Only moms know how tiring it becomes to take care of their babies when they are home alone. Some new moms may be one step away from pushing the panic button when it comes to managing the safety and comfort of their newborn.
Baby care basics start at the hospital soon after birth. Your nurse may show you the right way to hold your baby, breastfeed, and give it a bath. If you had a home delivery, a doula or your mother might be there to help you with the baby. Even after all the training and the drill, you may still be worried about not being able to give your munchkin the best possible treatment. To help you get over these fears, here are some helpful baby handling tips.
Head Turning Preference: The safety guidelines suggest that a baby should sleep on its back. But, it also needs to experience other positions for a better molding of the head and preventing any head-asymmetries. That can be done by rolling the baby on its tummy when it is wide awake. When in deep sleep, gently roll your it to its side, then on its back. This can help it relax on either side of its head. Encourage a change in position by rattling a toy or using your voice to guide it to look in different directions.
Carrying Your Baby: A change in head position can also be initiated by holding your baby in a variety of ways. Carry it over your arm or over your shoulder, the way when you give it a burp after the feed. Place it higher over your shoulder, and make sure its hands are placed freely over you.
Picking Up Your Baby: Although it may be instinctive, you don’t always have to support your baby’s head—allow it develop head control. You can still lift your baby safely by first rolling it to its preferred side and then picking it up. Put it down the same way by side-lying. Place your hand gently but firmly around your baby’s armpit while picking it up.
Caring For Your Back: Parents often neglect themselves while taking care of their baby. As you lean forward to pick it up from a cot or pram, maintain the curve of your back. While lowering yourself, bend your hips and knees and brace while lifting your baby.
Tummy Time: Lay your baby on its tummy for some time when it’s wide awake. Try this when your baby is a bit older. This will help it strengthen its neck muscles and aid it in rolling over and crawl in the coming days. Place it on a rug on the floor, surrounded by the toys. Never leave your baby unattended.
Baby Massage: An after-bath massage is best for your baby. But, make sure your baby is not hungry or crying. Choose a comfortable and warm place for the massage. Let your baby enjoy your gentle touch right from the top of its soft head to its arms, fingers, chest, abdomen, and legs. Don’t forget those little toes.
Feeding Time: Most of the time that you spend with your baby will go in nursing it. Before you begin, make sure you are positioned comfortably whether in a chair or sofa. Put a cushion under your arm and behind your back to get the necessary support when you are breastfeeding. The side-lie position suits the best for night-time feeding. You can place pillows behind your back and between your legs for support.
With time, you will develop strength and get used to holding your baby in a position that aids in natural movement and suits your comfort as well. Be confident while handling your newborn and cherish spending these moments with it.