Whether your impending arrival is your first baby, or your fifth looking after a newborn takes extreme care, patience and lots of love. However, it’s often first time mothers, simply through lack of experience, that struggle the most. Taking care of a newborn isn’t easy, but neither is it something new parents should shy away from and once you’ve got the basics sorted then things will start falling into place.
photo by Hernán Piñera
Breast Or Bottle
One of the first decisions you’ll make or may have already made is whether to breast, or bottle feed your child and it’s a highly personal decision. Baby formula is quick, less messy and much more convenient when outside, however breastfeeding will give your child everything naturally. Newborns tend to feed around eight, or more times a day and signs your child is hungry include sucking their fingers, being fidgety, opening their mouths and murmuring.
Bathing Your Baby
Keeping your baby clean is a huge part of looking after a newborn, and it’s important you know how to wash them properly. While babies are very delicate creatures, they aren’t made of glass, so it’s perfectly ok to touch, wash and even stroke them. To bathe your baby you’ll need a small washing up bowl, or a baby bath available at bathingyourbaby.com fresh, clean clothes and diaper, two towels, cotton wool and warm, not hot, water. Don’t be tempted to add any shampoo, or bath products as in the first few months plain, warm water’s best. Then gently wipe your baby’s face, ears, neck, and backside with damp pieces of cotton wool using a fresh piece each time. Gently lower baby into the water supporting their head and shoulders with your hand and swish, not splash the water over them. Keep their head elevated above the water at all times and never leave them alone.
Changing A Diaper
Don’t worry you’ll get plenty of practice at this as babies need to be changed frequently when dirty or wet. Good diaper hygiene will keep your baby happy and prevent sore, red skin or diaper rash which happens if children aren’t changed regularly. Newborn babies need, on average, to be changed around ten, twelve times a day so make sure you have plenty of diapers, baby powder and cotton wool with you at all times. Changing a baby isn’t difficult especially if you’re using disposable diapers with sticky tabs. Don’t just change the diaper itself, talk, smile and play with your baby as it encourages bonding and helps them develop from day one.
Photo by Edwin & Kelly Tofslie
Getting your newborn off to sleep is vital for both their well-being and yours. Babies tend to cry when they’re wet, tired or hungry as well as just for no reason so if they’re not settling check these first and it may solve the problem. Tiny babies need lots of sleep, between fourteen and sixteen hours a day and will spend most of their first few weeks asleep than awake. For the first six months or so, the child should sleep and be awake in the same room as its parents.