Welcoming a baby and walking on the path of parenthood is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences in life. Although, it is well known that no matter how much we cherish this journey, caring for a new-born is exhausting and challenging and first-time parents may find the initial few months with their new-born a bit chaotic and overwhelming. Getting all kinds of contradicting advice and tips on baby care, will leave you confused.
To help you make a more informed and easy choice with regards to your baby’s care we have come up with some crisp but essential tips.
It is extremely important to feed the baby timely. New-borns have to be fed every 2 to 3 hours for 10 minutes at least which means 8-12 times in 24 hours. Ideally, infants should be fed breast milk for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding cannot be skipped if you want a healthy baby because breast milk contains vital nutrients and antibodies. In case breastfeeding isn’t possible due to some reasons, the baby should be fed formula as per the doctor’s recommendation.
You need to make your baby burp, once you are done with feeding. This is important because babies swallow air while feeding, leading to gas and colic in their tummies. This excess air can be expelled by burping which helps in digestion and prevents spit-ups and stomach colic. You can do this by gently holding your baby against your chest and patting the back until you hear the burp.
3. Holding the Baby
You need to pay attention while you hold the baby.Make sure you clean your hands using hand sanitizer wipes. Knowing the right way is very important because an infant’s muscles aren’t strong yet. So, you need togently support your baby’s head and neck with one hand while you’re holding them in your arms. The backbone is also still growing and becoming stronger. An infant’s neck will be able to support the head on its own only after 3 months of age.
You need to be very alert and careful about when and how your baby’s diaper needs to be changed. If your baby is being fed sufficiently, you will need to change at least 6 to 8 diapers in a day. To do this you will need a diaper, you will need a changing sheet, gentle wipes, rash cream or baby powder and some fresh diapers. But remember to leave your baby without a diaper for a few hours each day, this will prevent unnecessary irritation and rashes. The best idea is to buy bulk diapers and bulk baby wipes as you will need a lot of them.
5. Umbilical Cord Stump Care
Caring for the baby’s umbilical cord stump is an important aspect of baby care. Instead of bathing the baby for the first 2 weeks, go for a lukewarm sponge bath. Make sure to keep the navel area clean and dry. For this purpose, use a damp and dry cloth interchangeably according to the requirement. Keep an eye on infections, if you notice any signs of redness, swelling, smelly discharge and bleeding in the navel area, take your baby to the paediatrician as soon as possible.
6. Skin Care
The skin of your baby is extremely delicate and sensitive so you need to be extra careful while handling your baby. Make sure you use a mildhand sanitizer wipes to clean your hands. Mild baby lotion can be used to gently moisturize and protect their skin. Use baby wipes and cotton balls to clean the skin every few hours.
7. Gentle Massaging
Massaging your baby gently is not only nourishing and soothing but also helps you establish a bond. It is said that massaging can help the baby to sleep soundly and also helps in blood circulation and digestion. Use mild baby oil to stroke the baby’s body and gently massage along.
Since this is quite a delicate task for new parents you can start by bathing your baby 3 times a week at least once the stump cord has dried and fallen off. Keep all your essential supplies like baby soap, mild shampoo, towel, infant bathtub, body lotion, wipes, dry clothes, fresh diaper, etc. ready and for a more soothing experience go for it before the baby’s naptime to ensure a sound sleep for your baby. If needed, take your family members to help for the same. Since the baby’s skin is very sensitive, always be gentle and avoid harsh or rough strokes.
9. Sound Sleep
Babies love sleeping. In fact, they can sleep for 16-18 hours also which is a good sign in the first 2 months. Babies don’t have very intense naps; they tend to get disturbed easily so make sure to put your baby to sleep in a quiet and comfortable place. Their nap time can last to 2- 4 hours, waking up mostly when they’re either hungry or wet. In the midst of all this, do not forget to feed your baby timely. Don’t panic if your baby has a slightly different sleep pattern since all babies are different and have their own cycle. Take extra care about your baby’s sleeping position and surroundings.
10. Trimming Nails
The nails of an infant grow very quickly. Long nails may harm the baby hence it is important to clip and trim them timely. Using the regular adult nail clipper near a baby is not recommended since they are too large and sharp for their tiny sensitive fingers. So, to ensure their safety use a small one with rounded tips that are made especially for infants.
Ensuring the good health of your baby is one of the most important aspects. Never ignore any symptoms of sickness in your baby. Apart from taking the preventive measures prescribed by your doctor, keep certain items such as heating pad, digital thermometer, and nasal aspirator at your home. This will help you to use them as soon as you notice your baby suffering from cold, fever or respiratory problems. However, do not merely rely on this and visit a paediatrician when need be.
Stepping into parenthood and caring for a baby can be quite perplexing and exhausting, so parents should take care of their health and comfort too, only then will they be able to raise their child in a healthy manner.