Updated on 28 November 2022
A newborn baby can bring a whirlwind of excitement along with plenty of stress for parents. However, the first 28 days (the neonatal period) are crucial for a baby's survival as it is the foundation for lifelong health and development. Whether it is your first time or you have already taken care of a newborn, it is normal to feel like you don't have any idea about what you are doing. With these tips, you can ensure that your newborn gets the best care.
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding can be a challenging task, especially for first-time mothers. However, there are many benefits of breastfeeding. Getting help from a paediatrician or even from nurses during your hospital stay after delivery can help you nurse your baby optimally, as well as you can learn how you should hold your newborn.
When you don't have much experience handling babies, their fragility can scare you. Remember these basics to help you get started:
Bonding becomes an important contributing factor to future emotional attachments between you and your child. Physical closeness promotes emotional attachment. Make sure to spend ample time caressing, cradling, and playing with your baby to promote healthy emotional growth. You can engage your newborn's senses by using various vocal and other sounds such as rattling and music. But remember to keep the volumes at a low or moderate level. If you have a premature baby, opting for gentle massage can enhance bonding as well as promote healthy physical growth and development.
This is a monumental task for many first-time parents. But you should adapt to the fact that your newborn will dirty the diapers around ten times a day. So before you start diapering, make sure you have all the supplies you need, like a clean diaper, fasteners, diaper wipes, etc. Diaper rash is common, so you can put some ointment on the affected areas and give warm baths.
Bathing newborns frequently is not recommended as it may lead to drying of the skin. Limit the bathing sessions to two to three times a week. Use a soft washcloth and unscented soap and shampoo for your baby. Always put your baby in clean clothes after wiping it with clean towels. You can opt for tub baths once the baby can sit up straight. Get bathtubs made for babies which are 2-3 inches deep.
Newborn babies can sleep for more than 16 hours a day, and that occurs for periods of 2 to 4 times. You should also be mindful of the time gap of feeding as babies have a small digestive system which means they get hungry often. You should not let your newborn go without food for more than 4 hours.
Parenting in the first few weeks, even months can seem overwhelming. Once you start getting used to the routine, you will start parenting like a pro. For any queries, reach out to your regular paediatrician and seek treatment for newborns whenever needed to ensure optimum care for your newborn baby!
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