When you have a baby the first few weeks are really hard to get adjusted but after that, you will know what you need to do and when along with putting together a schedule that works for your family. I wrote this guide filled with tips for you as a new parent who could use a little help figuring out how to care for your baby.
This guide is full of information from feeding your baby, baby gear, sleep tips and so much more!!
Baby Tips For New Parents
Being a parent is one of the hardest things to do, it is a lot of adjusting and healing from birth along with getting into an new routine with breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and trying to figure out how to get your baby to sleep and how to calm them when they cry, a whole list of new things that can be frustrating when you have no idea what you are doing.
I totally understand this, my first child was born a month early and I had no idea how to take care of a baby other than some basic things, no one told me how to sleep train or what to do when she cried all the time and I definitely didn’t know anything about breastfeeding or healing postpartum. I was 22 and totally lost on how to be a mom to my little girl and it was very hard to go through it with little help or support from anyone except my mom who gave me pointers here and there.
I made this guide so that you don’t have to go through this alone and unprepared, everything you need to know is right here to help you with your sweet little peanut. Congratulations on your new baby and enjoy all the snuggles you can get because they grow up way to fast!!!
What Is Being A New Parent
- When you become a parent it means putting your own wants and needs aside and looking after a little person that can’t take care of themselves.
- It is not being selfish and always thinking about others.
- Being exhausted at the end of the night and still getting up when your little one cries.
- Pouring out your heart into someone else so that they will grow up to be a wonderful human being.
- Supporting, caring and loving someone who can’t give back to you what you give.
- To be strong and calm when all of life seems to be out of control.
- Loving someone so much that your heart feels like it will burst.
- Never stop seeing your baby as they were the first day you laid eyes on them.
- Staying up late wiping tears and rocking your sick little one.
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How to Get Started being the Best Parent Possible
When you first bring your baby home and get settled in always remember these guidelines. This is advice from parents that have been there and done what you are doing now and it’s worth following this sound advice.
- Don’t ever compare yourself to someone else, you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes and even if it looks like they are doing well, you really have no idea.
- Take care of yourself first, try to get up early if possible and get things done that you want to do. Take a shower and put on your makeup, drink some tea or coffee and have some quality time for yourself. A burned out parent is not good for anyone!
- Some things can wait to be done, don’t stress over the small things.
- Always communicate with your spouse and child. Talking to your baby about everything you are doing each day will help them communicate better with you later and it helps with language development.
- You’re going to be tired a lot of the time, enjoy the moments you get because they are short and will be over before you know it.
- You can never spoil your baby by holding them to much so snuggle, snuggle, snuggle.
- Don’t try to be supermom or dad just do the best you can.
- Schedule your day so that you can make time for everything you want to do without being stressed out.
- Ask for help when you need it.
Baby Care Tips
Everything you need to know about taking care of your infant, from feeding, changing, sleeping, to your babies health and teething. Keep these for reference later!
Baby Must Haves
Hopefully, you stocked up on everything you need for your baby beforehand if you didn’t here are some items you need to have that will help keep your sanity and make baby more comfortable. Here is a list of must-haves that you don’t want to be without!!!
In the hospital, they are going to help you learn how to either bottle feed or breastfeed your newborn, stick to what they tell you and if you need further help you can get a nurse that will come to your home.
If you breastfeed your newborn then you will be feeding him more often then if you were using formula, typically a baby will eat around 2 to 3 ounces of formula the first few weeks and a little less if breastfed. You will be feeding your baby every few hours from three to four for formula to ever two with breast milk. Always feed on demand instead of on a schedule, you will figure out your babies needs and be able to find a pattern that works for both of you.
If your looking for information on how to feed your baby the best way you may want to read this article on Bottle Feeding Your Newborn Baby| Tips for New Moms and also which bottles are the best to use Best Baby Bottles For Newborns With Gas And Reflux Issues
You will be changing diapers often! Your baby will dirty at least 8 to 10 diapers a day and by the end of the week, you will be a pro at changing them. Here are some practical tips on changing babies diapers that every new parent should know.
- Have a changing station with everything you need from diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, extra clothes just in case of an accident and fasteners if you are using cloth diapers.
- Place baby on his back and put a fresh diaper under him
- If your changing a boy carefully cover him as you remove the wet diaper or you will be peed on, this has happened to me a few times now lol.
- Wipe baby from front to back especially if you’re changing a girl, this will help avoid a UTI.
- Apply diaper rash cream in a smooth layer if you need to.
- Redress baby and wash your hands well.
If your baby has messy clothes from a blowout and is wearing a onesie you can pull it over her body to avoid making more of a mess. This is what the slits in the shoulders are for!!
Reference: How To Change A Baby’s Diaper Like A Pro
Your baby will sleep a lot during the first few weeks and less as time goes on, this is a good time for you to nap as well especially while recovering. Your baby will most likely be hungry when he wakes up so try and be prepared beforehand for this if possible.
If your baby is mixed up on day or night, try to make things as lively and bright as possible during the day and calm and relaxing at night so they get the idea.
- Always place baby on his back to sleep
- Don’t use blankets to cover him, use a swaddle
- He will sleep for two or three hours and wake to eat
You may want to read this article on How To Get Baby To Sleep At Night
As your baby gets older he will sleep more at night and you can wean him off the night feedings, you can feed him just before bed to help keep him full during the night. Some babies sleep well at night when parents follow the same routine and calm him down an hour before bedtime, remember to keep things low key with little to no stimulation and you will be fine.
If your child has some sleeping issues such as waking at night screaming, this can happen from 6 or 8 months and up, follow this post on what this is and what you can do about it! You’re not crazy this does happen to little babies as well as toddlers, I have been there many nights with my screaming baby.
