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Your baby's arrival marks special joy in your life and opens up a whole new world for you. But at times taking care of a newborn can be bit overwhelming, especially for first time mothers. But worry not, follow our baby care tips to sail smoothly through the initial phase and then become a pro in parenting. Here's what you need to do:
Make sure you always wash your hands or sanitize them and wear fresh clean clothes before you pick up your baby to avoid infection and other induced allergies.
When you hold your baby, her head should rest on the crook of your arm with your hand supporting the spine of your newborn. Use your other hand to feed, pat your baby's cheeks, or just keep it over the chest or tummy gently.
Did you know that shaking your baby can also lead to brain injury? Whether you are trying to put her to sleep or just comforting her, shaking her is not going to help you achieve the goal. Instead just rock her gently from side to side and sing a lullaby.
Remember your newborn is not ready for a tough play. So all that throwing in the air, jiggling the baby on your knees isn't advisable.
Know that your baby needs to sink in with the experience of the transition from womb to the world. To make that easier give her enough skin-to-skin contact, this will help her feel your warmth and be closer to the mother's heart too. Your heart beat was the only thing she heard when in the womb, so holding your baby close to your heart while giving enough skin-to-skin contact can make her feel more secure and relax her senses. Even dads can do the same while practicing kangaroo care. Read 5 reasons why dads should practice kangaroo care.
Talking to your newborn has a host of hidden benefits. One of them is that it helps in baby brain development and helps your baby pick up words faster. Want to know more, it also helps to bond better with your baby. This simple act can help you fight baby blues too. Also read 6 ways to help your baby talk soon.
Do this often. Check on the diapers every four hours or so. A healthy newborn would be urinating very often. Keeping your baby on with a soiled diaper can lead to diaper rashes. Read to know how to combat diaper rashes.
The only two things that your baby would need during her early days are proper feeds and enough sleep. Now sleeping will be tricky because even though your newborn is supposed to sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day, she might not do all that sleeping at a stretch. Your baby will call out for a feed probably every two hours or less. Be ready to offer a feed on demand.
If you choose to breastfeed your baby hold your baby right and ensure that she has enough of areola inside her mouth to avoid intake of air. Read to know the benefits of comfort suckling.
If you opt for formula, be prepared to put in the effort. Keep boiled water in the thermos and prepare a fresh feed each time you need to give her one. Discard any amount of leftover. If your baby skipped a meal and has been sleeping for more than five hours at a stretch, wake her up to offer a feed. But avoid force feeding. If your baby refuses a feed, play, cuddle and sing a lullaby and then try again later.
Wash and sterilize feeding bottles at least twice a day. Do not forget to do the same with the parts of your breast pump that can be sterilized. Do not forget the teats. If possible wash them thoroughly before every feed. Know how to use a breast pump to ensure benefits of breastfeeding while you are away from your baby.
A part of your newborn baby's umbilical cord would be attached to her for at least 10 days or up to three weeks after the birth. It's a sensitive area for your baby and it's imperative to care for it. Apply medicated powders prescribed by your doctor to keep the area dry and help heal faster. Make your baby wears loose clothes to avoid any pressure on the area. Once it dries and falls continue with your care routine until the area is healed completely. Also read to know how to keep your newborn clean.
Once the umbilical cord falls and the area heals your baby will graduate from sponge bath to normal baths. Be careful while handling your baby while bathing. To do it right read our 7 tips to bath baby right.
Do this after every feed. Hold your baby upright with her chin resting on your shoulder and gently pat her back. Move your hands from her lower back to upper back. If she takes in air during her feeds chances are that her systems would be free of it after a burp. This will save her from colic symptoms, help her sleep better and aid digestion. Know how to treat your baby's colic.
Many experts advise against co-sleeping to avoid SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. But if you still want to do so make sure there is enough place for your baby to sleep and turn around. Else make her sleep in a cot or crib right next to your bed so you can attend to her demands fast even in the dead of the night.
As a thumb rule keep all toys, pillows and soft toys off your baby's bed or sleep area. The fur from the soft toys if breathed by your newborn can lead to respiratory problem or allergy; it can also lead to SIDS. To avoid suffocation or any accident keep pillows and toys away from your baby's sleep area. Also read 10 things to keep in mind before you put your baby to sleep.
Keep your baby's room sparkling clean and make sure you keep her out of the room while doing all the dusting and cleaning. This will help her be off airborne infection and allergens.
The newborn baby stores will be gleaming with fancy and colourful clothes but give them a miss. You are doing your baby a whole lot of good by ditching them. Stick to cotton jablas and avoid buttons, bows or tees that need to be pulled over your baby's delicate head. Cottons are the best bet for newborns; they keep their delicate skin safe and off allergies.
There is myth doing the rounds that making your baby cry is good for her lungs. Though crying is also considered an important physiological phenomenon but it's unwise to keep your baby in tears. This could lead to psychological distress. In fact remember crying is her way of telling you that something has gone wrong with her. Watch for the signs closely to make sure you can attend to her needs. Also read which of these 9 reasons are making your baby cry.
Did you know that your baby can roll over even as early as two months? You may never know when your baby reaches her milestones and how fast. Never keep her unattended on the bed, at the bath or even the crib to avoid accidents.
Fever, diarrhoea, vomiting - anything can affect your little one at anytime. Never try to self medicate. Reach out to your pediatrician for help even if it means visiting the doctor twice the same week. Don't leave anything to chance when it comes to baby care.
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