ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NEWBORN BABY CARE
No experience can be compared with that of having a baby. Parenthood is a huge step forward and can make one feel deep joy. No matter how much you plan and prepare for the baby’s arrival, you will undoubtedly encounter challenges due to inexperience and other issues. But of course, some apprehension is natural, especially for new parents.
The first few months can be messy and stressful for new parents. Your friends and family will suggest various newborn baby care techniques; however, determining the recommendations for newborn care can be confusing. Newborns come with stress and challenges, but this is also one of the most beautiful and meaningful experiences in your life.
The good news is that many parents and newborn care staff who have experienced the journey have compiled some of the best practices and general guidelines for navigating early childhood. These resources can provide new parents, families, and others like a nanny with the tools they need to tackle the challenges of early parenthood.
TIPS ON NEWBORN CARE
By the age of three, 85% of a child’s brain has developed. Hitherto, any experience will help shape the child’s brain. Repetitive, consistent, predictable, and rich multi-sensory experiences can help your child grow up healthy.
Part of the essential care of newborns is to spend a lot of time interacting with newborn babies and with their sense of touch and smell to help you both get closer together and promote their growth.
1. Handling a Newborn
If you don’t spend a lot of time with your newborn baby, their weaknesses can be daunting.
So, please keep the following basic rules in mind:
- Wash your hands before touching your baby (or use hand sanitizer) to avoid any risk of infection. Ensure everyone who picks up the child has clean hands, and remember this without any exceptions as part of the newborn baby care.
- Support your baby’s head and neck. Newborn care begins with holding the head correctly and supporting the head when carrying the baby upright or letting them sleep.
- Taking care of a newborn baby can be exciting, and we wait for the baby to wake up. If you need to wake your newborn, scratch their feet or gently blow on their cheeks. Remember not to shake the infant while playing or being excited; shaking can cause brain bleeding and even death.
- Make sure your child is securely fastened to the luggage rack, stroller, or car seat. Limit any activities that may be too difficult; this is essential care of a newborn.
- Keep in mind that your newborn is not ready for violent play, such as knee twitches or air jets.
2. Bonding and Soothing:
- Cradling: While cradling, gently touch the baby to establish contact. Both you and your partner can take advantage of “skin-to-skin” opportunities by pressing the newborn against your skin while breastfeeding or weighing.
- Voice bonding: Bond with your baby with your voice. Babies listen to sounds and even music. They respond to the noise around them and can also differentiate between voices.
- Swaddling: It is effective for some babies in the first few weeks and is another relaxation technique that young parents should learn. After holding the child’s arm correctly, their arm should be close to the body, and the leg should move easily. It essentially brings a sense of security and comfort to most newborns.
Massaging is a great way to establish contact with your baby. It also helps to calm the baby, improve blood circulation and digestion. Apply a small amount of baby oil or lotion to your hands and then touch their body gently and rhythmically.
When massaging your baby, maintain eye contact and talk to them. Newborns, especially premature babies and those with health problems, may respond well to a baby massage. In addition, certain types of massages can help your baby grow and develop.
By approximately 15 days of age, the baby loses the root of the umbilical cord. Before that, if massage oil gets inside, it may cause infection. If you plan to take your infant for a group massage, it is recommended that you wait. Until the baby is six weeks old, they may feel stressed if surrounded by many people.
4. Feeding and Burping:
Generally, it is recommended that babies be fed as needed and only when they are hungry. Newborn babies need to be fed every 2–3 hours. If you are breastfeeding, please let your baby breastfeed for 10–15 minutes at a time. If you feed them formula milk, then each feed is likely to be 60–90 ml.
There are no strict regulations on the minimum age for a baby to be massaged. It’s advisable to start massaging a month after your baby is born because the baby’s skin barrier is not fully developed at birth.
When breastfeeding, you must check if your baby is full. If your baby looks full, wets about six diapers, has a few bowel movements a day, sleeps well, and gains weight frequently, then they may be eating enough.
Babies often swallow air while feeding, which may cause anxiety. To prevent this from happening, please hiccup your child frequently. If your baby has flatulence, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or is picky about feeding, try burping every ounce during bottle-feeding or every five minutes during breastfeeding.
Changing diapers frequently is an essential aspect of essential care for newborns. If your baby gets enough breast or formula milk, they will require at least 6-8 diapers daily and have regular bowel movements. You may even need to make changes at least ten times a day.
To change a dirty diaper, you need a swaddle, a soft diaper towel, diaper rash cream or baby powder, and a new diaper. To help prevent urinary tract infections, wipe your baby from front to back instead of back to front.
Diaper rash can be a concern if your baby wears diapers constantly. The rash is usually red and lumpy and disappears within a few days after taking a hot bath, using diaper cream, and not wearing irritating wet or soiled diapers for long. Let your baby not wear diapers for a few hours a day to let the skin feel the natural air and moisture. This will help prevent diaper rash.
Babies don’t generally have a routine day and night like adults. As a result, they tend to be awake more at night and sleepier during the day. One way to help them is to minimize night irritation by keeping the lights dim. If your child wakes up during the day, try talking and playing to keep them awake for a while.
In the first two months, newborns need approximately 16 hours of sleep every night. After that, they usually sleep for 2-4 hours and then wake up hungry and wet. Since your baby needs to be fed every three hours, you may need to wake and feed them.
Additionally, remember to change the position of your baby’s head while sleeping. It prevents a flat head in the future. Finally, make sure to place your baby on their back to avoid suffocation.
7. Sharing the Load:
Try to ask for help during this time as it can be hectic and tiring. Talk to a specialist in your area during your hospital stay. Many hospitals employ lactation consultants or nutrition experts who can guide you on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. There are resources on details of hugging, hiccups, treatment moves, and taking care of a newborn baby.
To get help around the house, please consider hiring a babysitter or a responsible neighborhood teenager to help you as soon as possible after giving birth. Your doctor or hospital can help you find home newborn care information and refer you to a home newborn care provider.
Family and friends often want to help. Even if you disagree on certain things, you should not ignore your experiences. However, if you don’t want to be entertained or have other problems, don’t feel guilty about restricting visitors.