For all the preparations that you have done for your newborn, actually holding them in your arms is a beautiful and surreal experience. A small delicate baby that snuggles into your chest and fully trusts you to keep them safe; it can be a surreal feeling. But then comes the anxiety of whether you are holding them correctly, what to do when they start crying, how to feed them and so many other such questions. Here are four essential things you need to know about looking after your newborn:
1. The right way to hold your baby
Babies are fragile and it is important to hold them correctly. Many new parents are afraid to hold their babies for the fear of hurting them unintentionally. Don’t worry! We’ll tell you the correct way. Make sure that while your grip is secure, it is not too hard. When lifting them and keeping your baby in an embrace, support their head and neck as their spinal cord is still in the developing phase. Support to the back is not only reassuring for their posture but also for the feeling of security it gives to your baby.
2. Feeding your baby
According to the WHO, you need to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. After that, it is optional for you to continue breastfeeding along with solid foods. You usually need to feed them every 2 to 3 hours, and babies can be pretty vocal about their hunger even when they can’t speak in recognisable languages. Take care of the way you hold your baby while nursing, as mentioned earlier. Do not tilt or twist their head too much for them to reach your breast, instead bend down a little and hold them securely so the breathing is not restricted.
3. Baths and hygiene
You do not give full baths to babies in the first week or two. It is better to give gentle sponge baths, this way the umbilical cord stump is kept clean and dry. It is important to keep the stump infection free for two weeks before it falls off naturally. To maintain general hygiene around your baby, use sanitizers, keep soft wipes handy and keep your hands clean at all times. When you do start with complete bathing, make use of certified baby soaps and lukewarm water preferably inside a baby bathtub. Pat dry your baby with soft towels after the bath and use some mild baby products for grooming.
4. Burping your kid
When your baby inhales too much air in between feeding, it causes gas and may cause stomach aches. If your baby is crying even after satiating his/ her hunger, then it is probably due to the discomfort of having gas. You need to hold them to your chest with their mouth near your shoulder and gently pat or rub their back till they burp. Make it into a part of your routine with each feeding. It is a simple way to avoid stomach colics and fussy behaviour of your baby.
There are still plenty of things left for you to know about your newborn and his/ her care but covering these basics is essential in the beginning. Take the time to learn everything else about your baby as each day comes and explore your new motherhood. It’s the experience of a lifetime, so go about it the way you want to and be the best mother you can be. For more updates & to connect with thousands of other mothers like you join the club of First Kick!