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Preparing the Home

The optimal temperature for a new born is ~20-22°C. The optimal temperature for the nursery is ~20°C. Babies tend to sleep better when cool. It's okay if baby's arms and legs are cool/cold to the touch when sleeping, however belly should be warm to the touch.


At first crying is the only way a baby can communicate; once a baby develops, they will have more tools (cooing, babbling, motor control, talking, etc.). It's generally a signal for attention, could be due to many reasons:

Dirty Diaper

Check for smell or wetness. Many diapers have a wetness indicator (e.g. on Pampers diapers, there is a yellow strip that turns blue).


Babies at first should feed once every 1-2h. They start with a tiny stomach (e.g. size of a cherry) that can't hold much, so it's important that they feed frequently. The time between feeds slowly increases as baby develops.

Hunger cues:

  • Rooting
  • Rip smacking
  • Sucking on hands/fingers


Is the baby dressed appropriately? More likely to cry when too cold rather than too hot.


An overtired baby is uncomfortable, fussy, and will cry. Once a baby is overtired it's much more challenging to calm them down and to get them to sleep. Recognizing tiredness early is an important skill to learn as a caregiver.

Tiredness cues:

  • Yawning
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Staring


Is the baby squirming or raising legs toward belly? Try burping the baby. Tummy massage can also help with gas.

Sickness or Pain

If you've tried everything else and crying continues for extended periods of time, the baby might not be feeling well. It's time to see a doctor.


  • Can potentially lead to nipple confusion.
  • Not recommended for first 2 months.


  • Tummy time
  • "Sit up" exercises
  • "Stand up" exercises
  • Music during playtime is beneficial; listen to music, dance, sing, etc.
    • Helps teach rhythm, movement, vocalization.


Month 1

  • Mobiles for their shapes
    • Colour is not as important during this time, babies at this age respond to mostly black and white.
  • Music players
    • Higher, calmer, more melodies music
  • Stuffed animals

Month 2-6

This is when babies start to put things in their mouths.

  • Activity/floor pads
    • Look for colours and patterns
    • Overhanging toys can help teach reaching and swatting
  • Books
    • Board, cloth, foam for the different textures.
    • Okay to look, feel, gnaw.
  • Instruments to trigger auditory senses.
  • Mobiles
    • Babies at this age respond to colour more.
  • Rattles
    • Motor skills
    • Help understand cause and effect due to sound.
  • Unbreakable plastic mirror
    • Help develop self awareness.

Month 7-12

  • Balls
  • Bath toys
  • Blocks
    • Helps with motor skills (e.g. stacking)
  • Puppets and stuffed animals
  • Pull toys
    • Help teach cause and effect
  • Walkers


  • Newborns generally need 59-88ml every 3 to four hours.

Month 1

  • Gauge via weight gain: 28g per day.
  • Most well-fed babies will go through 6-8 diapers a a day.
  • Rooting reflex (mouth open and close)

Month 2-6

  • Start solids around month 4
  • Weight gain: 14-28g per day
  • Monitor diaper to ensure food is properly processed
    • Poop will thicken and change colour once on solid foods

Month 7-12

  • More regular schedule
  • Weight gain: 14g per day
  • Physical cues when hungry more obvious
    • Crying, gumming, attempting to eat hands
  • Generally 177-236ml of milk 4-6 times a day in addition to solid foods


  • If pumping to relieve engorgement, don't express more than 29ml at a time; the more you express to more the body will produce.
  • Eating spicy foods may impact milk and baby.
  • Drink min 1.9L of water per day.


  • Face baby towards breast: make sure baby can see the breast
  • Stroke baby's cheeks to trigger rooting reflex; baby should turn towards cheek that's being stroked
  • Always bring baby towards breast, never breast towards baby
  • Never touch the back of the baby's head during feeding. This activates a pulling-back reflex.
    • Instead hold at the back of neck under ears.

Storing breast milk

  • 5 days in fridge
  • 2-4 months frozen
  • Never heat breast milk in microwave
    • Uneven heating and break down of enzymes
  • Fat in milk can separate
    • Roll bottle to mix, don't shake to avoid extra air


  • Rice cereal is a good first solid food.
  • Good to give baby choice (e.g. 3 options); not too many to cause confusion though.
  • Setting out baby utensils may be help with familiarization even if they don't use them.
  • Take care with these solid foods:
    • Honey
      • Can have bacteria that's toxic
      • Don't feed until after 2 years old
    • Peanuts
      • Be careful about allergies
    • Citrus
      • Can be too acidic
    • Caffeine
      • Can interfere with absorption of calcium
    • Egg Whites
      • Can be hard to digest
    • Cow's Milk
      • Be careful about allergies


  • Most babies will sleep in 2-4 hour intervals.
  • Generally require 16 hours of sleep per day.
  • By 3rd month, some will start sleeping in 6 hour chunks, total 14-15 hours a day.

Sleep cycle test

Can use this technique to check if baby is in deep sleep and can be set down.

  1. Raise baby's arm 2 inches
  2. Let go
  3. If baby does not stir, they are in deep sleep

Sleep training

This section of the book is actually not that helpful. They try to cover things like self soothing, but they describe them in very high level and general ways. Basically reads like it's telling you to use common sense.


  • Growth spurts at around 10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months can cause restless nights
  • Milestones (baby learned a new skill like sitting, crawling, walking) can result in waking baby wanting to practice those skills.
  • Health related issues such as discomfort, teething, etc. can also disrupt baby's sleep.