You and your spouse are about to welcome in a bouncing bundle of joy. Within a few weeks, you’ll get to hold your little one in your arms. You’re so excited and nervous by the idea of having a baby as a new parent that you’ve neglected to read up on what you need to do after your infant is here.
How do you care for the newborn’s needs? Establishing a bond with the baby through skin-to-skin contact and holding off on letting visitors in right away is a start.
We’ve got a few more baby care tips that will give you a nudge in the right direction once you get home with the little one. Keep reading to learn more.
Skin to Skin Contact
No matter if you’re planning on bottle-feeding or breastfeeding your baby, skin-to-skin cuddles is an important part of newborn baby care. Not only will it help you establish a bond with your baby, but it will also keep them calm when they’re in distress.
The cuddling will release endorphins in the baby’s brain that will stop them from crying as often, and it can regulate their temperature. Their heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing will stabilize as well.
Put a Hold on Visitors
Right after your baby is born, your family and friends are going to want to come in and see the new addition to your family. If you can hold off on letting them into the room, however, that would be ideal.
During your little one’s first few hours of life, they need to spend as much time with you and your spouse as possible. The baby will be at its most receptive, so it will be easy for you to establish a bond.
Make sure to look at your baby and talk to them. Hearing the voices of their parents will keep them happy and calm.
Support Your Little One’s Head
After a few months or so, your little one’s neck muscles will become strong enough for them to hold their own head up. Until that happens, you’ll need to support them.
Pick up the baby and hold them against you horizontally. Slide your hand down and lay the baby on your forearm with their head in the crook of your elbow.
That’s only one of the many ways you can cradle your newborn baby. There’s also the shoulder hold, belly hold, and lap hold.
Don’t Overdress Your Little One
Babies have some trouble regulating their temperature. While you may want to splurge on a nice going-home outfit for them, you’ve got to make sure that you don’t overdress them. The last thing you want is for them to overheat.
The general rule of thumb is to not dress them any warmer than you do yourself. You should also include a hat because babies lose heat rapidly through their heads. If their skin starts to get flushed or they become fussy, take the hat off and consider removing a few layers.
Swaddling Is Okay
Again, you don’t want your little one to get too warm, but swaddling is okay. It’s the ancient practice of wrapping your baby in a thin cloth. It makes babies feel safe and secure, so they’ll sleep longer.
Your baby doesn’t have the best motor control. They can easily startle themselves awake by jerking their arms and legs in their sleep. Swaddling prevents that from happening.
If you swaddle the baby, they won’t have any use for a blanket, which is a good thing. Blankets can act as a suffocation risk for newborns.
This practice is the perfect answer for caring for a new baby with colic as well. It provides them with some comfort and prevents them from crying as much.
Practice Proper Car Seat Safety
You want your child to be as secure as possible on their way home from the hospital. That means learning the ins and outs of car seat safety.
Consult a car seat expert a few weeks before the baby is set to arrive. They’ll be able to give you instructions for installing the seat in your car.
Don’t dress your baby in too many layers. If you do, the car seat harness won’t be able to fit against the infant properly. That will allow them to shift around too much when you lay on the breaks.
If it’s cold outside, strap the baby in the car seat first and then place blankets over them. The chest clip should be level with the baby’s armpits. The straps need to be snug against their shoulders and hips.
Cover the Baby’s Hands
Your baby’s fingernails are sharp as razors. You can file them down, but your little one can still scratch up their face when they flail their arms around.
To stop them from hurting themselves, you’ll need to place mittens on their hands. Swaddling is also a good solution to the problem.
Use a White Noise Machine
The slightest noise will be able to startle your baby and wake them up. For the sake of your sanity, invest in a white noise machine. The calming sounds will block out everything else and help your baby sleep through the night.
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Baby Care Steps Every New Parent Should Follow
After the initial excitement of having a baby wears off, it’s easy for the panic to set in. How do you care for your new bundle of joy and keep them happy and healthy?
Take a deep breath and calm down. As long as you do what you can to soothe them, support their head, and practice the proper car seat safety measures, you’ll do fine.
We hope that these baby care steps have given you a push in the right direction. For more parenting tips to live by, feel free to explore the rest of our blog.