Postnatal Care: Baby Care for New Moms

Postnatal Care: Baby Care for New Moms

Having a baby changes everything, and if you’re a new parent, you might have lots of questions about how to take care of your little one. These tips can help you feel really confident about your baby care in no time!

How can I get help when my baby comes home?

Looking after yourself is also important while caring for your newborn baby. Think about getting help and support during this time, as this period might feel busy and a little overwhelming.

Your loved ones might be excited to offer help. Even if you have different ideas, their own experiences could give you really good advice.

To make sure your baby stays healthy, anyone handling your little one should help only if they’re feeling good. But if you’re not ready for visitors or have worries, don’t feel bad about having fewer guests. You’re taking good care of your baby and yourself!

How do I handle my baby?

If you’re new to spending time with newborns, you might find them super delicate. Here are some basics to keep in mind:

  1. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, before you touch your baby. Newborn babies don’t have a strong immune system yet, that makes them more likely to get infections. It’s important that anyone who holds your baby has clean hands. Stay healthy and keep your baby safe!
  2. Give extra support to your baby’s head and neck. Cradle their head when you’re carrying them. Also, support their head when you’re carrying them upright or when you lay them down gently.
  3. Remember, never shake your baby, whether for fun or when you’re frustrated. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain and even lead to death. If you want to wake them up, don’t shake them. Instead, try tickling their feet gently or giving a soft puff of air on their cheek.
  4. Whenever you use a carrier, stroller, or car seat for your baby, always make sure they’re safely fastened. Be careful not to do anything too rough or bouncy that might make them uncomfortable.
  5. Say no to playing rough with newborns! like bouncing them on your knee or tossing them in the air. Click here to learn more on How to play with your baby safely.

How can I bond with my baby?

Bonding – When your baby is born, a special connection forms between you and your little one in the first hours and days. Being close to each other creates a strong emotional tie and helps your baby grow in many good ways. Think of bonding as “falling in love” with your baby. Kids do really well when they have a parent or other grown-ups, who loves them no matter what. Create that wonderful bond with your newborn baby.

Start building a close bond by cradling and gently stroking your baby in different patterns. Another great way is skin-to-skin contact, where you snuggle your newborn on your chest (also called kangaroo care) – just like a kangaroo! This makes babies feel calm, comfortable, and regulates their heartbeat. Moms or dads can do this, and it’s a fantastic practice!

Let’s see how you can do skin-to-skin contact with your baby:

  • Before you cuddle your baby, avoid the strong scents of perfumes or lotions and stay far away from cigarette smoke.
  • Get cozy in a softly lit room, find a comfy chair, and put on a shirt that opens in the front. Lay your baby, wearing only a diaper, on your bare chest. It’s a snug and wonderful way to bond with your little one.
  • Sit down calmly and speak in a gentle voice, hum, sing, or read softly. Your baby might fall asleep while you’re doing this. Enjoy this soothing time together!

How can I comfort my baby?

Making babies feel calm and cozy can make them really happy and content.  Here are some easy tips to help you soothe your baby!

  • Massage: Giving your baby a gentle massage might make them feel better, especially if they were born early or have medical issues. Certain types of massage can strengthen your bond and help your baby grow and develop. You can find books and videos about baby massage – ask your doctor for recommendations. Remember, babies are delicate, so massage them gently and with care!
  • Sounds: Babies really enjoy hearing sounds like talking, singing, and gentle cooing. Soft music is likely to make your baby happy too. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are awesome for engaging their ears. If your baby is a bit cranky, try singing, saying nursery rhymes, or reading to them while gently rocking your newborn in their rocking chairs or cradles.

Some babies are extra sensitive to touch, light, or sound. They might get startled and cry easily, sleep less, or look away when someone talks or sings to them. If your baby acts like this, make sure to keep things quiet and use soft lighting.

  • Swaddling: This is a neat way to make some babies feel better, especially in their first few weeks. Swaddling means wrapping them up gently, so their arms are close to the body but their legs can move a bit. It keeps them warm and usually helps newborns feel cozy and safe. Swaddling might also help limit the startle reflex, which can wake them up.

Let’s learn how to swaddle your baby:

  1. Take a baby blanket and fold over one corner slightly.
  2. Lay your baby face-up on the blanket, with their head above the folded corner.
  3. Fold the left corner over the baby’s body and tuck it under their back, going below the right arm.
  4. Now, lift the blanket’s bottom corner over your baby’s feet and gently pull it towards their head. If the fabric comes close to their face, fold it down. Be careful not to wrap too tightly around their hips. Your baby’s hips and knees should be slightly bent and turned out. Wrapping them too tight might increase their risk for hip dysplasia.
  5. Take the blanket’s right corner and wrap it around your baby. Tuck it under their back on the left side, leaving only their neck and head out. To check if it’s not too tight, see if you can slip a hand between the blanket and your baby’s chest. This makes sure your baby can breathe comfortably. Just be careful that the blanket isn’t too loose and might get undone.
  6. Stop swaddling when your baby begins trying to roll over, usually around 2 months old. At this age, some babies might roll over when swaddled, and that’s not safe! and puts them at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Being a first time mom can be tough, but don’t worry! Even if things feel a bit too much sometimes, just remember to take it easy, follow the tips carefully, and create wonderful memories with your little one. You’ve got this!

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