6 Stress-Free New-Born Baby Care Tips
for First-Time Moms
As a new mom, you just experienced the scariest and most stressful, and at the same time the most miraculous event a woman can go through – childbirth. You spilled blood, sweat and tears (including other fluids) in that delivery room, but you came on top.
For that, we want to congratulate you. But as the post-delivery excitement wears off and you come home, you catch yourself wondering, what on Earth am I to do now? Fear not, we have come up with a few tips to help you feel more confident in your new role as a parent.
Learn how to better manage your anxiety
At first, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by parenting, especially if you did a lot of prior research on parenting skills and handling newborns. Like studying for an exam, you spend months preparing and when you sit down to take it, your mind is blank and you start to panic. The first piece of advice we can give you is – relax. You got this. There is no need to feel distressed. Take some time to get to know your baby, since every baby is unique.
You probably will mess up a few times before you get it right, but do not beat yourself up about it, mistakes can happen and your baby will not mind (or remember). Eventually, you will understand your baby’s needs much better, and just after a few weeks you will become an expert diaper changer, you will intuitively know why your baby is crying, and how to soothe them. Trust nature and your mother's intuition, and you will do just fine.
Adjust your sleeping schedule
Having said that, there is never harm in reminding yourself of a couple of useful tips. When it comes to your baby’s sleeping schedule, it may come as a surprise that they sleep on average 16h a day, since it probably does not feel like it. Have patience, your baby is just getting adjusted to sleeping. At first, they cannot connect their sleep cycles yet, and may wake up when switching phases of sleep. It could be a couple of months before your baby sleeps through the entire night, but eventually they will.
In the meantime, sleep when your baby sleeps, and take turns with your partner during the night shift. Your baby’s sleep may also be disrupted due to medical reasons, like colic reflux or teething, in that case search for remedies or go to your paediatrician for advice. Just make sure you have your baby sleeping on a hard, flat surface like a crib or bassinet, without a pillow or toys, for safety reasons.
Learn how to properly bathe your baby
Bathing is a great way to connect with your little one. In order to avoid crying, screaming, and soaking the whole room, there are some things you should know first. In order to have a calming and relaxing baby bath, make sure that you do not soak your baby’s face or head. Just rub those areas with your palms or a washcloth. Also, make sure that the temperature is right and that you are not using harsh soaps.
Master the art of feeding
Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula, your baby may take some time to adjust to it, so do not get discouraged. Most babies are getting used to the new feeding method and may take some time to develop a schedule. Start by feeding on demand. Some babies like to cluster feed, which means that they need lots of shorter feeds over the space of several hours. Just lean into it, sit back, and let your baby eat as much and as often as it wants.
Stimulate your baby through play
In order to ensure your baby tires out before sleep time (which helps with establishing a sleeping schedule), make sure you stimulate them through play. Note that you can easily overtire your baby and that can stress them out, making it hard to fall asleep. Include stimulating playtime after feeding or when your baby is awake and jittery. Playing with rattles, dancing together to music, singing to your baby and even a bit of tummy time will provide enough stimulus for their brain development.
Get the hang of changing diapers
We promise you that you will become a pro after just a couple of weeks. Until then, there is advice you can follow to get the hang of changing a diaper. Your baby will pee a lot, especially if they drink a lot of water. Check your baby’s diaper every couple of hours, and never let them have a wet diaper on, since it can cause diaper rash. You will go through six to ten diapers a day, so make sure you always have enough clean diapers.
To avoid accidents while changing your baby, and getting an unpleasant shower over your clean clothes, we suggest having everything prepared before you take off the dirty diaper. Open the clean diapers and lay them next to your baby, have powder and baby wipes on stand-by.
There is a lot of information to take in when preparing to be a parent. Which is why our final piece of advice is to share the load with your partner. Do not exclude them, and let them help and support you through the process. You are both parents and you can do everything together.
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