When people picture having their first child, they often imagine playing catch in the front yard or the bliss of bringing their baby home for the first time. The reality is that a lot of other things happen between those two pictures.
Babies will bring immense meaning and worth to your life, but they also come with tons of stress. Learning how to take care of a baby takes time and often repeated trial and error.
Fortunately, you can also find several resources that make taking care of a baby a little easier. Read the guide below to discover some practical baby care tips!
Taking Care of a Baby Starts with Feeding
Before anything else, it’s essential as a parent that you know when to feed your newborn. Your newborn child needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, usually resulting in 8-12 feedings in the space of 24 hours.
Ideally, you should feed a newborn with breast milk for the first six months. This method provides your child with essential nutrients and antibodies to help them survive and grow.
To ensure the baby gets the necessary amount of food, nurse them for at least ten minutes. If the baby latches to the nipple correctly, the mother shouldn’t experience any pain in her nipples. Once the baby finishes feeding, the breast should feel lighter.
If the mother cannot breastfeed, feed the baby with a formula recommended by your physician. If you use formula, then ensure the baby receives 60-90 ml with each feeding.
Understanding Symptoms of Common Health Problems
Babies don’t have fully developed immune systems, which makes them vulnerable to several illnesses. Even health issues that an adult could easily ward off, such as a cold or the flu, can damage your baby’s health.
If your child cries uncontrollably or stays quiet for unusual periods, check her breathing and temperature. If her breathing is irregular, it could indicate a cold or other respiratory condition.
Likewise, if the baby won’t eat or drink, call your pediatrician to ask for advice. It could be this is relatively innocent; even babies can be stubborn. However, it could also indicate a sickness.
Besides respiratory issues, babies often face skin conditions. Baby skin is delicate and sensitive, making it vulnerable to rashes and abrasions.
Other conditions, like Infantile Hemangioma, also have symptoms that affect the skin. Once again, check with your pediatrician to learn how to treat and avoid these issues.
Sleeping Schedule for a Healthy Baby
If it seems like all your baby does is sleep, that’s okay! In fact, it’s healthy, especially for a newborn. Newborn infants need about 16 hours of sleep daily for their first two months.
Typically, a newborn’s nap will last between 2-4 hours. Since babies need feeding every 3 hours, you may need to wake your child to feed them.
As your baby sleeps, be sure to turn her head to face different positions. Doing so helps prevent flat spots from forming on her head. Also, always lay your baby on her back to avoid suffocation.
Don’t Overthink It
When you first become a parent, you’ll feel the weight of your child’s life on your shoulders. It’s natural to worry for your child, but don’t overthink your every decision. Over time, you’ll develop instincts, and you’ll be taking care of a baby with ease!
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