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Taking care of your newborn: A comprehensive guide
22 June 2020
Having a baby is an experience that is truly unparalleled. As many other parents will tell you, it brings you consistent joy and warmth for ages to come. But having a baby is also a responsibility like any other. Hence, preparing for your future as a family becomes a must after your child is born. While we wouldn't want any new parents to drive themselves crazy with an overload of information, there are a few things to remember which will surely come in handy in the near future.
So, here are some babycare tips every new parent should consider giving a shot:
1. How to smoothen the breastfeeding process
The first six months after birth are reserved exclusively for breastfeeding. While there is no fixed schedule for breastfeeding, every child usually has its own unique needs. To understand these needs, try to observe your baby for common signs that it needs feeding such as- turning of their head frequently, sucking on things within reach etc. Another thing to remember is that the whole process varies can last from just 10 minutes to even 45 minutes. Once fed though, the baby will need to be burped so that it can doze off happy and relaxed.
New mothers also shouldn't neglect themselves while taking care of their little ones. You need to relax during breastfeeding, or else a long feeding session will place undue stress on your arms, shoulders, and back. Try and find a comfortable position before you start breastfeeding. Do the same for your baby by making sure the head is tilted back slightly, the nose is clear and that the head and body are supported well. Lastly, don't take undue stress over the whole as the process of breastfeeding is meant to help the mother and child to bond, making it an important part of newborn baby care.
2. How to put your baby to sleep
Human beings are creatures of habit, and maintaining a consistent sleep routine will work wonders while putting your newborn to sleep. Patience and consistency while putting your child to sleep can never go wrong, and you will eventually find your rhythm. However, if you do need additional help, here are a few other babycare tips to use-
• Use dim lighting at least two hours before bedtime, and make sure the house is well lit during the day. Make sure the same things are done in the lead up to nap time or bedtime, which will subconsciously begin to suggest to the baby that their bedtime is near.
• Reserve your baby's playtime for the day and reduce stimuli/input at night. This will leave them tired at night and eventually fall into a routine.
• Perform one of the baby's favourite activities (a lot of babies enjoy a bath) before bedtime. This will help them associate bedtime with good feelings and will help them sleep more comfortably.
• Swaddling the baby also helps them fall asleep easier, believe it or not. Know that feeling of falling from a great height that you sometimes have while dozing off or asleep? Well, babies also feel the same thing, and being swaddled stops them from going into a full panic, as it makes them
feel warm and comfortable – just like the womb.
• Make sure that the crib your baby sleeps in doesn't have stimulants like toys. Keeping the temperature just right (not too hot, and not too cold) will also go a long way in your baby falling asleep quickly.
3. How to soothe a fussy child
Babies can't talk – this is a blindingly obvious statement, yes, but a baby could cry for various reasons at any point of time. Knowing how to soothe a fussy baby is one of the most critical newborn baby care tips that one can pick up. To start off, there are the standard checks - does your baby need feeding or a change of diaper? If not here are a few other tips to soothe your child -
• swaddle the baby
• A pacifier is one of the easiest ways to soothe your baby instantly
• A light stroking of the head or abdomen will serve as a massage and calm the baby down
• Rocking the baby in your arms or a swing, or even a short stroll outside might also do the trick and give both of you a break
With time you will learn to recognise the different types of cries and what they mean, so have a little patience in the beginning, and don't panic.
4. How to prepare for your baby's day out
First trips with your new baby are both exhilarating and possibly scary for both the parents and the infant. Try making the first trip a trial run by making it a short one, avoiding crowded places and politely but firmly dodging advances from strangers. Also, go prepared for everything with one of those massive baby bags with necessary supplies along. Yes, this primarily means diapers, food containers, a change of clothes and a spray bottle of water if it is hot outside.
Try to avoid the hottest times of the day to ensure there is no unnecessary irritation on yours or the baby's part. Early mornings and late evenings are your best friend here.
5. How to safeguard your newest family member
We've talked about the day-to-day care of a newborn so far – but infants require quite a lot of medical attention as well. Vaccinations and regular check-ups are necessary to keep your tiny tot in the pink of health. Max Bupa's family floater health insurance plans like the Heartbeat automatically cover your newborn till the end of the policy year for no additional premium. But this can only be availed after a waiting period of two years, so it's suggested that you get the plan right after marriage. If not that, you can always just add your newborn to a usual family floater plan to ensure that all your medical costs are taken care of!
Like everything else about raising a family, the experience will ease you into taking care of a baby. The last and most important babycare tip we would like to leave you with is- don't forget to enjoy this time in your child's life.