Becoming first-time parents brings happiness and excitement as you embark on a new chapter in your life and experience parenthood for the first time. Though it is a time for celebration, it can also be challenging as you learn more about the life changes ahead of you.
For first-time parents, the first few months with a newborn can be unstable and overwhelming. Everyone will give you points of view about newborn baby care. Caring for a newborn is exhausting and challenging, but it is also one of the most delightful and rewarding experiences.
When it is your first time caring for a newborn, we understand it would be overwhelming. But preparation is the key to successfully transitioning into parenthood and caring for a newborn baby. It will allow you to avoid stressful situations or to deal with the unavoidable scenarios childcare brings that you cannot prepare for. With that, here are newborn baby care basics to help you with your parenting journey:
Get Assistance Following Childbirth
Taking care of your newborn while recuperating from delivery might be overwhelming. Before leaving the hospital, learning from the professionals would be helpful. Request the advice of the hospital’s lactation expert or the pediatrician assigned for baby care to know how to breastfeed your baby.
It would also be a good idea to hire a babysitter to care for the newborn baby and the mother. This way first-time moms can focus on recovery while the baby is still well-taken care of. You can also get assistance from trusted family members, relatives, and close friends with experience, as they may have experiences to share.
When your carry your baby
When holding your baby upright or placing them down, supporting their head and neck is necessary. Before you leave the hospital, nurses can educate you on how to carry your baby. Wash your hands before holding your infant since they are more susceptible to infection because they still do not have a strong immune system. Skin-to-skin contact while cradling your infant is one of the best methods to bond and build an intimate connection with your baby.
When you change their diapers
Before changing your baby’s diaper, ensure you have everything you need, including a new diaper, lukewarm water, a towel or diaper wipes, and diaper cream. It eliminates the need to leave them alone while you get something. Place your baby on their back and change their diaper. Wipe your baby clean with a cloth and warm water. You can also use cotton balls soaked in water or diaper wipes. To avoid diaper rash, change your baby’s diapers often after bowel movements. Clean and dry their bottoms after changing their diapers because dampness might cause diaper rash. You can also use diaper cream to treat or prevent diaper rash.
When you bathe your baby
When bathing your newborn, always use lukewarm water and limit baths to no more than 10 minutes. It can help your baby’s skin irritation. If your baby has inherited allergies or sensitive skin, apply hypoallergenic skin cream after bathing and only allow them to wear cotton clothing.
Wash your baby’s face with a mild soap, especially if they have baby rashes. Baby rashes are normal and won’t be harmful to your baby. Examine the area behind their ears, around their neck, under their arms, and their genital area. Wash their hair three times per week with gentle baby shampoo. If they have a dry scalp, gently remove the scales using a baby hairbrush or soft toothbrush. This condition usually disappears after a few months.
When ready to bathe your newborn in the tub, ensure the water is just 5 to 8 centimeters deep. Place your baby’s feet in the tub, then support their head as you lower them in. Make sure the water only reaches their chest. Pour water over your baby’s body on a regular basis to keep them warm, and wrap them in a towel after the bath. It is critical to keep their heads covered to keep them warm. Never leave the baby alone in the washroom. And if you must go, wrap them in a towel and bring them with you.
When you feed your baby
Your baby should be fed every two to three hours or when they are hungry. They give many subtle signs that they are ready to eat. To indicate that they are hungry, your baby may make swallowing motions and sounds, cry or put their fingers in their mouth.
If breastfeeding, your baby may consume 60ml to 90ml of formula milk or 10 to 15 minutes at each breast. You may need to wake your baby every few hours to ensure that they eat enough. Also burping your newborn on a regular basis is essential since babies swallow air while feeding. There are several methods for burping your newborn. Place your baby’s head on your shoulder while holding them upright. Ensure your baby’s back and the head is supported, and softly pat their back with your other hand. If your infant does not burp, change their posture every few minutes. Always burp your baby after eating and keep them upright for at least 10 – 15 minutes afterward. It keeps milk from spitting up on them.
It is normal to be anxious and uneasy about caring for a newborn for the first time. Nonetheless, you will quickly establish a rhythm and be able to offer all the care your baby requires to grow up happily and healthily. Discuss any concerns you have with your pediatrician, and they will offer assistance and advice to help care for your baby for the better.