The arrival of the newborn brings immense joy in parents’ lives. Holding their babies for the first time makes them experience numerous contradicting emotions. Parents feel excited, happy, hopeful, and on the other hand, the feeling of anxiety, fear, and not being enough for the child also creeps into their hearts.
Without a speck of doubt, parenting is indeed a unique journey. It is an epic combination of inexpressible joy and loads of responsibility. Welcoming a newborn baby is a life-altering moment for parents. Their life takes a sharp turn of 360 degrees. Every area of their life is changed, be it physical, mental, or emotional. In addition to the changing body and adjusting to the new routine, parents’ sleep schedule, and diet, are also influenced.
Every parent endeavors to provide their babies with the best of everything. They want to be the perfect parent for their tiny angels.
Dear parents, do not forget that there isn’t any school or a course that can award you the diploma of the perfect parent and prepare you for this beautiful journey.
The secret to getting the parenting thing down is to learn along the journey. You will not master the art of parenting in a day or two, no.
However, to make sure that new parents feel confident and well-prepared for a drastic change in their lives, we have gathered a few parenting tips to help first-time parents take care of their babies and keep them happy.
15 Baby Care Skills Every New Parent Should Master
1. Holding The Baby Correctly
When new mothers are first handed over their babies, most don’t know the proper way to hold their babies. New parents are afraid that they won’t be able to hold their tiny and fragile babies correctly.
Babies are physically weak and are dependent upon their caregivers to support their tiny bodies.
A baby’s neck is the most delicate part of his body. He should be picked up with great care. Always place your one hand under his head and the other hand under his hips. Keep them close to your chest.
Do not hand over your baby to kids and other people who are unable to hold him properly. Keep your precious munchkins safe by keeping them close to you.
2. Swaddling The Baby
This world is a new place for babies, and they need time to forget their previous home and adapt to the new one. Before their arrival, babies loved the warm and cozy environment of their mothers’ womb.
If your newborn babies cry and feel unsafe, swaddling is the best way to soothe and lull them to sleep.
Get your hands on swaddling blankets. They are readily available at baby stores and online stores. They will become your best friend to calm down your wailing baby.
The following is the step-by-step guide to swaddle your baby:
i) Layout The Swaddling Blanket
Layout the swaddling sheet or blanket in a rhombus shape. Next, take the top corner and fold it. Your swaddling sheet should look like a diamond shape. Place your baby on the sheet, make sure that his neck touches the lining of the fold.
ii. Pull The Bottom Corner Up
After placing your baby, pick up the bottom corner, pull it upwards towards his shoulders, and tuck it under his shoulder. Make sure not to pull it tight. Keep some space to allow your baby to wiggle his feet.
iii. Wrapping The Baby
The third and final step is to wrap the baby. Take the right corner and pull it firmly across your baby’s body. Tuck the corner under your baby’s lower back on the left side.
Next, take the left corner and pull it across to wrap the right side of your baby’s body. Place your baby in the cradle, or use a baby safety pin to secure the loose end of the sheet.
Your baby burrito is ready!
If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, don’t forget to share it with your doctor. He will provide you with useful information and might even suggest you take classes to feed your baby correctly.
Also, inform your doctor about the medicines or supplements that you are taking. He will check if they are safe for you during the nursing period.
Moreover, ask your close friends to breastfeed their babies in front of you so you can learn a few tips and tricks about nursing the baby effectively.
When you go to the baby stores, do not forget to purchase the necessary breastfeeding items for yourself, such as a breast pump, nursing cover, nursing pillow, and cold compress for breast engorgement or infections.
4. Care For That Cord
The umbilical cord must be kept clean and dry all the time until it falls off on its own. Make sure you make your baby wear the diaper below the cord and not over it. The pressure can be painful for the baby.
Do not touch the cord or try to pull it. It will dry up and fall on its own within two weeks. If you observe any signs of infection such as foul odor, redness, or yellowish discharge, immediately consult a pediatrician.
5. Trim Their Tiny Nails
The teeny tiny nails of the baby are sharp enough to leave a scratch on his soft, delicate face. Trim those nails so that your baby doesn’t hurt himself if he scratches or touches himself.
You can trim the nails after the bath as the nails become softer to snip. If your baby gives you a hard time, then trim his nails when he is deep asleep. Cut his nails under good lighting to avoid chipping his skin instead of nails.
If your baby’s skin gets cut while trimming the nails, do not freak out. Use a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. Call a doctor if the wound is deep and bleeding doesn’t stop.
6. Burping The Baby
The majority of the parents make the mistake of lying down their babies after feeding them. Babies swallow a lot of air while feeding. This air gets trapped inside their tiny bellies and makes them uncomfortable due to the pain.
To make sure that your baby sleeps and lets you sleep peacefully, burp him after every feeding session. The best way to burp your baby is by holding him near your chest and resting his chin on your shoulder. Support his head and shoulders with your hand, and rub his back gently. The trapped air inside your baby’s tummy will escape and make the digestion of milk easy.
