You’ve also gone through pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and now you’re always ready to go home and begin life with your baby. Once home, though, you might also feel like you have no idea what you’re doing!
These tips can also help even the most nervous first-time parents feel confident about caring for a newborn in no time.
Getting Help After the Birth
Always consider getting help during this time, which can be very hectic and overwhelming. While in the hospital, also talk to the experts around you. Many hospitals have also feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can help you get started nursing or bottle-feeding. Nurses also are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and care for your new born baby.
For in-home help, you might always want to hire a baby nurse, postpartum doula, or a responsible neighborhood teen to help you for a short time after the birth. Your doctor or the hospital can also help you find information about in-home help, and might make a referral to home health agencies.
Relatives and friends often want to help too. Even if you also disagree on certain things, don’t dismiss their experience. But if you really don’t feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors.
Handling a Newborn
If you also haven’t spent a lot of time around newborns, their fragility may be intimidating. Here are a few basics to remember:
- Always wash your hands(or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby. Newborns mainly don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they’re at risk for infection. Also make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
- Support your baby’s head and neck.Cradle the head when also carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
- Never ever shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration.Shaking can also cause bleeding in the brain and even death. So, if you need to wake your infant, don’t do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
- Make sure your baby is mainly securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat.Limit any activity that could also be too rough or bouncy.
- Remember that your newborn is merely not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.
All About Diapering
You’ll probably also decide before you bring your baby home whether you’ll use cloth or disposable diapers. Whichever you mainly use, your little one will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week.
Before diapering your baby, also make sure you have all supplies within reach so you won’t have to leave your infant unattended on the changing table. You’ll need:
- a clean diaper
- fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
- diaper ointment
Diaper rash is a common concern. Typically, the rash can also be red and bumpy and will always go away in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a little time out of the diaper. Most rashes also happen because the baby’s skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper.
To prevent or heal diaper rash, try these important tips:
Change your baby’s diaper always, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
- Gently clean the area with having mild soap and water (wipes sometimes can be irritating), then apply a very thick layer of diaper rash or “barrier” cream. Creams with zinc oxide are mainly preferred because they form a barrier against moisture.
- If you always use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
- Let the baby also go undiapered for part of the day. This really gives the skin a chance to air out.
- If the diaper rash mainly continues for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor — it may be caused by a fungal infection that requires a prescription.
You should also give your baby a sponge bath until:
- the umbilical cord mainly falls off and the navel heals completely (1–4 weeks)
- the circumcision heals (1–2 weeks)
- A bath two or three times a week in the first year is also fine. More frequent bathing may always be drying to the skin.
- Also have these items ready before bathing your baby:
- a soft, clean washcloth
- mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
- mainly a soft brush to stimulate the baby’s scalp
- towels or blankets
- a clean diaper
- clean clothes
Sponge baths. For a sponge bath, always select a safe, flat surface (such as a changing table, floor, or counter) in a warm room. Also fill a sink, if nearby, or bowl with warm (not hot!) water. So, undress your baby and wrap him or her in a towel. Always wipe your infant’s eyes with a washcloth (or a clean cotton ball) dampened with water only, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Always use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wash the other eye. Then also wet the cloth again and, using a little soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry.
Tub baths. When your baby is also ready for tub baths, the first baths should be gentle and brief. So, if he or she becomes upset, go back to sponge baths for a week or two, then try the bath again.
So, this guide will surely help the first time parents.