To New Parents, Here’s What You Need to Know about Newborn Care (Part I)
Newborn Care Tips: Handling, Bonding, and Soothing Techniques
Congratulations! After nine months of waiting, your little one is finally going to make an appearance! You have made it through the hard stuff—labor and delivery—and now you are all set, only to realize that taking care of a baby is the simplest, yet the most difficult thing you are going to do.
For new parents who don’t have a nanny or a relative to assist during this challenging time, looking after a newborn can be overwhelming. Here are important tips that will help first-time parents feel more confident about taking care of their newborn.
Holding a newborn
Carrying a baby for the first time can be a daunting job. Their soft skin, small size, and fragile appearance can be too intimidating. But newborns are tougher than they look. Just make them feel comfortable and hold them as often as you can. This will allow both you and your baby to feel at ease with each other’s company.
- Support your little one’s head and neck. Cradle the head while holding the newborn upright.
- Sanitize your hands before touching and holding your baby. Newborn babies are still vulnerable to infection, so wash and sanitize your hands prior to carrying the baby.
- Fasten your baby into the stroller, carrier, or car seat, securely. Your baby is not yet ready for rough play, so limit any movement that may be too bouncy.
- Refrain from shaking your baby’s head. It may be during playtime or due to frustration, forceful rocking of your baby may lead to brain hemorrhage of worse, death.
Bonding with your baby
Newborns especially love vocal sounds, infant massage, and skin-to-skin contact. Infants thrive better if they are surrounded with adults who love them unconditionally.
- Learn how to swaddle a newborn. Wrapping the baby with a blanket keeps them warm and prevents startle reflex. Swaddling gives your little one a sense of security and comfort.
- Caress your baby. Baby massage is soothing and comforting. Your loving touch nourishes your newborn’s emotional development. Play a pleasant music and start rubbing your baby with an aromatic lotion in a mild and loving manner.
- Skin-to-skin contact. Hold your baby close to you during cradling or baby feeding Intentional touch reduces stress and helps your baby fall asleep.
- Interact with your baby. Talk or sing to your baby during a breastfeeding session. You can also read a children’s book, or flip a colorful picture book while your little one is filling himself.
Have you decided whether to use disposable or cloth diapers? Whichever you use, make sure you have everything you need within reach to avoid leaving your baby unaccompanied on the changing table. Here is a checklist of what you’ll need:
- A clean disposable or cloth diaper
- Fasteners for cloth diaper
- Rash cream if the baby has a diaper rash
- A bowl of warm water
- Diaper wipes, cotton balls, or clean washcloth
Steps to diaper change:
- Distract your baby with a toy.
- Take the dirty diaper off and use it to help remove as much feces as possible.
- For newborns, use a washcloth dipped in warm water or cotton balls to swipe off the remaining poop. Wipe from front to back to avoid distributing germs.
- Wipe the folds between your baby’s buttocks and legs to get rid of any traces of pee and poop.
- Pat your baby’s genitals and bottom dry before dabbing the rash cream or ointment.
- If you use a changing table for nappy changes, buckle your baby securely when disposing the dirty nappy.