Basic but Helpful Tips on How to Care for a Newborn
If you have a newborn, it’s expected that you know how to care for your newborn. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to take care of your newborn. Newborns won’t be able to survive without help. Needless to say, their survival depends on you as their parent. This is why at this point, you should have mastered how to care for a newborn.
Of course, that’s ideally speaking. The reality is a lot of first time parents are overwhelmed. While a lot of them are simply panicking even if they know in theory what to do, a lot of parents, maybe including you, have no clue what to do.
Consider this article as your go-to guide.
Baby Proof Your Home
Don’t wait until your baby starts crawling before you baby proof your home. There are babyproofing steps that you should have done before the arrival of the baby. If you haven’t done them yet, you have to do them RIGHT NOW.
For starters, make sure that your baby’s crib doesn’t have blankets, stuffed toys or pillows that can suffocate him or her. Here are the other tips on how to baby proof your home.
Learn How to Hold a Newborn Properly
Newborns are very fragile. This is why you should know how to hold a newborn properly. Here are the important things that you have to remember:
- Support your baby’s head and neck. Newborns can’t support their head on their own just yet. You have to protect the soft spots on your newborn’s head called the fontanelles.
- When picking up your baby, one hand should be under the head and the other hand should be under the bottom.
- When holding and cradling a baby, make sure that the head is on your chest. After picking up the baby, slide your hand from his or her bottom towards the neck, providing full body support to the newborn.
- If you need to hold your baby on your shoulder, one hand should be on the head and neck and the other should be on the bottom. Make sure that the baby’s nose and mouth are clear above your shoulder.
Whatever you do, don’t shake your newborn.
Feeding Your Newborn
You have 2 options – breastfeeding or formula feeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the former for at least the first 6 months. You can consult your pediatrician for your best option. In most cases, breastfeeding is the best option. Of course, your lifestyle and preferences have to be considered, but at the end of the day, we all just want what’s best for our baby.
Burp Your Newborn
Not doing so can lead to massive discomfort for your newborn especially during the night. This is why one of the most important things when it comes to learning to care for a newborn is to learn to burp a newborn.
There are 3 ways on how to burp your newborn:
- While on your chest.
This is the most popular way. Hold your baby in such a way that his or her chin is resting on your shoulder. Support the head and neck with one hand, and then pat or rub his or her back using the other hand.
- While sitting on your lap.
Have the baby sit on your lap, facing away from you. One hand should support the chest area, with the fingers providing support to the head via the chin and jaw areas. Make sure that you don’t place your hand across his or her throat. Then, lean your baby forward, while using your other hand to rub the back.
- While face down on your lap.
Have the baby lie face down at a right angle on your legs. One hand should support the chin and jaw areas (again, not at the throat), and the other hand should rub the back. Make sure that the head is tilted slightly higher than the body.
Bathing Your Newborn
This is one of the most important tasks. It can be very challenging. This guide has the steps on how to bathe a newborn. To summarize:
- Use a baby tub. You can use a clean kitchen sink, but baby tubs are designed perfectly for bathing a baby.
- Fill the tub with just a few inches of warm water. Make sure to test the water to make sure that it’s not too hot or too cold.
- Place your baby in the tub feet first. Make sure that one hand supports the baby’s head, neck and back.
- Wet the baby using a cup. You can also cup your free hand and use that. You can use shampoo and body soap that’s designed for newborns, but they’re not really necessary for newborns.
- After the bath, use a clean and dry towel to dry your baby. Just gently pat your baby dry. Just make sure to dry areas where his or her skin folds.
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep
This is one of the main challenges of parents. They want to learn the skill of getting a newborn to sleep because they’re already tired and want to sleep. Well, newborns will sleep when they need to which will happen a lot in the day. Here are some tips:
- Be strategic with lighting.
Keep the room bright when your baby should be awake and dark when he or she should be asleep. You can’t expect your baby to sleep easily when the room is bright.
- Place your baby in the crib when he or she is drowsy.
One of the most important things to learn is to teach your newborn to care of himself. By putting your baby in the crib when he or she is drowsy rather than asleep, you’re teaching him or her to sleep on his or her own.
- Establish a “dream feed” session.
This is when you wake your baby up late at night for a feeding session. This will encourage longer sleeps. Just make sure to keep the lights low and the motions minimal.
Bond with Your Baby
Bonding is caring. You have to learn how to bond with your baby as it’s a big part of caring for them.Breastfeeding your baby is a great way to bond. Holding your baby in your arms is another way. Co-sleeping is recommended by a lot of parents, so that’s something that you can consider.
As you can see, learning to care for a newborn is mostly just using your common sense. Your parental instincts will also kick in, helping you in the process.