Are you searching for the best infant care tips? After 9 months of pregnancy followed by the excitement of labor and a successful delivery, it’s now time for you to head home and begin life with your lovely baby. Meanwhile, for most first-time parents, the first days of raising a newborn baby at home can be overwhelming and hectic. You want to learn the best ways to raise a healthy baby while ensuring your child to be well and safe. Here are 7 best infant care tips you can start today.
1. Handling Your Newborn Baby
Most first time parents will find the fragility of their newborn baby to be intimidating. One essential baby care tip to remember is to wash your hands before handling your baby. That’s because your infant’s immune system is yet stable, which means that s/he is at risk of infections.
Make sure that you are careful when holding your infant’s head and neck. Cradle your baby’s head when carrying him/her and support the head when you lay your child down or carrying the baby in an upright position.
Don’t shake your newborn when playing or out of frustration, because vigorous shaking can lead to death or bleeding in the baby’s brain.
Another tip is to ensure that you secure your child well on a stroller, car seat or carrier. You should also limit any activity that may be too bouncy or rough since the newborn baby is not ready for rough plays.
2. Soothing and Bonding Techniques
One pleasurable aspect of baby care is bonding. It occurs during the first hours or days after birth and enables parents to make an emotional connection with their newborn. Bear in mind that physical closeness is an essential element in promoting an emotional connection between you and your newborn baby.
For babies, this attachment contributes in a big way to their emotional growth and affects their development in areas such as physical growth. Children benefit greatly from having a parent or guardian who loves them unconditionally.
The best infant care bonding tip is by gently stroking and cradling your baby. Both your partner and you should take the opportunity to bond with the baby by holding him/her against your skin while cradling or feeding.
When soothing your baby, try using vocal sounds such as singing, babbling, and cooing, since kids love vocal sounds. If your child is fussy, you should try reciting poetry, nursery rhymes, and songs to calm him/her down.
3. Changing Diapers
Another infant care tip to remember is diapering. Before you bring your baby home, you should decide whether you will use disposable or cloth diapers. Whichever you choose, you should be aware that your newborn would dirty the diapers around ten times a day.
So, make sure that you have all the supplies within reach, which will prevent incidences where you leave your child unattended on the changing table. For instance, make sure you’ve clean diapers, fasteners, a warm water container and diaper wipes or a clean washcloth.
If the baby has a rash, keep a diaper ointment around. Most rashes are the result of baby’s skin sensitivity that causes by a dirty or wet diaper.
4. Bathing Tips
An important tip to ensure your healthy baby is safe is to be careful when it comes to bathing them. For instance, make sure that you sponge bath your infant until the umbilical cord or the circumcision fully healed. In the first year, you only need to bathe your baby two to three times a week, because most of the time your baby stay in a clean place. Another important reason is frequent bathing can cause your baby’s skin to dry.
Among the items that should be ready when bathing your baby are; a clean and soft washcloth, blankets or towels, clean clothes and a clean diaper. You should also have mild shampoo or unscented baby soap as well as a soft brush to stimulate your child’s scalp.
While washing your child, make sure that you never leave the infant alone.
5. Umbilical Cord and Circumcision Care
The care of the umbilical cord in babies is one important factor you should consider. Some doctors recommend that you swab the area with alcohol until the cord’s stump falls or dries off, which usually takes ten to twenty days. However, others suggested that you leave the area alone, which means you should consult your doctor.
If your newborn is a baby boy, after circumcision, the tip of the baby’s penis is usually covered with gauze, which is coated with petroleum jelly to prevent the wound from sticking to the diaper. Ensure that you clean the tip gently with warm water after any diaper change and apply the jelly.
The irritation or redness of the penis should heal within a few days. However, if the swelling or redness increases, you should consult your infant doctor immediately.
6. Feeding and Burping the Baby
The best way of feeding your child is on demand, that’s whenever he/she seems hungry. Signs of hunger include crying, putting their finger in their mouths and making sucking noises.
Remember that newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours. You may also need to awaken your newborn every few hours to ensure s/he eats enough. Bear in mind that babies swallow air as they eat, which makes them fussy.
Make sure that you burp your baby frequently. If the baby doesn’t burp, change his/her position and try burping him or her for a few minutes before feeding again. Always ensure you burp your baby after feeding, and keep him/her in an upright position for 10-15 minutes to prevent spitting up.
7. Sleeping Tips
Most newborns sleep for 2-4 hours periods, which can total up to 16 hours. And since the digestion system of babies is small, they need nourishment every few hours throughout the night.
Ensure that your child sleeps on his/her back to prevent SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS). SIDS refers to the unexplained death of a healthy baby who is less than one year old, which occurs sometime during sleep. SIDS is also known as crib death since the infants occasionally die in their cribs.
You should also remove all quilts, fluffy bedding, stuffed animals, pillows and sheepskins from the crib to prevent incidences of SIDS, suffocation and getting entangled.
You should also alternate the baby’s head position a few times throughout the night. It prevents the development of a flat area on one side of the head.
As new parents, it’s normal to feel anxious when first caring for your newborn baby at home. These 7 best infant care practices will help you raise a healthy baby. For more articles on how to care for your newborn baby, check out HealthFitLine.com. You can also ask your doctor for recommendations of the best infant care resources.