A Baby Guide for First-Time Parents
Now that you have gone through labor and delivery, it is time to head home and begin your new life with your baby. It’s possible to feel confused once you return home.
These tips can make it easy for even the most nervous parents to care for a newborn.
After the Birth, Get Help
You might consider getting help at this time. It can be stressful and overwhelming. Talk to the experts in your area while you’re there. Many hospitals have nursing specialists and lactation consultants that can help you get started with bottle-feeding or nursing. They can help you hold, change, change, and care your baby.
In-home assistance can be provided by a postpartum doula or baby nurse. The hospital or doctor can provide information and may refer you to local health agencies.
Friends and family often want to be there for each other. Even if you don’t agree on some things, don’t dismiss their experience. You don’t have to restrict visitors if guests are not your cup of tea or you have other concerns.
You may find their fragility intimidating if you haven’t spent enough time around them. Here are some basic facts to remember:
Hand washing is a must before you can handle your baby. The immune system of newborns is not strong enough to protect them from infection. It is important to make sure your baby’s caretakers are clean.
You should support your baby’s neck, head, and neck. Support your baby’s neck and head by cradling it when you are carrying him/her.
No one should shake a newborn, no matter how frustrated or playful. Shaking can cause brain bleeding and even death. You shouldn’t shake your infant to wake it up. Instead, you can tickle or gently blow on their cheeks.
Securely fasten your baby into the car seat, stroller or carrier. Be careful not to make your baby too rough or bouncey.
Keep in mind that your baby is not ready to be roughed up, such as being thrown in midair or jiggled on his knees.
Soothing and Bonding
Bonding, which is probably the most rewarding part of infant care, occurs during the delicate time after birth, when parents establish a close connection with their infant. An emotional connection can be fostered by physical proximity.
The attachment is vital for infants’ emotional growth. It also has an impact on their development in other areas such as their physical growth. You can also think of bonding as “falling in Love” with your baby. Children thrive when there is someone in their lives who loves them unconditionally, such as a parent.
Begin bonding by cuddling your baby and gently stroke him/her in various patterns. Your partner and you can also use this opportunity to hold your newborn against your skin while feeding or cradling it.
Infant massage can be helpful for premature babies, as well as those with medical issues. Certain massages may improve infant bonding, and assist with their growth and development. Many books and videos are available on infant massage. Talk to your doctor about recommendations. However, babies are not as strong and should be massaged gently.
Babies are fond of vocal sounds such as singing, talking, singing, cooing, and babbling. Your baby will likely love music. Your baby will also love to listen to music through baby rattles and musical mobiles. Try singing to your infant, reading nursery rhymes and poetry aloud, or moving your baby gently in a rocking chair.
Some babies may be sensitive to sound, light and touch. Your baby might be sensitive to light and noise.
Swaddling is another technique parents first-timers should try. Swaddling properly keeps baby’s arms close and allows for some movement. Swaddling keeps babies warm and gives them a sense comfort and security.
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