5 Newborn Care Tips for First-Time Parents
Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by babygatesplus.com
The birth of a new baby is thrilling yet challenging for first-time parents. Keeping up with frequent feedings and diaper changes can be overwhelming after a long and intense labor. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 120,000 babies in the US are born with congenital disabilities each year. According to another report by the CDC, one in every ten infants is born prematurely in the States, leading to a rise in preterm births to 4% in 2021 from 2020. Babies born under these conditions require specialized care, and the new parents need to take extra precautions to ensure the health and well-being of their little ones.
According to Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, the first three years of an infant’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development depend on proper care and bonding with the parents. It affects the child’s future learning capabilities, health, and behavior. Therefore, the initial years are the most crucial in child-rearing.
This article will explore the most effective tips for first-time parents caring for newborns.
1. Get the Baby Checked for Potential Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can happen due to the negligence of healthcare professionals. There are various types of birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, spinal cord injury, or brain damage. It is essential to get your baby checked for potential injuries soon after the birth, especially if you suspect delayed reflexes or inability to move their limbs or neck so that you can get the required treatment.
If your baby receives a birth injury diagnosis, you can contact birth injury attorneys for legal help and file a case against the responsible parties. They can help you get the financial and medical aid required to treat the baby. Since birth injury treatments can be expensive and long-term, a specialized legal representative can present a strong case to get the claim you deserve.
2. Get Help from Others
First-time parenting can be rewarding yet exhausting. It is important to have a support system of family and relatives who have undergone childbirth and childcare. Their experience caring for a newborn can prove effective for new parents and relieves them of some burden.
It can also include getting help from a lactation consultant to assist in breastfeeding or seeking advice from a pediatrician for medical concerns. Additionally, trusted friends or family can offer to babysit or prepare meals whenever you need a break. It will also let you have some time for yourself and relax.
A 2022 study published in Scientific Reports revealed that mothers with higher social support were less likely to experience postpartum depression, negative body image, pregnancy loss, and stress, leading to improved health.
One of the most important tasks of caring for a baby is feeding, which may sometimes be difficult for new parents. When it comes to feeding a baby, there are many things to consider, from selecting the best feeding method to establishing a feeding schedule.
Whether breastfeeding your child or giving them formula milk, it is important to ensure proper nutrition and pay attention to the baby’s cues, like sucking their thumb or crying, to indicate whether they are hungry or full.
Newborns generally require feedings every two to three hours. They can go longer between feedings as they develop and settle into a regular pattern. Consult a pediatrician if the baby’s growth or feeding schedules concern you.
Moreover, remember that every baby is unique, and their feeding schedule will vary. Therefore, parents should pay attention to their kid’s indicators rather than sticking to a strict routine.
4. Bathing a Newborn
Bathing a newborn can be especially challenging, owing to their delicate body and skin. The first consideration while bathing a baby is ensuring the setting is secure and welcoming. The water should be about 100°F (38°C) heated, and the environment should be comfortable. Additionally, before starting the bath, all bathroom essentials, including towels, soap, and shampoo, should be accessible.
The ideal way to bathe a baby is, to begin with the face and gently work your way toward the feet. Use a mild washcloth and soap to cleanse the baby’s skin, and be careful around the eyes and ears.
Pay special attention to folds and wrinkles where dirt or moisture can accumulate. Newborn babies are typically vulnerable to moisture and can develop skin irritation.
The good news is that babies do not require baths every day. Too frequent baths can strip their natural oils, leading to dryness. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises spot cleaning between baths and giving baby baths no more than thrice weekly.
Furthermore, take safety precautions to avoid mishaps when bathing by remaining vigilant and fully prepared. Never leave the child unsupervised in the water. Use a non-slip bath mat or line the tub with a towel to lessen the chances of slips and falls.
5. Soothing a Newborn
For many new parents, soothing a baby may be a difficult but necessary part of infant care. Many things might cause a newborn to cry, such as hunger, pain, or overstimulation. Parents must comprehend their baby’s indications and create efficient soothing techniques for their infant.
Giving a baby a sense of security and comfort is one of the best methods to calm them down. Swaddling is a method that entails covering the infant tightly in a blanket to simulate being in the womb. It encourages better sleep and makes them feel comforted.
The ability of physical contact to calm a newborn is equally undeniable. Gentle rocking, hugging, or taking them on a stroll or a drive generates a sense of stability and comfort.
As thrilling and exciting as first-time parenthood is, it can be equally exhausting and challenging. However, keeping up with effective newborn tips can help.
If you suspect your child of sustaining a birth injury, get them checked and the required legal help immediately. It will help ensure optimal care and treatment.
Moreover, do not hesitate to get help from other experienced parents, family, relatives, and friends. And make sure you enjoy this time as new parents with your baby!