Countless people dream of the day they’ll welcome their own little bundle of joy into the world, and becoming a mother or father is a wonderful, fulfilling experience for so many people. Statistics for recent years show that close to 4 million new babies are born in the US each and every year, with millions of new parents all wanting to do the best they can for their sons and daughters.
Those early days can be so magical and exciting, but they can also be quite overwhelming too, as new parents begin to realize all the responsibilities that have suddenly fallen onto their shoulders. Babies don’t come with manuals, and you’ll probably have a whole lot of questions about what to do and how to respond in certain situations. With that in mind, here are a few tips for newborn care.
Preparation Is Key
As with almost everything in life, it helps to be prepared for a baby’s arrival. So, in the months and weeks leading up to the birth, try to make the most of the time you have. When the baby arrives, decisions will need to be made quickly and you’ll have to act fast, so it makes sense to use the ‘before baby’ period to prepare yourself as well as you possibly can.
Read books, look online, talk to other parents in your life, and so on in order to know what to expect and how to react. Buy plenty of baby supplies in advance during this time so you’ll be ready for almost anything when you’re little one arrives, and make sure you’ve got all the basics covered.
Do Your Research Regarding Baby Products
Before making use of any baby care products, be sure to take the time to do some necessary research, learning more about the ingredients, and any associated risks. Even products that seem safe and have been used for years by parents across the world can be dangerous in some situations.
The FDA discovered traces of asbestos in baby powder, for example, and we’ve seen other cases where man-made, chemical baby care products aren’t as safe as first believed. Natural alternatives are often much safer and it’s always wise to know fully about a product before using it, so be sure to consider your options and consult with medical experts if you aren’t sure about anything.
Feed Your Little One Often
It doesn’t matter whether you’re choosing to breastfeed or making use of formula – although the American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend breastfeeding when possible for the first six months – you should always make sure to feed your baby often and regularly. New moms should start producing breast milk within the first three days after birth, and it can be tricky to start breastfeeding at first, but once you’ve got the technique, it starts getting easier.
Newborns need to be fed almost every hour, or at least every 2-3 hours, for a total of around 10 feeding sessions per 24-hour period. These meals help your little one get the nutrients they need to start growing big and strong. Missing feedings will make babies grouchy and could hamper their development too.
Sleep As Much As You Can
Sleep can famously be quite an elusive thing for new parents, and many new moms and dads are shocked at how often they get woken by their babies crying in the middle of the night. It can be quite tiring, but this is all part of the process, and things will get better eventually. In the meantime, it’s important to try and sleep whenever you get the chance.
Newborns sleep for around 16 hours a day on average, but they’ll wake every hour or so for feeding. So you have got plenty of opportunities to get naps and short bursts of sleep, even if you will inevitably be woken up in between. Try to make the most of these opportunities, and try to set up a bedtime routine by swaddling your baby or changing them into pajamas in the evenings, as this will help them understand that the night time is when they should sleep a little longer and should aid with getting them into some kind of routine as they get older.
Becoming a part is a dream come true for many, but it can be a challenge too if you’re not quite prepared for it. Do your research, take your time, and remember to look after yourself, as well as your little one, to help the whole process flow as smoothly as possible.
*this is a collaborative post