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How to Care for Your Newborn-step by step guidance

  • Team Kidmish Jan 15, 2019

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy. Becoming a new mom and holding your newborn in your arms can be the most joyful moment of life. While you’ve reached a new milestone, you now have a dizzying array of responsibilities and challenges in your way. You have a tiny toddler completely dependent on you.

Your baby will develop and change every week in a purely unique way. Most often than not, these changes will leave you in awe and bring happy tears to your eyes. Enjoy each phase of his growth with the best tips and tricks on newborn baby care that is sure to assist and guide you as you embark upon your new journey of motherhood.

Newborn Baby Care

The postpartum stage is very crucial for the mother and the child. As the baby is born and develops rapidly, it’s important to keep track. On the other hand, the mother is also in her post-pregnancy recovery phase and requires care and rest. So, it’s absolutely necessary to be prepared and learn about all essential baby care tips and tricks. Let me segregate and assist you with some of them.

Start Assembling Things

As your due date approaches, start assembling all baby care stuff. Get everything ready, including a nurse! Trust me, it really helps. All newborn baby products, clothes, crib, mosquito nets, bathtub, diapers (lots of them), medical kit, blankets, baby bed and pillows, all nursing essentials, toys etc. must be ready. Everything is important.

Holding and Soothing Tricks

Keep in mind, your baby was in the womb for 9 long months and it’s a totally new environment outside. He will take time to adjust and might be fussy and irritated at times. Keep the environment clean, pure and warm for a soothing experience.

It’s absolutely essential to hold your baby right as they are fragile and soft. Moreover, babies have delicate neck muscles that are yet to be developed. So, to avoid any injury always place one arm under their neck and other at their bottom. Depending on your interaction, you can opt for different holding positions like:

  • Cradle hold: place the baby on the crook of your arm and place the other hand under his bottom. Remember to keep supporting his head while you position the baby.
  • Shoulder hold or snuggle hold: lift the baby to your shoulder height and place his head on your chest and shoulder. Support his head and neck with one hand and his back with your other hand.
  • Chest hold: with one hand under the head and neck and the other beneath his button, raise the baby to the chest area. You can also lay the baby on the chest, making sure his face is outwards to ensure easy breathing.
  • Belly hold: place the baby on your forearm upside down with his face and head outward. Support his neck and head and put your other hand on his back to ensure complete support.
  • Lap hold: put your feet together and place the baby on your thighs with his face upwards looking your face. Keep your hands on the two sides of his head to provide firm support. This is the easiest way to interact with your child.
  • Face-to-face hold: put one arm behind his head and neck and the other hand under his back. As the baby lay on your hands, raise the baby and bring him close to your face to enjoy interacting with him.

The first few weeks can be dubious and it will take time to decipher his needs through several trial and error processes. To soothe a crying baby try singing, swaddling, swinging, shushing, babbling and talking that can create a calming reflex. Hold your child close to your chest and let him feel the warmth of your touch. It’s an effective way of bonding between the mother and baby that also triggers emotional growth. Sometimes, a warm sponge bath, massaging and/or stroking in preferred ways send vital soothing messages.

Sleep Tips

Babies sleep a lot- up to 16 hours a day or more but only for shorter durations. They can get cranky and fussy if they are sleep deprived. Many parents complain of having trouble getting their babies to sleep. Few simple tricks from experienced parents can definitely help new moms.

  • Shikha from Lucknow says her 1-month would not leave her lap and sleep in the bassinet. She soon figured out that it was the warmth of her lap that was comforting the infant. So now before putting him on the crib, she sufficiently warms it up that provides the same comfort as her lap. Yippee! the baby now sleeps well.
  • Babies sometimes have difficulty falling asleep. So, Pabitra (a working mother) applies the stroke technique. She would gently stroke her girl between the eyebrows and the T zone area. As the eyes get heavy, she would quickly fall asleep.
  • My mother played soft tunes, would sing or rock me gently to get me to sleep.
  • Every child has a unique way of falling asleep. Keep trying and discover yours. The crib must be soft so that it does not hurt the child’s back and while asleep keep changing their sides. A baby sleeping bag also works wonders that help them to snuggle and feel the comfort that is second to your hug.

Other Essential Newborn Baby Care Tips

  • Listen to your baby’s signals. Your baby will eventually lead you to his needs and requirements. Pick up the hints.
  • Keep comforting him frequently. It reassures the baby.
  • Determine the cause of his discomfort, if any. Besides being sleepy or hungry, they may be-panicked or over-stimulated by external matters, uncomfortable, freaking out, having stomach pain, feeling gassy, needs a diaper change, having hiccups etc.
  • Be alert about feeding timings. Don’t let hunger pangs cause him discomfort
  • Keep him awake while feeding and burp the child after food.
  • Keep all backups ready, even the phone numbers of paediatricians. Have at least 2-3 numbers on your mobile’s contact list.
  • Always keep a bag with all necessary items ready whenever going out with the baby.
  • Monitor your baby and his activities. Do not over cuddle him. Let him soothe himself and develop his own playing habits. Slowly develop a routine for the baby.

