A Guide for First-Time Parents (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth

You ‘ve gone through pregnancy, labor movement, and pitch, and now you ‘re fix to go home and begin life with your baby. Once home, though, you might feel like you have no mind what you ‘re doing !
These tips can help even the most nervous first-time parents feel confident about caring for a neonate in no time .

Getting Help After the Birth

Consider getting aid during this clock, which can be very feverish and submerge. While in the hospital, talk to the experts around you. many hospitals have feeding specialists or suckling consultants who can help you get started breastfeed or bottle-feeding. Nurses besides are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and worry for your child .
For in-home avail, you might want to hire a baby nanny, postnatal labor coach, or a responsible region adolescent to help you for a unretentive time after the give birth. Your doctor of the church or the hospital can help you find information about in-home serve, and might make a referral to home health agencies.

Relatives and friends frequently want to help excessively. flush if you disagree on sealed things, do n’t dismiss their know. But if you do n’t feel up to having guests or you have early concerns, do n’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors .

Handling a Newborn

If you have n’t spent a lot of time around newborns, their fragility may be intimidating. hera are a few basics to remember :

  • Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby. Newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they’re at risk for infection. Make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
  • Support your baby’s head and neck. Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
  • Never shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake your infant, don’t do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
  • Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat. Limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy.
  • Remember that your newborn is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.

Bonding and Soothing

Bonding, probably one of the most enjoyable parts of baby care, happens during the sensible time in the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep connection with their baby. forcible closeness can promote an emotional connection .
For infants, the attachment contributes to their aroused growth, which besides affects their development in early areas, such as physical emergence. Another way to think of bonding is “ falling in love ” with your child. Children boom from having a rear or other pornographic in their life who loves them flatly .
Begin bonding by cradling your child and gently stroking him or her in different patterns. Both you and your spouse can besides take the opportunity to be “ skin-to-skin, ” holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling .
Babies, particularly premature babies and those with medical problems, may respond to infant massage. Certain types of massage may enhance bonding and avail with baby growth and exploitation. many books and videos cover baby massage — ask your doctor for recommendations. Be careful, however — babies are not a impregnable as adults, so massage your baby lightly .
Babies normally love song sounds, such as talking, spill the beans, spill the beans, and cooing. Your baby will probably besides love listening to music. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your baby ‘s hearing. If your fiddling one is being busy, try singe, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud as you sway or rock your baby gently in a professorship .
Some babies can be unusually sensitive to touch, light, or strait, and might startle and cry easily, sleep less than expected, or turn their faces away when person speaks or sings to them. If that ‘s the shell with your baby, keep noise and light levels low to moderate .
Swaddling, which works well for some babies during their foremost few weeks, is another soothing proficiency first-time parents should learn. Proper swaddling keeps a baby ‘s arms close to the body while allowing for some motion of the legs. not only does swaddling keep a baby quick, but it seems to give most newborns a sense of security and comfort. Swaddling besides may help limit the startle reflex, which can wake a pamper .
here ‘s how to swaddle a baby :

  • Spread out the receiving blanket, with one corner folded over slightly.
  • Lay the baby face-up on the blanket with his or her head above the folded corner.
  • Wrap the left corner over the body and tuck it beneath the back of the baby, going under the right arm.
  • Bring the bottom corner up over the baby’s feet and pull it toward the head, folding the fabric down if it gets close to the face. Be sure not to wrap too tightly around the hips. Hips and knees should be slightly bent and turned out. Wrapping your baby too tightly may increase the chance of hip dysplasia.
  • Wrap the right corner around the baby, and tuck it under the baby’s back on the left side, leaving only the neck and head exposed. To make sure your baby is not wrapped too tight, make sure you can slip a hand between the blanket and your baby’s chest, which will allow comfortable breathing. Make sure, however, that the blanket is not so loose that it could become undone.
  • Babies should not be swaddled after they’re 2 months old. At this age, some babies can roll over while swaddled, which increases their risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

All About Diapering

You ‘ll credibly decide before you bring your child home whether you ‘ll use fabric or disposable diapers. Whichever you use, your little one will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week .
Before diapering your baby, make sure you have all supplies within reach therefore you wo n’t have to leave your baby unattended on the changing table. You ‘ll need :

  • a clean diaper
  • fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
  • diaper ointment
  • diaper wipes (or a container of warm water and a clean washcloth or cotton balls)

