Welcoming a newborn baby into the home is an exciting experience but can soon turn out to be overwhelming due to the sheer increase in responsibilities. For first time parents it can be as confusing as it is exhilarating. This article compiles some useful tips to help the average new parent to take care of their precious newborn baby.
Do: Breastfeed Your Baby
Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed for at least a year tend to score higher in IQ tests later in life. Breast milk contains essential nutrients and antibodies which help the infant to grow healthy and strong. It is not simply a means of providing food to the little one; breastfeeding enhances the bond between mother and child. An infant needs to be fed several times a day and mothers should experiment with a number of positions to ensure mutual comfort. The cradle hold, where the mother holds the baby in her arms while nursing, is the most popular but when the child needs to be fed in the middle of the night, many women prefer to lie down while nursing their infant.
Don’t: Hold Him/her Carelessly
A newborn baby has weak neck muscles and needs to be supported while being lifted; and one hand should be placed under the neck at all times especially when holding in a cradle-like position. After a month or two, your little one will be able to move his/her head independently but will not be able to lift it up for longer than a few minutes. Lay him/her down on his/her stomach to help strengthen the muscles. By the end of six months, the infant should be strong enough to hold his/her head high on his/her own!
Do: Practice Kangaroo Mother Care
A newborn baby begins his/her life from the womb and s/he is accustomed to tight surroundings, since the familiarity makes them feel secure. It is for this reason that babies are swaddled tightly with a blanket from shoulder to toe. Another technique that is recommended by doctors is skin-to-skin bonding, better known as Kangaroo Mother Care. The infant is placed on the bare chest of his/her parent. This technique reduces the cortisol levels in the bloodstream by allowing the infant to sleep longer and more soundly leading to rapid development. While this kind of care works best during the initial four months, Kangaroo Mother Care can be practiced comfortably for as long as the child begins to reject it. There is immense proof that this technique improves the health conditions of premature babies.
Don’t: Overwhelm Your Newborn Baby
To celebrate the birth of a newborn baby, friends and family usually pay the mother a visit for a chance to hold and have a look at the new entrant. However, this can stress the child since s/he is not used to having many people around him/her. For the first month in particular, it is best to avoid taking the infant outdoors, and limiting interaction with other children. This ensures that the newborn baby does not catch an infection which is highly likely due to an underdeveloped immune system.
For more information on The Science of Touch through Kangaroo Mother Care, please visit http://themiracleofkangaroomothercare.com. Tony and Nyrie Roos are a resource for natural parenting practices and kangaroo mother care.
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