After surviving for 9 months of pregnancy and made it through the excitement of labor and delivery, you’re now ready to head home and begin life with your baby, and as soon as you’re home you begin to realize that you need help during this time. The following are proper ways to consider in handling your newborn baby.
Options to look for help after giving birth
The best time to inquire about what to do to properly take care of your baby is when you are still in the hospital, so inquire and talk to feeding specialists or lactation consultants, who can demonstrate how to nurse-feed or bottle-feed your newborn baby, and ask a nurse to show you how to hold, burp, change diapers, and care for your baby.
Your doctor can be a good source for finding information about in-home help and might even be able to give you referrals to home health agencies; otherwise, you may decide on hiring a baby nurse or hire a responsible neighborhood teenager on a short time basis.
Your closest relatives or friends are also a source of help at this time of your life with a newborn baby.
Handling a newborn
Because newborn babies do not have a strong immune system, they are likely susceptible to infection; therefore, before handling your baby, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer and make sure that anyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
It is important to protect the baby’s head, so cradle the head of your baby when you’re carrying him/her and support the head when carrying upright or when you’re laying your baby down.
Always fastened securely your baby when in a carrier, stroller, or car seat, and try to avoid from activities that could be too rough or bouncy.
When parents bond more often with their infant, they are establishing a deep, emotional connection with their infant. Bonding can be done in many ways, like cradling your baby, gently stroking him/her during feeding time, such that there is a close physical connection, or massaging gently your baby.
Reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, singing nursery rhymes, babbling and cooing while you’re rocking your baby gently in a chair are also ways of bonding with your baby through vocal sounds.
For the first year, the baby should be bathed 2-3 times a week and sponge baths take place when the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely, about 1-4 weeks, or when the circumcision heals, about 1-2 weeks.
When the baby’s head still needs to be supported, sponge baths are to be provided until such time when the baby can very well support his/her head and can sit well, then that would be the time to introduce tub baths.