Parenting Tips for Infants
The birth of a child is a great joy and responsibility to new parents. In the first month of a newborn, it is important to create optimal conditions for the growth and development of the child’s body. Caring for newborn babies during the first three months of life includes meeting their needs for food, peace, and walks. Parents need to learn how to properly perform hygiene and feeding procedures so that the baby grows healthy and strong.
How to hold a newborn baby properly
The first thing you need to pay attention to is do not be afraid to touch the baby. The more contact the newborn has with his mother, the better for his development. Naturally, confidence will come with experience, but at least try to tune in, which is also important.
When you take the baby in your arms, try to keep your movements gentle and calm, talk to the baby, smile at him. Although newborn babies still see and hear very poorly, they feel their mother’s mood very well.
Show your love for the baby through touch, and it is quite possible that the baby will give you his smile already in the hospital.
Try to take your baby more calmly and gently, talk to him affectionately, call him by name, smile more often. When you pick up the baby, be sure to support his head because the neck muscles of the newborn are not yet developed, the baby does not hold the head.
Put one hand under the baby’s neck (while the head should be located on the bend of your elbow), and the other under the buttocks. Use your free hand to support your baby’s back and buttocks.
Mandatory rule: you need to carry the child on different sides (change left and right hands).
How to position a newborn properly
If you need to put the newborn back into the crib, then pull him close to you and lower yourself to the crib as low as possible with him. Place the baby gently in the crib, but do not rush to remove your hands.
Wait for him to get used to the hard surface for at least five seconds. Then slowly remove your hands and quickly cover the baby with a blanket to keep warm.
How much should a newborn eat?
A remarkable feature of each child is its uniqueness, so it would be wrong to feed the baby strictly according to the instructions. Don’t panic if the recommendations below don’t fit your own feeding schedule, but please contact your healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have any questions.
Even though every baby is different, newborns typically eat every two to three hours, for a total of 8 to 12 meals a day.
How many milliliters does a newborn baby drink? At the very beginning, your body will only produce a small amount of yellowish and thick breast milk called colostrum. This milk is an ideal source of the nutrients your newborn needs, plus it has many immunological components.
How much milk does a newborn baby drink? Infants drink 30–60 ml per feeding, with this volume increasing to 60–90 ml by two weeks of age. So don’t worry if you don’t feel like your body is producing much milk in those first few days after your baby is born! Feeding times will also vary, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes at the very beginning and then gradually increasing as your baby grows.
How to сhange disposable diapers correctly
Disposable diapers have revolutionized baby care. Mountains of wet diapers are a thing of the past. But to ensure real comfort for the baby, you need to take care of the skin. Under the diaper, it is especially prone to irritation and redness. Even if the diapers are of very good quality, the time of wearing one diaper during the day should not exceed 3 hours. But at night, if the child sleeps peacefully, this time can be extended to 8-10 hours. Don’t put a new diaper on your baby right after removing the old one. It is necessary that the child takes an air bath for 10-15 minutes, and the skin must be dry.
Before each diaper change, the child must be washed under warm running water, and the girl in the direction from front to back, so as not to infect the infection. This can be done with baby cream soap.
If it is not possible to wash the child, use cleansing wet wipes. And if your baby’s skin is prone to dryness, your first helper is cleansing cream wipes.
Before putting on a diaper, it is necessary to treat the baby’s buttocks and inguinal area with a special baby diaper protection cream to avoid diaper rash and irritation.
How to nourish and moisturize your baby’s skin
Due to the weak function of the sebaceous glands, the surface of the baby’s skin is drier than that of adults, therefore, it needs additional nutrition and hydration. Light moisturizing creams are quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy sheen, maintain the natural moisture of the skin and soften it. These creams can be used throughout the day to make baby’s skin soft and smooth. But it is especially necessary to use them to replenish the loss of moisture after taking water procedures, as well as in the hot season.
