After months of preparation and patience, you are going to experience that beautiful moment when you are going to hold your baby for the first time. Truly becoming a parent is a life-changing experiencing for everybody who has experienced it. However, in the middle of all that joy and happiness, ensure that you do not forget the duties that come with becoming a father or a mother.
It is quite normal to be unaware of the ways to taking care newborn baby, after all, learning from own experience does not apply here! The following paragraphs on pregnancy and babycare will attempt to clear your doubts and questions and prepare you for your duties as a mother.
What is the right time to feed my baby?
Observe your baby for tell-tell signs that she is hungry. You don’t have to wait till she actually starts crying to feed her in that situation. Most babies will make a movement with their heads known as rooting, put their hands in their mouths and also make mouthing movements.
Essentials of breastfeeding
During the first few weeks your baby needs to be fed often. Most babies needs to be fed at least once every one and a half hours to three hours. During the night when your baby is asleep she can go on for about three to four hours without feeding. If she does not wake up from her sleep to feed, gently wake her up and encourage her to feed. You can try stroking her lower lip. Allow her to feed on one breast until she stops sucking and then switch the sides.
The formula used in bottle feeding babies takes time to digest, thus if you feed your baby using bottles, she can go on for more than thee hours during the night. However it is not advisable to let her go unfed for more than five or six hours. You can also follow the recommendations as given by the doctor to feed her and also observe any signs that she is hungry.
Advantages of breastfeeding
An essential part of pregnancy and baby care is breastfeeding. Breast milk is the ideal food for a baby’s tender digestive system. It contains all the essential minerals and vitamins that the baby needs and components such as lactose, proteins (whey and casein), fat which are essential for the baby to grow. They are mixed in a formula which is simply said difficult to emulate. Commercial businesses have tried to find a formula close to it but have not come near. Breast milk also has antibodies that help the baby to defend against diseases. Breastfeeding has a number of advantages for the mother as well. It burns calories and also helps in shrinking the size of the uterus which ensures that the mother gets back in to shape quicker. It also helps the mother to reduce chances of getting ovarian and breast cancer. During breastfeeding, it is imperative to follow the same rich pregnant women diet that you have been following before delivery.
Newborn baby and sleep
Newborns tend to sleep for longer durations for 16 or 17 hours. Sleep time can vary between three or four hours for newborn baby and sleep will get regulated as she grows. Much like an adult human being newborns also have sleep variations like drowsiness, rapid eye movement sleeps, light sleep, deep sleep and also very deep sleep. Babies when they grow tend to have change in their sleeping patterns and lengths. Ensure that your baby does not sleep for too long without being fed.
What is the proper way to give a bath to your baby?
Rinse your baby completely with water and ensure that there is no residual soap sticking to her. Gently lift her up using one hand to support her neck and head and other one supporting her bottom with your fingers supporting one of her thighs. Babies when wet are slippery; ensure that your grip is firm but not tight.
Bathing is an essential part of taking care of the newborn baby. Start by arranging the necessary things such as a soft clean towel, a clean diaper, clothes. Fill the tub with about 3 inches of depth warm water. Feel the water and confirm that it is not hot. A perfect temperature would be 32 degrees Celsius. Bring your baby to the bathroom and undress her. Gently place her in the tub with her feet touching the water first. Keep pouring the water over her all the time to ensure that she is not cold at any time. Use a mild baby soap to clean her from all sides. For her face using a cotton ball which is moist to clean her face. If mucus has collected around the nostrils, dab it water to make it moist and then clean it. For the scalp use a soapy cloth to clean it. For her genitals just use water to do a normal cleaning, that will do.
Place your baby inside a towel (a hooded towel is better) and dry her. Babies tend to peel their skin from birth and if this is still happening use a baby lotion to moisten her skin after bath. Now wrap her up with the clean diaper and put her clothes on and give her a kiss on her smiling cheek!
Newborns will feed and soil every two hours on an average. Expect to have plenty of diapers in hand for a 24 hours day.
Dressing up your new born
You new born should have the same number of clothes as you are wearing plus one. Ensure that you do not wrap her up with too many clothes as that may overheat her. This is a prime cause of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Use clothes as per the weather.