Formerly the Welcome Baby Newsletter


Month 1: Newsletters for Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4

Week 1

Our focus for Week 1 is breastfeeding. 

Week 1 Milestone

At 1 week old your newborn will:

  • recognize voices and may move her eyes, arms or body in response to a familiar voice.


As you get to know each other, give your baby:

  • Eye-to-eye contact while you smile, talk, sing or hum.

  • Skin-to-skin contact, especially so that she can hear your heartbeat.

  • Comfort when he needs it. It’s impossible to spoil a newborn during these first months!

Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension. 


Community Resources 

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Nevada County offers expertise, community and a wide range of resources to support breastfeeding mothers. Their website includes links to local breastfeeding support groups as well as lactation specialists and consultants in the region, including Nevada City-Grass Valley and Truckee. 

California Women, Infants & Children provides no-cost professional lactation consultant and peer counseling services as well as a variety of breast pumps and supplemental foods to those who qualify.

Nuts and Bolts for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding may be natural but it is not automatic! It's a skill that both mom and baby will need to learn and practice together. Here are some guidelines that may help.


How do I know my baby is getting enough milk? 
Day 1: 1 wet diaper & 1 dirty diaper 
Day 2: 2 wet diapers & 2+ dirty diapers 
Day 3: 3 wet diapers & 2+ dirty diapers 
Day 4: 4 wet diapers & 3+ dirty diapers 
Day 5: 5 wet diapers & 3+ dirty diapers 
Day 6: 6 wet diapers & 4+ dirty diapers 
Day 7: 6 wet diapers & 4+ dirty diapers 

Stools will go from dark to yellower and seedy over the first week as more milk travels through. Babies need to eat 10-12 times per 24 hours. You should hear swallows after several sucks. 

Do I need a lactation consultant? 
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are allied health care professionals, with extensive training and experience. Many hours of clinical experience and continuing education are required as well as a global board examination every ten years. They can help answer all sorts of questions you might have about breastfeeding. There are many good reasons to consult with a specialist on breastfeeding, including: 

  • Sore nipples

  • Low - or high - weight gain

  • Trouble latching

  • Using nipple shield

  • Constantly nursing

  • Painful breasts

  • Milk supply worries

  • Plugged ducts

  • Baby needs constant soothing and motion

  • Pumping issues

  • Diet questions

  • Medication concerns

  • Fountains of spit-up

  • Fussiness or “colic” 

For information on local lactation consultants check out the resources section above or contact one of these providers directly: 

Sue Train, RN/TFH Perinatal Services
Tahoe Forest Hospital 
Truckee, CA 
(530) 582-3247 

Katie DaMota, MAS, IBCLC 
The Nest, Nevada City 
Nevada City, CA 
(530) NEST-411 

Arly Helm, MS, IBCLC 
(530) 271-BABY 

Kris Jessen-Mather, PNP, IBCLC 
Sierra Care Physicians 
Grass Valley, CA 
(530) 272-9780 

Cindy Wilson, PHN, IBCLC 
Nevada County Public Health 
(530) 265-7269 

When should I call my doctor?

It's important to be patient as mom and baby get the hang of breastfeeding. But it's time to call your doctor if your baby: 

  • Has a dry mouth

  • Had red-colored urine

  • Has yellow skin 

  • Does not have enough wet or dirty diapers 

  • Will not wake up to eat at least 8 times in 24 hours


Week 2

This featured article, "Getting to Know You New Baby," offers some tips to help with the ups and downs of your first few weeks at home with your newborns.

Week 2 Milestone

At two weeks old, your baby may:

  • Open and close his mouth in response when someone speaks near his face. Try putting your face 8 to 10 inches away and see if he tries to "talk back" to you! 

  • Experience a growth spurt, which provokes constant hunger, shorter sleep intervals, fussiness or irritability while feeding. Click here for tips on dealing with infant growth spurts.

"CPR for Family and Friends"

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s “CPR for Family & Friends” course provides lifesaving techniques for infants and children to age eight. Classes are only $5.00 per person and are held on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Pre-registration is required! For information on upcoming classes or to sign up, call (530) 274-6108.


Nevada County Diaper Project

Did you know that infants need up to 12 diapers a day?!?


The Nevada County Diaper Project provides diapers for the young, low-income families in the area. Diapers are distributed through Interfaith Food Ministry, Pampered Earth Stores, Chapa de and Miners Clinics. 

Community Resource: Women, Infants, and Children

WIC is a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, mothers with infants, infants and young children eat well, be active, and stay healthy. 

Your local WIC Agency is:

Nevada County Public Health WIC Program
988 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA - (530) 265-1454


WIC offers families:

  • Nutrition and Health education, including prenatal and child nutrition, breastfeeding, parenting tips and more.

