There’s nothing quite like having a newborn baby at home. Watching them curl up and sleep, stare at the ceiling (like you live in the Sistine Chapel), and try to interact with you by making cute, adorable noises. But it’s no secret that they are also a lot of work. With great cuteness comes a whole lot of responsibilities, for the parents of course. And even the most mundane everyday tasks can get complicated and overwhelming. New parents mostly look forward to the first few months. You can experience issues with nursing your baby, their lack of sleep, crying sessions that go on well into the night and health complications, it’s all hard to handle. But there are some skills that you should pick up in order to survive these trying months.
Here are 4 baby care skills every parent should master:
1. How To Hold The Baby
The last thing you want is to be afraid of holding your own baby for fear of breaking their neck or dropping them on the floor (a very common fear among parents). So, it’s best to have a general idea of the right way to hold your little bundle of joy. You must be sure to handle them with care. The neck of your baby is the most delicate body part, so when you lift them up, keep your hand right under their head in order to support the neck. Since your baby cannot physically hold their head upright by themselves yet, the job is now yours, as most jobs are. Yay! Make sure to have one hand under the head and another under the waist while you carry them. Be careful of the soft spots on your newborn’s head.
2. How To Swaddle The Baby
To swaddle a baby, start by laying a soft, breathable blanket or swaddle cloth on a flat surface, forming a diamond shape. Place the baby’s shoulders at the top edge, ensuring their head is above the fabric. Fold one corner of the blanket over the baby’s body and tuck it snugly underneath, leaving their arms free.
Next, fold the bottom of the blanket up, covering the baby’s feet and legs while keeping their hips in a flexed, “frog-legged” position, which is important for healthy hip development. Finally, fold the remaining corner over the baby’s body and secure it, making sure it’s not too tight or restricting the baby’s chest movement. Properly swaddled, a baby can feel safe and secure, resembling the cozy environment of the womb, which often helps them sleep better and feel more at ease.
Always remember to leave enough room for the baby’s hips to move and breathe comfortably, and regularly check for signs of overheating to ensure their safety.
3. How To Bathe Your Baby
New parents are often scared of bathing your new baby, which is understandable. But it doesn’t have to be a terrifying process. In fact it can be quite enjoyable for you and your baby. It’s important to note that newborns only require sponge baths during their first few weeks of life. It is suggested that parents wait until after the umbilical cord has completely dried and falls off on its own to start giving your children full fledged tub baths. However, keep in mind that this is only an occasional tub bath. You most definitely don’t need to bathe the baby daily. Make sure to check the temperature of the water before you ease your baby into the tub.
4. How To Burp The Baby
Burping a baby is an essential part of infant care, as it helps release trapped air from their stomach.To burp a baby, start by holding them upright against your shoulder or sitting them on your lap. Gently rub their back using a soft and consistent rhythm.
Alternatively, you can cradle the baby in your arms with their chin resting on your hand and gently pat their back with your other hand. Be patient and observant during this process, as not all babies will burp immediately. Some may require more time and gentler handling, while others may burp more easily. After feeding, burping should be done to ensure that any swallowed air is released, reducing the likelihood of gassiness and fussiness in the baby.
Catering to the needs of your newborn can seem daunting and scary at first but it doesn’t have to be. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll know exactly what your baby needs. Skills take time to master so be patient with yourself and practice as much as you can before your little one arrives. There’s no need to panic if you don’t have them down to a T in time, you can always learn with your baby in tow. Experience is the best way to learn anyway. Are there any other essentials you would have liked to know how to do before your newborn came home? Let us know in the comments section.