Bringing a child into the world can come with a mixture of emotions, ranging from sheer joy to panic. The desire to take care of and look after your bundle of joy and keep them safe at all times can seem overwhelming, especially if you are doing it for the first time.
However, with a little guidance and knowledge, you can easily settle into the role of being a confident parent and navigate the challenges that this new chapter presents. In this article, we have outlined some helpful tips to keep your baby healthy, happy and safe once they arrive into the world.
Holding Your Newborn
If you have never held a baby before, the prospect might seem daunting. As their muscles have yet to develop, babies are fragile and require support to their neck and head when being picked up and held. Make sure to always support this area with your hands or arm. Always be gentle when handling your baby, and do not be rough with or shake them, as this can cause internal bleeding or death.
Comforting a crying baby can be a challenge, especially when you don’t know what the reason is. In many cases, you can soothe your baby by trying the following comforting techniques:
- Gently rock your baby from side to side while softly singing or shushing them
- Play some calming music such as a lullaby or something rhythmic which mimics the sounds of the womb such as a washing machine or clothes dryer. A white-noise machine that emits such sounds can also be played at a low volume until your child settles
- Being held will also soothe your child and help them feel emotionally bonded to you. Cuddling and holding them close to you while you do your activities can help to calm your child. Comfortable baby carriers can make this much easier for you and your child
- Your baby loves to hear your voice, so singing to them or gently cooing can help them to settle. Try reading a story to your child while gently rocking them and helping them to fall asleep
- Distraction can often be a good ploy to soothe a baby. A cuddly toy or baby rattle can capture their attention and help them to quieten down
Whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers, make sure you are stocked up on additional supplies such as fasteners, wet wipes and diaper rash cream.
A full or wet diaper can cause irritation or rashes to your baby’s skin if left unattended so it’s a good idea to do a diaper check every couple of hours. According to experts, a baby‘s diaper will need changing every two to three hours or up to 12 times a day.
When changing your baby’s diaper, place them on their back and watch them at all times to prevent them from rolling away. Open up the diaper and clean your baby using wet wipes or a washcloth. Remove the old diaper and apply diaper rash cream before fitting the new diaper. With a little practice, this will become second nature.
With these three tips, you can feel ready for your new role as first time parents.