Most new parents are excited and a little scared all at the same time. It’s great to finally have that newborn baby in your arms but scary knowing they are depending on you to take care of them for everything from feeding them to changing diapers. This can be a little overwhelming for inexperienced parents but these tips for taking care of a newborn baby will help ease some of the tension. Keep in mind these tips are basic information on how to care for a healthy newborn without complications. They are not meant to replace instructions provided by your baby’s doctor.
Of course, your baby’s safety is your number one concern. This includes feeding the baby properly, having a safe environment for them to sleep and knowing when to call your doctor if something doesn’t seem right. Let’s start with the feeding process.
- Feeding your Baby – It doesn’t matter whether you breastfeed or bottle feed your baby. The important thing is that your newborn receives the vitamins they need to grow and be healthy although, it’s believed that breastfeeding is better for the infant provided the mother is healthy. Either way, it’s your job to make sure the infant is actually drinking the milk and not spitting most of it up. Keep up with how much they drink and how often you feed them and be sure you burp your baby after each feeding. If they appear to still be hungry after just being fed or if they seem hungry all the time, it’s suggested you discuss this with the pediatrician. They can advise you on what steps to take next.
- Sleeping Arrangements – Your baby should have their own special bed to relax and sleep. It’s not a good idea to allow them to sleep with you in your bed because this could increase the risk of SIDS. Did you know that it’s normal for a newborn baby to sleep up to eighteen hours per day? There is usually no pattern to their sleep at first but after about six weeks this should improve and their sleeping time will start to decrease. When the baby finishes feeding they usually get sleepy and should be allowed to rest.
- Using Skincare Products – Newborns have soft delicate skin so only use powders, lotions and other items designed especially for babies. Other products could dry out their skin or cause a rash.
- Over-the-counter Medicine – Be careful when giving your child over-the-counter medicine. It’s always a good idea to consult your baby’s doctor before giving them anything for a fever or cough if possible. This way you will know for sure the proper dose to give. If you can’t reach the doctor, start off with a small dose to see how it affects your child before giving them more. Anytime that you’re in doubt take your newborn to see the doctor or if it’s an emergency then you can always take them to the hospital.
- Bath Time – During the first couple of weeks you will need to give your infant a sponge bathe. Use a cotton ball and alcohol to clean the umbilical cord. Once this is healed you can start using the baby bathtub or sink to give your newborn a bath.
It’s important that your new baby receive the care and nourishment needed to grow and be healthy. If you have any questions or concerns about any matter don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor. Sometimes even experienced parents need advice from a professional.