When it comes to experiences that change a person’s life entirely, there can be nothing that compares to the joys of parenthood. Every moment since conception brings with it a new perspective and one that’s geared towards ensuring the best for your child and your new family.
However, despite all the good stuff to look forward to, caring for a newborn can also be pretty daunting. This is especially true if it’s your first time and you don’t know how to look after a baby. Newborns are fragile and are extremely dependent on their parents for survival. No matter how much you may read online, it can still be hard to be prepared for what’s to come ahead.
If you’re looking forward to your child’s birth and want to know how you can look after them, keep reading below for some sound advice.
Parents do their utmost to ensure their children have a healthy, happy life. This includes monitoring the baby not just after birth, but also before and during labor. Newborns are incredibly vulnerable in the earliest stages of their development, and even the smallest slip-ups can cause long-lasting harm. In such cases, it can be very hard for parents to choose the next step when they don’t even understand the extent of the issue. Being informed helps you better manage any possible situation that may arise.
For example, birth injuries are a common occurrence among newborns- more often than you’d expect. While most heal quickly, complicated conditions like cerebral palsy can be life-altering for the child and parents. There are different types, depending on severity. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type, where your child may have jerky movements and a higher muscle tone. Other types include athetoid, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed cerebral palsy. Knowing all cerebral palsy types can help you be better prepared if your child starts showing symptoms.
Be sure to bond
Most new parents spend the first few weeks and months fretting about keeping their child as safe as possible. Most of this time goes towards ensuring all their bodily needs are met and that they’re kept satiated. However, parents often end up wrongfully assuming that their babies don’t need any emotional bonding at this time.
The truth is that these first few days and weeks can prove to be the most monumental when it comes to bonding with your newborn. Not only do new parents have a surge of emotions and hormones during this time, but the baby craves that extra warmth and affection too. So, do all you can to connect with your baby on an emotional level. You can achieve this through cuddling, swaddling, and even talking to your child. Although they might not be able to understand you just yet, this process is vital for their development and can help them bond with you.
Establish visiting rules
With a new baby at home, most of your close circle will be itching to meet the new addition to the family. However, it’s pertinent that you keep your child safe. Newborns are incredibly vulnerable to infections and lack the immunity d to fight off diseases.
So, you must have strict rules in place whenever visitors come around. One of the most important rules to stress is that no one should kiss the baby. Due to an underdeveloped immune system, newborns are extremely susceptible to various diseases. Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is one of the most dangerous diseases your infant can contract through contaminated respiratory droplets. Although RSV can manifest as mild flu for adults, it can be extremely dangerous in children. Thus, ensure that all your visitors keep some distance whenever they visit your child.
Prepare yourself for an upset sleeping schedule
One of the things new parents find hard to adjust to is the drastic change in sleeping schedules. With a new baby at home, everything can be in disarray. Babies rarely sleep through the night, especially during the first few weeks. Instead, they might sleep at irregular hours during the night and day, and you may have to adjust accordingly.
Sleep deprivation can take a serious toll upon you, leading to crankiness, mind fog, and headaches. This can impair your ability to care for the baby. The best way to adjust to this new sleeping schedule is by working alternating shifts. This can give both parents some time away to relax and catch up on sleep. You may also want to start sleeping early whenever your baby is asleep. Although infants can sleep in bursts, if your baby has been awake for too long and is crying, you may want to seek medical help.
Parenting is a full-time job, and more so in these earlier days. Caring for a newborn child can be challenging but perfectly doable if you follow this helpful guide. By adhering to these tips, you can ensure that you protect your infant physically and bond with them too.