During the first 10 days home with your baby, some things will come very naturally, others may not. To help you get off to a good start, we created this quick guide for navigating the baby basics.
Your newborn may feel fragile and delicate to you, but don’t be afraid to touch, handle or hold your new baby! In fact, studies show that babies that are held more than 2 hours per day thrive better and cry less.
Because your newborn’s neck muscles are not yet developed, you will need to support your newborn’s head whenever you pick her up. You should also support your newborn’s head against your shoulder or with your opposite hand while carrying her.
Some pediatricians recommend swaddle bathing your baby until the umbilical cord heals and falls off (usually in a week or two). Learn how to give a newborn baby a bath and make sure you have all of the necessary bathing supplies ready before your baby arrives, so you don’t have to miss a moment with your new little one.
To learn proper umbilical cord care, watch this video:
How to Choose Products for Your Newborn
As shown in this demo, your baby’s skin is very delicate. An ideal baby product should not irritate your baby’s skin or eyes, dry out your baby’s skin or disrupt the skin’s natural pH. Importantly, it should be effectively preserved to help maintain the quality of the product during normal use.
Many first-time parents are surprised by how many diapers they go through in a day. To make life easier for yourself, have plenty of diapers on hand before you bring your baby home. It’s also helpful to learn how to change a diaper ahead of time (and even practice!).
While it may not seem like the most glamorous of tasks, the diaper change ritual is a chance to care for your little one and make her feel more comfortable, so she can better focus on discovering the world.
Learn the art of changing diapers by watching this demo:
Most babies cry for an average of 2 hours a day in the first 3 months. So while it may be disconcerting, it’s also normal.
To comfort your baby, first try to determine the cause of your baby’s discomfort. Is your baby hungry? Does your baby have gas? Does your baby’s diaper need changing? Is it time for a nap? Is your baby overstimulated by noise, lights or activity?
To help soothe a sleepy or overstimulated baby, hold your baby on your shoulder while gently rocking her. Sing or speak softly to your baby — reassure her with a calm voice. It can also help to rub your baby’s back as you do so. Try different positions to find one that’s comfortable for both of you.
Something else to consider: Your baby doesn’t have much mobility in the first few weeks and may cry for help if she is lying uncomfortably in the crib. You can help your baby get comfortable by gently shifting your baby’s position. But for safety, always place your baby on her back for sleeping.
Research has shown that massage can relax babies, improve their sleep patterns and calm them when they are irritable. A baby massage is also a great way to bond with your baby, and it’s easy to do.
Many healthcare professionals agree that nothing is better for your newborn baby than breastfeeding. Nutritionally speaking, breast milk is tailor-made for your infant. Of course, sometimes mothers cannot breastfeed, due to medical problems or other special circumstances. Discuss with your pediatrician or other healthcare professional how best to feed your newborn.
No matter how you decide to feed your baby, always be sure to hold your baby while feeding. The cuddling that comes with nursing and feeding helps to build a strong, loving bond between you and your baby.
The way your baby sleeps changes as she grows. Newborns sleep a lot throughout the 24 hour day, waking up often throughout both day and night. Even so, you can still begin to develop a bedtime routine for your baby, even as early as 6 to 8 weeks.
And as your baby develops and starts to consolidate her sleep into nighttime sleep with fewer daytime “naps,” you can help her gradually develop a sleeping pattern, learning that nighttime is for sleep, and not play.
Learn more about helping your baby sleep better with the JOHNSON’S® 4-Step Routine.
Know the steps by heart through this musical guide that helps your baby sleep better for more time to develop
*Breastfeeding is still appropriate for children up to 2 years of age and beyond.
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