  • Education and support for breastfeeding babies, including group classes, one-on-one support from a peer counselor or lactation specialist, and loan of a breast pump.

  • Checks to buy healthy foods.

  • Help finding health care and other community services.


You work hard to raise a healthy family. WIC can help!


Getting to Know Your New Baby

Nothing compares to caring for a newborn. No matter how much you’ve read, heard or dreamed about becoming a parent, getting to know your own baby is a unique, often overwhelming, experience.


Here are a few tips that may help you through the ups and downs of your first month together:


Despite what you’ve heard about love at first sight, parents fall in love with their babies gradually. The attachment between you and your newborn will grow over time.


Feeding, changing, bathing and soothing a newborn are all time-consuming activities. They also offer opportunities for play. Get face-to-face and talk or sing to your baby. Soon you’ll develop a special language just for her.


Gradually you’ll learn if your baby’s crying and other cues mean she’s hungry, tired, wet or just needs to release tension. In the meantime, comforting him is a matter of trial and error. Going outside for some fresh air may help both of you. Try sitting in the sun, going for a walk or even a ride in the car. Some babies are soothed by hearing the noise of a fan, running water, or the vacuum cleaner.


Four out of five babies have daily crying episodes that last from 15 minutes to an hour and can’t be readily explained. Often this crying occurs in the evenings, which suggests it may have something to do with overstimulation after a full day of observing and interacting with the world.


Colic is characterized by a high-pitched scream rather than a cry, and can occur in the second or third week for several hours each day. Baby’s legs are usually drawn up to her stomach or stretched straight out and her face is red. Colic reaches its peak at 6 weeks and usually ends at around 3 months. This can be extremely stressful, but studies show that babies with colic are healthy and continue to thrive.


You may enjoy holding your bare-skinned baby (in a warm room, under a blanket, or in a warm bath) against your bare chest so he can hear and feel your heartbeat, which has comforted him for months in your womb.


Ask rather than worry. Your baby’s doctor and other parents are resources if you have questions about any aspect of your baby’s care.


Remember, there’s no other job more demanding than caring for a newborn! Friends and family can help – by cooking meals, doing laundry, and providing companionship. Your partner can change diapers and bring you the baby when she needs to be breastfed, or if you’re bottle-feeding, handle a feeding so you can sleep. Parenting is easiest when it’s shared and others are eager to help.


Some parents find it helpful to track their baby’s schedule, which will change frequently in the first few weeks. On paper, you’ll be able to see how truly time consuming caring for your infant is.


Feeling blue at a time when you expected to be happy is tough, but it’s normal. For most moms, the period of feeling down (crying for no apparent reason, irritability, anxiety and restlessness) passes within a few days. If you feel this way for longer than a week, or if your feelings are so strong you can’t cope, call your doctor or Welcome Baby.


Try not to be a mind reader or expect your partner to be one. Ask how your partner feels and share how you’re feeling. This is a tough time for both of you: communication is key.


If you’re a single parent, seek out a listener who knows what it’s like to care for a newborn.


Remember, in these first few weeks while you and your baby are getting to know one another, whatever works for soothing and sleeping is the right thing to do. You can worry about establishing patterns and schedules once you get past the newborn period. Some call this the “fourth trimester” as the baby learns how to be in the world.

Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.

Week 3

Here are three great community resources plus a link to information on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The featured article, "Newborns and Sleep," offers some tips to help your baby (and you!) get the rest you need.


Need Resources? 


Dial 2-1-1

211 Nevada County is a resource and information hub that can help you connect to over 4,000 family-focused community programs and services in Nevada County.  

Confidential. Free. Multilingual/TTY. Available 24 hours a day. Just pick up any phone and dial 2-1-1 to talk with a specialist. 

First 5 Nevada County

In partnership with the community, First 5 Nevada County creates and supports programs that promote health, wellness, and education for children ages 0-5 and their parents. Make the First 5 website your first stop for information about child development and local resources and activities for Nevada County families.  



Get FREE text messages on prenatal care, baby health, parenting and more! 


Never Shake a Baby!

Babies, newborn to one year (especially babies ages 2 to 4 months), are at greatest risk of injury from shaking. Though most cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome are accidental, the consequences can be devastating, leading to permanent disability and even death. Click the title link above for Shaken Baby safety and prevention information. 


Newborns and Sleep

For most new parents, a good night’s sleep is a distant memory. While some infants seem to have their days and nights confused, others sleep only a couple of hours before waking to be fed or changed. During these first few months, nothing will seem more precious to you than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.


