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5 Expert Tips On Caring For Your Newborn

Chief Editor | Published on February 20, 2023

Caring for a newborn can seem like a daunting task for new parents; these tips can help you sidestep unnecessary stress and worry, and most importantly, get things done right. Not only will you discover that you are up to the task, you might even feel the urge to show off your newfound parenting skills to your peers!

Tip 1: Handling

Your baby might be born, but he or she is not ready for any sort of rough and tumble until he or she is about 6 months old! To keep your newborn safe and secure, always support the head and neck when you’re carrying or laying down baby. Be gentle and avoid any sudden movement, jerks (including jiggling on your knees and thighs), throws or shakes that can cause life-threatening bleeding or swelling in the brain.

Tip 2: Bathing

Clean babies are healthy babies; the advice is to bathe your newborn daily to maintain hygiene while at the same time minimising the baby’s time in contact with water to prevent sensitive skin from drying out. Find detailed step-by-step newborn bathing tips here.

To turn bathtime into bonding time for both mother and baby, bathe your newborn immediately after you shower. Right after drying your newborn with a towel, you can initiate skin-to-skin contact, which can keep baby calm and promote bonding between mother and child. Dads are encouraged to bathe and cuddle too!

Tip 3: Clothing And Diapering

Not the most pleasant task, but changing your newborn’s diaper as soon as it is soiled can prevent rashes caused by contact with urine and faeces. You can also consider applying zinc oxide cream to your baby’s buttocks to create a protective barrier between skin and dirty diaper. For even more protection against skin issues: use mild detergents when washing baby’s clothes and diapers, avoid tight-fitting or rough-textured garments, and wash new clothes before your baby wears them.

 

Tip 4: Going Out

The first few times venturing out with your newborn can feel daunting! But follow these pointers and you’ll have a safe and enjoyable time.

  • For your first trip out: stay local and stay out of the heat. Try going for a walk around the block in the early evening. Mum is still recovering from birth, so take it easy
  • If you place your newborn in a carrier, a stroller or a car seat, make sure he or she is positioned correctly and snugly and that the seat belts are securely fastened. Use the lift, never the escalator
  • Pack your nappy bag with spare nappies, clothes, muslins, wet wipes and pacifiers. If you’re breastfeeding, bring along a feeding cover; if you’re using formula, make sure you have a good supply of bottles, hot water and formula
  • If you need to change your baby, look for baby rooms in shopping malls or large department stores. Or if you don’t fancy sitting in a nursing room, find a seat at a café, order a drink and quietly feed your baby. Ask your partner for help with using a feeding cover so you can take your time and enjoy your outing

Tip 5: Burping And Soothing

If there’s one thing newborns love to swallow, it’s air. Swallowing excessive air during feeding can sometimes result in severe abdominal pain in babies; prevent this by burping the baby after each feed to relieve gas that accumulates in the stomach. (For a detailed guide on feeding your newborn, see here.)

To soothe a fussing baby, you may try singing or reciting nursery rhymes. Repeating a long “shh” sound may also calm baby down; or you may try using a white noise machine, which is supposed to mimic the sounds your baby heard when in the womb.

If your baby has been diagnosed as a high-risk infant, you need extra know-how to ensure his or her well-being and read the possible signs of distress. In this instance, your paediatrician or neonatologist will be able to advise you further and give you the assistance you need.

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