Top 4 Baby Care Skills Every New Parent Should Master

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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 usually have a bumpy ride to look forward to for 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

How To Hold The Baby

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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

How To Swaddle The Baby

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The key to a calm and soothed baby is swaddling them correctly so make sure you have the technique down before your cranky baby gets here. First, fold the sheet into a diamond shape. Next, fold the top corner down and put the baby on the sheet. Pull one side of the sheet across the baby’s chest, tucking the corner under the arm. Now take the bottom of the sheet, fold it over the feet and tuck it behind the shoulders. After that, all that’s left to do is to pull the remaining side of the sheet across your baby’s chest and tuck it underneath your baby. Once you’re done, you can easily hold your baby to your chest. This will help them get cozy enough to prompt fall to sleep.

3. How To Bathe Your Baby

How To Bathe Your Baby

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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

How To Burp The Baby

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Burping your baby is a skill that all parents should acquire. It is essential to keep the baby comfortable, especially in the first few weeks. This will enable your baby to eat and sleep well which will solve about 90% of your baby problems. To burp a baby, hold them on your chest in a way that their chin rests on your shoulder. Don’t forget to support their head and shoulders. Now gently rub or pat their back until they burp.

Another way to burp the baby is by making them face down on your lap. While the baby lies on your legs make sure to support their chin and neck with your hands. Hold their head up a little higher so that they can breath easily and so that the blood doesn’t rush to their head. Now all you need to do is rub or pat your baby’s back gently until they finally burp.

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.

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Kezia John

Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby's development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.