The prospect of having a baby is always amazing and stressful at the same time especially if you are a first-time parent. Fortunately, when you manage to get past the first newborn phase, things will start to work out naturally, and you will have more time to look for the answers that come up along the way. However, when the newborn comes, you will notice that there will be chaos all over your home giving you no time to read. Here are some few tips to guide you through the caring process of a newborn:
- Be prepared to see the newborn cry. You must check the diapers regularly, feed the baby often, check if his outfit fits properly and check whether he is swaddled up. For newborns, it is important to keep them swaddled up and held close for at least nine months. If everything else looks fine, hold the newborns and rock with them. If a newborn continues to cry for over two hours with nothing seeming to be soothing him, contact your pediatrician.
- Feeding a newborn can be a challenge as well. Breastfeeding, for instance, is more technical than it looks. For some mothers, they are fortunate enough to see their babies latch right while for others, the task is daunting. If you have problems breastfeeding your child, try baby formula. Even though breast milk is the best, baby formula is not as bad in itself. Remember you need to breastfeed your child after 2-3 hours or feed him with 1-3 ounces after 3-4 hours. You can contact your La Leche League or pediatrician for more advice on breastfeeding, or you can choose a formula and stick to it.
- Change your child’s diapers. The task may look simple on paper, but you have never encountered it, it can be quite a challenge. If your baby is a girl, the basic rule is to begin wiping from front to back while at the same time being careful not to cause contamination to the urethra with stool. On the other hand, the process is not as complex for boys if they are uncircumcised. However, if they are, for every time you change their diapers you will need a lot of petroleum jelly. Be quick to contact your doctor if you notice traces of blood or the area appears to be infected. Applying diaper rash cream when changing the diapers is also a good idea.
- Cleaning the umbilical cord can be scary at times. However, you can clean the area frequently using rubbing alcohol. Some doctors are against this practice so you should inquire with yours first. If your doctor advises you to go ahead, clean the area gently and remove the dried stub. Make sure that you do not hurt the baby. After about 14 days maximum, the area should have healed. If you notice emission of a foul odor or there are more blood drops in the area, contact your doctor.
- Look out for illness signs in your newborn. Some of the signs to watch out for include fever, rapid breathing, abnormal breathing, discolorations in the region around the mouth, lack of appetite, yellow skin and non-wetting of diapers. If the baby cries for over two hours non-stop, then it is also a cause for concern.
- Another critical advice for first-time parents is to sleep as your baby sleeps. It is very hard to master the sleeping patterns of newborns so if you do not sleep during the day when they are; it can be very hard to sleep during the night when they are not asleep