The first time into parenthood is never easy. It’s a period of unending questions; what to do when your baby cries at night, how to wear a diaper, how often to change, what body lotion to apply, and lots more. And sometimes, you don’t even know what question to ask.
Whether you’ve just recently given birth or you’re a pregnant woman looking to get foreknowledge, this guide will provide you with some confidence about caring for your newborn baby.
Getting a helping hand
While at the hospital, you may find the nurses very helpful. They’d be happy to show you how to hold, breastfeed, and care for your baby.
Regarding in-home help, consider hiring a baby nurse. The work at home will prove pretty overwhelming, with laundry, home cleaning, cooking, and your baby care competing for your time. You may also want to get a responsible, friendly neighbour or relative to help out for free.
Bathing and skincare
It’s important to give your baby a sponge bath during the first three weeks until the umbilical cord falls and the circumcision heals (for boys).
To bathe your baby, prepare a flat surface such as a table. Wrap the child with a towel and place it on the surface.
When bathing after the umbilical cord has fallen, use a soft, clean washcloth – rather than a sponge – with mild, unscented baby soap to wipe the child’s skin.
You can use shampoo to stimulate the scalp. It’s also a great idea to use a high-quality baby-friendly lotion such as mineral sunscreen spf 50. This lotion will help moisturize and protect the baby’s fragile skin from UV rays.
Handling your baby
Newborns can be so fragile you’d wish you didn’t have to carry them. Well, with sufficient care, you should have nothing to worry about.
Always wash your hands before handling your newborn, and hold up the head and neck.
Avoid shaking your baby rigorously as it may cause bleeding in the brain. Note that they’re not yet ready to be thrown in the air. And when moving, properly fasten your baby in its carrier or car seat and minimize activities that would cause a significant bounce.
Forming a mother-child bond
Infants draw energy from a mother’s love and care. From the onset, try to maintain a skin-to-skin bond with your baby, caress and stroke them gently, laugh and make babyish sounds. All of that combines to overall mental, emotional and physical development for your child. Even better still, do this together with your spouse.
Your baby would soil diapers about ten times a day, so you have to be ready. It’s fun. Just ensure you have all you need at arm’s length before changing the diaper to avoid leaving your baby naked on the changing table.
Things you’ll need include a clean diaper, fasteners, wipes, ointment.
Check frequently to see if the garment is soaked. To change your baby’s diaper, lay your baby on its back and remove the filthy diaper. Then clean their public area with a washcloth or wipes. If it’s a girl, wipe from front to back to prevent the risk of urinary tract infection. You can now dress them in a new diaper.
Child care after circumcision
After circumcision, the exposed tip will be covered with petroleum jelly-coated gauze to prevent it from getting stuck with the diaper. So whenever you change diapers, always rub the tip with fresh petroleum jelly before wearing the new diaper.
Different doctors recommend different kinds of care regarding the umbilical cord, so it’s always good to hear from your physician.
Be happy – everything else will be fun
There are times you’ll feel frustrated, especially when your baby cries at night. But in spite of it all, your baby is a source of joy. Take your child care as a daily dose of fun, do all you can for them, and they’ll grow up putting big smiles on your face.