So, you’ve finally gone through the miracle of life – pregnancy, labor, and then delivery. Now, you are ready to go home and start a new chapter of your life. Once home, though, you might feel lost and unaware of what you should be doing. Well, the good news is: this is a normal reaction, especially for first-time parents.
Undoubtedly, the amount of exhilaration and joy parents feel when bringing home a new baby is beyond comparison. After all, nobody gets it right, and no matter how much one prepares and plans for the arrival of a little one, challenges and obstacles are bound to come. Things can get extremely overwhelming when a baby is born sick or born prematurely. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help your baby thrive.
Every new parent wants to do as much as possible when it comes to their precious little munchkin. From burping your baby to cutting those tiny nails to dressing them up, it can all seem pretty overwhelming at times. Thankfully, with a bit of practice and help, you will be a pro in no time, even if your newborn is going through the early stages of its life.
To help you get started, here are a few neonatal care tips to follow and give your child the perfect start in life.
- First of all, get to know your baby.
Newborn babies don’t arrive with an instruction manual hanging around their neck. Of course, you are sure to have many questions about your baby’s appearance and behavior, but that doesn’t mean you let your concerns consume you. The first few days will be hard – no arguments here – but you need to figure out what your baby needs and at what time.
Thousands of healthcare providers including, paramedics, therapists, nurses, physicians, and pharmacists, enroll in neonatal resuscitation certification courses. NRP is an acronym for the National Resuscitation Program. It is a short course designed for those interested in neonatal care immediately following delivery. If you are a professional seeking to enroll in an NRP course, just Google the best “NRP certification classes near me,” and you may find an institute that’ll help you understand all the fundamentals of neonatal science.
It is critical to feed the baby on time. Mothers need to feed their newborns every two to three hours, nursing them eight to twelve times per day.
For the first six months, an infant should only be fed breast milk. Breast milk contains antibodies and vital nutrients for a baby’s growth and survival. Feed the baby for at least ten minutes.
Grip the breast close to your newborn’s lips until they latch on and begin sucking. If the baby has correctly latched on, the mother will not feel any discomfort in her nipples. After the baby has finished feeding, the breast should feel a little less complete. That indicates that the baby is receiving adequate milk. If breast milk is not an option, the baby should be given a doctor-recommended formula. Each feeding should consist of 60 to 90 mL of formula.
- Take care of your baby’s umbilical cord.
For at least a month and ten days after birth, a portion of your newborn’s umbilical cord would be clinging on to them. It is a delicate area for your baby, and it must be cared for. Use medicated powders as directed by your physician to keep the part dry and aid in the process of healing. Wear loose clothing for your baby to avoid any stress on the area. Please continue with your care routine after it dries and falls until the area is completely healed. Also, learn how to keep your newborn clean.
- Hold your baby right.
You must support your baby’s neck and head with one hand while she/she is being held. That is because their neck muscles are not yet strong enough to support their head on their own. The backbone is also developing and improving. Only after three months of age will the neck be able to hold the head on its own. So when caring for a newborn baby, remember to support your baby’s neck and head.
In the first two months, newborns require approximately 16 hours of sleep per day. They usually take two to four-hour naps and wake up when they are wet or hungry. Because the baby needs to be fed every three hours, you may have to wake them up and feed them. Do not be concerned if they do not adhere to the ideal newborn sleep pattern. Every baby is unique and has an irregular sleep cycle. You should also remember to change your baby’s head position while they sleep. It prevents flat spots on the head from forming. To avoid asphyxia, place the baby to sleep on their back. A mother should try to nap alongside their child. She can also take advantage of the time to eat a meal or take a bath in peace.
- Expect a rollercoaster of emotions.
In the space of an hour, you could go from adoring your baby and staring intently at tiny fingers and toes to mourning your loss of independence and worrying about your ability to care for a newborn. You and your partner are probably both anxious and tired. Talk about what’s bothering you, such as a tight budget or difficulty soothing the baby, to help you stay connected. A shared laugh may help to lift the spirits.
The joy of parenthood brims with responsibilities and challenges, but that doesn’t make it less memorable. Even though you may feel anxious or concerned about how you will take care of your newborn, in a few short weeks, you will develop a schedule and be parenting like a pro!
Keep in mind that no one has it easy, but somehow, everyone makes it through. Hence, you will too. In a few days, you will be gifted with your baby’s first smile, and that will be reason enough to help you keep going. Just be sure to prepare for both the highs and lows of offering neonatal care.