Newborn Care: A Guide for First-Time Parents

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Are you a new mom or dad, wondering how to take care of your newborn baby? Then read the following tips.

You may be thrilled with the birth of your newborn baby, but at the same time, you may have mixed feelings about how your parenting journey would be. Will you be able to take good care of your baby? How to tell his hunger signals? If this is your first child, you might panic. But don’t worry because we have some useful tips to help you navigate this new journey. Here we tell you how to take care of your newborn baby and enjoy parenthood.

While carrying: The baby’s neck muscles are not yet developed, so you will need to support their head whenever you lift them.

Bathing: It can be difficult but must be done correctly. Try to be gentle and use a mild baby shampoo. Hold the baby in the correct position and don’t be too hard. Whatever products you choose for the baby, they should be of good quality, clinically tested, and should not dry out the baby’s skin. You can talk to the doctor about what to choose and what to avoid. The baby product should be tested negative for allergies.

Breastfeeding: This should be done as the baby asks for it. Crying, putting hands to mouth, licking lips, sucking and squeezing fingers are some of the signs that the baby is hungry. So feed the baby on time.

Limit visitors: Yes, everyone will be happy to see the baby. But, without sounding rude, you should limit visitors in a polite manner. Explain to them that the baby is susceptible to infections and that it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

Dressed properly: Dressing the baby is a strict no-no. The baby may sweat profusely, feel irritated, and become cranky.

Diaper change: If you are a first-time parent, you will be shocked at how many diapers the baby goes through per day. To make this easier, try packing plenty of diapers before you bring your baby home. Be prepared for diaper rash as most children between the ages of 0 and 2 develop one from time to time. Remember to use a diaper rash cream when you change the diaper. It reduces friction on the skin and provides sufficient protection for the baby.

Massage: This is one of the best ways to bond with the little one. Be gentle while massaging the baby. Did you know? Massage can improve sleep, and will be calming and relaxing.

To sleep: Your little one can sleep most of the time. But don’t forget that he can also wake up during the night. So be prepared instead of being frustrated or irritated.

Takeaway message: See the doctor if the baby has a fever, cough, cold, watery stools, chest discomfort, refuses to eat and occasionally vomits.

(The author is a neonatologist and pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar.)

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