Ah, the thrill (and rising sense of “I don’t know what I’m doing! Help!!!”) Your first little bundle of joy is brought home. I have always learned that being a new parent is one sleepless night after another, constantly trying to learn the ancient art of wrapping baby burrito and lots and lots. Of stinky diapers. Yeah, none of that’s too far away, but I have some ideas that will make it much easier for the whole first-baby conundrum!
- Getting the baby to sleep
The sleeping problems of newborns come from the fact that it’s always dark and cozy inside the womb, and the baby is used to it. So, once they come into our world, they have to adjust to changes in light. In the morning, try to keep the room illuminated and dim the lights at night.. This will help your little
one understands the difference between daytime and night. Your ‘almost sleeping’ baby might look irresistibly cute to you and you’ll certainly get the urge to kiss those chubby little cheeks, but that wouldn’t be a good idea. Fight the temptation because the baby may take it as a cue that you wanna play with them (or that its lunchtime!), so they might wake up. And remember that it’ll take some time for the baby to get used to the ways of our world, so be patient!
- Getting yourself to sleep!
As if by some sort of infant sorcery, whenever I was on the verge of falling asleep at night, my newborn would know and immediately start crying. So, for the first few days, I didn’t get much sleep, that’s for sure. And that made me feel tired and pretty grouchy. Ok, fine, really grouchy! That’s when I knew I had to figure out how and when to sleep. The solution is pretty simple. I sleep when the baby sleeps. Synchronizing your sleep cycle with your baby’s lets you get enough rest so that when you’re awake you’re fresh and full of energy.
- Wrapping your baby up
“Hey, how hard can it be to wrap a baby in a blanket?” I know, I thought the same thing. But there is a sort of “science” to it so that your baby is as safe and comfortable as can be! First off, lay a light blanket down in a diamond shape and fold the top corner about a quarter of the way down. Place the baby face-up on the blanket so that it’s just below the fold.Then grab the right corner of the blanket, pull it across the baby’s body, and tuck it under the left side. Leave the little one’s left arm out. (And, of course, you can do it from the other side, from left to right.) Pull the bottom corner up and tuck it into the fold you just created over your baby’s right shoulder. Finally, grab the remaining open corner (the left one if you went from right to left), bring it across your baby, and tuck it under. Now you have your perfectly wrapped baby burrito. Swaddling really matters because it makes the baby feel safe and secure.
So they’re going to feel more relaxed and fall asleep quicker. And you know what that means: you can get some shut-eye too!
- Holding a baby properly
Here’s one that pretty much everybody has heard at some point in their life, whether they’re a parent or not. Yes, it’s true and extremely important: when holding a baby, you must make sure that their neck is supported. You can do that either by cradling the baby in your arms or by holding under their head one of your fingertips.
This is because the neck muscles of a newborn are too weak to hold their head up, so with that you almost have to help them out!
- Keeping an eye on the umbilical cord
The most important thing to remember about the clamped umbilical cord (or stump) is that it should always be clean and dry. So until the cord shrinks and falls off, which could take about two weeks, the baby should only have sponge baths. You can switch to the tub after the cord has fallen off on its own. And if you see any signs of infection like a yellowish discharge or foul smell, you know it’s time to see the doctor!
- Taking a slippery baby
out of the tub A baby’s skin is super soft, and it can get really slippery after a bath. That’s why it’s extremely important that you be extra careful while removing the baby from the bathtub. I’ve learned that a safe way to do it is by grasping the baby under their arms using both your hands (while supporting their neck and head, of course!). It’s also worth noting that babies don’t need baths every single day. Otherwise, their smooth, silky skin may get dried and irritated. Most doctors recommend doing it about 3 times a week until your little tyke starts moving more on their own. Ya know, playing in sandboxes and whatnot!
- Changing diapers
Here’s a task any new parent will become a pro at in no time! I mean, it’s not the most complicated thing in the world: you wanna remove the soiled diaper and put a fresh clean one in its place. But there are some important things to remember. For example, always wash your hands first (and afterwards!) to prevent bacteria on your hands from getting on the baby. Also, always wipe front to back – this
will help prevent infection, especially for girls. And make sure the baby’s skin is clean and dry before putting on the fresh diaper to avoid diaper rash. Having some rash ointment is a must anyway. And finally, you should also be careful with the umbilical cord stump when changing diapers. Make sure that the diaper is not going up past the umbilical cord if it has not yet dropped off.Many newborn diapers have a cutout to prevent pain around the belly-button section. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry – you can simply fold the diaper down from the top to keep the umbilical stump open.
If a mom can or chooses to breastfeed, then there are some helpful tricks when it comes to a baby’s mealtime. As far as positioning goes, there are actually different ones, from the classic “cradle” to the lesser-known “football hold.” Moms can choose whichever way is more comfortable and safe for them
and the baby – that’s the most important thing! Also, if you have a sleepy newborn that tends to get tired and doze off while sucking, you can tickle their feet as they’re feeding. This will ensure they don’t fall asleep with an empty stomach! And if a baby’s on formula, the pediatrician will give you all the instructions you need. Just don’t assume that baby bottles always need to be warmed up like you see in the movies. And if you choose to drink it warmly, never use a microwave – it can produce hotspots that you may not notice when checking on your wrist. A pot of warm water will do just fine. Also, don’t shake the bottle too much – that’s a one-way ticket to a really gassy and uncomfortable baby!
- Baby massages
Who doesn’t like a good massage? I know I do, and my baby does too! But for a newborn, it’s even more important because it makes their bones and muscles stronger. Not to mention, it’s an amazing way to bond with your little one All you need to do is put your baby on a towel that is laid like a bed on a comfortable surface. Always massage using a vegetable-based oil. Start with the legs, then the arms, then the chest, then the back of the baby.
will be different for everyone, but the goal is the same: to establish a strong connection between the baby and its parents. It should start this process as soon as the baby is born.
All it takes is gentle skin-to-skin touch at the beginning.. Another important thing is to look into the baby’s eyes and talk to them. I know, it seems kinda weird since they don’t understand a lick of what you’re saying, but it does help build that connection. Also, since a baby’s eyesight isn’t that good, you have to get real close to them while interacting. And, of course, be sure to sneak in lots of kisses while you’re face-to-face!
Did I leave anything out when it comes to caring for a newborn? If you learned something new today, then give this article a like and share it with a friend.