Breastfeeding

The Ministry of Health and the medical experts recommend 6 months of breastfeeding. It’s the natural nourishment for the baby but, it can be challenging for mothers at the beginning. Lactating enough, keeping a time check, learning the techniques of feeding, understanding the baby’s feeding requirements are some of the challenges new moms face.

Usually, babies are fed on demand, whenever they are hungry but normally they are fed every 2-3 hours. Hold your baby comfortably and keep changing sides while you feed, usually 10-15 minutes at each breast. Side-lying, cradle hold, cross-over hold and laid-back are some of the preferred positions for breastfeeding.

For working mothers, the best solution is breast pumps that easily help to pump and store milk for the baby while they are away. There are different types of pumps available online-manual, battery operated and electric ones. Get the one that suits you the best. Also, don’t forget to store the breast milk in a leakproof glass container or a BPA free plastic container or freezer bags.

Bathing

The newborn bath time is the most enjoyable. It’s the best way to refresh, relax and calm the baby’s senses and get him prepared for the day. Seeing your baby giggle and play can be really amusing but before you set for the task collect all essential supplies like oil, mild soap, shampoo, powder, towel, ointment, diaper, lotion and clean clothes.

A baby tub or chair is best for bathing. Fill the tub with warm (not hot) water only 2-3 inches deep and check the temperature with your elbow before placing your baby. Once checked, undress and place your baby in the water carefully, supporting his head and bottom. Always take help from an experienced person or nurse. Use a washcloth and gently rub his face, hair and head and apply soap on the rest of the body, avoiding the eyes. Clean him quickly and gently lift him up and wrap him up in a warm towel. Pat the skin dry and apply lotion, powder and ointment to protect his delicate skin and dress him up. Once mastered, bathing can be a delightful bonding experience for the mother and baby.

During the first 2-3 weeks give warm sponge baths only until the umbilical cord falls off and heals. Also, avoid regular baths as they can dry up their skin.

Diapering

Your baby may need almost 10 diaper changes a day; so, stuff as many as possible- ‘the more the better.’ Changing diapers for new moms is perplexing, hence it’s better to learn and master the process beforehand. It’s always necessary to change the diaper after a bowel movement or whenever they are wet. Keep all supplies ready before you set to change like a clean diaper, warm water and washcloth, baby wipes and ointment. Lay your baby on his back, remove the dirty diaper and wipe him with wet wipes or warm water and cloth, apply the cream and put on the fresh diaper.

Remember, diaper rash is a common problem that is caused by wet and poopy diapers. To prevent it, change diapers often and wash the area with warm water. Apply a diaper rash cream with zinc oxide that acts as a barrier against moisture and reduces friction. Try to keep the baby without diapers for some part of the day to enable the skin to dry out.

Newborn Baby Products

There are endless newborn baby care products available online from the big brands but choosing the best for your little one requires in-depth research and information. Your baby’s skin is soft and delicate and hence it’s important to shield him against environmental harshness and pollutions. The best option is to choose herbal baby care products as they are free from harmful chemicals and ensure freshness and purity.

Newborn baby care products may include-soaps, shampoo, oil, lotion, moisturizing cream, ointment, powder, cleansers, baby wash etc. The list is limitless but remember, the products must be:

  • Safe on skin, soft, gentle and mild
  • Must be 100% natural and tested for allergies or clinically proven
  • Must suit your baby’s skin condition
  • Must keep the body hydrated and supple
  • Should be free of toxic chemicals, fragrances and non-natural colours

Baby Bed

A separate and safe baby bed is essential. Babies sleep for the most part of the day so, it's vital to choose a comfortable crib. Online stores have a huge range of different baby beds, cribs and bassinets to suit varied needs. They are also available with mosquito nets, storage space, play areas and auto swinging features. Parents can opt for portable cribs, standard cribs, swinging style or bassinet style cradles, canopy cribs, playpens or rockers for their infants. Before placing the baby put layers of the soft mattress pad, a fitted sheet and a waterproof bed protector sheet for a comfy sleep. Cover your baby with a soft blanket or swaddle him up for a happy sleep experience.

A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope and a dream of possibilities’
Eda J LeShan

Conclusion

Becoming a mother and nurturing your baby is a blissful experience. But taking utmost care of yourself is also imperative. Ask for and accept help as much as possible during the initial months until you master the art of newborn baby care and become a ninja. Seek advice but trust your motherly instincts, you are the best to know. Indulge in little moments of joy, click pictures, maintain a diary and show affection in every way that strengthens the bond between the mother and baby.

Enjoy your motherhood and post fascinating incidents, essential baby care tips and your unique experiences with us and spread the joy with others.


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