Parenting Vivian | 20 Jun 2011 12:13 am

Practical Tips For New Parents

Becoming a parent is not only a major lifestyle change that can be very rewarding – it is also a tremendous responsibility that requires some advanced knowledge about the basics on how to take care of a newborn. It’s crucial that both parents recognize the importance of a mother and a father in their child’s life. And even though mothers tend to be the primary parent in the baby’s early life, fathers will also play a central role in the baby’s first steps. The following lines present simple tips and advice that will make new parents life easier in the critical first days after the baby’s arrival.

The first days at home

When the mother arrives home with the baby, the role of the father is mainly support. Whereas his partner may be tired and have been advised to avoid exhausting household tasks, the father’s assistance in daily everyday jobs will surely be appreciated. One important mission is to ensure that your partner is following the advice of your doctor, something that will allow both parents to return to their normal activities faster. And the baby, who is adapting to the new environment, needs attention from both parents. It’s a very demanding period of emotional adjustment for all.

The baby needs to sleep

Most newborns sleep an average of 18 to 22 hours per day, and they don’t need absolute silence to sleep. In fact, it is advisable not to habituate the baby to sleep in total silence, because this way they will tent to wake up to the smallest noise. On the other hand, parents should avoid too much noise and bright light that can startle and wake up the baby.

Babies cry

Parents need to understand that crying is the primary means of communication of a newborn. Usually babies cry when they feel uncomfortable, hungry or wet.

When a baby cries for no apparent reason, he or she may only need some attention. Take your baby and talk or sing to him/her. The sound of your voice might be enough to calm him/her down. If these efforts are not delivering any results and the problem seems to be unrelated to the feeding and changing diapers, you may wish to contact your doctor or health professional.

How to pick up the baby

The muscles of the head and neck of your baby will only be fully developed around the third month. Therefore, when picking up your child, gently support his/her head with your hand and hold the neck with your arm. Always keep the back of your baby’s head supported so that it does not fall forward or backward. When the baby is lying down, make sure you put up a hand under the head and neck and one hand on the back.

Changing diapers

A baby’s diaper should be changed whenever it’s wet and after each bowel movement (poop do). Even if the feces of a newborn don’t always smell, it often occurs that the diaper still needs to be changed: the fact is newborns need to change a diaper 8 or 9 times a day.

The frequent change of diapers helps reducing the possibility of appearance of erythema of the diaper, which is often caused by feces and urine. Before replacing a new diaper on the baby, always clean the baby’s bottom after defecation.

How to make the baby burp

You can try to make your baby to burp in the middle of the meal or when the baby is finished eating. Take the baby, put him leaning on your shoulder and give him gentle pats on the back until he/she expels the air. Protect your clothes by placing a towel or a diaper on his shoulder in case the baby throws out any part of the meal.

Another position to make the baby burp is putting the baby sit upright on your lap. Massaging the baby’s stomach can help him/her burp. If your baby wants to burp but can not, lay them face down for a minute and repeat it a few times.

Dress the baby

If you’re going to be alone with your baby for a few hours, you should know how to change their clothes in case they get dirty. If you are concerned that your baby is not hot enough, touch his/her legs and arms. If they are cold, cover it with more clothes.

Most babies tend to move enough, so don’t underestimate the mobility of your baby. When you’re dressing your baby never leave him/her alone, even for a moment.

Knowing your baby In the years that follow, your will watch and help your baby to grow. These first few months, although very demanding, will be the beginning of many cherished memories.

Always remember that the more time you spend with your baby, more enjoy you’ll get back from he/she has to give: life and love!

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