In the human life cycle, the first few months after birth are critical for the overall development of the human body. Hence, caring for an infant can be an overwhelming experience for first-time parents. Everybody has advice to share, from online groups to immediate family and friends, which further adds to the ongoing confusion regarding what’s best for the baby. The ongoing pandemic has further contributed to the anxiety of bringing a newborn into the world with utmost precautions and safety for both mother and child.
Here are some basics that can help one care for the newborn in a suitable manner while ensuring that the new parents can sail smoothly through this memorable and enjoyable journey.
Important Tips for Newborn Care
Holding a Newborn Baby: Holding a newborn baby right is the most crucial part once the baby is out in this world. The fragile yet heavy head needs extra care and support, and hence, it’s always advisable to support the neck and head with one hand while holding the baby. Cradle hold, Shoulder hold, Belly hold and Lap hold are some of the ways in which one can securely hold a newborn infant. Baby needs support by both hands till they actually holds his head properly.
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Feeding the Baby: In the beginning, an infant needs to be nursed every 2-3 hours to ensure adequate hydration in the body. This can be later changed to feed on demand, wherein the baby can be fed only when they go hungry. Important signs of hunger to look out for include constant crying, head tilt towards the breasts, sucking motions and sounds, etc. A newborn may require 30-40 ml of milk per feeding during initial days. It increases gradually to 60 – 120 ml per feed as infant grows.
Burping Out Is Key: Once the baby is fed, the carer needs to ensure that the baby burps. Since newborns get limited physical activity to ensure digestion, often gas forms in their stomach, leading to constant discomfort. Swallowing air while suckling can also lead to gas, making the baby cranky, upset or spit out the milk. Gently patting on the baby’s back might do the trick when helping the baby in burping. There are two ways to burp babies, parents can learn that art after delivery.
Also, Read: How to Take Care of Newborn Baby in Summer
Gentle Baby Massage: Baby massage helps stimulate the circulatory and digestive system and may help with cramps, colic, and constipation. Apart from this, a gentle massage before a bath can help babies sleep better. It is always best to hire a professional expert or let a senior guide with the right moves and the most gentle ways to do this. Once parents get used to baby massage, either of parents also can do massage.
Diaper Change: There are many times babies need a diaper change. The constant use of diapers can often lead to skin rashes. Apply a diaper rash cream or pure coconut oil (virgin cold-pressed) to the baby’s tender skin. Alternatively, leave the diaper free in between the changes. Stocking up on baby essentials is an excellent way to be hassle-free while caring for the baby during those long days and nights.
Caring for a newborn is challenging, especially for first-time parents; sometimes, even for experienced ones, it is quite a task. While it’s essential to seek advice when necessary and find the best way to comfort one’s baby, it is also important to remain calm and communicate affection and warmth towards the baby.
Also, Read: Top 5 Causes of Low Birth Weight in Newborns
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