Useful Tips for Taking Care of Newborns
Having a first child is a magical experience, but it can indeed be stressful for new parents.
16:48 10 February 2021
You have, without a doubt, been dreaming about your baby and preparing for months now. The problem is, no amount of research seems to be enough when the baby starts crying - and you aren’t sure why.
Don’t worry though - every parent out there has gone through your situation! Ultimately, this means that you have a wide range of tips at your disposal. Here, you will find tips that are going to ensure that your first few weeks as a parent are more exciting than they are frustrating.
If you choose to breastfeed, make sure that you start immediately
If you choose to breastfeed and some time has already passed, it can be harder for the baby to get used to it. Oftentimes, the problem is that the baby doesn't latch on, and it takes some time for them to do so. In a lot of cases, mothers realize it is time to switch to bottle feeding.
What if you opt for bottle feeding?
Bottle feeding has its advantages, but it will take some time to get used to it. The problem is that the baby may refuse to take the bottle. There are a lot of things that contribute to this factor - the shape, the flow, the material... In any case - most of the problems are preventable by choosing a good bottle.
Now, the problem is that there are a lot of different bottles out there. As Zooey Barnett from Little Baby gear explains, when it comes to equipment for newborns, there are a couple of things that you need to have in mind. She goes on to explain that it is important to find a bottle that promises an easy-to-latch-on nipple that is both flexible and stretchy. This way, the bottle imitates mom’s breast, making habituation easier.
How should you dress your newborn?
The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that babies can’t fully regulate body temperature independently. After they are around six months old, this isn’t an issue anymore. Until then though, you should keep a couple of things in mind overdressing them, well, just to be cute.
In general, you should look to dress a newborn as you would dress yourself depending on the occasion. Layers are always a good way to go as they allow more flexibility. Additionally, be careful not to overdress your baby. Sweating causes lower body temperature, and you want to keep your newborn warm.
Bedtime Rituals are important
One of the most difficult aspects of having a baby is a disrupted sleep routine. How you tackle that problem is by making sleep time consistent. Normally, each family develops its own routine that works for them. In any case, you should aim for bedtime rituals consisting of predictable activities. This is going to ensure that the baby adapts to sleeping when the time for sleep comes.
You should try and incorporate around 3 to 4 winding-down activities for a total of 20 to 30 minutes. The most popular choices for such activities include baths, lullabies, rocking, nursing, reading, and similar.
Figuring out what steps you should make after the baby starts crying can be challenging for new parents. So, let’s go through those steps together.
- First of all, you want to rule out the obvious potential causes. Make sure to check if you should change the baby's diaper. Other common reasons for crying include being too hot or cold and discomfort due to diapers or that the clothing is pinching the baby.
- If you have spotted the problem - good. Address the problem and proceed with comforting. Let the newborn suck on your breast or a bottle. Even your finger and a pacifier will work!
- If step 2 didn’t help, it’s time to move to a different tactic. Swaddle the baby securely in a blanket. Hold the baby either on their left side or stomach and jiggle gently. Making "shushing" sounds in the newborn’s ear should help as well!
- Well, if nothing has helped so far and your baby is an active one, it’s time to use some motion. Rocking, walking, swaying, swings - all of these can be helpful.
- Lastly, try and keep your cool. Your baby can feel how tense you are, and it only makes the situation worse. Try and repeat to yourself that babies cry, and it always passes.
In the end, you have to remember to take care of yourself as well. Burning out from all the stress is only going to make parenting harder. Go out every now and then, make sure that you have some free time as well!
Even though parenting can be hard at times - it is absolutely worth it. During stressful times, try and ground yourself. Reach out to people that have more experience. Go out for a walk. Everything is, indeed, going to be okay, and you're doing a great job!