First and foremost, congratulations on your baby!
You have brought a new life on this planet who we’re sure is already the centre of your world.
Every new parent or a parent-to-be search for a guide that can help them understand their baby’s wants.
Sometimes you may feel lost and not know what to do, but that’s okay!
Parenting is serious business and you need to know everything there is.
After all, it is the duty of the folks to ensure that their little bundle of joy stays healthy, happy and safe.
Now, get ready for the ride of your life!
The hospitals have doctors, nurses and lactation consultants to answer each and every query of yours regarding baby care.
Nurses are really helpful and teach you a lot of things – how to hold, how to feed, how to burp, etc.
They can really help you understand the correct manner of handling and caring for babies.
When you return home, you can opt for in-home help too.
It’ll give you an extra set of hands until you get a better grasp on things, as they can betedious at first.
You will have family members giving you advice and even if you don’t agree with what they tellyou, don’t dismiss them.
They talk from experience.
Babies need milk every 2- 3 hours.
Yes, that is very frequent but you have to ensure that your baby is well fed, usually every 4 hours.
Crying, putting fingers in their mouth and sucking, etc., are all indicative of the fact that your baby’s tummy needs to be filled.
If you’re breastfeeding, then it should take around 15-18 minutes at each breast.
If using formula, 2-3 ounces should be enough for your baby.
Set up a meeting with your doctorif you need to wake your baby every time before a feed as it isn’t a good indication.
Monitoring whether your baby is eating sufficiently is tricky when you’re breastfeeding.
If he/ she is sleeping well, producing 5-6 wet diapers and several stools, consistently gaining weight, is overall a happy baby and your breasts feel lighter after feeding the baby, then you can relax.
After every feed, making them burp is mandatory otherwise there’ll vomit whatever they’ve consumed.
Lay your baby down on your lap, face- first.
Hold your baby’s head a little higher than his/ her chest and give gentle pats on the back.
You can also hold your baby upright, placing his head on your shoulder supporting it with one hand.
Use the other hand to give gentle pats on this back.
These steps will help release air by making the baby burp.
Newborns are fragile little humans and need to be handled with utmost care which can be a little intimidating at first.
They have a weak immune system and as such it becomes even more important to protect them from germs.
Washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer can help solve this problem.
Avoid shaking or jiggling as it can cause trauma and can prove to be fatal for your baby.
Always support their head and neck when you’re carrying or cradling them.
This is a great way to keep them safe and steady.
There is a reason why car seats are important for your baby.
By fastening them securely, you can limit extra movement due to rough or bumpy roads.
Lastly, don’t indulge in rough play with your baby.
Wait for them to grow a little bigger which will give them the capacity to handle it.
Your baby should be asleep for at least 15 hours in an entire day.
Expecting them to remain asleep the entire night would be too much to ask for.
A baby usually sleeps at intervals of 2-3 hours, waking from which they’ll be charged and ready to play.
It’s important to always ensure that your baby sleeps on their back, as this will reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Avoid keeping blankets, stuffed tops, heavy clothing, etc., near the baby.
Keep alternating your baby’s head positions from night to night because this will help to prevent flat spots.
Many newborns can have their days and nights jumbled up.
They may sleep during the day, and remain awake during the night.
You can slowly change this habit by ensuring that the baby stays up longer during daytime and sleeps in the night due to exhaustion.
Keep in mind that different baby’s have different schedules, so it’s okay if your baby doesn’t adhere to standard rules.
Sponging should be your go- to option until the umbilical cord falls off and the circumcision, if performed, heals.
Frequent bathing can dry your baby’s soft skin and as such you should limit the baths to three times a week.
When you’re bathing or giving sponge baths to your baby, take care that the water is warm but never hot.
Wipe your baby’s face with a soft wash- towel and use gentle, chemical free soap.
Gently lather your baby’s head using little shampoo and take care to thoroughly wash him/her with water.
When you’re placing him/her into the tub, ensure that its only 3 inches deep and always guide them feet-first into the water.
Never leaving your baby in the tub unattended is the most important rule and one you should never forget.
You can use disposable diapers or cloth, whichever you prefer, but the former is a more hygienic option.
On an average, the baby should dirty his/her diaper ten times a day or around 65-70 times a week.
Lay the baby down on his/her back and remove the diaper.
Use a soft washcloth or wet tissues, to gently wipe the genital area and then fasten a new one.
In case of a girl, wipe her bottom from front to back as this can help prevent urinary tract infection.
Diaper rashes are quite common, can occur due to the skin becoming irritated, making it really uncomfortable for the little life.
Applying ointment on the irritated area and frequent changing of the diaper can help heal and prevent these red bumps.
Also, let the baby be diaper- free for some part of the day in order to help the skin breath.
Ready, Set, Go
Now, we trust you know everything there is to take the best care of your baby.
Initially it’ll be hard and all-consuming, but you’ll slowly develop a routine and everything will become easy for you.
Bond and enjoy with your child, this time is precious and will never come back.
The bond between a child and the parent is natural, you’ll see that in the end, everything will work out.
Check out the CDC’s guides on infant care for more info.