It may help to realize that there’s no such thing as normal infant sleep behavior. Like adults, babies have different needs for sleep. Most babies aren’t capable of sleeping through the night until they are between 4 and 6 months old. A regular nap schedule will also take several months to establish, although your baby may have the same schedule for several days or even a week.


Be kind to yourself. Sleep deprivation is emotionally and physically draining. Try to rest or nap when your baby’s asleep, and take heart – eventually she will begin to sleep for longer stretches at night.


Here are some tips that may help:

  • Try letting your baby sleep during the day in a well-lit room near family activities. At night, move her to sleep in a darkened room and handle night feedings in a businesslike way. Save playing, singing and talking for daytime.

  • Begin establishing a bedtime routine: i.e., bath, feeding, stories. Putting her down when she’s sleepy, but still awake, will help her learn to fall asleep by herself. 

  • Most babies are ready for the first nap an hour and a half after they wake up. Try putting your baby down then. It’s easier for babies to fall asleep before they are overtired and showing signs of sleepiness. And getting regular sleep during the day helps them sleep well at night.

  • Wait until he’s really awake and crying to pick him up for nighttime feedings. The only exception is a quiet, sleepy baby who is eating less than 6-8 times in 24 hours. She needs to be awakened to eat.

  • Expect sleep patterns to be disrupted if you travel, if your baby is sick or about to reach a new developmental milestone (such as turning over) or a growth spurt. 

  • Try giving your child a bath as part of the bedtime routine: a falling body temperature is one of the body’s clues that it is time to sleep and when you get out of a warm bath, your body temperature falls. Some babies are more “revved up” than soothed by a bath – watch your baby and figure out if this might work for him. 

  • In the first few weeks, many babies sleep better when swaddled tightly in a blanket (just make sure the blanket can’t get loose and cover the baby’s face). Need instructions on swaddling? Click here!


Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension. 

Week 4

Now that you've had a month to get to know each other, it's time to focus on having fun! The feature article below, "Ready, Set, PLAY!" will give you some ideas for when and how to play with your one-month-old, as well as some resources for connecting with other parents.

Month 1 Milestone

By one month old, your baby can: 

  • track a brightly colored object with his eyes. Try holding up a baby toy and moving it slowly across his line of vision. He might even turn his head to keep looking at the toy.


The Nest

This nonprofit volunteer organization offers childbirth and parenting resources for Nevada County families. A wide range of classes provide essential and alternative support from a variety of perspectives and philosophies in order to best support the greater community. 


Partners Family Resource Centers

People and Resources Together: A Network of Education, Recreation and Support


Where Nevada County families and community members gather for support, information, resources, and FUN!

Locations in Grass Valley, Ready Springs, and San Juan Ridge. 

Looking to Connect Online?

Check out these local Facebook Groups!


Nevada County Parents of New Kids 

Nevada County Parents 



Ready, Set, PLAY!

Very young babies spend their time in one of six states of consciousness: quiet sleep, active sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert, or crying.


Newborns often have trouble regulating their state and seem to drift between two states, especially active sleep and drowsy. Over the first few weeks, babies get better at – and more obvious about – being in one state or the other.


Recognizing "Play Mode"

Babies are most ready to play when they are in the “quiet alert” state: eyes open, body relatively still. With a very young baby, this is most likely to be after waking, before becoming hungry.


One way to tell when your baby is ready to play is to read his cues: when his eyes are wide open with brows raised, and he’s looking right at you, your baby is saying “I’m ready to play!” This state usually makes up only about 10% of a newborn’s day – so look for it!


Active alert is when the baby is moving about quite a bit and may be making small sounds. It usually occurs right before eating or when fussing. Although older children are ready to play when they are active, newborns in this state are usually gearing up for eating or crying. If you try to play at this point, the baby will not respond well – she’ll most likely start to fuss or cry. Instead, look for those quiet alert moments to engage your baby.


Playing with Your One-Month-Old

By one month, your child will probably be staying awake for an hour or more at a time and will be ready for a little more interaction with you. When you catch your baby in that “quiet alert” state, it’s time to play!


Nursery Rhymes

Babies love the sound of their parents’ voices (they’ve been listening to you for months already) and are particularly interested in rhythmic language like “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle/the cow jumped over the moon. Try saying simple rhymes, like nursery rhymes, to your baby. You can get a book of nursery rhymes at the library or one of our many local bookstores.


Funny Face 
Babies enter the world ready to interact – and their favorite thing to look at is another human face. Give her yours to get to know. Try sticking your tongue out or opening your mouth wide and then closing it when your baby is looking at you. Then watch closely: she will probably imitate you!


Babies also love to look at other babies. Show her pictures in a magazine or look for board books with photos of babies in them. Talk to her about what she’s seeing; the more words she hears from you, the more words she’ll know – which will one day help her succeed in school.