Nourishing creams are designed to protect and nourish the skin of babies. They are based on mineral and natural oils. Mineral oil remains on the surface of the skin, covering it with a thin film and thus providing protection. Natural oil penetrates deep into the skin, providing an additional caring effect (nutrition, moisturizing, softening, etc.). Easily vulnerable children’s skin is prone to inflammation and redness. To restore the skin and ensure its protection, use the baby’s anti-inflammatory cream. It promotes rapid healing and regeneration of the skin thanks to the optimal combination of mineral and natural oils.
Carefully monitor the condition of the baby’s skin, prevent the appearance of irritation and inflammation. If they are not prevented, serious consequences can occur. Remember that the skin of a child is an indicator of his internal state: if the body does not perceive something from food, then a skin reaction (redness, pimples) will immediately tell you that this component should be excluded from the diet. In the same way, allergic reactions occur to a variety of things: dust, pollen, animal hair, a reaction to inappropriate cosmetics may occur.
Pay special attention to protecting children’s skin from wind and sun.
How to wash and bathe a newborn
Most children enjoy bathing: the warm water soothes them and helps them fall asleep. Bathe children every day at the same time; best before feeding. Do not bathe the baby if he has a fever or has pustular skin diseases (dermatologists do not recommend bathing children in such cases).
How often should you bathe a newborn? There’s no need to give your newborn baby a bath every day. Three times a week might be enough until your baby becomes more mobile. Bathing your baby too much can dry out your baby’s skin.
Wash the bath thoroughly before use, then pour water into it. The air temperature in the bathing room should be about 72°F. The optimum water temperature is 100°F. You can add medicinal substances to the water (starch for eczema, sea salt for rickets, coniferous extract for functional disorders of the nervous system, chamomile or calendula for allergic dermatitis) or special baby bath foam.
It is very important to properly immerse the child in the bath. With your left hand, you need to cover the left armpit of the child, the back of the head and head in this case rest on your shoulder; support the baby from below with the right hand. After immersion in water, the head and torso of the child must be supported with the left hand and forearm. The water level should not cover the upper part of the chest. The duration of bathing ranges from 3 to 15 minutes. With your right hand, lather the head, neck, armpits, arms, chest, stomach and legs of the child in turn with soft circular movements, while the soapy areas should be rinsed immediately. For washing, use a special baby gel. At the end of washing the child must be rinsed with clean water. During rinsing, cover his head with your hand so that water does not get into his eyes.
When washing your child’s hair, pay attention to the condition of the scalp. If you notice crusts of milky scab, be sure to remove them. To do this, 2 hours before the evening bath, thickly lubricate the baby’s head with baby oil, and when the crusts soften, remove them with a fine comb. After that, wash your baby’s head with baby shampoo.
In the complex of hygiene for babies, care for the nose, ears and nails plays an important role. For regular cleaning of the nose, use a tightly rolled cotton turunda moistened with baby oil. Gently rotate it into the nasal passage to a depth of 1.5-2 cm and remove the accumulated secretions from the spout. If there is too much mucus, use a nasal aspirator.
The baby’s ears should be cleaned after bathing. To do this, it is better to use cotton swabs with a limiter. In this case, only the auricle should be cleaned, without delving into the ear canal.
Don’t forget about your baby’s nails. Be prepared for the fact that children’s nails grow very quickly and require regular trimming. Use small scissors for this, and it is better if they have blunt ends. Some find it convenient to use baby nail clippers. It is more convenient to cut nails when the baby is sleeping, but be careful. To avoid touching the skin, wring out the pads of your fingers.
How to clean a baby’s tongue
Almost everyone noticed a coating on their tongue, which is formed by bacteria. The tongue becomes a “peddler” of pathogenic microflora that gets on the teeth and provokes caries, or it can end up on the throat, which will lead to tonsillitis, or find shelter in the stomach. In addition, a tongue with a bacterial coating is often the cause of bad breath. To avoid all this, it is enough to pay attention to your tongue every day after brushing your teeth.
By the way, if you have a cold, clean your tongue more often and you will recover faster.