This is a great article that breaks down what it is and how to fix it What Causes Night Terrors In Babies And Toddlers
Umbilical Cord Care
For the first two or three weeks your baby will still have an umbilical cord, use alcohol swabs to clean it and don’t submerge your baby during bath time until it dries out and falls off. A sponge bath would work fine for the first few weeks.
After your baby boy get circumcised his penis is covered with petroleum jelly and a gauze bandage when changing his diaper wipe the tip clean and reapply petroleum jelly to keep it from getting stuck to his diaper.
It should heal within a few days but if it does look red or infected call your doctor right away.
To bathe your baby place her in a baby bath or flower and put a warm washcloth on her belly to keep her from getting cold.
- Test the water with your wrist and make sure it is lukewarm, not hot or cold.
- Fill the baby tub with 2 to 3 inches of water
- Gently cleanse her from head to toe using a gentle baby bath product.
- Dry off your baby and use lotion to keep him from drying out, massage it into the skin (great idea for bedtime routine)
Always wash your hands and have others do so as well before touching your baby, this will help prevent illness from spreading to your little one. Also, keep him away from anyone that is sick for the first few months as his immune system isn’t fully developed and he can get sick easily.
If your baby gets sick or starts to have a temperature when he is under 2 months (100.2) call your doctor immediately, if he is three to six months call if fever is 101 and if over six months old call your doctor if it is 103.
You will know if your baby is sick by how hot they feel and how they are acting, always check the temperature to be sure and try to give a sponge bath if your baby is to hot. You can use Tylenol to lower the fever but always ask your doctor if your baby is under six months.
For a cold use nasal drops and sit in a warm bathroom with the shower running to ease congestion, if symptoms get worse take your baby in or call your doctor as it could be a sign of RSV or croup. Watch your babies breathing if it gets to be hard for them and you see his neck going in like he is struggling take him in immediately.
This article is very helpful on this subject if you need more information How To Deal With Croup In Babies And Toddlers
A sign that your baby has started teething is a decreased appetite and drooling, followed by a low-grade fever, diarrhea, and irritability. Your little one may start to chew on everything including his hands and could get a slight rash on his chin from his saliva.
Here are some of the best remedies for teething babies Baby Teething Tips Proven To Work
Tips for Success in Parenthood
To be successful as a parent you need to take it a day at a time when things don’t go right remember that tomorrow is another day. Tips to help you when you bring your baby home, your mom or dad instincts will kick in but these are things that you learn from friends or your mom.
You may want to read this article on Best Baby Care Tips For New Moms
- At first, your baby will probably have its days and nights mixed up, it’s important to help your baby understand this and get onto a schedule that you stick to along with making your house as bright as possible during the day and calm and relaxing at night.
- Babies cry a lot, this is very normal and you will get to know what each cry means over time so don’t stress over it. At the hospital they should get you on a schedule, it is best to stick to this schedule the whole way through at home as well.
- If you are having trouble latching try to use a nipple shield, this will help you out a ton and will probably save you from having to exclusively pump or formula feed. It is okay to not breastfeed so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out!! Do what’s best for your baby.
- Don’t be quiet around your baby when they are asleep, vacuum and do loud things it won’t wake him up I promise. A womb is a loud place filled with your body sounds and the swishing of fluids, your baby is very accustomed to loudness. A key tip for you would be to get a white noise machine and have that going when your baby is napping or sleeping at night.
- Help your husband bond with your baby, don’t hover over him and tell him what to do, work as a team and give him space.
- Get a baby carrier and wear your little one when you need to get things done, this will make it less stressful on both of you. Here is one that I love and recommend if you don’t have one already, it’s easier then figuring out how to use the ones that wrap (I could never figure those out lol) Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier
- Bottle feed your baby if you need to, especially if Dad wants to feed the baby, this will work great for bonding.
If you find that you aren’t able to breastfeed and you have a lot of guilt about it this article may make you feel better Unable to Breastfeed, How to Deal With Guilt
Common Questions/FAQ New Parents Ask About Taking Care of a Baby
How Do I Bond With My Baby
- When feeding your baby always look into their eyes and don’t get distracted by other things like your phone or TV, Snuggle with her and give your little one a massage. All of these things promote bonding.
Do Babies Recognize Their Mothers
- Babies can recognize their mothers’ voice in the womb at around seven months and once they are born they know your smell, voice and can recognize your face when their sight gets better around a week or so after birth.
How Much Should My Newborn Eat
- Your baby will eat about 2 to 3 ounces every three to four hours in the first few weeks, it is best to feed him when he is hungry and not wait a certain period of time. Breastfed babies tend to eat a little less and feed more often in the first two weeks then formula fed babies.
How Do I Get My Baby To Sleep Without Having To Be Held
- Create a schedule that you stick to each day, play during the day and wake him if he sleeps to long during nap time, have a bedtime ritual that you follow and put your baby in bed slightly awake and rub her nose or legs to help her drift to sleep.
Can My Baby Sense My Emotions
- Your baby can tell when your tense or anxious and will respond by crying because of it. If your baby is crying remain calm and help soothe your little one while you tend to their needs.
How To Calm A Fussy Baby
- The easiest ways to calm a fussy baby are by mimicking the womb, what I mean by this is to use motion, warmth, and skin to skin contact to help calm your baby.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Babies as a New Parent
One of the best baby tips I can give you as a new parent is to follow your instincts if you feel that something is wrong with your child don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise. You are your child’s advocate and know when they are acting normal and when something is wrong.
Parenting is a tough job but so worth it, in the end, your baby will grow up very fast so cherish all the snuggles and hard times because they will be over faster then you think.
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