As a mum to two little girls, I know first-hand how utterly confusing life with a baby can be. Finding the time to cut through the cloud of conflicting advice seems impossible.
Allaboutbabies and Allaboutantenatal were both born out of a desire to help new parents feel supported, confident and informed. Through Allaboutantenatal we help support parents with non-biased information on birth and newborn baby care and through Allaboutbabies we support new parents with sleep and weaning.
I am so thrilled to be working with iCandy to be able to support even more new parents.
Today I am sharing my ‘Top 3 Tips for Newborn Baby Care' and I hope you find these helpful.
You can’t spoil a baby with too many cuddles. Yes, you will all hear at some point in your parenting journey “if you keep cuddling her every time she cries, she will expect to be cuddled every time she cries”. Well, as a 42-year-old woman, I expect a cuddle every time I cry, so why would we not offer this to our babies?!
Let’s put this into context. Your little one has come from a warm, dark space. A place where they are constantly touched by water, lulled to sleep by gentle rocking and are always hearing and feeling the rhythm of your heartbeat. It makes sense that being put down can feel strange and scary to them.
Cuddling your baby and offering them reassurance when they are upset helps them transition to life outside of the womb and furthermore helps with bonding, attachment and building a happy, healthy brain.
Newborn babies need a lot of sleep, but they aren’t always so good at taking it when needed. As new parents we should help ensure our babies get the sleep they need without worrying about so called “bad habits”. Rock, sway or bounce your baby, this helps to remind them of motion they experienced whilst you were pregnant. White noise is a great tool for helping newborns to fall asleep as this is a similar sound to the waters whooshing around them in utero.
If your baby isn’t great at sleeping in bright lights, place them in a pitch black room, this will help them produce that lovely melatonin (sleep hormone).
Finally, for your benefit, try to sleep during the day whilst your baby is sleeping. Many babies are born nocturnal and will be more awake at night than they are in the day whilst they develop their circadian rhythm (by around 10 weeks). Resting when you can will help you so much in the early few weeks.
Bathing and Nappy Changing
After the first 48hrs where we recommend not washing your baby, we suggest “topping and tailing” your baby every day. This means washing their face, bottom and hands. The main place to pay attention to is under your baby’s chin. Almost all babies will posset (spit out) a mouth full of milk during feeds and this will often dribble down and gather around their neck. If left, this milk will get smelly and can cause a rash or chapped skin. Remember to clean this area daily as well as to dry it after cleaning.
Once your baby’s umbilical cord stump has come away and the area is healed you are able to bath your baby as often as you like, however it’s important to be aware that too much bathing can cause dry skin.
When it comes to nappy changing our advice is to do this regularly to avoid your baby getting nappy rash (sore, red bottom). Many nappy brands now come with little yellow strips on the front. These will turn blue to indicate a wet nappy.
Nappy creams can be used, however unless there is nappy rash present, use a “barrier” or “protective” cream. Antiseptic “healing” creams should only be used for treatment of nappy rash. If you are finding your baby’s nappy is often leaking, try using a bit less of your barrier cream as it can reduce the nappy’s absorbency.
By Victoria Rose