Pregnancy is blissful for almost every couple, but it comes with challenges. From conceiving to labor, the entire period is demanding and challenging for most couples. And it’s not surprising most parents feel clueless while caring for a new baby. So it is better to prepare for the baby’s arrival.
Preparing for the baby does not only mean getting baby clothes or building a nursery. A newborn baby comes with a lot of new responsibilities that begin from within the hospital and go on for the rest of your life.
This article will share some essential tips for first-time parents to ease them into their roles. However, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for parenting, so keep your needs in mind, and the rest will follow.
Take care of everything at the hospital
After bringing your baby into the world, you need to take care of some hospital formalities before you can take them home. If your baby is healthy, you can leave after your doctor’s approval. But if there were complications during labor, you need to stay at the hospital longer and sort things out. You need the baby’s condition to stabilize before leaving the hospital.
Unfortunately, 7 or 1000 babies become victims of medical negligence or malpractice during delivery. It can lead to permanent or temporary physical disabilities, like Erb’s Palsy. If you think your baby suffered because of the staff, you can file an Erb’s Palsy lawsuit against the hospital. This lawsuit can help parents get financial compensation for medical treatments for their baby to help them recover fully.
Prepare for the baby’s arrival at home
If you think babies don’t take up much living space, think again. Because soon your home will be swarming in diapers and baby clothes. So, be sure you have everything you need before the baby arrives. To make this process easier, make a checklist so you don’t forget anything important before going into labor. You should also designate a particular section of your house to baby stuff, like diapers, feeding bottles, hospital documents, clothes, baby crib, etc. It will help you keep everything in place and find essential items easily when needed.
Learn how to handle a newborn
New parents are usually nervous about handling a newborn because they are so fragile. So, practice how to hold a newborn before your baby arrives. To do that, you can view tutorials on YouTube, take parenting classes, practice with baby-sized dolls, or observe and then hold your friend’s babies.
Before holding your baby, wash or sanitize your hands because newborns have a weak immune system and easily catch infections. When holding the baby, support their neck and head at all times. Moreover, newborns should never be handled roughly as they cannot support themselves. You should be gentle with your touch and hold them as carefully and securely as possible.
All you need to know about diapering
Changing diapers is another thing you as a parent should learn before the baby arrives, but you can master the art as you go. It depends on your preference- whether you will use disposable diapers or cloth ones. But you must know that babies dirty their diapers several times a day. So, make the right choice according to your preference and budget.
When changing the diaper, keep everything you’re going to need within your hands’ reach because you shouldn’t leave the baby on the changing table unattended. While changing diapers, some commonly used items include diapers, diaper ointment, and wipes. Be sure you regularly change the baby’s diaper to prevent rashes and UTIs.
Breastfeeding and burping basics
Another choice the mother needs to make is whether she’ll breastfeed the baby or give them formula milk. Parents should also consult an expert about this, especially if the baby or the mother has any medical conditions.
A newborn is fed several times a day, usually every 2-3 hours. Your doctor will suggest feeding the baby on demand, so if the baby starts crying or making suckling noises, it’s time to feed them.
After feeding the baby, you have to burp them because they tend to swallow air, which makes them gassy afterward. To burp them, hold your baby’s head on your shoulder in an upright position while supporting their head, and gently pat their back with your hand until you hear them burp. Don’t forget to use a burping cloth to prevent milk from spilling on you.
Babies are fragile, which makes new parents nervous about keeping them from slipping off while bathing. Most doctors suggest giving the baby a sponge bath to avoid mishaps, especially until the navel heals entirely after the umbilical cord falls off. Later, you can slowly shift to tub baths and bathe your baby 2-3 times a week for the first year. However, be sure to use soft washcloths, mild baby soaps and shampoos, and plush towels to save the baby’s skin.
Sync your sleeping schedule
Babies sleep about 16 hours a day, but never in a single go. They get hungry every 2-3 hours and wake up to be fed. You can expect them to start sleeping through the night (or at least some part of the night) after at least three months. So, it is better to sync your sleeping pattern with the baby to get some rest. Otherwise, you will find yourself staying awake for most of the day and night. This can make you quite restless and cranky.
You should place your baby on their backs when they sleep to avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Also, share a room with your baby for at least the first six months to keep a check on them during the night.
Having a baby can be a handful, but try to enjoy this time while learning to take care of them in the best possible manner. Research, ask questions and learn before the baby arrives, but don’t let anyone dictate your parenting journey. You and your child should build a bond together and grow together.