Newborn care basics: a guide for new parents

Newborn care basics: a guide for new parents

Welcome to parenthood. It's messy and challenging, crazy and sleepless while still being so giving and unbelievably beautiful. As parents, we know the overwhelming nervousness of welcoming a newborn into your life. Life has changed beyond anticipation and you have a million questions in your head. This tiny human though adorable is definitely a handful and we get that completely.

If there is one thing to remember amidst all this chaos, it is that babies are a lot stronger than parents give them credit for. As time passes you learn to understand your baby’s needs and desires as they learn to communicate with you too.

Some basics to remember is always to have clean hands when handling your baby. Ensure everyone who comes in contact with the baby washes their hands first too. Babies are very delicate at this stage so always remember to support their heads and neck. They are definitely not ready for rough play yet so no shaking the baby or tossing them in the air.

We spoke to several experienced parents to create this 5-step guide for you. Read on for the ultimate comfort & care guide for your newborn baby.

Feeding - Babies require to eat often. Whether you are breastfeeding or using formula make sure your baby is eating about 8- 12 times a day. Babies can also give cues like crying, or putting their hands in their mouths to show hunger. In general, babies need to be fed every 2-3 hours. Some newborns may need to be awakened every few hours to make them eat.

“I noticed my baby getting fussy during feeding and spoke to a pediatrician. I was advised to make her burp between the meal and it was magical. I would make her burp when I was shifting her from one breast to the other and she never fussed again” - Nadine T.

Bathing- Umbilical cord care in newborns is also important. Clean around the stump with plain water and blot dry until the cord stump dries up and falls off, usually in 10 days to 3 weeks. Post that it's okay to spot-clean the baby every day around the mouth, neck, and groin. Bathing one to two times a week is plenty.

“I take a clean washcloth and  wipe my little one every day wherever he is bound to be dirty. I bathe him once a week.” - Barbara W.

Comforting & Bonding - Babies are completely helpless and look for comfort from their caretakers. Physical closeness definitely promotes an emotional connection. Some well-researched techniques are skin-to-skin contact, infant massages, tummy time (when awake), swaddling and spending time with them. This can promote emotional growth and physical development in the baby.

“My baby was always so calm once swaddled and slept peacefully. I used the beautiful organic cotton swaddle blankets from Make Make Organics and it was bliss. They have the perfect stretch and softness. Highly recommend.” - Anna J.

Sleeping - Your baby will sleep for 16 hours or more in a day. But not for the entire night. Their digestive systems are so small that they need to be awakened to feed if they don’t wake up on their own. Newborns sleep for 2-4 hours at a stretch. Its recommended that parents do not sleep on the same surface as the baby. There should also be no stuffed animals or pillows in their crib. Always place your baby to sleep on its back. Have a sleep time routine.

“My baby was always way more alert at night and much more sleepier in the day. So we started to ensure there was very soft light at night, no talking or playing, and most importantly we reserved all these activities for the day to keep him awake for longer. Definitely helped! :)” - Kelly W.

Diaper changes - There can be no slacking when it comes to diaper duty. Your baby will need frequent diaper changes and it's important to avoid discomfort and rashes. A baby’s diaper must be changed immediately after they pass stool and at other times it can be changed after when it feels heavy. To make diaper duty a breeze, ensure you have all the supplies at hand, clean and wipe the baby properly, and soothe them through the process to make it easier for both of you.

 “I have found that singing to my baby, and using his favourite toy as a distraction was helpful. The kimono onesies that didn’t go over his head every time we needed to change the diaper really got me through those first few months of diaper changes.” - Mary T.

We highly recommend the Kimono onesies at Make Make Organics for a happy baby. Find them here.

As new parents, the days may be long but the years are short. So enjoy it while it lasts and make sure to follow these simple tips & tricks to keep you sane.

“Becoming new parents is like embarking on a great big adventure without a map or destination. You don’t know how to navigate things or where you are going. But you also know it is going to be the best thing you’ve ever done in your life.”