You have survived nine months of pregnancy. After making it through the excitement of laboring and delivery, you are now ready to head home and begin a new life with your newborn when you finally realize: You don’t have an idea of what you are doing.
Parenting is never easy. Good parenting requires hard work. With the constant demands of taking care of your baby, it will start to test your limits and become sleep deprived.
But don’t worry, here are tips that can surely help even the most nervous first-time parents and become more confident when taking care of a newborn.
Get Help After Giving Birth
Since things can be very hectic and overwhelming, consider getting help after giving birth. While you are in the hospital, talk to the experts around you. A lot of hospitals have feeding specialists and lactation consultants that can provide professional advice to get started in nursing or bottle-feeding. There are also nurses who can show you how to hold, change, burp, and care for your newborn.
For in-home help, you can hire a baby nurse or you can also get a responsible neighborhood teenager who can help you for a short time after giving birth. There might also be relatives or friends who may want to help.
Handling the New Born
If you have not spent a lot of time around babies, their fragility may be intimating and scary. Here are a few things to remember:
- Always wash your hands before handling the baby.
- Be careful and support your baby’s head and neck.
- Do not shake your baby, whether in play or in frustration as it may cause bleeding in the brain and even death.
- Make sure that the baby is securely fastened to the stroller, carrier or car seat.
Bonding and Soothing Techniques
Bonding is one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care as it builds a deep connection with the infant. Physical closeness can also promote an emotional connection between the parent and the child.
Attachment, for an infant, contributes to the emotional connection. It affects his development in other areas, including physical growth. You may begin bonding with your baby by cradling him and gently stroking his body in different patterns. You and your partner can also take this opportunity to be skin-to-skin by holding the baby against your own skin while cradling or feeding.
Since babies love sounds, talk, babble, sing, and coo while playing. Your baby will also love it when there is music. You may play baby rattles and musical mobiles to stimulate his hearing. If your little one is starting to become fussy, try singling or reciting nursery rhymes. Reading along as you cradle your child can also help.
Even if you are feeling afraid or anxious about handling your newborn, you don’t need to be scared. In just a few weeks, you will surely develop a routine and start parenting like a pro!