A Must Read for New Parents.
When you hold your newborn in your arms for the first time, the feeling is inexplicable. It’s overpowering with joy as well as weakening with emotions at the same time, especially if it’s your first child. It’s a new chapter in your life and each day, you learn a new thing with your growing baby. While it’s not possible to learn everything about parenting without going through the actual experience, you can keep a few basic points in mind. 15 of the most important general points are discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
1. Body Language – Your First Communication.
Every living being has a specific body language to communicate with others.
Your baby is no different; the faster you understand your baby’s gestures, the better it is. There are some general signs which can be useful to know as a parent. While continuous kicking indicates that she wants to play, clenched fists are a signal that your baby is either hungry or stressed. If she’s pulling her ears, it might be a signal of start of teething.
2. Set a Bedtime Routine.
Remember that your baby will find a time to sleep. If you don’t make her sleep early at night, you won’t get your share of sleep. Never try to put your baby to sleep in your arms.
It’s always better to put her in the bed while she’s just sleepy but awake. This will inculcate the correct bedtime habits right from the start and eventually, she’ll learn to sleep in time on her own.
3. Best Position to Breastfeed.
While most TV shows teach you to hold your baby with your arm closest to her head and use your other hand to hold your breast, the opposite is generally a better idea.
The reason is simple, you need to keep your arm closest to your baby’s head free as it’s usually required to adjust your baby’s head while breastfeeding. You may however, figure out the best method for yourself.
4. Right Time for Introduction to Pacifiers.
With a natural tendency to suck, it’s easier to introduce a baby to a pacifier or a bottle.
However, it’s important that you don’t give her a pacifier before she has got used to breastfeeding. Generally, you should wait for about 2-4 weeks before giving her a pacifier.
5. Feed Her When She Wants.
If you feed your baby without a cue, she’ll not learn how to ask for it when she’s hungry. On the other hand, if you unnecessarily delay to feed her despite her asking, it’ll turn her into an irritant over a period of time.
Your baby needs to be fed 8-12 times in a day, that’s every 2-3 hours. You must learn her signs of hunger, which may be sucking on a thumb and starting to get cranky.
6. Heat Can be Useful for Breastfeeding.
In case your milk ducts get blocked or your breasts are engorged, you won’t be able to feed your baby.
Placing a flax pillow, a heating pad, warm compress or washcloth on your breasts can unclog the blockage and make the milk flow. On the other hand, if you breasts feel sore after feeding, a cold pack can relieve the soreness.
7. Be Gentle to Wake Her Up.
Shaking your baby to wake her up can cause bleeding inside her brain and hence it should be avoided.
Instead, just gently tickle her or blow on her face. Besides, tickling will ensure that she wakes up in a good mood.
8. Baby’s First Bath.
Give a sponge bath to your baby as her first bath and subsequent baths also if required. This is necessary for the initial period of a few weeks to avoid the umbilical chord stump from getting wet.
The umbilical chord stump needs to be kept dry for it to get removed on its own without any complications.
9. Innovative Baby Bath.
Using a nonslip laundry basket as a baby bath is a good idea to start giving your baby a feel of bathing in bath tub.
This will also come handy to keep your baby engaged with toys, while you clean her thoroughly.
10. Give Her a Feeling of the Womb.
If your baby is getting too cranky without any reasons, she might just need some comforting.
Remember that your baby’s most comfortable home was your womb! You could swaddle or swing her holding her all wrapped up while allowing her to suck on her thumb to give her the feeling.
11. Music is a Great Pacifier.
Music can help your baby to stay calm, but it’s better to use it sparingly to avoid her getting addicted to it.
12. Your Baby Has a Sensitive Skin.
Although the infants have dry skin, it’s not a good idea to apply synthetic lotions or oils on their skin.
If you wish to use a so-called baby-safe oil or lotion, you must first try it on a small portion of her skin to check if some reaction occurs.
13. Inculcate Good Oral and Dental Hygiene Habits.
Dental and oral problems aren’t limited to teeth and hence, even though your newborn doesn’t have teeth, oral hygiene still holds importance.
The baby’s gums must be wiped clean with wet swab or gauze and ensure that she gets adequate quantity of fluoride in her diet.
14. Prepare Well for the Night.
As the baby feeds 8-12 times a day, she’ll need to be changed during the night also.
In order to avoid the hassles of having to change the entire bedding, use layers of sheets and waterproof mattress covers.
15. Manage Your Sleep.
It’s a given that you’ll not get a complete night’s sleep everyday. You’ve to manage your sleep cycle as per your newborn’s schedule.
The faster you accept this fact, the better it is for you. Taking turns day-wise is one method so that each of the mother and father gets the night sleep alternately.
Lastly, remember that all babies are beautiful even if some may be bald, while others may not have eyelashes or eyebrows. Most of such problems are temporary and can be treated with time and care. Love your baby and take extreme care of them.