After each intestine movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his or her second and remove the dirty diaper. Use the urine, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to gently wipe your baby ‘s genital area houseclean. When removing a son ‘s diaper, do then carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When wiping a girl, wipe her bottom from front to back to avoid a urinary nerve pathway contagion ( UTI ). To prevent or heal a rash, apply cream. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper .
Diaper rash is a common business. typically the rash is red and rough and will go away in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a little time out of the diaper. Most rashes happen because the baby ‘s skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper .
To prevent or heal diaper rash, try these tips :

  • Change your baby’s diaper often, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
  • Gently clean the area with mild soap and water (wipes sometimes can be irritating), then apply a very thick layer of diaper rash or “barrier” cream. Creams with zinc oxide are preferred because they form a barrier against moisture.
  • If you use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
  • Let the baby go undiapered for part of the day. This gives the skin a chance to air out.

If the diaper rash continues for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your sophisticate — it may be caused by a fungal infection that requires a prescription .

Bathing Basics

You should give your baby a sponge bathe until :

  • the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely (1–4 weeks)
  • the circumcision heals (1–2 weeks)

A bathtub two or three times a workweek in the first year is finely. More frequent bathe may be drying to the clamber .
Have these items fix before bathing your baby :

  • a soft, clean washcloth
  • mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
  • a soft brush to stimulate the baby’s scalp
  • towels or blankets
  • a clean diaper
  • clean clothes

Sponge baths. For a sponge bath, select a dependable, flat surface ( such as a changing table, floor, or counter ) in a warm room. Fill a bury, if nearby, or bowl with warmly ( not hot ! ) water. Undress your child and wrap him or her in a towel. Wipe your baby ‘s eyes with a washcloth ( or a clean cotton ball ) dampened with water alone, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the out corner. Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wash the other eye. Clean your baby ‘s nose and ears with the dampen washcloth. then wet the fabric again and, using a fiddling soap, wash his or her expression gently and pat it dry .
future, using baby shampoo, create a soap and gently wash your child ‘s read/write head and rinse. Using a wet fabric and soap, gently wash the rest of the baby, paying special care to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the genital area. once you have washed those areas, make sure they are dry and then diaper and dress your baby.

Tub baths. When your baby is ready for bathtub baths, the beginning baths should be ennoble and brief. If he or she becomes disorder, go back to sponge baths for a workweek or two, then try the bath again .
In accession to the supplies listed above, add :

  • an infant tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm — not hot! — water (to test the water temperature, feel the water with the inside of your elbow or wrist). An infant tub is a plastic tub that can fit in the bathtub; it’s a better size for babies and makes bathing easier to manage.

Undress your baby and then place him or her in the water immediately, in a warm room, to prevent chills. Make indisputable the water in the bathtub is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep, and that the water is no longer running in the tub. Use one of your hands to support the head and the other hand to guide the baby in feet-first. Speaking gently, lento lower your baby up to the chest into the bathtub .
Use a washcloth to wash his or her confront and haircloth. Gently massage your child ‘s scalp with the pads of your fingers or a cushy baby hairbrush, including the area over the fontanelles ( easy spots ) on the top of the head. When you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby ‘s head, cup your hand across the frontal bone so the suds run toward the sides and soap does n’t get into the eyes. lightly wash the rest of your baby ‘s consistency with urine and a small total of soap .
Throughout the bathe, regularly pour water gently over your baby ‘s soundbox so he or she does n’t get cold. After the bath, wrap your child in a towel immediately, making certain to cover his or her fountainhead. Baby towels with hoods are great for keeping a impertinently washed baby warm .
While bathing your baby, never leave the baby alone. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take him or her with you .


Circumcision and Umbilical Cord Care

immediately after circumcision, the point of the penis is normally covered with gauze coated with petroleum jelly to keep the weave from sticking to the diaper. Gently wipe the topple clean with warm water after a diaper change, then apply petroleum gelatin to the lean so it does n’t stick to the diaper. Redness or aggravation of the penis should heal within a few days, but if the inflammation or swelling increases or if pus-filled blisters form, infection may be give and you should call your baby ‘s sophisticate immediately .
umbilical cord cord care in newborns is besides crucial. Some doctors suggest swabbing the area with rubbing alcohol until the cord stump dries up and falls off, normally in 10 days to 3 weeks, but others recommend leaving the sphere alone. Talk to your child ‘s doctor to see what he or she prefers .
An baby ‘s navel area should n’t be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and the sphere is healed. Until it falls off, the cord stump will change color from scandalmongering to brown or black — this is normal. Call your doctor if the navel sphere looks crimson or if a foul smell or discharge develops .

