Being a first-time parent is an unforgettable experience. As a mother, you go through the incredible process of developing a tiny human within your womb and can’t wait to hear their first cry, hold them in your arms for the first time, and feel your heart fill with love for your child. Likewise, your partner will witness the miracle of childbirth and prepare themselves for a life-long journey of fatherhood, overflowing with love and understanding of the importance of responsibility and care.
There is nothing more exciting than taking your newborn home for the first time. However, the challenges parenthood presents can be unnerving for some new parents. Sleepless nights, constant care, and handling your newborn may be too exhausting, particularly when you are new to the parenting world. The first few weeks are critical for childcare and setting up a routine with a newborn. So before your water breaks, go through these easy newborn care tips to help you take care of your child without feeling overwhelmed:
Ensure a Thorough Assessment and Physical Examination
However, parenthood starts when your child cries for the first time. Doctors and paramedics immediately check your newborn for vital signs, including crying, breathing, pulse rate, respiration rate, weight, head size, etc. However, you should remember that childbirth is a complex process, and minor medical malpractice, negligence, and mishandling by medical staff may result in serious health issues and disorders like cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and brain damage.
If your baby has suffered any injury during childbirth and is later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you can file a lawsuit of medical malpractice for cerebral palsy to get compensation for treatment and management. A cerebral palsy medical malpractice case not only helps you file a claim, but a timely financial penalty and cancellation of a doctor’s license prevent other patients from becoming victims of medical malpractice.
To ensure that your child is safe from any severe brain or spinal cord damage, it is imperative to get a thorough assessment and physical examination while you and your child are still in the hospital. Monitor your child closely and check their body movements. Consult the doctor immediately if you notice muscle stiffness, abnormally loud crying, or problems in feeding.
Breastfeeding is one of the toughest challenges for new mothers. The first few days of breastfeeding are a genuine test of determination and patience as you struggle to get your baby to latch on. Before you think of giving up, remember that all new mothers encountered the same issues, but eventually, most of them succeeded in breastfeeding their children. Here are some easy tips and advice to feed your newborn:
- Talk to your friends and family members who breastfed their children and try to emulate their valuable experience and advice in your parenting style.
- Seek help from your doctor or a lactation consultant to get complete guidance on nursing your baby.
- After childbirth, ask your nurse to help you each time you feed the baby.
- Always clean your breast before offering it to your baby.
- If you have sore or cracked nipples, rinse them with salt water after each feed and use a warm compress to ease the pain. Then, try feeding from the other side to accelerate the healing process. If your doctor diagnoses an infection, use the prescribed ointments and nursing pads frequently to avoid spreading the infection.
- Use a warm compress or a wet cloth to open blocked ducts and ease any breast inflammation.
- Don’t try to introduce the bottle too early. Wait three weeks to 3 months before feeding your child formula milk.
- Remember, the more you breastfeed your baby, the better.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
- If you’re overflowing with milk, try pumping out excessive milk and refrigerate it in a bottle for later use.
- Breastmilk is produced when your baby latches on, don’t overstress yourself if you feel your breasts are light and empty. Overstressing will prevent your body from producing milk.
Babies sleep a lot! More than 16 hours on average, some newborns may sleep even longer. However, their sleep-wake cycle is pretty short, and you may feel overwhelmed with frequent feeding when you’re new to parenthood. In addition, some newborns develop habits of waking up late at night, adding to the misery. According to research, nearly 17% of new mothers bear the brunt of sleepless nights. A baby’s sleep-wake cycle becomes longer as they grow. To cope with your baby’s sleep pattern, follow these tested tips:
- Give your baby a womb-like feeling. Wrap or swaddle them before bedtime to make them more comfortable during sleep. A swaddled-up child is prone to sleep longer than those sleeping unwrapped.
- Try playing soothing tunes to calm a fussy baby and help them sleep. Some parents play nursery rhymes loudly and frequently while the child is still in the womb. However, research shows that a child can recognize certain tunes and lullabies months after birth that were played frequently during pregnancy.
- Try the sleep-while-the-baby-sleeps formula; it helps you get enough sleep and stay active throughout the day.
- Give a bath with warm water before bedtime. A warm bath induces sleep and helps the baby sleep longer hours.
- Rock or nurse your baby to sleep. Repetitive movements like rocking often stimulate sleep in babies.
Comforting Your Baby
Frequent crying often causes a lot of stress for new parents. They want to try everything to soothe their baby. New parents keep experimenting with new things until something works for them. Follow these easy tips to comfort your baby:
- Check for signs of colic or other medical issues like fever, constipation, and stomachache. Colic is one of the most common reasons for an uncomfortable and frequently crying newborn. For example, if your baby is bending their knees up to their tummy, clenching their fists, or you hear a loud rumbling, your newborn may have colic. You can avoid colic by always burping your baby and holding them upright after each feed.
- Use a pacifier to calm down your crying baby.
- Give your newborn a nice warm bath.
- Swaddle up your baby.
- Rock or make repetitive movements to comfort them. For example, rock, swing, or walk around with them.
- Place your baby on their tummy and rub their back.
Take Care of Yourself
Being a new parent means you’re always on your toes changing diapers, rocking them to sleep, making bottles, or feeding your baby. Unfortunately, you mostly ignore that you can only provide good care to your child when you’re in good shape and health.
You need to take a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise daily, and give yourself enough time and space. Get your partner’s help in caring for the baby while you sleep. Don’t stress too much about those unwashed dishes or undusted tables. Get help from friends and family until you cope with the new change in your life. And finally, accept the change that life brings with parenthood. Every parent has pulled this off, and you can too!
Parenthood is a wonderful yet exhausting experience during the first years of a child’s life. The first few weeks after childbirth can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. The above easy tips and tricks will help you cope with the new routine and take good care of your newborn. Most of all, you should never forget that time flies by very quickly, and it’s just a matter of months before your child starts to smile, babble, sit, crawl, and play. So cherish these beautiful moments, and don’t let stress ruin the most precious years of your child’s life.