Practical and Helpful Tips: Parenting

Newborn Baby Care Basics

Going through 9 months of pregnancy and through the excitement of labor and delivery was a struggling excitement and now that you’re headed home to begin a life with your new baby, you begin to realize that you need more help this time. The following are proper ways to consider in handling your newborn baby.

Getting help after childbirth

The best time to inquire about what to do to properly take care of your baby is when you are still in the hospital, so inquire and talk to feeding specialists or lactation consultants, who can demonstrate how to nurse-feed or bottle-feed your newborn baby, and ask a nurse to show you how to hold, burp, change diapers, and care for your baby.

When you’re now settled at home, the kind of help you need to assist you with the newborn can come from the following: your doctor, who can provide you information about in-home help and might even be able to give you referrals to home health agencies, or a baby nurse or a responsible neighborhood teenager on a short time basis.

Your closest relatives or friends are also a source of help at this time of your life with a newborn baby.

Ways to handle a newborn

Newborn babies are susceptible to infection because they do not have yet a strong immune system; therefore, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your baby and make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.

It is important to protect the baby’s head, so cradle the head of your baby when you’re carrying him/her and support the head when carrying upright or when you’re laying your baby down.

When putting your baby in a carrier, stroller, or car seat, make sure your baby is securely fastened and try to avoid from activities that could be too rough or bouncy.

While soothing your baby, have bonding moments

When parents bond more often with their infant, they are establishing a deep, emotional connection with their infant. Bonding you’re your infant is basically cradling your baby, gently stroking him/her during feeding time, such that there is a close physical connection, or bonding can be enhanced when you massage gently your baby.

Another way to bond with your baby is through vocal sounds, such as: reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, singing nursery rhymes, babbling and cooing while you’re rocking your baby gently in a chair.

Bathing basics

For the first year, the baby should be bathed 2-3 times a week and sponge baths take place when the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely, about 1-4 weeks, or when the circumcision heals, about 1-2 weeks.

When the baby’s head still needs to be supported, sponge baths are to be provided until such time when the baby can very well support his/her head and can sit well, then that would be the time to introduce tub baths.

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