The birth of a new child is undoubtedly the most important and defining moment in the lives of countless parents. While it does bring with it a great sense of optimism, happiness, and hope for the future it can also evoke certain worries and doubts within the parents – Am I good enough? Will I be a good parent? Will I mess this up? So, to help put your mind at ease, here are a few handy tips on how to care for a newborn baby:
Holding your child
As unusual as it may seem to some, the simple act of holding a newborn can often be the most daunting. When carrying your child, remember your primary function is to support the baby’s back and head. Use one hand on each area, remembering not to grip too tightly. This is a cradle more than anything else. Just remember, no fast motions. Be slow and steady.
The umbilical chord
This is a tricky one. While many doctors are now recommending to keep what remains of the umbilical chord treated and sterilized until it eventually falls away, others recommend leaving well alone to let nature take its natural course. This depends entirely on your feelings and the feelings of your chosen doctor. Some people consult the internet but, to play it safe, always prioritize the opinion of a medical professional above all else.
Diapers (or ‘Nappies’)
With newborns, persistence is the key to success in the diaper department. Always make sure you are changing your baby’s diaper regularly, whenever necessary, and be sure to clean your baby’s diaper area with a thorough but gentle touch. There are some fantastic skin-friendly wipes available for this sort of thing. Just be sure to dispose of the wipes quickly and hygienically to avoid exterior contamination. If diaper rash ever occurs be sure to pick up some diaper rash cream from your local pharmacy and follow the instructions carefully.
Meals and burping
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby, make sure all is done in moderation. Babies often act as their own alarm clock when it comes to feeding and will, more often than not, let you know exactly when it’s time for a meal. For breasts, babies usually spend around ten minutes suckling. For bottles, be sure not to over-do it, as three ounces per meal is usually adequate. When it comes to burping, simply support the bottom, with baby’s head balanced on your shoulder, and gently tap their back.
When your baby wakes you every three hours in the night, don’t be alarmed. This is their natural body cycle telling them to tell you it’s time for food. Also, be sure to place the baby on their back for sleep and avoid any fluffy bedding material at all costs. These kinds of material can produce small strands of fabric which, for an infant, are easy to choke on.…