How to Look After Your Newborn Baby: Parenting Tips for Newborn Babies

New parents worry about a lot of things, especially newborns. But the most stressful question is often this: Am I doing enough for my baby?

Although new parents worry about their baby’s health and happiness, overestimating can be just as debilitating as underestimating care. And when it comes to your baby, you probably don’t want to be either of these things

In this article, we will share with you some of the best tips and tricks we came across, which helped us survive those crazy first few months. As a new parent you’re going to face a lot of challenges, but trust me on this — life with a newborn can be magical — and also overwhelming, exhausting, and terrifying.

I still remember the day I brought my son home from the hospital and thought: How do I care for this tiny, needy creature? Where is his owner's manual?! But hard as being a new parent can be, you're probably going to do fine.

Newborn Baby Parenting Tips

In recent years, finding baby information has become easier, with anything from comprehensive websites to social media communities offering advice and suggestions.

These materials, on the other hand, can be overwhelming or irrelevant for busy parents attempting to get through their first week at home with their child (or valuable).

Here's a thorough yet easy-to-follow guide to caring for your new baby

1. Frequently feed your little baby

Remember to breastfeed your newborn frequently, whether you are breastfeeding or using formula.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a mother's body will generally begin producing breast milk within three days of birth if she has been nursing for at least six months.

Colostrum, a thick, golden, nutrient-rich liquid, will be produced first by her breasts. Initially, a breastfeeding mother may have to work to make sure her baby latches or latches properly so she can eat. You can opt to talk to a lactation consultant if you are having a problem getting your baby to feed or setting up a healthy latch

You do not have to worry about finding a lactation consultant as most hospitals and birthing centers have at least one on staff. In case you want to talk to a private lactation consultant, you can find one through the United States Lactation Consultant Association

Babies should be fed every one to three hours, for a total of eight to twelve meals in a 24-hour period, whether you're breastfeeding or using a formula. Feed 1-2 ounces at a time if you are using a formula.

Instructions for selecting, preparing, and storing formulations can be found in the C.D.C.

Frequent feedings help neonates who have lost weight after delivery gain weight. Your baby will be able to eat more at each meal as he gets older and will eat less often throughout the day and night.

Don't worry if your baby doesn't burp after being fed. Babies burp when they need to, and that is according to Dr. Diane Cicatello who is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and vice-chair of pediatrics at CareMount Medical in Poughkeepsie, New York.

2. When your baby sleeps, get a good night's sleep (and start a bedtime routine)

A baby under the age of one should always sleep on their backs. Back sleep lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Make sure your baby is never on their sides or stomachs. It is important to avoid SIDS incidents as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Newborns sleep a lot at first — around 16 to 17 hours per day — but they are awakened every hour or two.“During the first few weeks, your baby will normally only wake up long enough and changed," said Arielle Greenleaf, a certified pediatric sleep specialist in Massachusetts. 

You should absolutely sleep when your child sleeps in order to stay well-rested because your youngster will be awake for small periods of time throughout the night, disrupting your sleep. 

In addition, some babies have their days and nights switched around, that is sleeping more during the day than at night. In that case, Greenleaf suggests waking your baby up if their daily naps last longer than two hours.

You might also want to start a nighttime routine, which serves as a social cue that your baby is ready to sleep longer. A newborn nighttime ritual involves putting your baby in pajamas, swaddling him, feeding him, reading to him, and singing songs to him.

When parents are able to develop a regular pattern for them — or as predictable as it can be in the early day, newborns start to comprehend the flow of their day and what to expect next

It's also a good idea to let your baby scream for a few minutes at night if she isn't hungry or dirty; you don't have to rock or hold her constantly.

Dr. Angela Mattke, M.D., a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minnesota, suggested letting kids try to fall asleep on their own spontaneously.

3. Bathe your youngster occasionally, but not excessivel

Every day, clean your baby's mouth, throat, and groin area, as well as anywhere he gets dirty.

One to two times a week is actually enough as showering too frequently might lead to dry skin or eczema, a skin condition characterized by red, itchy skin and rashes.

Before a baby's umbilical cord stump falls off, which usually happens 5 to 15 days after delivery, you should sponge clean her. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, wrap your baby in a towel and place him on a flat, comfortable surface.