First, you need to decide on the tool. Use suitable toothbrushes, which have a special rough surface on the back. You can also purchase a special plastic tongue scraper.
After brushing and flossing your teeth as usual, start cleaning your tongue. From the root of the tongue to its tip, sweep with the back of the brush. If you use a tongue scraper, you should first clean your tongue with the soft side and then with the hard side. Rinse your mouth and the cleaning is over.
Small children can also brush their tongue if they notice plaque or bad breath from the child’s mouth after regular brushing of their teeth. For newborns, the tongue is cleaned with a piece of gauze dipped in warm and fresh boiled water, or with a silicone fingertip for teeth. Older children can also brush their tongue with the back of a specially coated brush. But the scraper is recommended for use in children who are at least 8 years old.
Too frequent plaque on the tongue in an adult or child indicates either insufficient oral hygiene or the presence of diseases. In this case, we advise you to contact a pediatrician, therapist or dentist.
How to weigh your baby correctly
It is especially important to control newborn baby weight in the first month of his life – the so-called neonatal period. Weighing is best done every few days at the same time of day. It is very convenient to combine this process with bathing the child, so as not to undress him once again.
But doctors do not recommend weighing the baby daily, especially after each feeding. If the baby is breastfed, he sucks out a different amount of milk each time, and this is not a deviation from the norm. Meanwhile, mom can get seriously nervous when she sees a small number on the scales. Nervous tension, in turn, negatively affects both lactation and the mood of the child.
How much should a baby weigh? You must remember that the baby loses weight in the first days after birth. At this time, colostrum serves as its food, and the main task is not to gain bodyweight but to adapt to new conditions. At the same time, the excretion of the original feces, which is called meconium, occurs. In addition, the skin actively evaporates moisture, because the baby was in the aquatic environment for 9 months. All this gives weight loss. This phenomenon is absolutely normal and does not require any urgent measures, the situation should normalize in a few days.
Normal weight loss at birth ranges between 6% and 8% of body weight. At the same time, by day 10, the baby should weigh the same as at the time of birth. This is important to control with the help of children’s scales. In the future, a good weight gain indicates the successful growth of the crumbs without deviations. But it is necessary to pay attention to other signs of the health and well-being of the baby, not limited to measuring weight.
There are certain norms for weight gain:
- In the first 3 months of life, the child should gain about 750 g;
- In the next 3 months – another 700 g;
- from the 7th to the 9th month, the increase should be 500 g per month;
- over the next 3 months – 350 g.
However, all these are average values, and the body of each baby is individual. If the child does not show signs of feeling unwell, it is not worth worrying about a small increase in weight, although it is recommended to consult a doctor. It is also necessary to measure the growth of the child and evaluate its increase. To do this, some baby scales have a built-in measuring tape.
Measuring the weight of a newborn is an important procedure that requires maximum accuracy. Special children’s scales can provide it – a convenient, modern and easy-to-use device. The presence of such a device at home will reduce the number of visits to the doctor, save time, save the child from unnecessary stress and at the same time control his weight gain.
How many newborn clothes do I need?
A wide range of children’s clothing stores confuses young parents. What should you buy for a baby? Is this item needed? Will the baby feel comfortable? But do not worry, we decided to make this task easier for you by preparing a list of clothes for a newborn.
What clothes does a newborn need at first?
Of course, each mother will independently decide how many clothes her child needs, guided by her experience and wishes. However, despite the abundance of clothes for newborns, newborns will not need so many things, because the baby will grow quickly enough. The classic set of newborn clothes includes:
- Undershirts. Most often, parents acquire several units of dense and thin models. In general, 4-5 pieces are enough for the first time.
- Sliders. Of course, this is an essential element of every kid’s wardrobe. We also recommend purchasing several pairs of light and compacted options, with a high elastic band or a fastener over the shoulder (they are much more convenient to tuck undershirts and children’s blouses).
- Body 4-6 pcs. Modern mothers have already managed to appreciate the merits of this clothing. With the help of convenient fastener buttons, which are located between the legs, it is much more convenient and faster to change the baby’s diaper.
