By: Stephanie Roberts
Taking care of a newborn baby can be an overwhelming experience for any mom. The tasks involved in baby care – from feeding to diapering to getting your baby to sleep – can be both an emotional and stressful time. However, following some simple tips can help you and provide you with what you know about how to take care of your newborn.
Baby Care Tips
The most important thing to remember is that even if you’re a first time mom, you should always trust your instincts when it comes to taking care of your infant. If you are in doubt about something, whether it be your child’s sleep patterns or how often you should feed your baby, do not hesitate to contact your health care provider.
While it may not seem like it at first, know that eventually you will be able to establish a normal routine with your baby. Feeding and sleep time will take place at more or less set times, although it will probably be unlikely that you will be able to have a fixed schedule. This can be especially helpful for stay at home moms who may also have other children to care for and household duties to which to attend.
Feeding is a central component of infant care and is essential to your baby’s health. Make sure not to restrict the length and frequency of feedings, as your baby needs proper nutrition in order to grow at a healthy rate. If you are breastfeeding, follow these helpful breastfeeding tips:
- nurse your baby as soon as possible after birth
- use a pillow to support your baby as well as for your comfort
- establish proper latch on (make sure your baby’s mouth completely covers your nipple)
Working moms can also speak to their employers about breastfeeding policies at the workplace, as well as make alternative arrangements, such as pumping milk beforehand, so that baby gets the nutrition he needs while you’re on the job.
If you experience any pain during breastfeeding, or if your baby is having trouble latching on, talk to your health care provider.
New moms are also concerned about baby sleep safety. Your newborn might sleep for up to 16 hours each day, generally sleeping for 3 to 4 hours at a time.
The following tips can help encourage healthy sleep in your newborn, as proper sleep is essential to baby care:
- always put your baby in her crib for sleep time; this will help her associate sleeping with her crib and help to establish a routine
- put your baby to sleep on her back; this reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- reduce stimulation at night; dim the lights prior to bedtime and stay silent or speak in only soothing voices to help lull your baby to sleep. It can also be helpful to establish a bedtime routine; for example, make bath time prior to bed time.
- make sure there’s nothing in or near your baby’s crib, including bedding, stuffed animals and drapes; these objects could pose a hazard to your newborn
Is your baby still crying? Soothing a crying baby can be a frustrating and emotionally draining experience for a mom, even if you’re a second or third time mom.
Sitting in a rocking chair or carrying your baby close to you can help soothe your newborn. Also, going for a walk or a ride in the car can help your newborn relax, as can speaking in soothing tones or singing to your baby. Wrapping your child in a blanket can also help calm your baby. If you are feeling frustrated, take a few minutes to breathe deeply.
Always remember that you’re not alone when taking care of your newborn. Even if you’re a single parent, you still have resources available – including your health care provider, family and friends – to provide you with advice on how to take care of your newborn.
Also, remember that your baby is unique and therefore requires different care as she develops at her own rate. This is particularly true of special needs children; be loving and attentive with your baby and try to respond to her unique requirements as best as you can. Remember, no mom is perfect – there’s no such thing! The important thing is that you bond with your bundle of joy.
About the Author
Baby Crowd provides pregnant women and new moms a venue in which to discuss all issues surrounding pregnancy and parenting. Whether you are a working mom or stay at home, these specialized forum topics will help you find the group who best understands your needs and concerns.
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