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Caring for Your Baby: Top Tips for New Parents
A newborn baby is an exciting addition to any household, but it’s also a very demanding one. When you first bring your child home, it’s going to take a little while for you to get used to the new responsibilities that you need to take on.
The good news is that you will find a routine that works for both you and your child. You just need to give yourself some crucial time and patience. In the meantime, here are some top tips to get you started on the right track.
Your Baby and Sleep
Sleep is one of the things that you’re going to miss out on a lot when you have a child. It’s worth it, but it’s going to take some time for you to learn how to cope with this new routine. The important thing to remember here is that your baby has no concept of day and night yet, so there’s no point in expecting them to stay asleep when you’re sleeping.
Some newborns will sleep more than others, and many sleep for up to 20 hours out of 24. However, there are also babies that have exceptionally long periods of wakefulness. The idea of sleeping when your child sleeps is a good one for new parents.
Another important thing to think about when you’re looking after a new baby, is safety. Although SIDS and other problems are rare, you will be worried about these concepts most of the time. To help protect your baby, make sure that you:
- Make sure you put your baby to sleep with their feet at the bottom of the crib, facing up.
- Don’t let your child get too hot. Use thick curtains or blinds to block out the sunlight, and keep the blankets tucked under their shoulders to avoid overheating.
- Use a firm mattress with absolutely no pillows or duvets that your child could get wrapped up in.
- Don’t share a bed with your baby if you’re very tired, or you’re worried that you might sleep too deeply to notice when your child is crying.
- Never sleep with a child on a sofa or chair.
Finally, there are a lot of things you’ll need to learn as a new parent, but nappy changing is one of the most important. Your baby’s nappy needs changing whenever it’s wet or soiled. When you undo the dirty nappy, hold it closed for a minute, as your child will be more likely to pee after feeling cold air on their skin. Use the clean area of the nappy to wipe away any soiling, then grab the wipes.
Remember to carefully clean the whole nappy area and prepare your child for a clean nappy by using any creams that might be necessary to avoid rashes. Remember, your baby will often get through at least six to eight nappies every day during the early weeks, so be prepared to do a lot of changing!
Top Tips on Getting your Baby Ready for Travel
Are you about to go on your first adventure with a baby? Whether it’s a trip to a nearby town or a long journey, you need to make sure that you’re properly prepared. The good news is that most of the time, babies make for great travel companions. They don’t have as many complaints as older children, and they’re less likely to move around compared to toddlers.
The only downside is that you need to figure out what to pack and make sure that you’re properly prepared in advance. Fortunately, we’ve got some top tips to help with that.
1. Get a Baby Carrier
The first thing you’re going to need to handle travel is a comfortable baby carrier. Your child isn’t going to want to be in their pram all the time, or pushchair, and there are going to be times when you need to soothe your baby during travel. Having a carrier that feels comfortable and sturdy at the same time will ensure that you can walk around with your baby while keeping your hands free.
2. Invest in a Reliable Travel System
A travel system is otherwise known as a pram with a car seat built-in. You can convert the seat part of your baby’s pram into a car seat in a moment’s notice, and make sure that you don’t have to wake your child up to move them from one environment to another. Although these items can get a little expensive at times, it’s best to pick something that’s going to stand the test of time and hold up well in any situation.
3. Get Nursing Right
Nursing can be a nightmare during travel because you’re not in a comfortable place. Rather than relaxing at home on your rocking chair, you’re sat in an awkward seat, and it feels like all eyes are on you. Having a good blanket handy for modesty purposes is often helpful, and it’s good to have a nursing bra ready too. Another thing to keep in mind is a portable nursing pillow that will keep both you and your baby cosy as your child eats.
4. Invest in the Right Travel Bag
You’re going to need a travel bag for multiple parts of looking after your baby, so make sure that you invest in the right one. Stick with something that has plenty of pockets and is made of a material that’s easy to clean too. A wipe-able surface will really come in handy. If you can find a bag that you also think looks stylish, that’s a bonus.
5. Get Portable Bottles
Finally, if you’re feeding with formula, consider looking for some reliable ways to reduce the amount of space that your bottles might be taking up in your bag. These days, you can get travel-ready bottles that fold down or collapse when you’re not using them. This is excellent if you don’t have a lot of extra space to work with when you’re on the move.
Feeding your Baby: Tips for New Parents
One of the most important things you’ll learn to do as a new parent, is how to feed your baby. Whether you choose to nurse with the help of a breast pump, or you prefer to stick to bottles and formula, feeding is a chance to bond with your new child, and make sure that they grow to be big and strong in the months and years to come.
As exciting as the feeding experience can be, it’s also a complicated process for beginners. You’ll need to learn how to feed your child at the right time, and what kind of products you need to use. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Always Have a Feed Ready
Most newborns will need anywhere up to 12 feedings a day, so make sure that you have plenty of spare bottles available, as well as lots of formula and clean nipples for your bottles too. Look for any indicators of readiness to feed when your child is getting fussy, like moving fingers to mouth, or sucking on a hand or fist.
The quicker you get to feeding your child, the less likely it is that you’ll need to deal with a frantic baby. Additionally, when your baby stops suckling, bare and mind that they may be full, or just taking a break. Consider burping before you put the bottle away.
