Guide for First Time Parents
This is the guide for parents by which even the most nervous first-time parents feel confident about caring for their newborn in no time.
Getting Help After the Birth Consider getting help during this point, which might be very hectic and overwhelming. While within the hospital, refer to the experts around you. Many hospitals have feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can facilitate your start nursing or bottle-feeding. Nurses are also a good resource to indicate you the way to carry, burp, change, and look after your baby. For in-home help, you would possibly want to rent a baby nurse, postpartum doula, or a responsible neighborhood teen to assist you for a brief time after the birth. Your doctor or the hospital can facilitate your find information about in-home help, and might make a referral to home health agencies. Relatives and friends often want to assist too. whether or not you disagree on certain things, don't dismiss their experience. But if you do not feel up to having guests otherwise you produce other concerns, do not feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors.
Handling a Newborn If you haven't spent lots of your time around newborns, their fragility is also intimidating. Here are some basics to remember:
Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby. Newborns do not have a robust system yet, so they're in danger for infection. ensure that everybody who handles your baby has clean hands.
Support your baby's head & neck. Cradle the pinnacle when carrying your baby and support the top when carrying the baby upright or after you lay your baby down.
Never shake your newborn, whether live or in frustration. Shaking can cause bleeding within the brain and even death. If you would like to wake your infant, don't bed by shaking — instead, tickle your baby's feet or blow gently on a cheek.
Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or seat. Limit any activity that might be too rough or bouncy.
Remember that your newborn isn't ready for rough play, like being jiggled on the knee or thrown within the air.
Bonding and Soothing Bonding, probably one amongst the foremost pleasurable parts of infant care, happens during the sensitive time within the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep reference to their infant. Physical closeness can promote an emotional connection. For infants, the attachment contributes to their emotional growth, which also affects their development in other areas, like physical growth. in our own way to think about bonding is "falling in love" along with your baby. Children thrive from having a parent or other adult in their life who loves them unconditionally. Begin bonding by cradling your baby and gently stroking him or her in several patterns. Both you and your partner also can take the chance to be "skin-to-skin," holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling. Babies, especially premature babies and people with medical problems, may reply to infant massage. Certain styles of massage may enhance bonding and help with infant growth and development. Many books and videos cover infant massage — ask your doctor for recommendations. Be careful, however — babies aren't as strong as adults, so massage your baby gently. Babies usually love vocal sounds, like talking, babbling, singing, and cooing. Your baby will probably also love taking note of music. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your infant's hearing. If your toddler is being fussy, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud as you sway or rock your baby gently in an exceedingly chair. Some babies will be unusually sensitive to the touch, light, or sound, and might startle and cry easily, sleep but expected, or turn their faces away when someone speaks or sings to them. If that is the case along with your baby, keep noise and lightweight levels low to moderate. Swaddling, which works well for a few babies during their first few weeks, is another soothing technique first-time parents should learn. Proper swaddling keeps a baby's arms near the body while with some movement of the legs. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm, but it seems to offer most newborns a way of security and luxury. Swaddling also may help limit the startle, which may wake a baby. Here's the way to swaddle a baby:
Spread out the receiving blanket, with one corner folded over slightly.
Lay the baby face-up on the blanket together with his or her head above the folded corner.
Wrap the left corner over the body and tuck it beneath the rear of the baby, sinking the proper arm.
Bring the underside corner up over the baby's feet and pull it toward the top, folding the material down if it gets near the face. take care to not wrap too tightly round the hips. Hips and knees should be slightly bent and clad. Wrapping your baby too tightly may increase the prospect of hip dysplasia.
Wrap the proper corner round the baby, and tuck it under the baby's back on the left side, leaving only the neck and head exposed. to form sure your baby isn't wrapped too tight, ensure you'll be able to slip a hand between the blanket and your baby's chest, which is able to allow comfortable breathing. Make sure, however, that the blanket isn't so loose that it could become undone.
Babies shouldn't be swaddled after they're 2 months old. At this age, some babies can roll over while swaddled, which increases their risk of sudden sleep apnea syndrome (SIDS).
