After pregnancy, labor, and delivery, you’re probably very excited to meet your baby. After all, holding your baby for the first time is the most beautiful feeling in the world. But once you’re home, you may feel at a loss what to do next, especially if you’re a first-time parent. Newborn care may seem like a scary task for you. But it’s not that difficult. Follow these four parenting tips, and you’ll start feeling like a parenting pro in no time.
Handling a Newborn
Newborns are very fragile, so you must handle them with the utmost care. Make sure to:
- Wash your hands before you hold them, as their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet.
- Support their neck and head.
- Never shake your baby—whether in frustration or in play.
- Ensure that your baby is properly and securely fastened into the stroller, carrier, or car seat.
Basics of Bathing a Newborn
Sponge bath you baby until the umbilical cord falls off, and the navel completely heals—which may take about one to four weeks. Frequent bathing may dry out your baby’s skin. So bathing two or three times a week during a baby’s life should be enough.
When bathing your baby, make sure to prepare these items beforehand.
- Mild, unscented shampoo or baby soap
- A soft and clean washcloth
- Blankets or towels
- A soft brush for stimulating the baby’s scalp
- Clean clothes and a clean diaper
Feeding and Burping Your Newborn
Generally speaking, newborn babies are fed every two to three hours. But that’s not a hard rule. They may get hungry even before the two-hour interval between feedings is up. So it’s also recommended to feed babies on demand—whether they are breastfed or bottle fed. Some signs that your baby is hungry include crying and putting fingers in their mouths. They may also make sucking noises.
It may be hard to believe, but a newborn sleeps most of the day. They actually sleep about 16 hours or more a day. But, because their digestive system is so small, they wake up every two to four hours to feed. And that’s why you feel like they don’t ever sleep at all. Don’t worry. It won’t be like that forever. Most babies learn to sleep through the night at three months of age. If yours doesn’t, it’s not a cause for alarm. Much like adults, babies also need to develop their own sleep cycles and patterns.
As long as your baby is gaining weight and appears healthy, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you feel like there’s something wrong with your baby’s health, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit with one of the pediatric doctors at Pediatrix in Phoenix.