As much as a newborn brings joy, it brings an equal amount of responsibility as well. New parents usually go through a bumpy ride when taking care of a baby, which involves issues like lack of sleep, soothing the baby, and feeding. Be ready for drastic changes in your lifestyle and remember that the first giggle of your little one makes the struggles you go through worth it.
We did some research at Bright Side which led us to put together a list of things that can be beneficial for new parents.
1. How to hold a baby
When our babies are first handed over to us, most of us don’t quite know how to hold them yet. There is always that fear, especially for first time parents, that you’re not holding this tiny, little baby correctly. And it is very important that you handle them with care.
The neck of the child is the most delicate and when picking them up you should keep your hand under their head. Since the baby can’t physically support their head by themselves, the task is yours to make sure you are always holding the baby right — one hand under the head and the other under the hips.
You also have to be careful of the soft spots on the head of the newborn. Touching these should be avoided as much as possible. In order to provide the utmost protection and make your baby feel safe, always keep them close to your chest.
2. How mothers need to take care of themselves in the first 30 days
The first thirty days are the most crucial. As much as you think you are going through, so is the baby who is seeing the world for the very first time. At this time, it is important that the mother takes good care of herself so that she can take care of the child in the best possible way.
It is advised for new moms to eat well and eat right, especially if they are breastfeeding. Sleep is another big issue that new mothers face. It is usually advised that they sleep when their child sleeps. This will ensure that they are getting enough sleep.
3. How to swaddle a baby
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Swaddling correctly is the key to a calm and soothed baby. First, fold the sheet in a diamond shape. 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.
Then, pull the remaining side of the sheet across the baby’s chest and tuck it underneath the baby. Once wrapped correctly, hold the baby close to your chest. Since the baby is now cozy enough, they should fall asleep quicker.
4. How to breastfeed a baby
Breastfeeding is very important, especially in the first few days. It can be an obstacle for the mother and sometimes for the baby as well. Since milk is the only source of food and nutrition for the baby in their first days of life, it is important to be adamant in asking questions about technique until you learn how to breastfeed successfully.
As simple as it may sound, it can sometimes be complicated. New mothers can face a lot of issueslike poor latch, low milk supply, an over-demanding baby, and breast infections.
There are many types of holds you can use to breastfeed (see the graphic above) and you should choose whichever is most comfortable for you and the baby. If you have a sleepy newborn that tends to get tired while sucking and fall asleep, we have a tip for you, just tickle the baby’s feet during breastfeeding sessions to keep them awake. This will make sure they don’t fall asleep with an empty stomach.
5. How to burp and administer CPR to a baby
Burping is essential to keep the baby comfortable, especially in the first few months. A comfortable baby will in turn eat well and sleep well too. 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 method to burp a baby is face down on your lap. While the baby lies on your legs, support their chin and jaw with your hands making sure to hold their head a little higher, so that blood doesn’t rush toward the head. Now, rub or pat the back gently to burp the child.
In an emergency situation if you sense that the baby is choking, you can also lay the baby in the same face down position you used for burping. The right method for responding to this is to first do chest thrusts — 5 times using only 2 fingers. Then, back blows until the baby starts coughing. Remember that the baby is small and that you don’t want to pat or thrust too forcefully.
Coughing is an indicator that the object has shifted from the air way.