- Slips (3-4 pieces). This type of clothing is perfect for sleeping and wearing at home, as well as for walking in the warm season or in the cold, as the basis for overalls.
- Bonnets (several pieces). You simply cannot do without them in the first months of a baby’s life because these clothes protect the baby from hypothermia and regulate his body temperature.
- Scratches (1-2 pairs). Most often they are already sewn into the sleeves of vests, bodysuits or slips.
- Socks (various density). It is better to buy the smallest sizes because large socks will slip and create discomfort for the child.
- Suits for walks. The quantity and material already depend on the time of year and the preferences of the parents.
- Bibs and bibs.
The given number of things is relevant if disposable diapers are used, otherwise, the numbers must be at least doubled. In addition to the main set, you can add dresses, cardigans and other original things to your baby’s wardrobe. In addition, the choice of clothes for a newborn baby depends on the season. Let’s consider in more detail what things you need to buy in the warm and cold seasons.
The baby almost completely lacks its own thermoregulation, so its body temperature depends on the ambient temperature. In winter, the child especially needs warmth. The classic set of clothes for newborns is complemented by fleece suits, woolen socks and warm hats that are worn on top of the bonnet. Mandatory clothing for a walk on the street is a warm jumpsuit or a warm envelope with fur.
In early spring, the baby must still be dressed warmly. Terry and velor overalls, light demi-season overalls and cotton bodysuits are the main elements of the baby’s wardrobe this time of year. The cap should completely cover the ears, neck and forehead of the crumbs, and it is better to wear soft warm socks and booties on the legs. It is necessary to constantly check whether the child is sweating, whether he is dressed hot. Overheating can lead to dehydration, and it is much easier for a sweaty baby to catch a cold. But with the onset of the warm season, you can safely switch to summer clothing options.
Summer clothes for babies should be comfortable and light. At this time of the year, it is better to buy a minimum of warm clothes, because over the summer, the baby will grow up and the clothes purchased earlier by the fall will already be small. In general, the baby’s summer wardrobe consists of a small number of things, since it is hot outside, and there is no need to protect the little one from the cold. It should give preference to light cotton fabrics. These clothes will help your baby feel comfortable and cozy.
With the onset of cold weather, the child should be dressed in clothes made of denser fabrics. Moms are advised to purchase demi-season overalls and envelopes. Give preference to velor and terry. Bodysuits and suits with short sleeves must be replaced with long ones. You can warm the baby for walks with a warm blanket. It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the child because in the autumn the possibility of catching a cold doubles.
How to choose the right baby cosmetics
The acidity of the skin of babies is different from the acidity of the skin of adults, so adult cosmetics are not suitable for children.
For example, when choosing a shampoo for your baby, remember that the fluff that replaces newborn hair in the first months of life, and the hairs that replace it, are much thinner and weaker than adult hair. And the emerging top layer of the scalp is still very delicate and vulnerable. Therefore, baby shampoo should be pH-neutral, otherwise, it may wash out the natural protective layer, dry the skin and irritate the mucous membrane of the eyes.
Also, note that not all products intended for children can be used on newborns. The skin of a baby is very thin and sensitive, so it is better to use creams and cleansers designed specifically for newborns to care for it.
In addition to tactile sensations, smells have a great influence on the child. Harsh synthetic perfumes irritate babies. They are more accustomed to natural, subtle odors.
The first time you use a new brand of soap, shampoo, or cream, try it on a small area of your body. If redness appears in this area after a while, do not use these cosmetics.
Do not forget…
- Apply moisturizer to particularly dry skin areas at least twice a day;
- Carefully inspect the area behind the ears and skin folds (elbows, knees, inguinal): there may be redness or peeling;
- At each diaper change, protect the skin with a special diaper cream;
- Carefully choose children’s cosmetics, pay attention to the manufacturer, composition of the cosmetic product, expiration date;
- Only use products that are intended for children and have been dermatologically tested.
