Parenting 101: A New Parent Guide to Childcare
It’s every parent’s wish to give the best care to their newborn child. From dressing, bathing, burping to cutting the tiny nails, childcare for newborns can be a daunting task. Fortunately, with this guide, new parents have essential details about taking care of their newborns. Let’s have a look.
When should be the first bath?
Parents should wait for at least 24 hours before bathing their infants for the first time.
How often should newborns bathe?
Bathing your baby 2-3 days per week is ideal. However, you can increase the frequency to once a day as the baby grows. Remember, infants’ skins tend to dry out if the baths are more frequent.
Tips for setting up the bath
The most important things to prepare prior include a washcloth, towel, clean clothes, and ointment or cream. Use a gentle soap since the ordinary soap may dry out the child’s skin.
It’s essential to remove the jewelry and clean your hands thoroughly. The ideal temperature for a baby water bath is 37-38 degrees. If there are no thermometers, ensure that the water isn’t extremely cold or hot using your elbow or wrist.
Bonding and Soothing
Bonding and soothing involve establishing a connection with the infants. Bonding can occur even during the first few minutes or hours after birth. Cradling and massaging an infant may enhance bonding. However, make sure that the massage, cradling, or vocal sounds don’t irritate the infant. The soothing technique depends on what the little one likes. Try out playing some music, singing, or swaddling whenever the baby is crying, restless, or sleepless.
Newborn children dirty their diapers about 70 times a week which translates to 10 times a day. Once you notice the diaper is wet or there’s a bowel movement, lay the baby on their back and change the dirty diaper. Diaper rashes should not be a cause for alarm. They are normally red and bumpy and disappear after a few warm baths and diaper cream. Call for help if the rashes exceed three days- it might be an infection that requires attention.
Attention During Illnesses
It may be complicated for new parents to know when their babies are sick. Typical health problems include fever, vomiting, colds, or coughs. However, some require you to pay attention to your child closely.
Infants are feeding machines, so it’s important to consult a professional whenever the baby’s feeding habit changes.
Here are other signs that warrant seeking professional help
- If the baby can’t wake up.
- New grunting sounds after each breath.
- Gray or bluish face, lips, or tongue.
Parenting also involves paying attention to minute details like bowel movements. Infants have 1-2 bowel movements, which increase to 5-10 times a day after the first week. However, after 21 days, the baby may not pass stool daily. If the child passes dry, bloody, black, or grey stool, you should call a paediatrician.
Parenting comes with a wide range of responsibilities, and handling an infant is no exception. The tips discussed above will help to reduce the confusion with most first-time parents. It will soon be apparent that raising a newborn isn’t as tough as perceived.