As soon as you learn about your pregnancy, you can’t stop thinking about your baby. What will they look like? How will life change?
It’s a beautiful phase. But it comes with many responsibilities. Taking care of a newborn is no joke, and it’s important to be prepared for this new journey in every way you can.
From learning the importance of breastfeeding and the basics of swaddling to understanding the signs of teething, there’s a lot you need to be aware of.
Heading home from the hospital with a hungry, soiled-diapered bundle of joy can make you feel scared. But you’ll do just fine. You have exceptional instincts, and you’ll learn the ropes as you go.
To help you get started, here are a few tips for taking care of your newborn.
You’ll be in a different zone when your little human is finally in your arms, cooing and gurgling. Plus, sleep deprivation (no escaping that!) can make it difficult to think clearly and stay focused. But you need to watch out for any signs of discomfort and illness in your child.
Childbirth injuries are a common occurrence. From cephalohematomas to neonatal jaundice and even a fractured clavicle, you must be aware of the signs and symptoms. It’ll help you take immediate action and help ease your child’s pain.
Plus, if the injury results from medical negligence, knowing your facts will put you in a better position to fight for justice. Feeling lost? Don’t worry; resources like childbirthinjuries.com can help you understand your rights.
Keep your baby close
Cradle your little angel in your arms for as long as possible. Newborns need to be close to humans for comfort and warmth. So, skin-to-skin contact is essential in the first few weeks after birth.
Holding your baby to your chest can help regulate their body temperature, and it’s also beneficial for both of you. Studies suggest skin-to-skin contact calms the baby, stables their heart rate, and helps them adapt to life outside the womb. It’s also the best way to bond with your baby. You’ll feel their heartbeat and smell their sweet head; these little moments will help you create precious memories.
Understand the feeding pattern
Breastfeeding vs. formula is a hot topic of debate. The experts recommend breastfeeding for at least the first six months. It helps strengthen immunity and reduces allergies. But don’t let “breast is best” pressure you to decide. Formula feed works just as well if you can’t or don’t want to breastfeed.
What’s more important than the food source is its amount. As a rule of thumb, your baby needs to feed every two to three hours. Don’t worry, though; this isn’t going to last forever. As the baby grows, the frequency of feeds will decrease, but the feed volume will increase.
Look for hunger cues like restlessness, opening and closing the mouth, and rooting. Your baby won’t always cry when hungry. And so, it’s essential to pay attention to their behavior.
Learn the basics of bathing
A baby’s delicate skin needs extra care, and it’s important to understand the basics of bathing.
First, ensure the water is lukewarm (not hot or too cold). Keep the soap and shampoo minimal; their bodies don’t need too much cleansing. Plus, harsh chemicals can irritate a baby’s skin. And when dry, don’t forget to moisturize using a gentle lotion.
Remember, newborns can’t regulate their body temperatures as well as adults. So, keep the room warm, or your baby can easily catch a cold.
For new parents, bath times can be scary. What if you drop the baby? What if they hit their delicate head on the tap? So, we recommend you use a baby bathtub.
Listen to what the diaper says
It’s not just about wearing a fresh diaper; you also need to pay attention to the number of wet and dirty diapers.
Your newborn should have at least four to five wet diapers daily and three to four stools. If your baby isn’t having enough liquid or solid, it could be a sign of dehydration, constipation, allergies, or infection.
It’s also essential to keep their skin dry and healthy. Change wet diapers as soon as possible, and watch out for any rashes and redness. Also, any color and texture changes in the stool could indicate an underlying health issue. It’s best to contact your pediatrician immediately if you spot any irregularities.
Set rules for visitors
There’s something magical about a newborn. Maybe it’s their tiny feet or how their eyes light up when they get to know you. Either way, everyone wants a piece of your newborn’s time and affection. But is your child ready?
Newborns are more prone to catch infections. So, setting rules for visitors and ensuring they follow hygiene protocols is crucial. Ask them to wash their hands and avoid touching the baby’s face. And kisses? They are a definite no-no!
Plus, your little one needs to adapt to their environment. And keeping visitors away for a few weeks can help them adjust.
Stay stocked up
You have no idea how much stuff these tiny little creatures need. Diapers, wipes, diaper creams, and onesies — the list goes on! You probably already have emptied your pockets on these items, but it never hurts to cross-check. After all, with a new life in the home, you can never be over-prepared.
So, make a list of things you need and keep re-stocking them. Also, keeping a few extra pieces of clothing in your bag when heading out with your bundle of joy will be a great idea. And if you notice your milk supply is low, you should have Kendamil formula ready for emergencies. Trust us; a hungry baby can be pretty demanding!
Sleep when the baby sleeps
You’ve gone through a demanding phase of ten months (and counting). Your body is still in recovery from the labor and delivery. And now, you’re expected to look after a newborn 24/7.
It’s not easy; we understand. But here’s a piece of advice that can help you get through the times: sleep when the baby sleeps. It may not sound like much, but it can make a huge difference.
Having enough rest is essential for your well-being. During our sleep time, our bodies can recuperate and recharge. It’s also the best way to tackle exhaustion. So, put on some white noise, dim the lights, and rest well. It’s worth it — trust us!
Having a newborn in the house can be both exciting and overwhelming. You have to take extra care of them, especially during their first few weeks. So, spend as much time as you can with your little one, and don’t forget to get some rest.
Also, remember to manage visitors wisely and keep the baby’s room warm and comfortable. And above all, enjoy each moment of the journey. You’ve heard it before, and here’s one more time: they grow up too fast!