Feeding and Burping Your Baby

Whether feeding your newborn by breast or a bottle, you may be stumped as to how much to do indeed. by and large, it ‘s recommended that babies be fed on demand — whenever they seem hungry. Your child may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making fellate noises .
A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. If you ‘re breastfeeding, give your baby the find to nurse about 10–15 minutes at each summit. If you ‘re formula-feeding, your baby will most probably take about 2–3 ounces ( 60–90 milliliters ) at each feed .
Some newborns may need to be awakened every few hours to make certain they get enough to eat. Call your baby ‘s doctor if you need to wake your newborn often or if your baby does n’t seem interested in eating or sucking .
If you ‘re formula-feeding, you can easily monitor if your baby is getting enough to eat, but if you ‘re breastfeeding, it can be a little slippery. If your pamper seems satisfy, produces about six wet diapers and several stools a day, sleep well, and is gaining burden regularly, then he or she is probably eating adequate .
Another adept way to tell if your child is getting milk is to notice if your breasts feel full before feeding your baby and less full after feeding. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your child ‘s increase or fertilize schedule .
Babies much swallow air during feedings, which can make them fussy. To help prevent this, burp your baby often. Try burping your pamper every 2–3 ounces ( 60–90 milliliters ) if you bottle-feed, and each time you switch breasts if you breastfeed .
If your baby tends to be colicky, has gastroesophageal reflux, or seems busy during feeding, try burping your little one after every snow leopard during bottle-feeding or every 5 minutes during breastfeed .
Try these burping tips :

  • Hold your baby upright with his or her head on your shoulder. Support your baby’s head and back while gently patting the back with your other hand.
  • Sit your baby on your lap. Support your baby’s chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby’s chin in the palm of your hand and resting the heel of your hand on your baby’s chest (be careful to grip your baby’s chin — not throat). Use the other hand to gently pat your baby’s back.
  • Lay your baby face-down on your lap. Support your baby’s head, making sure it’s higher than his or her chest, and gently pat or rub his or her back.

If your baby does n’t burp after a few minutes, change the baby ‘s position and try belch for another few minutes before feeding again. Always burp your baby when prey time is over, then keep him or her in an upright position for at least 10–15 minutes to avoid spitting up .


Sleeping Basics

As a new parent, you may be surprised to learn that your newborn, who seems to need you every hour of the day, actually sleeps about 16 hours or more !
Newborns typically sleep for periods of 2–4 hours. Do n’t expect yours to sleep through the night — the digestive system of babies is therefore little that they need nutriment every few hours and should be awakened if they have n’t been fed for 4 hours ( or more often if your repair is concerned about weight acquire ) .
When can you expect your baby to sleep through the night ? many babies sleep through the nox ( between 6–8 hours ) at 3 months of historic period, but if yours does n’t, it ‘s not a campaign for concern. Like adults, babies must develop their own sleep patterns and cycles, therefore if your newborn is gaining weight unit and appears healthy, do n’t despair if he or she has n’t slept through the night at 3 months.

It ‘s important to always position babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS ( sudden baby death syndrome ). early safe quiescence practices include : not using blankets, quilts, sheepskins, farce animals, and pillows in the crib or bassinet ( these can suffocate a baby ) ; and sharing a bedroom ( but not a bed ) with the parents for the first 6 months to 1 year. besides be certain to alternate the position of your child ‘s head from night to night ( first right, then left, and thus on ) to prevent the development of a bland spot on one side of the head .
many newborns have their days and nights “ mixed up. ” They tend to be more wake up and alert at night, and more sleepy during the day. One way to help them is to keep stimulation at night to a minimum. Keep the lights low, such as by using a nightlight. Reserve talking and playing with your baby for the day. When your baby wakes up during the sidereal day, try to keep him or her alert a little longer by talking and play .
even though you may feel anxious about handling a neonate, in a few short-circuit weeks you ‘ll develop a everyday and be parenting like a pro ! If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor to recommend resources that can help you and your baby grow together .

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