As a new parent, you will likely have numerous questions about newborn care and your baby’s development. The internet, bookstores, family, and friends can offer a wealth of information, but at times, too much help may feel overwhelming.
In addition, as you approach your due date, your questions may multiply, and it can be challenging to figure out what is old baby information versus the most current tips and guidance.
Consider this article your new parent guide as we walk through the essential tips and information to get life with your new baby off to a perfect start!
Once the whirlwind of labor and delivery has passed and you’re home with your new bundle of joy, you may wonder, “what do I do now”? Many first-time parents feel an overwhelming sense of doubt on how to care for their new baby.
The first days home will seem long and tiring; however, it is important to remember that you can do this and that asking for help is OK!
The old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” exists because, in many cultures, new parents have their mother, sisters, and neighbors to assist. However, in our modern society, families often live far apart, we may not know our neighbors, and we may be the first of our friends to have a baby. Our village can seem incredibly small when this is the case, but remember that you are never alone.
Before bringing your baby home, there are a few baby basics you need to be familiar with to take care of your baby’s needs and to keep everyone healthy. Your pediatrician is an excellent source of information, and there are many wonderful and helpful baby and parenting books available.
1. Prior to leaving the hospital, you must have an infant car seat properly installed. A nurse will check the installation of your car seat before your departure.
2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
3. NEVER shake or roughly handle a crying baby
4. Always support your baby’s head when holding them for the first few months. Your baby should be able to support their head by 4-months old.
5. Because a newborn’s immune system is weak, and because of the added concern of the coronavirus pandemic, it is wise to limit who can visit and hold your infant in the early days. You may even consider asking any visitor except you and your partner to wear a mask while holding your baby.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is the unexplained death of a child under the age of one. While there is no full-proof way to prevent SIDS, there are many steps that parents can take to reduce the risk.
A newborn baby grows rapidly during the first year, and new parents often have a laundry list of questions about developmental milestones. This section will address baby sleep, growth and development, feeding schedules, and other health information.
Several factors may affect your baby’s birth weight and growth.
Feeding your baby solids early DOES NOT help your baby sleep through the night. Your baby will begin sleeping through the night (5-6 hours at a time) once they are developmentally ready, around four to five months.
When looking at a newborn baby, it may seem there is little they can do, but newborns are developing rapidly and picking up new skills daily! Much of your baby’s initial development will revolve around reflexes; however, they will also learn new skills as they observe and interact with their environment.
Crying is your baby’s primary method of communication, so you must learn to interpret their cries and meanings. For example, babies will cry when hungry, tired, need a diaper change, are over or under-stimulated, in pain, sick, or scared.
Newborns go through a lot of diapers, on average 10-15 per day! So to prepare you for your new baby, here are the ins and outs of changing a newborn’s diaper.
Newborns and young infants do not need to bathe daily; in fact, too many baths can dry out a baby’s sensitive skin. Until your baby’s circumcision and or umbilical cord wound heals, you should give your baby sponge baths and avoid submerging the wound in water.
Having a newborn is a lot of work, but the rewards are greater! Remember, help is always there for the asking, and if needed, you can hire a local high school or college student to work as a mother’s helper.
In addition, take breaks when needed to support your mental health and use your pediatrician and childcare provider as a trusted source of information and guidance.
Finally, be sure to bookmark this article as your go-to source and guide for newborn care!
Nurture& was born out of a desire to create thoughtfully designed and premium quality nursery & kids products for modern parents. We’re here so that you can focus on your number one priority - making the beautiful big moments with your family and soaking in all the little ones in between.