If you are a first-time parent it might be difficult for you to cope up with handling your newborn. It is a common concern and there is nothing to panic about this. The experience is completely new and it is a new phase of life. But there is nothing to worry about as we’ll discuss some simple tips with you that will help keep your baby healthy and happy.
Here are some basic but very important things you should keep in mind when handling a newborn baby:
1. Breastfeeding –
This is important and you should follow some breastfeeding guidelines when feeding your newborn. Infants feel hungry often and they feed A LOT! So it is best to nurse them every 2-3 hours around the clock. It might be a little taxing for new mothers but if your baby stays hungry, it might be unhealthy. If you find difficulty in keeping a track of feeding time, start using a stopwatch on your phone. Observe how long your baby takes to get full in a single feed. Be it half-an-hour or forty-five minutes, calculate and resume feeding your baby again after 2 hours.
2. Infant massages –
Newborn massage is an age-old tradition in India. It is said to promote good sleep and enhance health and weight gain. It also improves blood circulation in your baby and helps them relax. Massage also stimulates the vagus nerve that connects the brain with the most important parts of the body. It improves digestion and eases bowel movement.
3. Bathing –
It is advisable to not give your newborn a full-fledged bath till the belly-button is completely dry and healed. For some infants, a night-time bath routine is soothing and helps them sleep better, whereas for others a daytime bath works better.
4. Diapers and nappies –
It is important to choose a proper diaper that is soft as well as breathable for your baby. Since your newborn baby wears diapers 24/7, pick one that is suitable for baby skin. If you have a baby girl, always remember to wipe her from front to back to avoid genital infections.
5. Burping and colic –
Your newborn baby might be often crying and you might not understand the reason. It might be due to colic that usually starts in the 4th week and continues for upto 3-4 months. Try soothing the baby and make him burp to expel the gas.
(Read more ways to soothe a colicky baby)
6. Swaddling –
A baby should be swaddled while sleeping in the first few months to give her the warmth and feeling of the womb. Due to sudden movement, you baby might throw her arms out in a reflex. If this disturbs her sleep, swaddle her snug in a blanket for sound sleep
7. Sanitize well –
Before handling your baby, you should first sanitize your hand well with a disinfectant. Newborns are vulnerable to infections that can even get serious. So it is crucial that you wash your hands before holding or latching your baby for nursing.
8. Stay Sane –
Yes, it is difficult to stay sane with a newborn baby around but staying in the best of mental health without stressing out unnecessarily is the key to keep yourself healthy. Don’t entertain confusing advise from relatives. Leave household chores aside for a couple of months and get to know your baby well. This is the time to bond with your baby. Steal some sleep during your baby’s nap time.
Handling a newborn is strenuous and overwhelming. Be calm around the baby and call a pediatrician whenever you have a doubt with your baby’s health.