Have you been through pregnancy, childbirth and have you given birth? Are you ready to go home and start life with your baby? Are you already home but you feel like you have no idea what you are doing?
These tips can help you if you are a new parent and want to quickly feel more confident when caring for your newborn.
The basics after birth
After giving birth, these are often the most chaotic and exhausting times of raising a baby. Take advantage of the hospital stays to consult the experts or turn to the specialists in feeding and lactation to understand how to breastfeed or feed your baby. Nurses can also help you learn how to hold your baby, or how to change and care for it.
Many new parents choose a professional to help them at home. You can ask your doctor for a referral to home health agencies.
Family and friends are usually very willing to help, however, if you discount their experience or do not want to receive their help, you only need to impose a visit restriction.
How to hold a newborn
Newborns often impress by their fragility, but there are some points that you should not overlook. For example, you should wash your hands or use a disinfectant before touching any baby. Remember that they have not yet fully developed their immune system, so it is crucial that everyone who comes close to the baby has washed their hands to avoid unnecessary risks.
The baby's head and neck need support in an upright position or when lying down. It is strictly forbidden to shake a newborn, as this can cause injuries, such as bleeding in the brain that can end in death. Instead of waking him up with a jolt, choose to tickle his feet or blow on his cheeks.
When transporting the creature, make sure it is securely attached to the carrier, cart, or car seat. Babies need gentle play, so don't shake him too much or throw him up in the air.
How to connect emotionally with a baby
Feeling connected to your baby is one of the most comforting experiences in caring for an infant. Parents often experience a deep emotional connection with their baby in the first hours and days after delivery. This physical closeness is what encourages the development of an emotional bond.
Attachment is a basic element for a baby's emotional growth, but it also affects other aspects, such as his physical development. Rest assured that if you love him unconditionally, your baby will prosper.
Both parents need to take the opportunity to be with the baby, holding the newborn while feeding or petting him.
In many cases, infant massages improve bonding and promote infant development and growth, but keep in mind that babies are more fragile than adults, so massages need to be gentle.
Music, rattles, and musical mobiles are excellent ways to stimulate your baby's hearing. Newborns adore vocal sounds, so if your baby gets fussy, a near-infallible recommendation is to sing, recite poetry, or read aloud while gently rocking the baby.
You can also try to tuck him in, since during the first weeks it is also a technique to relax that you may need to put into practice. Properly covering your baby not only helps keep him warm, but also gives the infant a sense of security and comfort.
How to change a newborn's diaper
A very common dilemma among new moms and dads is whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. It doesn't matter which one you choose, as your little one will get their diapers dirty more than ten times a day.
To change your baby, you need to have a clean diaper and wipes ready. When the diaper gets wet, gently wipe the area.
If it's a boy, you need to be careful, as exposure to air can prompt him to urinate, while if he's a girl, you'll need to wipe his bottom from front to back to avoid urinary tract infection.
How to properly bathe a baby
You have to give your baby a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely and / or until the circumcision heals.
To bathe your baby, you will need a clean, soft cloth, baby-safe soap and shampoo, a soft brush to stimulate hair growth, towels or blankets, a clean diaper, and clean clothing.
For sponge bathing, choose a warm room with a flat, secure surface. Fill a basin with hot water, undress the baby, and wrap him in a towel. Wipe his eyes with a washcloth, from the inner corner to the outside. Then the nose and ears with a damp cloth. Dampen the cloth again and wash her face gently with a little soap. Then dry it
With the shampoo it creates foam and gently washes the baby's head. With a damp cloth, wash the rest of his body, especially in the wrinkles under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and in the genital area. Dry him well, put on a clean diaper and dress your baby.
When the baby is ready to bathe in the tub, the first few baths should be light and brief.
How to circumcise and care for your umbilical cord
After circumcision, the glans is usually covered with petroleum jelly-coated fat to prevent the wound from sticking to the diaper. Gently clean the tip with warm water after changing the diaper, then apply petroleum jelly to prevent it from sticking to the diaper. The irritation should heal in a few days, but if the redness or swelling persists, it can lead to infection and you need to see a doctor immediately.
As for the umbilical cord, many doctors suggest rubbing the area with alcohol until the cord stump dries and falls off (this usually occurs between 10 days and three weeks), but others recommend leaving the area isolated.
Avoid submerging your baby's belly button in water until the area has detached and healed. It is normal for the stump to change color (yellow to brown or black). Notify your doctor if the area turns red or produces a bad smell or discharge.
How to feed and expel gas from your baby
It is normal that at first you do not know how to feed your baby, whether you intend to feed your baby from the breast or from the bottle, but you will have to do it on their demand or when they seem hungry. Babies indicate hunger when they cry, when they put their fingers in their mouth, or when they make sucking noises.
Babies have to be fed every two to three hours, but if you are breastfeeding, you will need to give them the ability to feed for 10 to 15 minutes per breast. If you use a bottle, the most common is that the baby takes approximately 75 milliliters for each meal.
You may need to wake your baby up from time to time to make sure he is getting enough to eat. Call your doctor if you have to wake your baby frequently or if the newborn does not seem interested in eating or sucking.
Babies swallow a lot of air during feedings, which can make them fussy. The solution is to burp them frequently. If your newborn tends to have gas, GERD, or seems fussy, help him burp after every meal.
How to put your baby to sleep easily
As first-time parents, you may have already discovered that your baby seems to need you every minute of the day, but the reality is that a baby sleeps approximately more than 16 hours.
Their periods are usually between two to four hours, so don't expect them to sleep through the night. You think that their digestive system is so small that they need to feed every few hours, so they need to wake up if they haven't eaten for more than four hours.
Some babies sleep through the night at three months of age, but yours may take a little longer. Give her time to develop her own sleep patterns and cycles.
Many babies have mixed days and nights, so they can be on alert at night, and more sleepy during the day. To help them, try to keep stimulation to a minimum at night. To do this, use dim lights at night and play and talk with your baby during the day. When he wakes up in the morning, try to keep him awake a little longer.
Although you may feel a great burden to raise your newborn, in a few weeks you will have developed the skills to feel like a complete father, but if you still have doubts, do not hesitate to consult your doctor to recommend the best resources so that both you and your baby grow up healthy and united.
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