Becoming a new parent is a joyous time yet you might still find yourself a little intimidated when that precious little bundle is placed in your arms. Don’t be dismayed if you cannot quiet your baby's wails as this is as new a journey for you as for your newborn. Dear parents-to-be, take a deep breath and take the pressure off yourself because parenting does not mean ‘knowing everything’ but it means ‘knowing yourself and your baby’. Here are a few tips that would help you to know and understand your baby and his/her needs better.
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Sense of Touch
Touch is very important for newborns, especially a mother’s touch. It acts like an anchor in this new world for them. Since they spent so much time in the safety of the womb, this warmth of a reassuring touch gives them security in the new environment. So, don’t be afraid to cuddle your baby because they will enjoy it as much as you! Having said that, you should remember that a baby is not strong enough to hold their neck on his/her own. Just be careful about how you hold a baby. So, always make sure that your provide sturdy support to the baby's head and neck.
Babies in their initial months sleep, sleep and sleep or so it may seem. They sleep for almost 15-18 hours giving you ample time for yourself.
Advice to new moms: Sleep whenever they sleep!
It is very important for new parents to know that the baby should be placed on a firm mattress so that his/her back remains straight. Also, do not place too many toys or pillows around the baby as it may cause them difficulty in breathing.
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Feeding time is a special time for baby and the parents, especially for mothers. Babies sleep for long durations unless there is a nappy emergency. It is important to wake them up every two hours for their feed. In the initial few months there would be times when you will have to force your sleeping baby to take feed. Don't worry as this is essential, otherwise they would be happy sleeping their day off. Always hold the baby in your arms during the feeding time, even if s/he is bottle fed, and caress him/her to reassure them of your loving presence. This would also help the baby to stay awake.
Bath time can be a pretty daunting for the new parents. Most of us are scared holding a petite baby in our arms forget about a writhing and wet one! 'Careful' should be your mantra here to get through this experience “just fine”.
First and the most important rule is, never leave your precious alone even for a second. Also, the first few baths should be given with the help of a soft sponge. Pay special attention to creases behind the ears, under the arms, behind the knees and the rear side.
Baby’s skin is very soft and sensitive. Remember, before this your baby was snuggled in the protective environment of your womb. So, newborn babies are very sensitive to almost everything, including air, light, water, to name a few. As a rule, whenever you want to apply a cream or oil, etc. on the baby’s skin, test it on a small patch for few days before applying it on the regular basis. While a little redness of the skin is normal for the newborn, however any rash should be immediately called to the paediatrician’s attention.
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Be ready for emergencies
Getting sick is a part of growing up. At some point or another, a newborn is likely to get down with fever or other health issue. Though it should not put you in a panic mode but it would require your immediate attention because at times a slight fever can lead to other issues as well. As long as the doctor does not suggest so, no need to pump medicines in your baby. Fever below 100 degrees Fahrenheit means body is busy fighting some bacteria. So, relax! But, do make it a point to check in with the baby’s doctor time and again.
Always wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling a newborn. Baby’s skin, as we told you before, is very sensitive, and they are more prone to infections. Make sure that there is always a sanitizer kept close by, especially when you, your relatives or friends come from outside. Also always keep the baby’s room clean. Before cleaning the room always take the baby to the other room. A neat and clean environment will boost your baby's health and growth.
Cherish the moments
Most essential thing to know about the newborn babies is that they grow up fast. In fact so fast that all their milestones- first smile, first crawl, first tooth will pass in a blur. So, cherish all the moments with them. Concentrate on the task at hand, even if it makes you late to go to office or to clean the house. Throw all your apprehensions out of the window, and enjoy your journey down the parenthood lane. Good luck!