Caring For A Newborn
So, you got your baby home from the hospital and you realize, this little person doesn’t come with instructions for caring for a newborn. Those first few weeks can be trying, exhausting and among the most rewarding times you’ve ever experienced. Here are five essential tips that will get you through the first few weeks and make the transition into your roles as new parents a lot easier. Note: if you happen to live in Indonesia, check out our anak dan bayi (kids and babies) product reviews.
Caring for a Newborn Tip 1 – Picking Up and Holding Your Baby
There isn’t just one best way to carry your baby. There are actually several safe and comfortable ways and it’s just a matter of which one you like best. No matter which way you carry your baby, always support your baby’s head and neck. To easily pick up a newborn, your baby should be on her back and then just scoop her up with two arms. One arm will support her bottom and the other will support her neck and head.
Most babies enjoy laying across one of your arms with her head in the crook of your elbow. This enables baby to look at you and bond with you by learning your face. Another position many babies enjoy is nestled close when you hold baby with her head resting on your shoulder. One of your hands should support your baby’s head and the other her bottom.
Caring for a Newborn Tip 2 – Feeding Your Newborn Baby
Most newborn babies eat every 3-4 hours. If you’re breastfeeding, you may be feeding more often because breast milk is digested easier than infant formula and as a result your baby gets hungry more often. Over the next few weeks your baby will eat less frequently, but the amount she eats at every meal will increase.
Caring for a Newborn Tip 3 – Burping Your Newborn Baby
Babies swallow air when they feed, breastfed babies “latch on” to the nipple and swallow far less air. However if your baby is spitting up most of her meal at the end or becoming fussy due to a gassy belly, try stopping midway through her feeding and burping her. You can either use the “over the shoulder” method where you use your arm to cradle your baby upright against your should and gentle pat her back with your other hand or lay your on your lap face down adn gently pat her back with other hand, support her head if she’s not holding it up yet.
Another position many parents favor is to sit your baby upright and support her chest and head with your hand and gently pat her back with your other hand. Either of these three methods is guaranteed to bring you any air she has swallowed during feeding.
Caring for a Newborn Tip 4 – Putting Your Newborn Baby to Bed
A newborn baby will sleep alot. Some newborns sleep as little as 10 hours a day and others will clock in as much as 21 hours sleeping and will have to be woken up to for meals. Nights and days will have little meaning as you’ll be up every 3-4 hours feeding, changing and interaction with your baby, otherwise she’ll be sleeping and growing.
Around 4 months of age, most babies will start sleeping through the night, don’t confuse your baby about night and day. Avoid turning on lights at night during diaper changes or feedings, use dim soft lights and keep diaper changes short and sweet so your baby can go back to sleep. If your baby sleeps longer than 4 hours during the day, wake her up and play with her. Remember, if your baby sleeps too much during the day, you won’t be sleeping at night because you’ll have a wide awake little night owl on your hands.
Last but not least, put your baby on her back to sleep. Studies have found you can significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) simply by putting your baby on her back on a firm, flat mattress.
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