itself can stand

up to make it very easy for you to follow along as you massage baby.

If you’d prefer professional help, check out Infant Massage USA, which provides

classes for parents and caregivers by Certified Educators of Infant Massage.

2. Read together

We all know how important it is to encourage a love of

reading in kids, but did you know experts are saying parents should start this

practice in infancy? In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended

that we should start reading to our kids from birth, stating, “Children who are read to during infancy and preschool

years have better language skills when they start school and are more

interested in reading.”

So should you whip out War

and Peace for your next story time? Not quite. Whatever you choose to read

to baby, make it fun! You can sit with her and look at pages in a picture book,

point out words at the grocery store, and even read her the latest Kardashian

news in your favorite tabloid (no judgment, mama). Reading should be a special time for you to communicate

stories and ideas, so the sooner you start, the better!

3. Sing

Whether you sing like an

angel or your voice makes the neighborhood dogs howl, your baby loves to hear

you sing! Psychology

Today even extolled the importance of music in infancy saying, “Singing

is a super-charged way of connecting to your baby. It has the element of human

interaction that little ones crave and need for their cognitive, language, and emotional

development.”

So what should you sing to baby? Literally anything. We’re

not kidding. Sing your way step-by-step through making dinner (“Water is

boiled, now put the rice iiiiiiiiin!”), or belt out that Top 40 hit you can’t

seem to get out of your head. Serenade baby with your favorite lullaby at

bedtime, introduce her to the Itsy Bitsy Spider while you change her diaper, or

calm her down with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s all about fun, and there’s

nothing more fun than singing a happy song!

4. Go for a walk

No matter what the weather, take a few minutes to walk with

baby. It can be as simple as walking to the mailbox or down to the laundry

room, or as planned as a stroll on the boardwalk or to the local park. Don’t

overexert yourself – remember, you’re still recovering from childbirth and

probably haven’t been cleared for heavy exercise by your OB/GYN! If you

babywear, strap baby on, or bundle him up in his stroller and get to steppin’.

A little fresh air will do you both some good.

5. SLEEP

Seriously. Take a nap every day with your baby. You deserve

it, mama, and a rested you is the best you!

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

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As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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