All About Diapering You'll probably decide before you bring your baby home whether you'll use cloth or disposable diapers. Whichever you utilize, your infant will dirty diapers about 10 times daily, or about 70 times every week. Before diapering your baby, confirm you've got all supplies close so you will not should leave your infant unattended on the changing table. You'll need:
a clean diaper
fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
diaper wipes (or a container of warm water and a clean washcloth or cotton balls)
After each movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his or her back and take away the dirty diaper. Use the water, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to softly wipe your baby's genital area clean. When removing a boy's diaper, do so carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When wiping a lady, wipe her bottom from front to back to avoid a tract infection (UTI). to forestall or heal a rash, apply ointment. Always remember to scrub your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper. Diaper rash may be a common concern. Typically the rash is red and bumpy and can escape during a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a touch day trip of the diaper. Most rashes happen because the baby's skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper. To prevent or heal diaper dermatitis, try these tips:
Change your baby's diaper often, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
Gently clean the world with mild soap and water (wipes sometimes may be irritating), then apply a really thick layer of diaper dermatitis or "barrier" cream. Creams with oxide are preferred because they form a barrier against moisture.
If you utilize cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
Let the baby go undiapered for a part of the day. this offers the skin an opportunity to air out.
If the dermatitis continues for over 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor — it's going to be caused by a fungal infection that needs a prescription. Bathing Basics You should give your baby a sponge bath till:
the funiculus falls off and therefore the navel heals completely (1–4 weeks)
the circumcision heals (1–2 weeks)
A bath two or thrice per week within the first year is okay. More frequent bathing could also be drying to the skin. Have these things ready before bathing your baby:
a soft, clean washcloth
mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
a soft brush to stimulate the baby's scalp
towels or blankets
a clean diaper
Sponge baths. For a ablution, select a secure, flat surface (such as a changing table, floor, or counter) in an exceedingly warm room. Fill a sink, if nearby, or bowl with warm (not hot!) water. Undress your baby and wrap him or her in an exceedingly towel. Wipe your infant's eyes with a washcloth (or a clean cotton ball) dampened with water only, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another plant disease to clean the opposite eye. Clean your baby's nose and ears with the damp washcloth. Then wet the fabric again and, employing a little soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry. Next, using baby shampoo, create a lather and gently wash your baby's head and rinse. employing a wet cloth and soap, gently wash the remainder of the baby, paying special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, round the neck, and within the genital area. Once you have got washed those areas, confirm they're dry so diaper and dress your baby. Tub baths. When your baby is prepared for tub baths, the primary baths should be gentle and brief. If he or she becomes upset, return to sponge baths for every week or two, then try the tub again. In addition to the supplies listed above, add: an infant tub with 2 to three inches of warm — not hot! — water (to test the water temperature, feel the water with the within of your elbow or wrist). An infant tub could be a plastic tub which will slot in the bathtub; it is a better size for babies and makes bathing easier to manage. Undress your baby then place him or her within the water immediately, during a warm room, to stop chills. ensure the water within the tub is not any quite 2 to three inches deep, which the water is not any longer running within the tub. Use one among your hands to support the top and therefore the other hand to guide the baby in feet-first. Speaking gently, slowly lower your baby up to the chest into the bathtub. Use a washcloth to clean his or her face and hair. Gently massage your baby's scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush, including the realm over the fontanelles (soft spots) on the highest of the pinnacle. once you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby's head, cup your hand across the forehead that the suds run toward the perimeters and soap doesn't get into the eyes. Gently wash the remainder of your baby's body with water and alittle amount of soap. Throughout the bathtub, regularly pour water gently over your baby's body so he or she doesn't get cold. After the bathtub, wrap your baby in an exceedingly towel immediately, ensuring to hide his or her head. Baby towels with hoods are great for keeping a freshly washed baby warm. While bathing your infant, never leave the baby alone. If you wish to depart the lavatory, wrap the baby in an exceedingly towel and take him or her with you.
