Parenting – Getting Started & Next Steps

Guide to Newborn Care

After so much waiting, from 9 months of pregnancy to labor and delivery, you’re now holding your newborn baby, and just to realize that there’s much help that you will need this time. The following are proper ways to consider in handling your newborn baby.

Options to look for help after giving birth

The hospital is the appropriate place to inquire from its staff what are steps to observe in handling your newborn baby, so while you’re still in the hospital, 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.

Ways to handle a newborn

Newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, such that they are susceptible to infection, so wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your baby and make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.

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.

When putting your baby in a carrier, stroller, or car seat, make sure your baby is securely fastened and try to avoid from activities that could be too rough or bouncy.

Bonding and soothing techniques

Bonding is the most pleasurable aspect of infant care, because it is in these moments where parents establish 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.

By communicating to your baby through vocal sounds, you are actually bonding with him/her, like: reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, singing nursery rhymes, babbling and cooing while you’re rocking your baby gently in a chair.

Types of baby baths

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.

Sponge baths are introduced when the baby’s head still needs to be supported, but once the baby can now sit well on his/her own, you may now start introducing him/her into a tub bath.