Once you’re done with pregnancy, labor, and delivery, it’s time for you to go home and begin your new life with your baby. However, once you’re home, you may feel completely lost!
The arrival of a new baby usually brings a lot of excitement and activity – along with some stress and fatigue. However, fret not. Following the tips mentioned below, even the most nervous parents can feel confident about caring for their newborns.
1. Take care of yourself
Don’t consider caffeine a main food group or as a sleep substitute.
Drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, and get out into the fresh air instead. Plan a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and take care of the baby while the baby sleeps. You will be able to care for your newborn with more energy if you practice good habits.
2. Keep an eye out for rare birth defects
While all babies cry and give you a hard time, there are occasions where they also sleep peacefully and interact with anticipating faces. If you feel your child is constantly crying and can’t seem to feed or sleep peacefully, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor.
There’s a chance they may be suffering from congenital disabilities, which are not easily visible. No matter if you have a prenatal ultrasound done, some defects, such as cerebral palsy, are caused during birth and can go undetected for months. Early diagnosis can play a crucial role in your child’s health. You might want to read the Cerebral Palsy guide to know which direction you must take for support.
3. Feeding the baby
When it comes to how often to feed your newborn, you may be stumped.
Babies should generally be fed on demand – whenever they appear hungry. If your baby cries, puts fingers in their mouth, or suckers, that is a cue.
Newborns need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. Breastfeeding mothers should let their baby nurse for ten to fifteen minutes. When formula-feeding, your baby typically consumes 2–3 ounces (60–90 milliliters) per feeding.
If you’re experiencing stress or overwhelming, consider getting help. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts around you questions while in the hospital. Lactation consultants can assist you if you’re interested in breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. You can also ask nurses for help holding, burping, and caring for your infant.
4. Establish visiting rules
Friends and relatives might show up to see your newborn. Let them know what days and times work best for you. Make sure anyone who holds the baby washes their hand first. It may also be a good idea to politely ask anyone who is feeling ill to stay home.
5. Consider getting home care assistance
If you need in-home help in the days following birth, you might consider hiring a baby nurse, a postpartum doula, or enlist the assistance of a responsible neighborhood teen. Additionally, the hospital staff or your physician can advise you on in-home assistance and might suggest a home health agency.
6. Heed the words of wise
It is not uncommon for relatives and friends to want to help as well. Don’t dismiss their experience just because you disagree with them on certain points. However, if you don’t feel comfortable having guests over for any reason, you shouldn’t feel bad about restricting visitors.
7. Consider Infant massages
Massage may be beneficial to premature and medically ill babies as well. Various types of massage can enhance bonding and encourage infant growth and development.
Your doctor can recommend books and videos that cover infant massage. The strength of a baby is not as great as an adult, so be careful when massaging your baby.
8. Bonding and Soothing
Bonding is one of the most enjoyable aspects of infant care. Physical closeness can foster emotional connections. The earliest hours and days after birth are sensitive times when parents make a deep connection with their infants. An infant’s attachment contributes to their emotional development, which also impacts their physical development.
A bonding experience can also be described as “falling in love” with your baby. The unconditional love of a parent or other adult in a child’s life makes them thrive.
9. Take care of the lighting
Some babies are sensitive to touch, light, or sound. They may be light sleepers or don’t respond well to waking up sooner than expected. Some babies would turn away from people when they are spoken to or sung to. If this is the case with your child, it is wise always to keep light and noise levels low.
10. Talk to them
Typically, babies are attracted to vocal sounds such as cooing, talking, singing, or babbling. They may even like listening to music. A baby rattle and a mobile musical help stimulate your infant’s hearing. If your little one is fussy, sing, recite poetry and nursery rhymes, or read aloud as you sway or rock him gently.
First-time parents should learn this soothing technique early on. The proper way to swaddle a baby is to keep their arms close to the body while allowing the legs to move. Swaddling keeps a baby warm. It also seems to give them a sense of security and comfort. Furthermore, swaddling may prevent a baby from waking up from a startle reflex.
12. Go with the flow
Every day, allow ample time for breastfeeding, napping, and crying. Be sure to take time to pack and change diapers when heading out.
13. Diaper needs are real
Before you bring your baby home, decide whether you’ll use cloth diapers or disposables. No matter what you choose, expect to change your little one’s dirty diapers about 70 times a week.
If your baby’s diaper is wet after a bowel movement, lay them on the back and remove the dirty diaper. Clean their bottom using water, cotton, or gentle wipes.
14. How to Avoid Diaper rash?
Diaper rash is a frequent problem. The rash is typically red and bumpy and should disappear in a few days with a warm bath and some diaper cream. Rashes usually occur when a wet or poopy diaper irritates a baby’s sensitive skin.
It is important to change your baby’s diaper and clean the area with water to avoid a rash. Alternatively, you may want to use cloth diapers or leave them diaper-free for some time during the day. However, ensure you wash the cloth diaper with a dye and fragrance-free detergent.
It won’t be long before the newborn days are over. Even in the midst of chaos, take a step back and enjoy the moment. Despite our best efforts, parenting is a challenge. However, you can benefit from the new stress that comes with parenting if you learn how to handle it. With these tips, taking excellent care of your child will be easy.