Circumcision and Cord Care Immediately after circumcision, the tip of the penis is sometimes covered with gauze coated with mixture to stay the wound from sticking to the diaper. Gently wipe the tip clean with warm water after a diaper change, then apply mineral jelly to the tip so it doesn't persist with the diaper. Redness or irritation of the penis should heal within some days, but if the redness or swelling increases or if pus-filled blisters form, infection is also present and you must call your baby's doctor immediately. Umbilical cord care in newborns is additionally important. Some doctors suggest swabbing the realm with lotion until the cord stump dries up and falls off, usually in 10 days to three weeks, but others recommend leaving the world alone. ask your child's doctor to work out what he or she prefers. An infant's navel area should not be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and therefore the area is healed. Until it falls off, the cord stump will change color from yellow to brown or black — this can be normal. Call your doctor if the navel area looks red or if a foul odor or discharge develops. Feeding and Burping Your Baby Whether feeding your newborn by breast or a bottle, you'll be stumped on how often to try and do so. Generally, it's recommended that babies be ate up demand — whenever they appear hungry. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises. A newborn must be fed every 2 to three hours. If you're breastfeeding, give your baby the prospect to nurse about 10–15 minutes at each breast. If you're formula-feeding, your baby will presumably take about 2–3 ounces (60–90 milliliters) at each feeding. Some newborns might have to be awakened every few hours to create sure they get enough to eat. Call your baby's doctor if you wish to wake your newborn often or if your baby doesn't seem fascinated by eating or sucking. If you're formula-feeding, you'll be able to easily monitor if your baby is getting enough to eat, but if you're breastfeeding, it are often a touch trickier. If your baby seems satisfied, produces about six wet diapers and a number of other stools each day, sleeps well, and is gaining weight regularly, then he or she is perhaps eating enough. Another great way to inform if your baby is getting milk is to note if your breasts feel full before feeding your baby and fewer full after feeding. confer with your doctor if you've got concerns about your child's growth or feeding schedule. Babies often swallow air during feedings, which might make them fussy. to assist prevent this, burp your baby often. Try burping your baby every 2–3 ounces (60–90 milliliters) if you bottle-feed, and every time you turn breasts if you breastfeed. If your baby tends to be gassy, has esophageal reflux, or seems fussy during feeding, try burping your toddler after every ounce during bottle-feeding or every 5 minutes during breastfeeding. Try these burping tips:
Hold your baby upright together with his or her head on your shoulder. Support your baby's head and back while gently patting the rear along with your other hand.
Sit your baby on your lap. Support your baby's chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby's chin within the palm of your hand and resting the heel of your hand on your baby's chest (be careful to grip your baby's chin — not throat). Use the opposite hand to softly pat your baby's back.
Lay your baby face-down on your lap. Support your baby's head, ensuring it's beyond his or her chest, and gently pat or rub his or her back.
If your baby doesn't burp after some minutes, change the baby's position and check out burping for one more couple of minutes before feeding again. Always burp your baby when feeding time is over, then keep him or her in an upright position for a minimum of 10–15 minutes to avoid spitting up. Sleeping Basics As a replacement parent, you will be surprised to find out that your newborn, who seems to wish you each minute of the day, actually sleeps about 16 hours or more! Newborns typically sleep for periods of 2–4 hours. Don't expect yours to sleep through the night — the system of babies is so small that they have nourishment every few hours and will be awakened if they haven't been fed for 4 hours (or more often if your doctor is anxious about weight gain). When are you able to expect your baby to sleep through the night? Many babies sleep through the night (between 6–8 hours) at 3 months old, but if yours doesn't, it is not a cause for concern. Like adults, babies must develop their own sleep patterns and cycles, so if your newborn is gaining weight and appears healthy, don't despair if he or she hasn't slept through the night at 3 months. It's important to always place babies on their backs to sleep to scale back the chance of SIDS (sudden death syndrome). Other safe sleeping practices include: not using blankets, quilts, sheepskins, stuffed animals, and pillows within the crib or bassinet (these can suffocate a baby); and sharing a bedroom (but not a bed) with the oldsters for the primary 6 months to 1 year. even be certain to alternate the position of your baby's head from night to nighttime (first right, then left, and then on) to forestall the event of a flat spot on one side of the top. Many newborns have their days and nights "mixed up." they have an inclination to be more awake and alert at the hours of darkness, and more sleepy during the day. a technique to assist them is to stay stimulation at nighttime to a minimum. Keep the lights low, like by employing a nightlight. Reserve talking and fiddling with your baby for the daytime. When your baby wakes up during the day, attempt to keep him or her awake a touch longer by talking and playing. Even though you'll feel anxious about handling a newborn, in a very few short weeks you'll develop a routine and be parenting sort of a pro!