Jumping into parenthood for the first time can be exhilarating. It fills you with many questions and feelings of nervousness and excitement. The initial months of having a newborn baby is extremely overwhelming. Parents are unsure about many things and how to properly cater to their child which is why they are flooded with advises which often contradict. This article sums up all the baby care tips by W1D.net to let you have a smooth time through this challenging phase of life.

Tips for Tending to the Newborn Baby

Hold your child properly

Many people especially fathers do not know how to hold a newborn baby. This is
partly due to anxiety and partly because they do not know how to. While holding the baby, it is important to gently grasp the neck and head with another hand. A newborn baby does not have strong neck muscles to hold the head on its own. Moreover, the backbone of the baby is still weak and in the process of growth.

The baby’s neck can support the head independently only after three months. Therefore, always keep a firm hold on your baby’s neck and head.

Feeding the baby

A newborn baby is hungry most of the time and needs milk regularly for proper growth. A normal baby needs at least one feed after every two or three hours. This means that in a day, you need to feed the infant from 8 to 12 times. Do note that for the first 6 months, the baby should only be given breast milk. Since the infant stage is vulnerable, the breast milk provides the baby with antibodies and proper nutrition which helps the baby grow. Each feeding session takes about ten minutes. If the mother can not feed her breast milk, then ask the doctor for a milk formula. Remember that each feeding should contain 60 to 90 ml of formula.

Make the baby burp

After feeding the baby, the next step is to allow burping. Babies need to burp because while they are drinking milk, they swallow air as well. This swallowing produces colic and gas in the stomach which after they burp, is released. This excess air needs to be eliminated in order to digest and avoid the stomach colic
and spit-ups. Making the baby burp is easy. Just hold the baby against the chest and gently pat or massage the back slowly.

Take care of the umbilical cord

This care is crucial in the first month. It is important to give the baby a bath with warm water after 2-6 hours. The navel area should be kept dry and clear. In order to make the stump dry, the diaper should be folded downwards. Your hands should be hygienically clean before you touch the navel. After the bath, dry the area with a clean cloth or towel which is absorbent. Observe the cord-stump area every day to check if there is any swelling, red spots, pus secretion or bleeding. If there is, take you baby to a paediatrician.

Bathe your baby

This is a very risky thing which is why an additional person is required from the family to support the child as well. Be prepared with all the bath related and changing supplies beforehand which include an absorbent towel, a mild baby soap, baby lotion, lukewarm water, washcloth, new diaper and clean clothes. The infant is bathed after 2-6 hours of birth. However, if the baby is premature, has low weight or has catched a cold, the bath should be delayed accordingly. After the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, the baby is safe to bathe two to three times per week. A tip for new mothers is that if you bathe your baby before sleeping, the chances of having a deep sleep will increase. Remember that you shouldn’t use the soap too much as it will make the baby’s skin dry.

Know how to put on diapers

It is a fact that newborn babies need a lot of diapers. A healthy baby needs to get the diapers changed 6-8 diapers per day. This number can even go to ten times. Therefore, in order to avoid rash, change your baby’s diapers as soon as it gets full. The supplies needed for doing this task are baby wipes, baby powder, rash cream (in case there is a rash) and a new diaper. It is better if you wipe from front to back because it prevents UTI. Moreover, free your baby from the diaper a few hours every day.

Massage

Massaging an infant has numerous benefits. Firstly, it speeds up the digestion process. Secondly, it regulates the blood flow and most importantly, you can
bond with your child in a loving manner. In order to massage your baby, apply baby lotion or oil on your hands then stroke the body gently. You can even sing a lullaby to the baby with eye contact. It is best if you massage before the bathing time.

Sleep time

No one sleeps as much as newborn babies do. An average infant needs 16 hours of sleep per day for the first two months. Babies only wake up if they are hungry or if the diaper is soiled. Similarly, infants have to get fed after 3 hours. Sometimes the mother has to wake up the baby in order to feed. However, every infant is different and it is not necessary that your baby should follow the same sleeping pattern. While the baby is sleeping, shift the position of the head so that no flat spots are created. Also make the baby sleep on the back so that no suffocation takes place. As the mothers of newborn babies hardly get any sleep, they also sleep along with the baby as it is a good chance. While others carry out other chores.

Quality time with the baby

Parents look forward to playing and spending time with their child. But there are a few things to keep in mind. Wash your hands or use a disinfectant before holding your child because their immunity is low. You should not violently shake your baby because the organs are not properly formed yet and they can be damaged. Throwing the baby in the air is risky so avoid doing that. Securely fasten the seat belt of the car, stroller or baby carrier so that the baby does not fall. Lie your baby down on the stomach side for a few minutes every day to strengthen the back and neck muscles.