When motherhood first dawns on you, the feelings of apprehension coupled with excitement and a sense of responsibility seem to overwhelm you. The little bundle of joy is now in your arms and at your disposal to be showered with all the care he or she deserves. Emotional and physiological needs are both interlinked if you want to raise a healthy baby.
Taking care of a newborn is like a steep learning curve, where you are on the steering wheel as a mother. Balancing your family life with your newborn can be equally exhausting, scary and rewarding. The emotional instinct that you will develop with your child is going to last forever.
Holding your baby
A baby can be more fragile than you think and it is but natural to feel nervous while handling one. They need to be held in a way that allows your hands to support their neck and head. Snuggling and cuddling are their favorite things to do at this age. They love to be held warmly against their parent's body and hear their heartbeat. Just like these gestures make you feel loved, this is all a baby needs.
The right amount of rest for your baby
You must have heard, the more the baby sleeps, the healthier he or she will grow up to be. Newborns can sleep to as much as 16 hours, and you need to simulate your environment in a way that your baby can differentiate between day and night. Do not inculcate the habit of over-sleeping, neither should your baby be sleep-deprived and exhibit signs of sleep deprivation as they grow up. This is because sleep has a direct impact on their mental health.
Feeding your baby
Proper nutrition to the child can be given primarily through breastfeeding. The first time you hold your baby, try feeding him or her and let the feeling of closeness and empathy sink in. Eat a well-balanced diet yourself, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine as it has chances of entering your breast milk.
If you consider formula feeding your newborn, then it is an entirely personal decision. Your own health and convenience come into play here, and there is no harm in feeding your baby other than breastfeeding. Just make sure you use sterilized bottles and follow the directions on the label of the formula.
Diaper your newborn
You need to develop patience and tell yourself repeatedly that you’ve got to do this for at least a few months or maximum till your baby is a year old. If you do not have a nanny or babysitter to look after your infant, you’ve got to be a professional in diaper-changing. A baby with healthy bowel movements will wet his diapers to as many as ten times a day. To prevent rashes and infection keep extra care of hygiene of your baby in this regard.
Bathe your newborn
Taking care of your baby’s hygiene needs doesn’t end at changing diapers; in fact, that is just the beginning. You must have seen a baby soundly going to sleep after a warm bath, and that is just one of the benefits of bathing your baby. Again you need to be really careful to use products that are made for the baby’s sensitive skin, the right water temperature and the position in which you bathe him or her. Undress and dress your baby carefully.
Embrace these tips to emerge as a confident parent and master these necessary skills to care for your newborn. A healthy and nurturing infanthood will give you a feeling of fulfillment and help you develop a deep bond with your child.