Being a first time mum can be befuddling at the same time overwhelming. Of course there’s so much joy and gladness in your heart stemming from birthing your baby, however, you know you have to face reality, which is catering for the overall well-being of this child and sometimes, you are in a state of confusion.
Although being a fist-time mum is a daunting task, but with a knowledge of what to do, that can reduce the burden and make it feel relieving for you. Here are 12 vital baby care tips for first-time mums;
Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Baby
The immune systems of newborns are not fully developed and you do not want to introduce germs from the environment to your newborn, so it is important you wash your hands properly or use a hand sanitizer before handling your baby. In this COVID-19 era, it even makes it more crucial to always practice washing of hands. Also, tell visitors, family and friends who come around to wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your baby.
Handle Your Baby With Care
Babies are tender and delicate, so you should handle them with care when carrying them. Carry your baby gently, supporting his/her head and neck with your hand. Ensure you never shake your newborn, no matter the situation or circumstance.
Pay Keen Attention to Your Baby
Pay close attention to your baby so as to better understand them. When your baby is crying, they are communicating something to you – it could be that your baby is hungry, facing discomfort or being over-stimulated. So, carefully observe to know why your baby is crying and ensure you soothe your crying baby.
Carefully Select your Baby’s Products
All products your baby need – from food, to clothing, to skincare, to hair care should be carefully selected. Discontinue products that cause irritation to your baby immediately.
Firstly, it is pertinent to have sufficient supply of diapers at home. Also, before you change your baby’s diaper, make sure a new diaper is within reach so you don’t leave your baby unattended to for long. Diaper ointments and wipes are also recommended, but discontinue if your baby’ skin is sensitive to them. Also, use a diaper cream to treat diaper rash.
You and Your Partner Should Take Turns Soothing Your Baby
In order not to get overwhelmed with the tasks of catering for your newborn and taking care of the home, you and your partner should take turns soothing your baby at night. That way, you also get time to sleep. Also, the practice of sleep when your baby sleeps does work. So, take advantage of times when your baby is asleep to get enough rest.
Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding is important and healthy for both mum and baby. Breast milk contains important antibodies and it keeps your baby healthy, protecting them against allergies, sickness, obesity, diabetes, cancer and infections. Furthermore, breast milk is easily digested, so your baby doesn’t experience constipation, diarrhea or stomach upset from breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six (6) months; so except otherwise recommended by your doctor, you should breastfeed your baby. When breastfeeding, ensure you and your baby are comfortable, help your baby find the right position, take care of your skin and stay hydrated.
Observe to Ensure Your Baby is Not Over-stimulated
Over-stimulation occurs when babies are swamped by more experiences, sensations, noise and activity than they can cope with. So, it is important to ensure your baby is not over-stimulated, so they don’t get cranky or cry a lot. So, reduce noise around your baby, and make sure you carry out your activities quietly. Also, talk quietly around your baby using a soft tone.
Keep Nails Short and Neat
Keep both your nails and your baby’s short and neat, by regularly trimming them. You don’t want your nails hurting your baby in the process of handling them, neither do you want your baby scratching you or others with their nails.
Bond With Your Baby
Spend ample time with your baby so as to build that bond between you and your child. Play with your baby, get to know more about them, get to understand their language and speak in the language they understand. Build that connection between you and your baby.
Go for Comfortable Clothing
In the selection of, and shopping for your baby clothes, it’s important you go for comfortable outfits. You don’t want your baby feeling uncomfortable due to the clothes they are putting on, so, it’s advisable to go for clothes made from cotton, as they are a good choice for your babies.
Request and Accept the Needed Help
When people offer to help out, it could be in carrying your baby for a few hours or minutes, or helping with your chores so you can concentrate on your baby, accept the needed help. You could also reach out to family members to help you out in order to ease the stress on you.
Enjoy the mother-child experience, relive every moment and bond with your baby. Go mums, you’ve got this!