The real joy of parenthood is felt when you hold your little one in hands for the first time. During the stay at the hospital, the mother and baby are well looked after by the medical staff but the real test of the parents begins when head to home. First time parents often do have the idea of what to do!
These tips can help even the first-time parents feel confident about caring for a newborn at home:
Ask and get help during this time:
Consult your doctor and nurses in the hospital as they are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and care for your baby. You may even take advice from your family and friends who are experienced, but remember that every baby has different habits.
Hand Hygiene is important :
Always wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your baby. Newborns don’t have a strong immune system and are extremely susceptible to infection.
Hold your baby in correct position:
Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
Do not shake your newborn ever:
Vigorous shaking can cause bleeding in the brain and cause shaken baby syndrome which can lead to death.
Be close to your baby:
Physical closeness can promote an emotional connection. Holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling can develop the sense of recognition in your baby.
Don’t leave your child unattended:
Before diapering your baby, make sure you have all supplies within reach so you won’t have to leave your infant unattended while changing. Change the diaper frequently.
Learn how to breastfeed:
It is important you ask a counselor to train you how to hold your baby while breastfeeding. Also learn how to burp your baby after a feed.
Be clear on the baby’s food:
When the baby is born, initially he/she is only dependent on the mother’s milk. Please talk to your neonatologist on points on what to feed the baby. Some preterm babies may need some supplements.
Talk to your neonatologist about the skin care products that you can use to keep the baby’s skin supple and hydrated.
Umbilical cord area:
Where the baby was connected with you (the umbilical cord area) is cut. The same is usually in the healing phase. Discuss what to apply and how to help the baby’s healing process.
The most important aspects needed to take care of your baby are – be confident, open to learn new things, be open to suggestions and most importantly keep your baby your top priority. The first few months are crucial for the baby as she/he is totally dependent on you for all needs – remember being a parent was your choice and now is your chance to be responsible and live up to it.