Bringing home a new baby can be an exciting experience for a lot of parents. They are excited to have a chance to spend time with the baby and see how that child grows up. Expectant parents take classes to learn how to troubleshoot breast or bottle-feeding, how to give a bath, and how to change a diaper. Mixed in with the excitement though can be a lot of uncertainty as you try to navigate the world as a new parent.
Many new parents are worried about raising a baby and how to handle all of the complexities of taking care of an infant. It is normal to feel a bit overwhelmed, even after taking all of the necessary classes along the way. Some of the easy steps that you can take to help give your newborn baby the very best include:
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Supporting the Newborn, the Right Way
The right support is going to make all of the difference when it comes to taking care of your baby. When you decide to nurse them, you must make sure their neck and head are supported by one hand all the time. The muscles of the neck are not yet strong enough to hold the head up on its own. The neck will get stronger, but for now, you will need to provide support.
You will need to cradle the baby in your arm or hold onto their neck with one hand to make sure that the neck will not have to support the head. This can cause some serious injuries if you do not provide this support, so make sure that you learn the proper way to hold onto the baby.
Changing the Diaper
If you have never changed a diaper on a baby, you may be a little worried that you will do it the wrong way. The good news is that the process of changing a diaper does not have to be that complicated. To start, make sure that you wash your hands, both before and after touching the diaper. This will ensure that you don’t share any extra bacteria with the baby.
As you wipe, you need to go from front to back. This helps to prevent any kind of infection and will keep the skin dry. Make sure the baby is clean before you put a new diaper on. If you see any signs of irritation on the skin of the baby, then put on some rash ointment to help with this.
A big problem with changing a diaper on a newborn is the umbilical cord stump. To avoid irritating this area, you should make sure that the diaper doesn’t go past the belly button at all. You can fold the diaper down to help make everything clear and keep the baby comfortable after the diaper change.
Feeding the Baby
You can choose whether to breastfeed or formula feed the baby. We will take a look at tips to make both easier. For those who are breastfeeding the baby, you may find that it can be a difficult thing to get started. Working with a lactation consultant if you are confused about how to get started can make a difference.
Make sure to position the baby in a manner that is safe and comfortable. For the baby who tends to get tired or will doze off while feeding, you may have to get creative to get them to stay awake rather than falling asleep all the time. Tickling their feet or stopping the feeding and moving them around can help.
You can also feed your baby formula. If there are any special dietary restrictions, you and your pediatrician can discuss this and make sure that you are prepared for feeding the baby. Never use the microwave to warm up the bottle because this often creates some hotspots that are going to burn the mouth of your baby.
Getting the Baby to Sleep
Newborn babies are going to sleep often. There are a lot of new experiences going on all the time and it can provide a ton of stimulation to the little brain of the baby. You may find that the baby will sleep most of the day when they are first born, but you can work with them to come up with a good schedule that works for both of you when it comes to the baby sleeping.
It is easy for a baby to get confused day and night if you are not careful. During the day, make sure that you keep the home bright and light. The more light, the harder it is for the baby to fall asleep during the day. Then at night time, you can dim the lights to help prepare them for bed. This can help the baby learn the difference between day and night.
Take Time for Yourself
There are a lot of responsibilities that new moms have to worry about when they bring a baby home. Between the feeding and diaper changes and getting them to sleep, it becomes very easy to get overwhelmed and not know what to do. This is why it is so important for new mothers to schedule some time for themselves when taking care of the baby.
Something as simple as a nice shower in the evening, taking the baby for a walk in the stroller or reading a novel for ten minutes while the baby napes can make a big difference and helps you to feel like you are doing something for yourself, rather than always doing it all for the baby.
This little self-care will help you to get through the newborn stage a bit easier than before.
Taking Care of Your Baby
Every new mom feels worried about whether they are providing the best care for their baby or not. Asking for help and giving yourself a break when things get difficult can really make a world of difference. Follow some of the easy baby care tips above to help make the transition period of becoming a new mom a little bit less stressful for you.