2. Expect Changes in Eating Patterns
Your newborn will need plenty of consistency in their feeding schedule, but they might not want to eat at the same time every day. During periods of growth, you might find that your baby starts to take more at each feeding, or they might want to be fed little and often. Responding to early signs of hunger is a good way to avoid tantrums.Remember, it’s a good idea to look at each feeding time as a new opportunity to bond with your baby. Hold your newborn close and look at them in the eyes. Speak gently to your child and make sure that they get to know you in a comforting way. A comforting blanket and a pillow for you to relax on while you nurse will help to make this whole process more cosy.
3. Trust your Instincts
Your doctor or nurse will be able to give you some advice on your child and what to expect during the early stages of feeding. However, it will be up to you to make a lot of decisions on your own. You’ll need to think about what kind of formula your child responds best to, and you’ll also be responsible for keeping an eye on things like steady weight gain and the presence of many wet nappies.
If anything doesn’t feel right with the feeding experience at any point, then the best thing you can do is contact a doctor and ask for their advice. Don’t be nervous about being the overly worried mother or father who contacts the nurse too often. You’re going to need to ask for help and guidance at times, and that’s totally expected.
Sleeping Soundly: How to Pick the Best Baby Bedding
As a new parent, there’s no doubt that the biggest concern for you will be making sure that you can keep your baby safe and sound through every hour of the day and night. Unfortunately, there will be a time when both you and your little one will need to fall asleep. The best way to give yourself some peace of mind when your baby goes to dreamland, is to make sure that you choose the right bedding.
Baby bedding and sleeping products come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from cots and baby mattresses, to sleeping bags. Here are a few points to consider.
Choosing a Cot or Moses Basket
The first bed your baby will have is usually a Moses basket – a lightweight and portable place made of breathable materials like wicker. You can combine the basket with a stand that allows you to keep your baby at eye-level. These products are great for use until your baby can start to pull itself up and look around.
A cot is a less portable option than a Moses basket, but it’s something that you’ll be able to use for a lot longer. Cots come in a variety of shapes and sizes and should always come with protective rails to prevent your child from falling from the sides. Most of the time, you’ll need to invest in both a cot and a Moses basket, so you ensure that your child has the right bedding at every stage of its life.
Mattresses and Bed Sheets
As well as a foundation for your child’s bed in the form of a cot or a Moses basket, you’ll also need a high-quality mattress. Your baby can’t have a big bulky duvet or pillows, so a mattress is the thing that will make their cot feel as snuggly as possible. Ideally, you want a mattress that fits perfectly into your cot or basket, with no gaps around the edges.
The safest mattresses are firm and flat, with waterproof material that’s easy to clean. If you can get a product that’s hypoallergenic, that’s great too. When it comes to blankets, remember to stay away from anything that’s thick or bulky. Fitted bedsheets are a good option because they wont detach from the bed. If you need to keep your baby warm, opt for a light sheet, or a sleeping bag.
Other Points to Remember When Putting Baby to Bed
We all know how wonderful a warm and cosy bed can feel, but it’s important to be cautious when getting your baby ready for sleep. Don’t allow your child to overheat, particularly if they’re a newborn. Having a reliable thermometer in the bedroom can be helpful for this. It’s also worth investing in some thick curtains or blinds to keep excess sun out.
Additionally, while your decorating your baby’s bedroom, avoid placing any toys or cuddly items into the Moses basket or cot, as this can increase the temperature, and give your child more choking hazards to latch onto when they’re sleeping.
Changing Time: Essentials for your Nappy Station
During the first few months of their lives, babies are perpetually peeing and pooping, which means that parents quickly learn that they need to have nappies on-hand at all times. If you want to make sure that changing time is as comfortable and convenient as possible, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated changing station in your house, as well as a few essentials to take with you on the move.
Unfortunately, new parents can often struggle with figuring out what they actually need for a reliable nappy station. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to help!
The Essentials for your Changing Station
A changing station at home often starts with one essential thing: a changing mat. This can be a portable mat that you can use around the house or take with you on adventures. It could also combine with a changing table to provide an extra comfy place to change your baby when you’re not venturing into the great outdoors.
Whether you choose something stationary or portable, make sure that your nappy station is equipped with all the essentials, starting with nappies and wipes. Having a bin or nappy disposal centre nearby that you can ditch the dirty diapers in will be crucial to prevent you from running up and downstairs.
Other essential items to keep on-hand include creams and ointments to soothe your baby’s skin. Stocking up on nappy cream will help you to fight back against rashes. It may help to have some pacifiers on-hand too just in case your child has a sore bottom and needs some help staying calm.
You can also think about having hand sanitizer, changing pad covers, and even spare body-suits in an area that’s close by, so you’re ready to get your baby changed in a matter of minutes – no matter the circumstances. You may also keep a first-aid kit nearby, as a changing station is a great place to deal with things like taking temperature, giving medicine, and nail clipping too!
Taking Changing Outside
When you’re heading outside with your baby, you don’t really need all the bonus products like changing pad covers and five different kinds of lotion. Think simple, lightweight, and easy. That often means sticking with a changing pad that’s going to be comfortable and clean for your little one, wherever you need to find space for a change.
Make sure that your nappy bag is loaded up with wipes and extra nappies too, as well as a bonus onesie, just incase you have any leakage issues that mean that your child needs a change of clothes. Having at least one reliable all-purpose nappy cream on hand is usually helpful. Remember that you should usually be able to get your child home pretty quickly if there are any significant issues that you don’t have the right tools for.
Hand sanitizer will also come in handy again in your portable kit, as when you’re changing a nappy, there may not always be the best washing facilities nearby. Having some alcohol rub on hand will help to keep you from spreading too many germs while you hunt for a sink.