Having a baby is one of the most exciting moments of your life. However, the first few months after childbirth can be the most difficult. You are still trying to understand your baby’s eating, sleeping, poop timing, and moods.
So, your initial months as a parent are not just full of learning. They are challenging and stressful too. Your baby might have a hard time due to colic issues, irregular sleep patterns, frequent vomiting, persistent crying, and whatnot. And with them, you too!
However, even after all these issues, parents must figure out the best way to care for their newborn baby. They must go through this challenging learning phase of their life to keep their baby safe and healthy.
Realizing the dilemma of many new parents, we have decided to share some tips to keep their newborn babies healthy. Here they are!
- Undergo Initial tests and screenings
The first thing you must do is to ask the hospital staff about the complete medical screening of your baby. After-birth screenings include knowing the baby’s weight, length, head circumference, heart rate, breathing, etc. It will confirm that your baby is born healthy, the heart and other organs are working fine, and there are no internal issues.
Medical screening is also essential because it helps ensure your baby has not incurred a birth injury that could result in cerebral palsy. You must not waste time filing a lawsuit if you find any such evidence. In most cases, a birth injury occurs due to negligence of the medical staff. Approach an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer and find out how to file a lawsuit for a birth injury and what kind of evidence you need to prove your case. An experienced lawyer can take care of all the matters on your behalf.
On the contrary, if the medical screenings reveal that your baby is hale and hearty, it is time to take your newborn home.
- Don’t hesitate to get help
As a parent, you might feel it is your responsibility, and even if you are someone who takes pride in doing everything on your own, now is not the time to be hesitant about asking for help. Following childbirth, your body is weak, and you need help.
If you have family or relatives nearby, ask them to move in with you for at least the first few months of childbirth. Alternatively, you can hire professional help to assist you in matters like giving a bath to your baby, changing and washing their clothes, changing diapers, etc. Your doctor can help you find suitable in-home help. So, after discussing with your partner what you need, arrange the help as soon as possible.
- Handle your baby with care
For new parents, the fragility of their newborn is intimidating. So, here are some rules for handling a newborn with care.
Keep your hands clean: Newborns don’t have strong immune systems because they have lived in a protected environment in their mother’s womb. For that reason, they are not yet capable of fighting illnesses and infections. Therefore, always keep your hands clean when handling your newborn. Keep a sanitizer handy, and apply it to your hands frequently.
Support your baby’s head and neck: A newborn cannot support their neck and head by themselves until they are a few months old. Therefore, whenever you or someone carries the baby, always support their head and neck with your hand.
Don’t shake the newborn: Newborns are exceptionally delicate, and their bodies cannot sustain sudden jolts. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain. In severe situations, it can cause death too. Therefore, never shake or jerk your baby while playing or in frustration.
Keep the baby secure: If you are taking the baby out of the house, ensure the baby is wrapped correctly, and when you put the baby in the car seat, ensure that you fasten all the latches completely. The same rule applies when you use a stroller or a carrier to transport the baby.
- Putting your baby to sleep
Sleep is an integral part of your baby’s day. Sleep is necessary for their cognitive development, memory, length, etc. Therefore, your baby needs to have a peaceful sleep.
However, parents often reduce the sleep quality of their newborns due to insufficient knowledge of the right way of putting the baby to sleep. Some tips for putting your baby to sleep include:
- Put the baby to sleep on a flat surface on their backs
- They should have no pillow, cushion, stuffed toy, etc. under their head
- The infant must not share the bed with other kids
- The mattress must be flat and covered with a fitted sheet
- Regularly change the diapers
Changing diapers on time is vital to keep your baby safe and healthy—parents who don’t change their baby’s diapers on time deal with baby rashes and infections. Frequently changing the diaper of your baby prevents the risk of diaper dermatitis.
Also, whenever cleaning your baby, never use wet tissues or wipes. They are full of fragrances and chemicals that might harm your baby’s delicate skin. Instead, use lukewarm water and air dry before putting on a clean diaper.
If the newborn develops a rash, apply anti-rash cream or powder, give warm baths and avoid diapers for some time. To prevent your baby from experiencing diaper rashes, change the diaper as soon as they experience bowel movements. Regularly apply a cream with zinc oxide, and wash the cloth diapers in fragrance-free detergents.
- Feed your baby at regular intervals
A newborn has a tiny stomach. Therefore, you must not overfeed them. Instead, feed them at regular intervals (every two to three hours). Frequent feeding prevents the chance of infantile reflux or spitting up. Reducing the volume of each feed and increasing the frequency also helps the baby digest the food more effectively.
If the newborn looks fussy during feeding or has gastroesophageal reflux, burp them after every ounce during bottled milk feeding or after every five minutes during breastfeeding. This process will calm your baby and help with feeding.
- Swaddle your baby
Swaddling is one of the soothing techniques that first-time parents must learn. Swaddling your baby will keep their arms closer to their body and their legs straight (while allowing some movement). This technique does not just keep your baby warm, but it also simulates a sense of security that they get in their mother’s arms.
You might feel anxious about handling and caring for your newborn. It may seem overwhelming, and you may feel unsure many times, but realize there is nothing wrong with that. Remember, it is an ongoing process, and you will learn about it as time passes. You will be handling your baby like a pro in a few weeks! Therefore, don’t take too much stress and try to enjoy each day of becoming a parent.