HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A NEWBORN BABY
The first few days of a mother especially the first time mothers can be exciting, confusing and exhausting at the same time. Becoming a mother is a significant achievement, and during the first few days with the baby, some things come very naturally while others don’t. Let’s get you started on the right foot with these tips on how to take care of a newborn baby:
If a newborn baby is not sleeping, then the baby is probably eating. Newborns spend a lot of time sleeping and eating. If he is not doing one, then he is probably doing the other. During this time, baby feeding is crucial to the welfare of the newborn. Nothing is better for your newborn at this time than breast milk. Breast milk is nutritionally custom made for your newborn. If you can't breastfeed because of any medical problem, consult your pediatrician on how to do baby feeding effectively.
When talking of baby care, holding the baby, bathing him, changing diapers and soothing the baby fall into this category. The newborn can sometimes feel fragile and delicate to you but don’t be afraid to handle, touch or hold the baby. One thing to note is your baby’s neck is very fragile, and the neck muscles are not yet fully developed, support the newborn’s head when holding her and support the head with your shoulder while carrying him or her.
At this time, urinating in bed and passing stool in bed is normal for the baby. Baby bed wetting should not worry you one bit. Most of the first time parents are caught by surprise when it comes to diaper change. The baby has already urinated in bed, and you now need to change the diaper and clean the child. To be on the safe side, learn and practice on how to change a baby diaper before you deliver. Have diapers ready all the time to avoid rushing the last minute.
When changing the baby’s diaper, make sure you wipe the newborn dry and use baby powder to keep the diaper’s area dry. It reduces friction on the skin and repels moisture.
Bathing Your Newborn
Bathing the baby is one of the biggest challenges especially for the new mothers. Have all the bathing supplies ready before your newborn arrives. It's also prudent to learn how to safely and carefully bath the baby before delivery. Remember the neck of your baby is fragile, and the neck muscles are not yet fully developed so take care to hold the baby gently while supporting the head. Also, take care of the soft spot (the fontanels) on the baby’s head but don’t be afraid to wash it gently.
Your newborn will spend a lot of time sleeping and its good for the baby and the mother too. Sometimes, you might need to sooth the baby after feeding them to comfort them to sleep. Its normal for the baby to cry sometimes and it can be shocking to the new moms but shouldn’t be a reason for panic. If the baby cries, determine the cause of discomfort for the baby and start from there. If the baby is hungry, needs diaper changing, overstimulated by noise or its time for a nap, the baby might start crying. Don’t panic but focus on comforting the baby to sleep. Natural motherly instincts kick in here.
To sooth, the baby, eliminate the cause of discomforts like noises or baby feeding and hold the baby gently on the shoulder while rocking him. Get a position that is comfortable for you and the baby and try rubbing his back to calm her to sleep.
Your newborn can sleep for most of the time, but you have to develop sleeping patterns for the baby. Plan a sleeping routine for the baby as he grows up and establishes a solid nighttime sleep routine with fewer daytime naps. This, however, progresses when the baby grows but as a newborn, let the baby sleep most of the time as they please.