Cleanse her face with a damp washcloth. Don't use soap since it could get into her eyes or mouth — and gently cleanse the rest of her body with a small amount of baby soap. Use a clean damp washcloth to wipe your little one’s body once again

To avoid dry skin, it is recommended to use a baby moisturizer, such as petroleum jelly, after bathing

You can bathe your baby in a hard plastic baby bathtub or basin once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off. Before you start bathing, make sure you have everything you need: baby soap or shampoo, washcloths, a rinse cup, and a dry towel.

If you need to grab something after putting your baby in the tub, take it with you - a baby should never be left unattended in a bathroom as they could drown.

Two inches of heated (about 100°F) water should be added to the bath. Then, put your baby in the bath on his back. Wash him with a washcloth and a small amount of baby soap before rinsing him with warm water.

After that, apply moisturizers to your baby's damp skin, such as petroleum jelly

4. Do some belly time with the infant when he or she is awake

When your baby is awake, skin-to-skin contact, such as resting your bare-chested infant on your nude chest, is one of the best ways to bond with her.

According to research, babies who experience skin-to-skin contact soon after birth are more likely to be breastfed, to be breastfed for longer lengths of time, and to have improved heart and respiratory responses

Because babies are nearsighted, it is also recommended that you talk to your child on a frequent basis and get your face up close to her so she can see you better.

When your baby becomes fussy, use some or all of the "five S" techniques - swaddle, shush, swing, suck, and side or stomach position when awake as proposed by Dr. Harvey Karp who is the author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block”. 

According to Shu, it's best to wait until your child has learned to nurse or drink from a bottle well before introducing a pacifier to offer him something to suck on.

According to Mattke, tummy time is "extremely important for gross motor development, head control, and neck strength”. Put your awake baby on her stomach on a stable soft surface two to three times a day for three to five minutes to practice tummy time.

Play with your newborn on the floor to keep him/her entertained. According to Mattke, you can also do tummy time on your chest if your baby prefers.

5. Seek help

Being a new parent is definitely exciting but it can also be exhausting and troublesome. If you're having problems adjusting, seek help from your partner or other family members or friends.

A tired, nervous, undernourished, and an emotionally depleted parent or caregiver is unable to nurture their child.

Request that friends or family members hold, change or stroll your baby, or that expressed breast milk or formula be bottle-fed to him.

More than half of new mothers have "postpartum blues," which include mood swings, appetite loss, and sleeping difficulties. Partners may be depressed as well. These symptoms normally go away on their own within two weeks following birth.

If your mood swings are severe, you don't get enough or too much sleep, or you're unable to complete everyday tasks, you may be suffering from postpartum depression, which affects one in every nine mothers. If you think you're depressed, make an appointment with your doctor right immediately to get the help you need.

When Is It Time to Worry About Your Newborn Child

If your infant develops a fever, keep an eye on his temperature with a thermometer. If your baby's temperature increases above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, call your doctor straight away, as a fever in a newborn can signify a severe infection.

It's also a good idea to contact your pediatrician if your baby isn't eating properly or is crying a lot.

Consult your doctor if you notice symptoms of worsening jaundice, a condition in which the blood contains too much bilirubin, a yellow pigment generated by red blood cells.

Severe jaundice is indicated by increased yellowing of your baby's skin, especially on her face, tummy, arms, and legs, or yellowing of the whites of her eyes.

Summary

Here’s a quick summary of how to take care of your newborn baby.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least six months. To help your baby regain lost birth weight, feed him regularly at first, every one to three hours, whether you're using breast milk or formula.
  • Place your newborn on her back, away from any loose bedding, toys, or blankets. On average, newborns sleep 16 to 17 hours per day. Establishing a nocturnal routine is a good idea.
  • Sponge Bathe your child where he is dirty every day, which is commonly around the mouth, neck, and diaper area. Bathing neonates once or twice a week is enough; bathing them more frequently can result in dry skin
  • Experiment with a variety of skin-to-skin contact tactics to soothe fussiness and bond with your newborn. Give him supervised "tummy time" two to three times a day to strengthen his head and neck
  • Seek aid if you're having problems, or if you're tired or upset. One in 9 new mothers suffers from postpartum depression, but help is available.
  • Call your pediatrician if your baby's rectal temperature increases above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, stop feeding or sobs excessively, or the skin or the whites of her eyes turn yellow.