A baby will calmly sleep when he is comfortable.
7. Relaxing Massage Session
Your baby needs to de-stress himself too. Lying in the cradle all day is not an easy task. Help him to relax by giving him a nice body massage. Massages not only delight your baby, but also make his bones and muscles stronger.
Remember not to massage your baby before or after feeding him. To give a relaxing massage to your baby, follow the steps mentioned below:
Massaging your baby means skin-to-skin contact for the baby and his parents. It means a perfect time to bond with your little one and to make him familiar with your touch, scent, and warmth.
8. Bathing Session
New parents are pretty nervous about giving a bath to their newborn babies. They are apprehensive about how to handle their babies and bathe them at the same time.
It is important to remember that babies do not need a bath as frequently as we adults need. A sponge bath is enough to clean your baby. Do not bathe the baby before the umbilical cord completely dries up and falls.
Bathing your baby once or twice a week is enough. More than that will dry your baby’s soft skin. Always check the water temperature before making your baby sit in the tub. The water should be warm and not hot. Furthermore, never leave your baby alone in a bathing tub. Even an inch of water is enough to drown him.
9. Make Him Sleep Longer
It is a challenge for parents to make their babies sleep longer and calmer. Babies are not aware of the pattern of light in this world. Their mothers’ womb was a dark place, and hence, they are only familiar with the darkness.
The first step to make your babies sleep is to help them understand the pattern of light. Keep your rooms well lit during the day, and when it’s time to sleep, dim the lights. Establish a routine for your baby, and within a few days, he’ll get accustomed to it.
11. Prepare A Perfect Diaper Bag
Becoming a parent doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and ditch all the fun. You can go out and enjoy yourself along with your baby. However, don’t forget to prepare your baby’s diaper bag along with your purse.
Always keep a few clean diapers, rash creams, wet wipes, and a sanitizer to change your baby’s diaper on the go. Don’t forget to keep spare clothes for your baby in case any accidents happen.
Also, keep a nursing cover to feed your baby comfortably in public.
12. Bond With Him
Newborns are scared of this new world. They feel unsafe and are entirely dependent on their parents for protection.
Infancy is the perfect time for parents to bond with their little ones and develop the instinct of trust in their babies. Try to spend quality time with your babies. Sing their favorite songs, talk to them, dance with them, and most importantly, give them skin-to-skin contact.
Bonds developed at an early age are deepened and strengthened as the babies grow.
13. Maintain Cleanliness
Cleanliness and hygiene are vital for the well-being of your baby. Baby’s immune system is weak; hence he can easily fall ill if exposed to germs and bacteria.
Cleaning floors is not enough if you want your baby to stay away from germs. You must wash his clothes, clean his toys, cradle, high chair, and even stroller to keep him safe from harmful bacteria.
Make sure to clean everything that your baby uses, including his pacifiers, feeding bottles, and teething toys.
14. Be Patient
Listening to the endless wails of your baby can become quite irritating and make you feel helpless. In those desperate times, do not lose your temper. Take a deep breath and calm down.
Rock him for a few minutes, pat him gently, feed him, or even take him outside for fresh air if he doesn’t stop crying. But never scream or jerk your baby. Crying is the only language familiar to babies. Understand the reason why he is crying. Check his diapers, monitor his temperature, and look for the signs if he is sleepy or hungry.
If you cannot handle the crying baby, ask your spouse or another member of the family to look after your baby while you go to relax yourself.
Have a glass of water or a cup of coffee to relax your mind.
15. Don’t Forget About Yourself
It is crucial to look after yourself if you want to take good care of your newborn. Catch up on your sleep, take a healthy diet with lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Keep yourself hydrated to breastfeed your baby without feeling lethargic.
Your life is going to be turned upside down by the arrival of the tiny human. Ensure that you are fueled up with enough energy to keep you going and cater to your babies' needs without feeling tired.
16. Changing The Diaper
You might find it amusing on the list, but trust us, parents do face a hard time changing their babies’ soiled diapers.
Make sure to select the softest diaper for your baby, which fits them perfectly; neither too loose nor too fitted.
Change it frequently, or else your baby will get rashes. Keep all the supplies ready before you start to change him. Keep a clean diaper, rash cream, wet wipes, and disposable bags prepared on the changing table before removing the dirty diaper.
Keep in mind to wipe the poop from front to back. Doing the opposite will increase the chances of infections, which will be pretty painful for your little one, especially for a girl.
Inexperienced parents often face a rough time when dealing with their newborns. Along with shortness of sleep, lack of rest, and managing hundreds of other things, looking after a newborn becomes pretty challenging.
We hope that the above parenting tips help you prepare for the beautiful change in your life and enable you to embark on the euphoric journey of parenting confidently.
All the best!