Every parent wants to do their best when it comes to caring for their newborn. Feeding and burping your baby, dressing him up, changing diapers, and cutting those little nails can all seem challenging. But, with a bit of practice and a lot of support from your family, you will be an expert in no time. However, while still in the process of learning, you should understand that caring for a newborn is very different from caring for older children. Infant care takes more time and effort.
How to Handle a Newborn
If you’re not used to spending time with newborns, you may be intimidated with their fragility. When handling a newborn, here are some things you need to keep in mind.
- Always wash your hands before touching a newborn. Infants are highly susceptible to infections and diseases because their immune system hasn’t had time to develop yet.
- Make sure that you support your newborn’s head and neck when carrying him upright. You should also exercise the same level of caution when laying your baby down on the bed.
- Newborns are incredibly fragile, so shaking them, whether in play or frustration, can seriously harm them. Shaking your baby can lead to shaken baby syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain and death. So, never shake a baby even if it’s just for play.
- Make sure that your baby is securely fastened to the stroller, carrier, or car seat. You should also avoid activities that are too bouncy or rough. Remember, you want your baby to avoid getting shaken baby syndrome.
- Another thing to always keep in mind is that newborns are not yet ready for rough play. Don’t jiggle them on your knee. Throwing them in the air is also a big no-no.
Basics of Bathing
Health care practitioners recommend giving newborns a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off and the navel has completely healed. This can take anywhere between one and four weeks. During the first year, it’s enough to bathe your newborn twice or three times a week to avoid drying their skin.
Newborns go through several changes during the first year of their lives. It’s normal to feel uneasy at first, but it gets better as you get the hang of caring for your baby. A health care provider from Pediatrix in Phoenix can help answer all your questions and provide help with infant care.