You’ve made it through your pregnancy, the pains of labor, and the delivery, and it’s finally time to bring home your new bundle of joy! If this is your first time as a parent, you might be feeling scared and underprepared. You need to know many things as a parent, so to make it easier, here are some of my best baby care tips for new moms.
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Baby Care Tips for New Moms and Dads: Sanitize before handling your baby
Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before you handle your baby. Newborns have weak immune systems, and it’s easy for them to get sick. Have visitors coming? Make sure to ask them to wash up beforehand as well!
Use your local hospital’s resources
If this is your first baby, or even your fifth, don’t be afraid to learn everything you can from the hospital staff before leaving. They might have a nursing class or even a lactation consultant on staff to help you out! Most hospitals offer free classes before delivery, so make sure to ask your OB or midwife if you have a chance. If you’re a new mom, dad, or caregiver and your hospital doesn’t offer classes, do a quick Google search! There are many free or low cost parenting classes available.
Create a comfortable nursing area
I like to have a nice comfortable chair such as a rocker or glider and a place to prop up my feet when I’m pumping or feeding. Wherever you choose to nurse, make sure you have a lot of pillows to support your back and help you with positioning your baby. It’s also to have water and snacks to help with breastfeeding, and a good book or entertainment nearby. Not nursing or pumping? You’ll still want a comfy place to sit while feeding your new baby!
Make sure to support your baby’s head at all times
Support your baby’s head during the early months until their neck muscles build up. They will rely on you to support their neck and head whenever you pick them up and hold them. It’s why you see so many nervous new parents hold their babies like a football until they get a bit more confidence. Totally normal! This is a go to baby care tip for new moms and dads.
Baby Care Tips for New Moms: Be prepared
Getting you and your baby ready and being prepared is going to make newborn life so much easier! Have your nursing station prepared with the essentials, diapers by the changing table, and even freezer meals in the fridge to make those first few months less hectic. Prepping before delivery will save you a ton of time afterwards, even if it’s just one small thing done a day at a time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Help could be from your spouse, friends, or even your parents when you need them. Let them watch your baby for a while so you can shower or let them do the dishes if they offer. Sometimes those small little bits of help can be just what you need to get a fresh breath of air. You don’t have to do this alone, so don’t feel like you have to!
Know your baby’s common nighttime wails
Babies are excellent at screaming when they need something, but they aren’t good at telling us why. If your baby is well fed and they are still crying, try checking for one of these potential issues.
- Is your baby cold?
- Is your baby hot?
- Does your baby have gas?
- Does your baby need a diaper change?
- Does your baby need to be burped?
Chances are, if your baby is crying and fed, it’s one of those issues.
Tips for New Moms: Your baby will not sleep through the night
This is the parenting tip no one wants to hear, but it’s true! Babies are tiny, and their digestive systems are small. They will likely sleep 2-4 hours before needing to use the bathroom or get more food. It can (& will be!) exhausting, but know that eventually, one day, they will sleep through the night!
These tips are seriously going to be a lifesaver when you need quick help as a new mom.
** If you’re feeling more overwhelmed than normal, sad, anxious, depressed and more as a new mom make sure to reach out to your doctor. PPD can sneak up on you and it is GOOD and OK to get help. You deserve to be healthy and your baby deserves a happy, healthy mama too.**