It’s newfound territory that must be tread upon lightly as you try to overcome your seemingly insurmountable fear that you would end up squishing your little one the first time you get to hold her.
Your tiny bundle of joy just seems too fragile to touch, so new parents like you need all the help you can get to ensure that you enter the realm of parenthood with the confidence and reassurance that you do know what’s best for your baby.
With these few simple tips, you’ll feel like the super parent you don’t know you already are, finally dispelling fears involving feeding, bathing, sleeping and overall nurturing.
1. Sleeping is the norm
Newborn babies can certainly sleep like a log, snoozing for as many as 16 hours on any given day. So in the first few weeks of life, do not worry when all the baby does is feed and sleep – being at a stage of rapid growth, your baby is doing exactly what needs to be done.
All you have to do is to keep your baby clean, warm, well-fed and comfy. And so you can avoid losing out on sleep, try to nap with your baby when all urgent household tasks are done.
2. Go freestyle with the soothing
Infants tend to be rather fretful at times, and there’s nothing like a fussy crying baby to frustrate a new parent. Some parents even end up crying when they are unable to soothe their child.
If your baby has been fed, is already clean and is not suffering from colic, try rocking her gently. You can use the usual rocking motion using your arms, or you may have to do some lunges and knee bends to calm your baby down.
Swaddling and holding your baby close mimics their old environment – the womb – so keep your baby warm and comfortable by ensuring her diaper is new and dry, and that she is not exposed to air drafts or anything cold.
3. Sponge baths are in vogue
It is advisable to give your newborn sponge baths only for the first two weeks or so, or until the umbilical cord dries up and falls off. This protects your baby from getting infections involving the navel area, so let that stump naturally go on its own.
Besides, your newborn would hardly ever get dirty, so there is no need to worry about giving full baths at this stage.
4. Don’t fuss about that soft spot
Since your newborn baby’s fontanel has yet to naturally close up, do handle your infant with utmost care. If your baby has a full head of hair, you may gently comb over the soft spot without worrying you’ll be hurting your infant in any way.
5. Follow your baby’s tummy alarm
You don’t need to worry about leaving your newborn hungry because you will never get a chance to miss the signs, which are usually manifested through restlessness and crying.
Infants usually need to be fed every two to three hours. The first few days after birth, though, may seem a bit irregular as you and your baby have yet to settle into a feeding rhythm.
If you need to prepare infant milk for your baby, make sure the water you use has been boiled for a minute (and no more) and allowed to slightly cool. To test if it is satisfactorily warm but not hot, sprinkle a few drops on the back of your hand or your wrist before feeding your little one.
6. Plan your baby’s day out
Pack the right gear to ensure you are prepared for any baby-related emergencies on the day you venture out into your neighborhood.
Select infant-friendly places like a well-maintained smoke-free community park or a children’s library during a quiet hour.
Avoid overcrowded, polluted and noisy areas where you risk exposing your baby to sick people and infection.
See? With a little sage advice, first-time parenting need not be a stressful period. Infancy is but a short stage in your baby’s life, so make sure you cherish every moment.