Becoming a parent for the first time is an exciting moment in one’s life. New parents cannot wait to welcome their little bundles of joy and shower them with endless love and happiness.
The moment when a newborn comes into this world, he floods his parents’ heart with happiness, hope, and a whole lot of anxiety and fear.
Many parents get jitters when it’s time to bring the baby home from the hospital. Being new to the parenting role, parents are unsure how to take proper care of their newborn. They fear making mistakes and not being the perfect parent for their little ones.
If you too are sailing the same boat, then don’t worry!
In today’s article, we have presented baby care tips for new parents that can come in handy to look after your newborn.
Newborn Baby Care - 13 Useful Baby Care Tips For New Parents
1. Prepare Before The Arrival Of The Baby
The best tip for new parents is to prepare their house before welcoming their babies into this world. Just as you prepare your house for the guests' arrival, do the same for your baby. You won’t get time to make necessary arrangements when you are on your toes around the clock to look after your baby.
Use the following tips to make necessary arrangements before bringing your baby home.
i. Stock Your Freezer
Cooking would be the last thing you’ll want to do after coming back from the hospital. Your baby will get his meal from you or formula, but what about you and other family members?
Instead of spending money on takeaways and online deliveries, stock your freezer with homemade food and ready to cook meals. You will have to toss the dish in the microwave to have warm, comforting homemade food at the table.
ii. Declutter Your House
Your baby will not only take considerable space in your heart but in your house too. He will spend most of his time in his bed, but his items will take up a lot of space in your home, such as his stroller, high chair, diaper basket, rocker, etc.
Therefore, get rid of extra stuff that you do not need to make space for your baby’s items. Do not forget to clear your cupboards. Make sure to stock comfortable maternity and loose clothes to keep you comfortable and relaxed during your pregnancy and nursing period.
iii. Prepare The Guest Room
New mothers are extended help and support for the first few weeks after their return from the hospital. If your mother, sister, or friend will come to stay with you to lend you a helping hand, then don’t forget to set up their rooms before leaving for the hospital.
Preparing the room of your guest with a newborn in your arm can get pretty hectic, right? Change the sheets, stock the toiletries and other items that your guest will need in their room during their stay.
2. Handling A Newborn
Newborns are not only tiny but also fragile. They should be handled with great care. It might scare the new parents to pick up their babies or to hold them in their arms. Remember the following basics to handle your baby.
i. Wash Your Hands
Make it a habit to wash your hands and sanitize them before picking up the baby or touching his skin. Also, ask your other family members to do the same when handling the baby.
ii. Support The Baby’s Head And Neck
Always support your baby’s head when carrying him. A newborn has weak neck muscles, and he needs extra support for his head.
iii. Never Shake Your Newborn
Beware of shaking your baby as it can cause bleeding in the infant’s brain. In severe cases, it can even lead to the death of the baby. Never shake your baby while playing with him or waking him up.
iv. Be Gentle With Your Baby
Do not get rough with your baby when you are angry or frustrated. Handle him with great care; avoid throwing him in the air or playing games with him that can hurt him.
3. Bonding With The Baby
The foundation of a strong bond with your baby must be laid during infancy. This world is a foreign place for babies. They are entirely dependent upon their caregivers to protect them and cater to their needs.
Try to spend maximum time with your baby. Play with him, talk to him, sleep together, and shower him with endless cuddles and kisses to form an unbreakable bond.
4. Soothing The Baby
All hell breaks loose when a newborn starts crying at the peak of their voices, and the poor parents have no idea how to calm them.
Use the following tips to calm down your baby.
Swaddling your baby keeps them relaxed and protected as it reminds the baby of their first home; mother’s womb.
ii. Rock Them Gently
Hold the baby upright in your arms and gently rock them. The to and fro motion calms his brain and lulls him to sleep.
iii. Use White Noise
White noise refers to the sound that has the same amplitude throughout its frequency. White noises relax the baby. Use a white noise machine or say ‘Shhhh’ to calm down your brain.
5. Diapering Your Baby
Your newborns will use around 8-12 diapers a day. It means you have to become a superstar in diapering your baby to prevent his clothes, bed, and sheets from getting messy.
The following tips will help you to change your baby’s diaper like a pro.
i. Keep The Supplies Ready
Before you take off the dirty diaper, make sure you have all the supplies ready in hand. It will prevent you from leaving your infant unattended on the changing table while you make a run for fetching his essentials.
Keep a stack of diapers, baby wipes, rash creams, and disposable bags to change the dirty diaper.
ii. Prevent Diaper Rash
The babies skin is sensitive and can quickly get red or develop rashes if their diapers are not changed when wet or soiled.
Skin rashes can get pretty painful and irritating for the babies. Adopt the following practices to heal the rashes of your baby:
- Change the diaper often.
- If baby wipes do not suit your baby’s skin, use warm water and cotton balls to clean.
