Having a new baby is one of the most beautiful experiences every lady desires to have someday. But, being a new mom can also be challenging, as the new infant is an added responsibility on the mother. However, knowing what to do, how to do it and the right time to do it, are basic steps to having it easy, even as a novice.
I have put together seven (7) practical baby care tips for new moms, to help ensure that your journeys into motherhood are as smooth as possible. Your part? Stay glued to this article till the very end.
Baby care tips for new moms
1. Feed appropriately.
Your baby's meal for the first six months of life is exclusively your breast milk. This means that you ought to be available for your baby when he or she is hungry, and not someone else (1). Research has shown that babies typically feed every three hours. You'll know this by the sound of their cry as they awake from sleep. Sometimes, your baby may sleep for more than three hours at a stretch. Please wake them up to have their meal (2).
#1. How to know that your baby is feeding well.
It is very important that your baby feeds well, as feeding is essential for growth. If your baby is feeding well, you'll observe a significant increase in weight from two to three weeks (3).
You can also know this if you have to change diapers up to six times a day.
2. Change diapers immediately.
Another reason your baby can burst out crying is the discomfort that comes from a wet or soiled diaper. It is important that you change your baby's napkin as soon as it gets soiled. This is because a baby's skin is extremely sensitive and staying in wet napkins can easily cause rashes. This can be from bacteria in the poop, breeding in a damp environment (4).
#2. How to know that your baby's diaper is wet.
Crying isn't only because of a wet diaper. A baby can burst out in tears if he or she is hungry, scared, or even sick. So here's another way to know that your baby's diaper needs to be changed immediately: When the yellow stripe on the outside of the nappy turns blue (5).
3. Ensure adequate umbilical cord care.
As you know, your baby will have part of the umbilical cord attached to him or her for some days after birth. This area is usually sore and requires a great deal of attention and hygiene, to avoid any form of infection.
#3. How to care for your baby's umbilical cord.
Apply only gels or powders prescribed by the doctor. Do not go with a friend's suggestion that is different from your doctor's advice, as any other substance can cause more harm than good (6).
Always keep the umbilical area dry. This is to avoid any form of moisture or pressure, as it can delay the healing process (7).
Continue with routine care even after the cord falls off, until the area is completely healed.
4. Carry your baby the right way.
It is important to carry your baby, with her chin placed on your shoulder and your hand gently rubbing her back, particularly in a circular motion, after feeding. This is called burping, and it is the best way to help your baby exhale excess air taken in during breastfeeding, thus preventing indigestion and colic symptoms (8).
#4. Another way to carry your baby.
This involves giving your baby skin-to-skin contact. It is also called the kangaroo mother care, as it is a way of helping your baby remember the days in your womb and feel more relaxed. Hearing and feeling your heartbeat is a way of calming him or her down and assuring them of safety (9).
5. Use the right wipes to clean up poop.
After changing a soiled diaper, it is necessary to clean up your baby's little butt using wipes. Today, alcohol containing wipes are no longer recommended for use in babies. This is because of their potential to cause irritation on your baby's sensitive skin. They can also leave your baby with dry skin on the long run, as alcohol evaporates pretty quickly(10).
#5. The right wipes for your baby.
The recommended wipes for cleaning your baby are pure water wipes, which usually contain just a few drops of natural moisturizers that are safe on your baby's skin (11).
6. Put your baby to sleep the right way.
Apart from eating, the next big activity your newborn will engage in is sleeping. Research says that babies get to sleep up to 14 to 17 hours everyday. This obviously isn't at a stretch, but it usually adds up to. It is therefore important that your baby is in the right sleeping position when asleep (12).
#6. The right sleeping position for your baby.
After feeding your baby or when you discover that your baby is sleepy, carry her as if to burp, but this time with your hands in her head and back and gently swaying to the sides. This is a great way of preparing her for sleep (13).
It is always safer to lay your baby in her cot, than to sleep next to each other, except you have excess space on your bed.
7. Ensure proper hygiene.
Your newborn is brand new and should be treated as such. Apart from their skin being so sensitive, their immune system is not fully developed, so the slightest exposure can lead to an infection. To this end, it is important that you always wash your hands and wear clean clothes when you want to hold or feed your baby.
Your baby's toys also should not be left littered on the floor, but kept properly.
#7. What about visitors?
Every visitor at this point will want to have a feel of your baby. Please ensure that they sanitize or wash their hands properly before coming near, touching or carrying your baby (14).
Wrapping up, I hope the long read was worth your time?
If all new moms can follow the above tips, then you'll all have it easy, growing through the process alongside your babies.
If you found these tips helpful, let me know your thoughts in the comment session.
Also feel free to share this article with other moms and expectant moms.