If you’re a mommy or daddy to be, then, congratulations! The arrival of your baby is one of the best gifts God can give you in this material world, literally. Being a parent is a life of complicated situations and challenges, but there is no greater joy in this universe than being a mom or a dad.
The moment your baby is born, your heart is filled with love and happiness that you can’t explain, right? That is true. And so, because your love your baby so much, you will take care of him and protect him with your life. How do you care for a newborn baby?
1 – It’s Fine To Look For Help During The First Few Weeks After Birth.
Some women give birth by a Caesarean section while others are blessed to have wide hips and give birth naturally. Well, it won’t matter if you’re a CS momma or a normal delivery mum. Moving for the first few days will be difficult. With that, it’s perfectly fine to get some help.
You can enlist the help of your relatives, friends, or even an at-home baby nurse if you can afford it. If you’re a first-time mom or dad, you can benefit from people with experience with babies. Mommy, it’s okay to rest and sleep after giving birth. Don’t pressure yourself too much, deal? Take care of your body and your mental health, as well. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed at any time, contact a counselor for immediate assistance.
After giving birth, the baby is put on the mom’s chest with some skin-to-skin contact. This is to promote an emotional connection which is necessary for mother-baby bonding. It can help both the mom and the baby with their emotional growth and of course, the love between them. Moms, always hold your baby. Touch him, caress him and make him feel that love.
2 – Wash Your Hands. This Is The Cardinal Rule.
Wash your hands before you hold your baby. No exemptions and no excuses on this rule. Why is this necessary? Well, babies have a weak immune system, and your hands can come from everywhere – dirty laundry, kitchen garbage, cellphone, computer, and everything else. Your hands carry viruses, germs, and bacteria that will harm your baby.
So, before you hold him, wash your hands and use a hand sanitizer too, just to be sure that you’re perfectly bacteria-free.
3 – NO Kissing On The Face.
There was a newborn baby who died from a kiss back in 2017. It wasn’t just a normal kiss. The person who kissed the baby had transferred a deadly virus called viral meningitis, and after 18 days, the disease killed the supposedly healthy baby.
From this example alone, it would be better to avoid kissing your baby on the face. If you want to kiss him, do so at the foot and with the sock on.
4 – Don’t Shake Your Baby Too Much.
Shaken Baby Syndrome – this is also a baby killer. Parents are often too excited about the baby, and they just go on shaking or rocking it to sleep. Well, don’t shake your baby too much. The baby’s brain is too fragile, and the shaking will cause bleeding.
Tip: If you want to wake up your baby, don’t shake his head. Tickle his feet or blow on his cheek to do that.
5 – You Need To Buy A Newborn Baby Carrier, Stroller, And Car Seat.
Why buy all of these things? A carrier can make the baby feel like it’s still in the womb. It means the baby will be comforted by it and the carrier can also help you move about even if you’re carrying your baby. The stroller is your help with transporting your baby. Make sure to buy one fit for a newborn. As for the car seat, well, it’s the law in the US to provide a car seat for babies and kids. This is mandatory. But before anything else, remember to fasten and secure your baby in these devices.
6 – No Rough Play.
A newborn baby doesn’t understand playing, and so, no rough tickling. No jiggling. Never make it sit up to 5-6 months old and never throw your newborn up in the air.
7 – Support Your Newborn’s Head And Neck.
The nurse might instruct you a few things before your hospital discharge. You have to support the baby’s head and neck when carrying him. Do not be a hero and do a one-hand carry with your baby. Always be safe and secure the head and neck. Your baby can’t do this on his own.
8 – Learn How To Swaddle.
This is a soothing technique which you must learn to comfort your baby.
- Lay down the baby blanket on the bed.
- Put your baby on the baby blanket.
- Wrap the baby on one side, tucking in the excess blanket under the baby’s arms. Do the other side, as well.
- Pull the excess blanket on the bottom going up and secure your baby.
9 – Diaper 101.
Okay, here is the real deal with diapers. Newborns are expelling their waste at least five times a day. So, you have to be ready with that. You can use a cloth diaper or the disposable kind. The downside to using cloth diapers is that you will have to wash it often. The advantage is your baby will never have diaper rash.
The diaper must be clean. You must also have a diaper cream handy, just in case. It is a must to have diaper wipes or wet cotton balls to clean your baby’s butt too. If your baby gets a rash, call your doctor immediately for assistance. He will tell you what to do or if you need a visit with him, assuming the rash is severe.
10 – Give Your Baby A Quick Sponge Bath.
The umbilical cord is still attached – just leave it and don’t take it off by force. After the sponge bath, you can put alcohol on the cord and wipe the excess. The cord will fall off in a few weeks.
How many times do you have to give your baby a sponge bath? For the first few weeks, you can do that two to three times weekly.
- Use a clean washcloth or sponge.
- Pick a no-scent or mildly scented baby soap.
- To cleanse the scalp, use a soft brush.
- The towel must also be clean and the diapers and baby clothes too.
11 – Feeding And Burping Time.
Feeding your baby will depend upon his demand. He will cry, suck his fingers and make weird noises whenever he’s hungry. Typically, newborn babies feed every two to three hours. As for those who are breastfeeding, provide 15 minutes on each side of your breast for your baby. If you are using a milk formula, you can start with one ounce and gradually increase if you see that your baby needs more.
How will you know if your baby is getting the milk he needs, especially if you’re breastfeeding and can’t see if he’s had enough? You will notice some changes like your baby will get heavier, he will sleep better, nappy changes are more frequent, and his diapers are filled at least six times a day. You will also feel your breasts if it is still full and plump with milk if the baby didn’t drink all of it.
After feeding, you have to let your baby burp. Carry your baby upright and place him on your chest. Tap his back lightly and press his abdomen gently on your body. He will burp in a few minutes. You can do this standing up, sitting down or while lying on the bed.
Note: If your baby doesn’t burp easily, change his position. The reason why you need to burp your baby is for him not to vomit or spit up milk. Don’t make him overdrink, though.
12 – Sleeping Habits Of A Newborn
Newborns will sleep the whole day or whole night through if you’re lucky. Most babies ask for milk every few hours even during at night. You will have to get up and feed him.
Sometimes, they would be asleep for as much as 16 hours a day in total. This is normal and so, don’t worry about it. Their sleeping time is around 2 to 4 hours before he wakes up to feed again. Some babies smoothly go back to sleep after feeding while some will keep you up at night with their colicky ways.
- You must put your baby on his back when asleep to prevent SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Keep all distractions from the crib away from your baby. These are the blankets, extra pillows, toys, and more. He might suffocate from it.
- It’s okay to keep your baby in your room, but he must be on his bed or crib; not on your bed. Accidents like falling off the bed or a parent crushing the baby might happen.
- You have to shift the baby’s head every day when he is sleeping to keep the head’s surface balanced on both sides.
- Don’t worry about the soft spot on the head. Never press it or touch it. It will just harden on its own.