Most parents describe having a child as one of the most fulfilling experiences anyone can ever go through. No matter it is your first child or second, the excitement is of bringing in the new member in the family is same. However, as high and fulfilling as caring for a child can be, it can also be one of the most stressful endeavours you will ever undertake.
The first few weeks could sometimes be the most chaotic and confusing period of the entire experience, especially for first-time parents. Most of these parents are happy with their newborns, but also considerably overwhelmed because it generally feels like everything is happening all at once. In many places, it is customary for a couple who just had a baby, to have one or both of their parents over, for the first few weeks. This practice has proven to be very helpful for new parents who, quite frankly, would need all the help they can get. Even if you have help, there are certain things that would just be great for every parent to know. Here are just a few.
Keep Everything Clean
A newborn baby would have a very underdeveloped and weak immune system, making them very susceptible to all kinds of diseases and infections. This means that as a parent, you have to take extra care in making sure that everything that even remotely comes in contact with the baby is clean. Always wash and sanitize your hands before touching or carrying the baby, and if someone else wants to carry the baby, you must insist that they sanitize as well. This significantly reduces the risk of infection.
Do not gamble or guess anything about regular newborn care or any irregularities you might notice. There’s no such thing as too many questions, and you should be willing to ask as many of them as possible every time you feel unsure about something. Sure, not everything would be life-threatening, but as long as you’re not a medical professional, do not make any decisions yourself. For any uncertainties, Guy’s and St Thomas Private Health Care has a well equipped special care baby unit with experienced professionals who will attend to your baby.
Ensure Regular Feeding
On average, newborns are to be fed every 3 hours and this could mean a meal between 8-12 times every day. Newborns are only to be fed breast milk for the first few months, and then you can slowly introduce other things. Before you make this decision, be sure to have spoken to a professional on what exactly to do. As there are some rare cases where it is advised to keep the child on breast milk for much longer than usual.
Change Diapers Often
You must be prepared to change your baby’s diapers several times a day for quite a while. A healthy baby who gets enough breast milk or food will have daily bowel movements up to 8 times or even 10 in some children. Always have baby powder, wipes, creams and extra diapers in handy. The quicker you change, the less likely your baby will develop a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
Always remember that your newborn is still very delicate and should be handled with care. Most importantly, you should always seek medical advice from time to time before doing anything you’re unsure. Following these steps directly means your child will most likely stay healthy and grow up strong.