How to treat a baby’s colic & constipation
A newborn cannot always empty his intestines on his own. This state will give him discomfort, and the child will cry. And then his mother (or father) should come to his aid. Light massage (circular movements) of the tummy will help the baby cope with this problem.
How often should a newborn pop? Expect at least 3 bowel movements per day, but may be up to 4-12 for some babies. After this, baby may only poop every few days.
If the child suffers from colic, you need to shift it to the tummy and make a light massage “from the side”. Often a newborn suffers from colic immediately after eating. If the colic does not go away after 15-20 minutes, you can apply a warm heating pad to the tummy, combining it with a gentle massage.
How to walk with a newborn
As for the mother-baby interaction, advice about a walk can be very different on the Internet. Let’s dwell on the key points.
Walks with a newborn are interconnected primarily with the fact that the baby must adapt to a new space – to the stroller. All the tips for mothers of newborns say that it is best to accustom the baby to the stroller in advance. Let him sleep in it at home a few times to get used to it.
The first walk should be very short: 15-20 minutes. If we are talking about cold winter time, then you can “train” the baby first on the balcony so that he gets used to cold temperatures. On average, during the first 30-40 days of life, babies get used to walking and the new sensations that they experience.
Every day you can add 5-10 minutes to the walk, gradually increasing it to 2-2.5 hours. Remember that walking is good for you too. Walking for 2 hours 2 times a day will help, in addition to benefiting the baby, and improve the figure of the mother after childbirth.
How can I treat my baby’s rash?
Diaper rash is a nuisance that almost all new mothers face. When the baby’s skin is in contact with moisture for a long time (for example, it is not always possible to change the diaper often at night), irritation and red “crusts” appear on it. The irritated skin needs constant care and hydration. Therefore, you do not need to wash your baby with soap, which dries the skin. It is necessary to wash the baby with just water, and then treat the diaper rash with a healing cream (you need to consult with the pediatrician observing the child about which cream to choose). And be sure to give your baby air baths: the time when he is without a diaper. Let the skin breathe.
Helping baby sleep through the night
Helpful tips for new mothers usually include recommendations on how to create ideal conditions for a newborn to sleep. So:
- the room in which the baby sleeps should be well ventilated. Ventilate the room in advance,
- the baby must be adequately insulated. Newborns fall asleep better if they have the opportunity to stick their nose into something soft and warm, such as a pillow,
- if the baby falls asleep in your arms, do not transfer him to the crib immediately. The phase of deep sleep in infants occurs only 20-30 minutes after falling asleep, which means that during this period of time a baby can easily wake up.
How to swaddle a newborn
As soon as a baby is born, the nurse will show you how to swaddle newborns. So that everything works out well for you, first practice at home on a doll, just keep in mind that the baby will not lie just as calmly. Therefore, try to learn how to swaddle babies more quickly, otherwise, the baby will have time to get rid of the diaper.
Currently, it is recommended to use free swaddling, in which the child can move the legs and take a comfortable position for him. In the first 2-3 days, when swaddling, the handles are covered, later the handles are left free. It is not necessary to wear a cap for newborns (put it on at home only after bathing, if the temperature in the room is below 71 °F).
How can a young mother organize her life?
Of course, the birth of a child is a joyful and happy moment for the family. But at the same time, it is also big stress, especially for a young mother. After all, in addition to caring for the baby, she often has to have time to look after the rest of the house.
The most important piece of advice: do not try to do everything at once! It’s impossible. It is better to divide the task of, for example, cleaning one room into several stages per day. This will save energy and also have time to rest while the baby is sleeping. After all, there is no guarantee that the newborn will let you sleep at night.
Feel free to ask your spouse for help. He should help you to the best of his ability, for example, getting up at night for bottle feeding, going to the store for diapers, etc. After all, is now a happy father.
A competent and reasonable distribution of the schedule of life with a newborn will allow a young mother to remain satisfied and happy, and this is so important for maintaining family harmony.
We hope that these useful parenting tips for infants will help you and your newborn feel as comfortable as possible and resolve all issues to mutual satisfaction.