10 Caring Tips For Your Newborn Baby
Becoming a parent for the first time is both joyous and overwhelming. You’ve probably been assaulted by a never-ending barrage of well-meaning advice from your parents, other friends and relatives with children, or even complete strangers, and that only adds to your stress.
When it comes to caring for your newborn baby, there are thousands of things you need to think about. But over-thinking and worrying about every little thing is going to drive you crazy. Here are 10 basic things to focus on to get you started so you’ll feel like a parenting pro in no time.
Take it easy
Babies might be small but they are very intuitive. This is how they can sense their mom is around even while their eyesight is still poor. Your baby can feel your love and joy, and he can also pick up on when you’re anxious and worried. Breathe. You’ve got this. Babies are more durable than we think so stop worrying that you’re going to do something wrong. There are many different ways to do the things you need to do to care for your baby. After a few diaper changes and feedings, you’ll feel much more comfortable.
Make some noise
Most new parents fear a noisy environment is going to be bad for the baby but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Babies hear all the noises of our internal organs whooshing and whirring around them while in the womb. Once they are born, the world seems all too quiet. If you want your baby to feel more comfortable as he adjusts to life outside the womb, makes some noise, specifically, white noise. You don’t need an expensive sound machine either. There are free apps you can download to your tablet that will have baby calm in seconds.
Find your feeding style
Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, you’ll need to just relax and find whatever is comfortable for you and your baby. With each one, find a position that is comfortable for you and the baby, whether it’s sitting or lying together. Formula-fed newborns will need to eat roughly every 4 hours while breastfeeding babies will usually need to be fed every 2 hours.
Plan ahead for outings
While it won’t always be this way, the first outings you make with your baby will take quite some time in regards to getting out the door. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your baby in your diaper bag. Don’t fuss, just focus on the essentials like diapers and wipes, as well as an extra outfit in case your baby’s clothes get wet. If you’re bottle-feeding, you’ll need to bring the necessary items to feed your baby too. Prior to leaving, make sure you feed and change your baby.
Decode the cries
Babies cry for many different reasons. They will cry because they are hungry, thirsty, sleepy, bored, over-stimulated, are uncomfortable from a dirty diaper or some other factor, hot, or cold, to name a few. Each cry sounds different so try to tap into the sound. After a week, you should be able to recognize each distinctive cry and respond accordingly.
Squeeze in sleep when you can
Newborns require a lot of sleep, and while you may feel very ragged for the first month or two, things will even out soon enough. In the meantime, many experts suggest you get some sleep while your baby is sleeping. Snuggle up with baby for a nap and go to bed earlier so you can catch up on precious sleep time.
Start establishing routines
It’s impossible to get a baby on a routine in the newborn phase, but if you do things as close to a routine as possible, your baby will learn these cues and follow suit. For example, at night, dim the lights and make more soothing sounds around the home. Give a bath and read a story. When your baby recognizes these cues, he will become sleepier because of them and will likely sleep better and longer.
Make time for play time
Newborn babies aren’t very active, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require play time. It all begins with tummy time. A few minutes 2 or 3 times a day should do the trick until your baby starts becoming more interactive. Reading and giving your baby newborn-friendly toys will help stimulate their mental development. You don’t need to pull out the flashcards just yet but use these moments for bonding and teaching through sharing.
Another way to familiarize your baby with the world around them is to narrate what’s going on. Our voices are very soothing for our babies, so when we take him to the park in the carrier and talk about the things we see, we’re getting him more comfortable with the things outside the womb as well as building his vocabulary and knowledge base.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether you need your husband to hold the baby while you shower, or you need a friend or relative to help you with chores, make sure you vocalize it. The first 2 months of parenthood are the most exhausting as we acclimate to our new normal. Sometimes, you can’t do it all and that is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with you if you seek out assistance. Remember, in order to best care for your baby you need to care for yourself too. You can’t fill his cup or anyone else’s if you are empty yourself.
Newborn babies don’t come from a stork with a set of instructions. It takes a lot of trial and error to find what works for your family. There are many things people will tell you that will work great while other suggestions just won’t be right for you. There is no one way to do each task. Hold and love your baby as much as possible and that will be the best thing you can do to care for him as you learn how to handle the other little things daily.