You have endured pregnancy, labour, and delivery, and are now prepared to return home and begin life with your newborn. At home, however, you may feel as though you have no idea what you’re doing! In this article, we’ve covered the complete guide for first time parents.
These tips can help even the most apprehensive first-time parents quickly gain confidence in caring for a newborn.
Guide for First Time Parents:Receiving Help Following Childbirth
Consider obtaining assistance during this hectic and overwhelming time. While in the hospital, consult the surrounding physicians. Numerous hospitals have feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can assist you in beginning breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Nurses can also instruct you on how to hold, burp, change, and care for your infant.
You could hire a baby nurse, a postpartum doula, or a responsible teen from the neighbourhood for short-term in-home assistance after the birth. Your doctor or hospital can assist you in locating information about in-home assistance and may refer you to home health agencies.
Relatives and friends also frequently offer assistance. Even if you disagree on some points, you should not disregard their experience. However, if you do not feel up to having guests or have other concerns, you should not feel guilty about imposing visitor restrictions
Care for a Newborn
If you haven’t spent much time with newborns, you may find their fragility intimidating. Here are some fundamentals to remember:
Before handling your infant, wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer). Infants lack a robust immune system, so they are susceptible to infection. Ensure that everyone who touches your child has clean hands.
Support the head and neck of your baby. When carrying your baby, cradle the head and support it when carrying your baby upright or when laying your baby down.
Never shake your infant, whether for fun or out of frustration. Shaking can lead to brain bleeding and even death. If you need to wake your infant, avoid shaking him or her; instead, tickle his or her feet or blow softly on a cheek.
Ensure that your infant is safely secured in the carrier, stroller, or car seat. Any activity that could be too rough or bouncy should be limited.
Keep in mind that your infant is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or tossed in the air.
Affinity and Soothing
Bonding, one of the most enjoyable aspects of infant care, occurs in the first hours and days after birth, when parents develop a close relationship with their newborn. Physical proximity can foster an emotional bond.
Attachment contributes to infants’ emotional development, which influences their development in other areas, such as physical growth. Another term for bonding is “falling in love” with your child. Children thrive when they are loved unconditionally by their parents or other adults
Begin bonding by gently stroking your infant in various patterns while cradling him or her. You and your partner can also take advantage of the opportunity to be “skin-to-skin” with your newborn while feeding or rocking.
Infant massage may be beneficial for infants, particularly preterm infants and those with medical conditions. Certain types of massage may foster attachment and promote infant development. There are numerous books and videos on infant massage; consult your physician for recommendations. However, babies are not as strong as adults, so massage your child with caution.
Typically, infants enjoy vocal sounds such as talking, babbling, singing, and cooing. Your infant will likely enjoy listening to music. Additionally, baby rattles and musical mobiles can be used to stimulate your infant’s hearing. Try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud while gently swaying or rocking your fussy infant in a chair.
Some infants may be unusually sensitive to touch, light, or sound, causing them to easily startle and cry, sleep less than usual, or turn their faces away when someone speaks or sings to them. If this is the case with your infant, maintain low to moderate noise and light levels.
Another technique that first-time parents should learn is swaddling, which is effective for some infants during their initial weeks. The proper swaddling of a baby keeps the arms close to the body while allowing the legs to move. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm, but it also appears to provide a sense of security and comfort to the majority of newborns. Swaddling may also reduce the startle reflex, which can cause a baby to wake up.
Guide for First Time Parents:Here are the steps for swaddling a baby:
One corner of the receiving blanket should be folded over slightly.
Place the infant on the blanket with his or her head above the corner that has been folded over.
Wrap the left corner over the body and tuck it under the baby’s back, under the right arm, while passing it under the right arm.
Bring the bottom corner over the baby’s feet and pull it toward the head, folding the fabric if it gets too close to the face. Avoid wrapping too tightly around the hips. Knees and hips must be slightly bent and turned outward. Hip dysplasia risk may be increased by swaddling your infant too tightly.
Wrap the right corner around the baby and tuck the left corner under the left side of the baby’s back, leaving only the neck and head exposed. To ensure that your baby is not wrapped too tightly, ensure that you can fit a hand between the blanket and his or her chest, allowing for comfortable breathing. However, ensure that the blanket is not so loose that it could unravel.
Babies should no longer be swaddled after two months. At this age, some infants are able to roll over while swaddled, which increases their risk of SIDS (SIDS).
Before you bring your baby home, you will likely decide whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. Your infant will soil diapers approximately 10 times per day, or approximately 70 times per week.
Before changing your infant’s diaper, ensure that all necessary supplies are within reach so that you do not have to leave your child unattended on the changing table. You’ll require:
- A diaper with clean fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
- diaper ointment
- diaper wipes (or a container of warm water and a clean washcloth or cotton balls)
- After each bowel movement or if the diaper is wet, place the infant on his or her back and change the diaper. Use the water, cotton balls, washcloth, or wipes to gently wipe the genital area of your baby clean. Carefully remove a boy’s diaper because exposure to air may cause him to urinate. Wipe a girl’s derriere from front to back to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). Apply ointment to prevent or treat rashes. Always make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after changing a diaper.
- Rash from diapers is a common concern. Typically, the rash is red and bumpy and can be alleviated in a few days with warm baths, diaper cream, and a brief period without a diaper. The majority of rashes result from the baby’s sensitive skin becoming irritated by the wet or soiled diaper.
Guide for First Time Parents: Use the following tips to prevent or treat diaper rash:
Change your baby’s diaper frequently, and as quickly as possible following bowel movements.
Apply a thick layer of diaper rash or “barrier” cream after gently cleaning the area with mild soap and water (wipes can sometimes be irritating). Creams containing zinc oxide are preferred because they create a moisture barrier.
If you use cloth diapers, wash them with detergents that are free of dyes and fragrances.
Allow the infant to go unnapped for a portion of the day. This allows the skin to breathe and dry out.
Call your doctor if the diaper rash persists for more than three days or worsens; it may be caused by a prescription-required fungal infection.