If you’re here you’re probably expecting a new baby or already gave birth to a baby for the very first time.
the newborn period is so short and all-consuming it will be a time you never forget so without further ado let’s get into it and talk about how to take care of your newborn baby.
so I’m going to be breaking this post into some easy to digest sections the first being.
How to keep your newborn happy?
One of the simplest ways to keep a newborn happy is to swaddle them.
newborns have immature nervous systems and strong reflexes that make them play all their arms and kick their legs pretty much all the time
The best way to help them control these movements is to swaddle them often, our general rule of thumb for a happy baby is to swaddle them anytime they are eating or sleeping and for very tiny babies that means the majority of their day will be spent bundled up in a swaddle.
the easiest way to swaddle with a blanket is like this :
Fold down a corner of your swaddle and lay your baby with their neck across the folded line.
Start on your left and wrap the blanket over your baby’s right arms then tuck it under, their body their left arm will still be free don’t worry
Fold up the portion at the bottom and tuck it under the baby’s chin
Finally grab the right corner of the swaddle and wrap it around your baby’s left arm and tuck it under their back for a cozy and comfortable swaddle
This swaddle should obviously not be so tight that it restricts their breathing and it should not be loose enough to come up over their face.
If all of this is just too confusing it’s no big deal just opt for an easy cheater swaddle like this
zip up swaddle up it does all the hard work for you and it ensures that your baby is safe for sleep.
Another part of keeping your baby happy is to change their diaper often.
for newborns you can expect to change their diaper every two to three hours round-the-clock and be sure to always change a poopy diaper immediately in order to prevent the diaper rash.
babies can sometimes get wiggly or fussy during diaper changes so start by rolling up their onesie around their arms like this
it’s a makeshift swaddle that will help them feel more secure during your diaper change
Before you open up the dirty diaper be sure to slide a clean diaper underneath this will not only protect your changing area it will also give you a quick flap to close if they start to urinate during the change
If your baby has a blowout, and yes will happen at one point or another, take a deep breath and change them from the head down
the envelope folds on the shoulders of the baby’s clothes are made that you can roll the clothes down over their shoulders and body instead of taking the whole mess up and over their heads
If your baby is full and comfortable and has a clean diaper but they’re still fussy then try to rock or sway them or take them outside, the gentle movements and the change of scenery can really help them to settle quickly.
And take note if your baby is sneezing it doesn’t mean they have a cold it’s actually a sign that they could be tired or overstimulated so take that as a message that it’s time to swaddle them and move them into a more calm environment
Most babies love the sound of white noise a heartbeat or even a hairdryer as they mimic the loud whooshing sounds of the inside of the womb, so if your child is hard to settle white noise may be the answer.
Also keep in mind that babies sleep a lot so to avoid getting overtired or overstimulated newborns should not be kept awake for more than an hour at a time
Next, we will move on to some tips for feeding your baby whether you choose to breast or bottle-feed know that feeding your newborn will take up a lot of your time during the early days.
For breastfeeding moms, my best advice is to try to get your baby to latch during the golden hour after birth
If you’re in the hospital know that you may have to ask a few times to get someone to help you do this but it’s super important in helping to establish your supply and your babies latch.
Also if you’re breastfeeding know that it’s normal to feel like all you do is feed, breastfed babies will eat every one and a half to two hours around the clock in the early days and they may even try to nurse more than that, this is all part of the beautiful dance that is breastfeeding.
It helps with bonding and keeping your baby close during those first few weeks is what establishes your milk supply.
Your baby will seek out your breast for food and for comfort often
This is not a sign that you don’t have enough milk it simply means that things are working as they should, as long as your child is having enough wet diapers and it’s moving back towards their birth weight everything is fine.
It’s exhausting but it’s worth it in the end if you can persevere things do get easier.
If you’ve opted it to bottle-feed my best tip for you is to pace feed your baby that means that you should always hold the bottle parallel to the floor when feeding and you should let your baby pull the milk out this is the best way to avoid over feeding and overloading your child’s small stomach.
You should also aim to burp your child after every ounce or so.
To burp place your child over your shoulder and Pat their backs with a firm open hand
You can also set them up in your lap and while supporting their neck with one hand pat their back firmly with the other
If your child tends towards reflux or seems uncomfortable after a feed try holding them upright on your chest or your shoulder for at least 30 minutes after they eat.
Now let’s talk about bathing
First of all be sure not to submerge your baby in water until their umbilical stump falls off a cord care powder like this one.
It can greatly reduce the amount of time your baby has an umbilical stump as it helps it to dry up and fall off faster.
While your baby has their own bilkul stump you can give them a gentle sponge bath by wiping them with a warm wet washcloth.
If you’re feeling really fancy you can swaddle them and run their hair under a warm stream of water as well, most babies love this and will even fall asleep during the bath.
Once their stump is gone you can move on to regular bathing of your child be sure to lay a warm washcloth on their tummy to help them feel cozy or for fussy babies place them into a tub in a loose swaddle and unwrap one limb at a time to make them feel more secure.
Don’t forget to wash behind their ears and in the folds of their necks as babies can get pretty grimy there.
If your baby has crusty eyes from a blocked air duct you can gently wipe them a few times a day with a warm wet washcloth and toss in a bit of breast milk if you have some it should clear up within a matter of days.
After the bath you can lay your baby out on a warm towel and give them a little full-body massage there are lots of great videos on YouTube that show you how to do infant massage and here is one of my favorite:
This practice not only helps you to bond with your baby it can also reduce colic and improve your baby sleep so I can really recommend it enough.
The final topic we’re going to cover is newborn safety in the case of car seats it goes without saying that all newborns should be in a properly installed rear-facing car seat.
When putting your baby in the car seat ensure that the straps sit at or below your baby’s shoulders next after buckling the chest clip slide it up even with their armpits.
Lastly, never ever buckle your baby’s blankets or bulky warm clothing underneath the straps that you’re going to use on top this way you can ensure that they are secure in the car seat
If you have any doubt find a certified car seat technician in your area to double-check your install and your buckling.
If your looking were to buy a good car seat for your baby here you can find a few good ones I chose from Amazon
Next, know that your baby should sleep in the same room as you at night until at least six months of age.
Being nearby is crucial for your baby safety and can even reduce their risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
Room sharing also helps to encourage a healthy breastfeeding relationship.
So if that’s something that’s important to you you might consider putting the crib or bassinet in your master.
Finally, know that you cannot spoil a baby you cannot hold them too much and in fact, holding cuddling and gazing into their eyes often has been shown to reduce future crying and fussiness infants who receive the most attention actually develop stronger foundations for emotional physical and intellectual growth
So cuddle those babies early and often
I hope you guys enjoyed this article and found it helpful if you did be sure to leave me a comment and share it with any expecting parents in your life.