Baby care and newborn baby care especially can be exciting, fulfilling and confusing, just as your growing baby is and will be. Being prepared means to be ready to be surprised every day! Every baby is different and you will learn alongside baby to give it the best newborn baby care.
1. How can I help my baby bond with me?
Parents cherish and remember the bond created with the first look at the baby. That starts the learning process of bonding with the baby. Remember both of you have been through much trauma and are adjusting to each other. Help the bonding process by
- Holding your infant close to your chest while you feed the baby. Gentle massaging and stroking instils a sense of security in the baby. Spend time skin-to-skin as baby loves it!
- Talk baby-language, sing, speak or coo to the little one.
- Smile and look into the little eyes. Baby will soon copy your expressions and learn to smile, coo back and so on.
2. How often will my baby nurse or take a bottle?
Babies and newborns should be fed every 1 to 2 hours if breastfed and every 2 to 3 hours if you formula feed them. It is normal that baby will lose weight in the first week. From the second week on baby starts gaining weight. You will quickly learn that baby is having enough feed if you have six to eight wet-diapers and four to six diapers with stools in them. If breastfeeding, the baby will take 10 to 15 minutes at each breast to feed and if bottle-fed 2 to 3 ounces of feed every 2 to 3 hours.
3. How long does my newborn sleep
Newborns will usually sleep for 1 to 2 hours at a time, totalling nearly 16 to 20 hours a day in the first few weeks. By age 6 months most babies sleep 6-8 hours a night when they are active during the day.
You can help baby snooze by quietly changing diapers. At times all baby wants and needs to know is that you are around. Gently tap baby back to sleep. Keep baby active and playing during the day to promote longer sleep periods in the night.
4. How often should I bathe my newborn?
The umbilical cord takes about 2 weeks to fall off and for the area to dry. You can give baby sponge baths and keep the diaper area clean. Twice or thrice weekly bath-schedules are okay. Baby skin is very delicate and daily bathing can result in dry skin and itching.
5. How can I keep my baby from getting diaper rash?
Newborns have sensitive delicate skin, so you need to clean gently and thoroughly. Use warm water and a soft cloth to clean and pat dry. Never rub or scrub. Changing diapers often and don’t keep them on tight. The elastic and cloth can cause chaffing and nappy-rash. Using water and a soft cloth is always better than baby-wipes which have fragrances and alcohol in them. Clean the feet well as your baby’s blood test is done by pricking the heel.