Tips for looking after your newborn baby and keeping them safe.
1. Car seat safety
Ensure that your baby travels home from the hospital or for their first outing in a properly fitted car seat.
Figuring out how to correctly -- and safely -- install car seats can be a real challenge for many parents. Many shops who sell car seats have trained staff who will assist in fitting the car seat into your car for you.
But even while parents may have purchased the seat, and even learned how to install it properly, some haven't gone to the trouble of using it before the baby comes.
Newborn babies should always travel in a rear facing car seat.
For newborns, parents should make sure their infant's head doesn't flop forward, which could restrict breathing.
2. Back to sleep
Make sure your newborn has a safe place to sleep
Guidelines insist that every baby should sleep on their back, in their own crib, without any toys or soft bedding. During and after the campaign, sleep-related deaths sharply declined, but recent data shows the risk continues. Each year, approx 200 babies in the UK continue to die from sleep-related causes.
3. Feed on demand and often enough
Some new parents make the mistake of letting baby sleep too long between feedings, likely due to exhaustion and their own need to get a bit of rest. But that's a mistake, say experts.
The first few weeks, the baby does need to be fed ... every two to three hours, even if they don't demand it. But once they have regained their birth weight and you get your doctor's OK, it's fine to cross your fingers and hope that you get a stretch of three to five hours without the baby waking to be fed. But in the first few weeks, babies do need to be fed regularly.
4. Wind/burp your baby properly
It's important to take the time to properly wind your newborn baby. Many new parents are nervous about handling their newborn and may often put the baby down too quickly after feeding. This may result in the baby screaming in pain or gagging on milk which is brought up with the wind.
There are several burping techniques you can try until you find the one that works best for your baby. In the most well-known, the-over-the-shoulder burp, you place your baby high on your chest with her chin resting on your shoulder and face turned to one side, tummy firmly against the chest. Pat or rub the baby's back gently until she burps.
Most of us think about burping after their baby eats. But experts say that you should also take the time to pre-burp your baby. By pre-winding a baby it can help them be more comfortable during the feed and and more content after.
5. Check you are breastfeeding comfortably or mixing formula in the right way
If breastfeeding check that your baby is latching on to the breast in the right way. Your baby may have a shallow latch and not be taking in the right amount of milk or may be taking in too much air. A shallow latch can also cause pain in the nipples, so learning a good position helps both baby and mum.
If bottle feeding using formula, then always check that the milk is made up in the right way. On occasion parents may make up the formula too concentrated or dilute, which may mean that baby is not getting the right nutrition. Always be sure to read the instructions carefully.
6. Give baby enough tummy time
Always give baby enough time to stretch out on a playmat on their tummies. Some new parents make the mistake of keeping baby constrained in a car seat, bouncy seat or other sleepers.
When your baby is not sleeping or not in the car traveling, they should be ideally on their tummy or held by a parent as they need to move, stretch, roll and push their head up.
7. Don't under- or overreact to a fever
Fevers in newborns can be serious. If your baby is younger than three months and develops a fever of 100.4 or higher, call your doctor or medical professional immediately. But when it comes to a fever in babies and children older than that, the advice is more complex.
For the older babies, instead, take a close look at your child to figure out what is happening with them, because not every fever needs to be treated.
Look at your baby and observe. Are they drinking fluids? Are they happy and playing? Are they sleeping OK? Are they having any trouble breathing? Experts say most fevers are harmless, and likely the result of a mild infection.
8. Ensure a proper temperature for baby in the home
It is important to make sure that your baby is a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold. A room temperature of 16-20°C is ideal – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag– is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies.
Always check that baby feels the right temperature, not too warm and not too cool to the touch, by touching the back of your baby's neck.
9. Taking newborns into crowded places
Some parents want to take their newborn to a large family gathering so everyone can ooh-and-awww over their tiny miracle. That could be a mistake, experts say.
The first two months of your baby's life, you really need to protect them from exposure to germs and people that are potentially sick. Your baby's immune system is weak, and still growing and developing.
That doesn't mean you can't leave the house, however. Experts encourage daily walks, however not to take them to crowded spaces. That's when you can expose them to people who potentially have the flu or another contagious illness that could spread, even if they are a few feet away.
10. Spend time skin to skin with your newborn baby
Both mothers and fathers will benefit their baby by spending time skin to skin with their newborn. Studies have shown that babies benefit in so many ways, from better temperature control and regulated heartbeat to less anxiety and crying. Skin to skin helps creates a closer bond and stimulates the hormones needed for breastfeeding.
Article: 18th February 2018 www.prideangel.com