- Apply a rash cream to soothe the irritation and redness.
- Wash cloth diapers in fragrance-free detergent.
6. Feeding Time
Luckily you do not have to prepare delicious recipes to feed your newborns. You can either breastfeed him or give him the formula milk to satiate his hunger.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, make sure you drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. Stay away from spicy and junk food as it will affect your baby. Make sure to clean and sterilize the breast pump. It will become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned thoroughly.
The parents who give formula milk to their child must ensure that their bottles are clean and sterilized. Use warm water to prepare the formula. Do not make the mistake of heating the bottle in a microwave. The formula milk loses its minerals and nutrients when heated. Moreover, bottles heated in the microwave can develop hot spots which can scald the baby’s mouth.
7. Bathing Session
A warm relaxing bath can do wonders for your little one. It will relax his stressed muscles and help your baby to sleep better.
i. Avoid Giving Frequent Bath
Unlike adults, babies do not need to bathe multiple times a week. Frequent baths can make his skin dry and upset his body temperature. Bathing the baby twice a week is enough to keep him clean.
ii. Gather The Supplies Beforehand
Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub. Keep all the bathing essentials ready before you put your munchkin in the tub.
Use a mild soap and shampoo to avoid causing any skin allergies or irritation.
iii. Do Not Use Hot Water
A baby cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Do not fill his tub with hot water. It can scald your baby’s skin. Always use warm water for bathing your baby.
iv. Arrange A Milk Bath
Pamper your baby’s skin in rich nutrients and minerals by drawing him a milk bath. If you are not familiar with a milk bath, then read the amazing benefits of a milk bath for your baby.
8. Make Him Sleep Longer
The only time when new mothers and fathers can exhale a sigh of relief is when their babies sound asleep. Parents get to relax, catch up on their unfinished chores, or take a nap when their little ones are not awake.
If you want your baby to sleep peacefully and more prolonged, then use the following tips.
i. Set The Environment
Do not expect your baby to sleep in a noisy and well-lit room. You will have to put in some efforts to make your baby sleep longer. Draw the curtains, dim the lights, limit the noises, and ask your family members to observe silence when putting the baby to sleep.
ii. Keep The Baby Bed Clear
Stuffed toys, crib bumpers, extra blankets look cute when in a baby bed. However, these items can clutter the crib's space and prove harmful for the baby. If your baby rolls over, then these extra items might suffocate him.
iii. Install A Baby Monitor
A baby monitor will help you to keep an eye on your baby when he is sound asleep in his nursery. If he wakes up or starts crying, then you can immediately go and attend to him.
9. Invest In Right Baby Gears
Handling a baby in your arms is not easy, especially if you have a gazillion of tasks to look after. Be a wise parent and invest in baby gears that will help you to keep your baby safe and your hands free of carrying a baby.
Use an infant car seat when travelling with the baby. It will keep your baby safe and allow you to drive without any problem.
Similarly, purchase a stroller. Your baby would love to go on a stroll with you. It will also make it easy for you to take your baby wherever you go without having to hold him the entire time, for instance, to grocery shopping, mall, or simply for a walk in your nearby park.
10. Maintain Cleanliness
Babies cannot eat apples to stay away from the doctors. Therefore, to keep them miles away from the doctor, maintain proper cleanliness in your home. Do not only scrub the floors to shoo away the germs, but also every item of your baby, including his toys, feeding items, and baby high chairs, strollers, and cribs too.
The cleaner the house, the less likely your baby will fall ill.
11. Spend Time With Your Partner
It often happens with new mothers. To ace their new roles, they often forget about their partners. In the beginning, they do not mind spending less time with their partners but, after a few days, they will feel alone, stressed, and even anxious about spending less time with their partners.
Remember, a baby can sense the mother’s emotions, such as anger, frustration, anxiety, and reacts to them. Spend a few hours with your partner daily to avoid getting stressed or anxious.
12. Accept Help
It is an absolute pleasure for the parents to do all the things for their baby without any help. Understand that there is no harm in asking for help. Parenting takes time to master. Instead of doing things the wrong way that might harm your baby, seek the help of an experienced person.
If your family members or friends offer you their sincere help, don’t hesitate to accept it.
13. Don’t Forget To Breathe
The last baby care tip for new parents is to relax!
While taking care of your newborn, don’t forget to take some time for yourself too. Take a break of a few minutes to relax, sip your coffee, and inhale some fresh air.
A tired mind and body cannot take care of the baby properly.
In A Nutshell
Parenting is a tough yet, the most delightful journey that anyone can embark on. Things will become difficult, and you’ll feel helpless, but take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can do this.
Do not feel pressured to meet the eligibility criteria of the perfect mom set by society. Parenting is not about impressing other people with your excellent management skills; it is about you and your baby’s well being.
So, new parents, we wish you all the best for acing your new roles. We hope that the above-listed baby care tips will be helpful for you.