Congratulations on your beautiful baby! Without a doubt, newborn babies are delicate, requiring close monitoring and care. Learning how to care for a newborn can often be overwhelming for new parents, but soon you and your baby will be in a routine and it will all feel like second nature. Read on for some tips to help you on your way. Feeding
There are two options for feeding your newborn – breast or bottle.Breastfeeding
is widely advocated by health organisations and medical professionals, as it provides newborns with the vitamins and antibodies they require. It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby for at least the first six months, although your baby will continue to benefit from your milk for longer.
Some mothers will opt for bottle-feeding. In this case, there are many baby formula brands to choose from and you will need to stock up on bottles, teats and a steriliser to ensure every piece of equipment is fully sterilised after each feed. Babies should be fed according to their weight and age (most formulas will state these on the label). For more information on feeding techniques, see here
Be prepared to spend a lot of time changing baby nappies
– your newborn will need changing at least 8-12 times a day. And yes, it will happen that you will change your baby’s nappy only for him to fill it a minute later – every baby manages to do it!
You have the choice of disposable or reusable cloth nappies. Disposables are more convenient, usually more absorbent and an easier choice than reusables. However, reusables are cheaper in the long run (despite a larger initial outlay to stock up on what’s needed), and are thought to have less of an impact on the environment. Have a look at both options and decide which is right for you and your baby.
When it comes to changing your newborn’s nappy, it is important to have everything you need to hand and avoid leaving him unattended. Cotton wool and cooled, boiled water is all you really need to start off with, and many parents prefer not to use wipes and creams at this early stage.
When you are venturing out and about, a well-stocked changing bag is essential. Plan for lots of nappy changes and potential disasters by bringing at least one full change of clothes for baby
, plenty of nappies and nappy bags for disposing of them (nappy bags are also great if you end up with wet or dirty clothes to bring home), wipes for easy cleaning on the go, a change mat to lay baby on during nappy changes, antibacterial hand gel, muslin cloths or bibs, and bottles for feeding if needed.Cleaning
Your baby’s skin
is very delicate. It’s important to find the balance between keeping him or her clean, but not aggravating their baby-soft skin and causing rashes
Young babies don’t usually need to have a full bath every day, so start with a simple top and tail routine. Once your little one is crawling and enjoying solids, they will probably need daily bathing.
Many doctors and midwives recommend avoiding any kind of baby skincare products
in the first few months, relying instead on warm water to bathe them. When the time comes to introduce products, you’ll need to decide which ones are right for you and your baby.
There is a wide range to choose from, ranging from supermarket staples to designer and organic brands found in specialist stores and health shops. The decision is yours, although make sure to check the ingredient listings if your child has displayed any sensitivities. More than likely, you will need to experiment with different brands and types of products to find the one best suited to your baby. Although babies don’t need to be bathed every day, they do need daily cleaning, and the top and tail method is ideal. This involves cleaning the baby, without putting him in a bath or wash basin. For more details, click here
If you would prefer to bathe your baby
properly, in either a baby bath or the main bath, remember to keep the water warm, but not hot. A temperature of 36-37°C is ideal, and you can check this with a bath thermometer or by dipping your elbow into the water (it should feel the same temperature as your skin). Unfortunately, many babies aren’t keen on bath time, so for some tips on how to make it as smooth a process as possible, click here