If you haven’t already spent a lot of time around newborn babies, their fragility may be intimidating. But the newborn phase is one of the most cherished phases in any parents’ life. So today I’m a few basics to remember when handling a newborn. These tips are more of little lessons, I personally learned in the past years.
1) Keep hands clean:
First things first, always remember to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your newborn baby. We generally don’t bother much about this. But then, newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection. Also make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
2) Carrying your baby:
Be careful to support your baby’s head and neck. Cradle the baby’s head when carrying her and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
Be careful not to shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. Try tickling your baby’s feet or blow gently on to the cheek when you need to wake her up.
Always have your baby securely fastened into the stroller or carrier whenever on-the-go. Limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy. Your newborn is not yet ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.
3) Feeding your baby:
Breast milk is the best you can give your child. So stick to it unless there’s a reason. Newborns do not need anything expect breast milk or formula. So do not offer water or any juice.
Newborn babies have a very unpredictable feeding schedule. They need to be fed on regular intervals, starting from eight to twelve times a day. So may be every second hour or so. Or when ever the baby demands for it.
When hungry babies will show signs of hunger such as making lip movements, sucking thumb, stirring or stretching. Don’t wait for them to get cranky and fussy, because that’s the next level of hunger.
Stop feeding when your baby stops sucking or turns her face way from the breast, it means that he or she is full. As your baby gets older, he or she will take in more milk in less time at each feeding.
Formulas are not interchangeable. Once you have started on one brand and type, stick with it. Every change in formula sets off a 3-5 day adjustment period for baby’s digestive system that can result in increased gassiness and fussiness. All changes in formula should be approved by the pediatrician.
4) Bathing your baby:
As long as you’re doing a good job of cleaning your baby’s diaper area during changes, two or three baths a week probably are plenty for a newborn.
A sponge bath with water is usually enough, especially until the umbilical cord stump falls off.
In the winter season, when skin is likely to become dry or flaky, you may want to bathe her even less. Whether you’re giving a sponge or tub bath, always test the water temperature using your elbow or the inside of your wrist (the water should be lukewarm). Remember hot wash can cause major burns to your baby’s delicate skin.
Always keep your supplies like towel, washcloth, shampoo and baby soap within reach before you begin bathing a newborn.
Stick with mild, unscented products formulated for babies. Do not use any homemade or over-the-counter products when it comes to a newborn.
5) Diapering your baby:
By the time your baby arrives, you might have already decided whether you want to cloth diaper or use disposables. Either way, check out the best deals around and have loads and loads of them stocked up much before the baby arrives.
Change diapers frequently, every 2 hours whether you are using cloth diapers or disposables or after every bowel movement. Always wipe the area gently with a clean washcloth or a disposable wipe. In case of diaper rash apply coconut oil generously all over the area and let the baby remain diaper-free for at least a few hours a day.
If you are using cloth diapers and having diaper rash, then it could be due to detergent built-up. Trying stripping your cloth diapers and use detergents that do not contain any fragrance or dye. In case of severe rash, always see your pediatrician.
So once you have these basics down, I’m sure you be one happy parent to you little bundle of joy. And of course it does call for some extra patience and time. After all your a parent to a brand new baby. :)
** The above post, as stated is purely based on my own experience and isn’t a proven one. Always remember that every child is different. Something that worked for us, may not necessarily work for you.