Baby Basics

Once you reach home with the new baby, suddenly the high wears off and you are left with handling every tiny activity of baby with great fear and trepidation. Although you might be having help at home, still you feel like doing everything for your baby yourself & that too to the perfect best!!

Here we focus on three primary activities, which are to be done around the clock and once you master them, half the battle is won already.

FEEDING /SLEEPING /DIAPERING

Feeding

Although Breastfeeding may be the most natural extension of being a mother, nursing know-how — especially for newbie moms and their babies — often doesn’t come naturally at all at first. If you prepare yourself for this, you can handle the uncertainties better when the baby comes.

When to start— You can start feeding immediately after birth. Earlier you start; stronger is the baby’s response

How much to feed— Instead of setting time limits on each feed, let your BABY take her time at the breast (and expect feedings to be long initially).Usually, each session takes around 20-30 minutes but that could vary depending on the growth spurts. A newborn should have at least eight to 12 feedings a day, even if demand isn’t up to that level yet, for the first few weeks

Positions–When it comes to positions for breastfeeding, being comfortable and being able to get your baby to your breast easily are the two things that really count. Proper positioning is essential in helping your newborn latch on the right way, as well as preventing nipple soreness and other breastfeeding problems. Once you and baby are set up, try one of these five best breastfeeding positions:

  • Cradle hold.
  • Crossover hold,
  • Football hold,
  • Laid-back position (“biological nursing”)
  • Side-lying position
  • Breastfeeding Pillows to Help Get Baby Positioned very comfortably

Burping

Burping your baby is important for his or her comfort. When babies are feeding, they take in air, which can build up and make them uncomfortable, causing you to find yourself with a fussy, squirmy child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents try to burp their baby:

  • When a nursing mother switches breasts or
  • Every 2-3 oz. if being bottle-fed (60 – 90 mL)

Pausing to burp frequently slows feeding and reduces air intake. However, if your baby has not successfully burped after a few minutes of trying, switch methods or give up and continue with the feeding. It is possible that your baby doesn’t actually have to burp. There are three basic ways to burp a baby: on your shoulder, face-down on your lap or sitting up. It’s a good idea to try all three to see which gets the job done best for your little one.

Signs your baby wants to nurse/feed:

  • Crying: a baby’s hunger cry is usually short, low-pitched, and rises and falls
  • Sucking on his fist
  • Smacking his lips
  • Rooting
  • Opening his mouth while feeding
  • Turning his head towards your breasts and the smell of milk
  • Acting restless and waking up

SLEEPING

Newborns spend most of their time asleep. They’re programmed to sleep in short bursts of about 2-3 hours between feeds, night and day. They are not accustomed to sleeping when its dark. Your baby will need your attention during the night for feeding and settling for up to the first six months. Some babies keep waking even after this.The approach you take will depend on the choices you make about things like where your baby sleeps – with you or in separate crib. Some parents opt for little or no routine at all, and are comfortable with following their baby’s lead. Others find that a very simple, flexible routine seems to help their baby, and helps them to feel more in control.

This isn’t the time for rigid plans. You might find your baby won’t fit into even the best-laid plans anyway! In the first few months of your baby’s life, it’s best to go slowly – get to know each other and work out what’s best for baby and for you. With a newborn, it helps to be flexible about when your baby sleeps and feeds. But many infant health experts believe that, when it feels right for you, it can also help to begin doing things in a similar order each day – feed, play, sleep.

When your baby wakes up, you could try this:

  • Offer a feed.
  • Change your baby’s nappy.
  • Take time for talk and play.
  • Put your baby back down for sleep.

At night, you might choose not to play and instead focus on settling your baby straight back to sleep. For young babies, playtime might just be a quiet cuddle or some time stretching out and kicking on a blanket. You might find about 10-20 minutes of play is enough. Some newborn babies get tired after being awake for about 1-1½ hours. Some newborns are happy to play for longer than this. You can watch your baby’s signals and body language to see when it’s time to stop.

DIAPERING

New parents spend a lot of time changing diapers. Indeed, babies may use 10 diapers a day or more. Diaper changing might seem complicated at first. But with a little practice, you’ll find that keeping your baby clean and dry is easy.

Getting Ready

Before you begin, gather a few supplies:

  • A diaper
  • Fasteners (if you are using cloth prefold diapers)
  • A container of warm water and cotton balls (for babies with sensitive skin) or a clean washcloth or diaper wipes
  • Diaper ointment or petroleum jelly (for preventing and treating rashes)
  • A changing pad or cloth diaper for placing under your baby

Wiping

Using the wet washcloth, cotton balls, or baby wipes, gently wipe your baby clean from the front to the back (never wipe from back to front, especially on girls, or you could spread the bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections). You might want to lift your baby’s legs by the ankles to get underneath. Don’t forget the creases in the thighs and buttocks. Once you’ve finished wiping, pat your baby dry with a clean washcloth and apply diaper ointment.

Disposable Diapers

  • If you’re using disposable diapers:
  • Open the diaper and slide it under your baby while gently lifting his or her legs and feet. The back part with the adhesive strips should be about level with your baby’s bellybutton.
  • Bring the front part of the diaper up between your baby’s legs and onto his or her belly.
  • Bring the adhesive strips around and fasten snugly. Be careful not to stick the tape onto your baby’s skin.
  • Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:
  • If you find any marks around your baby’s legs and waist, the diaper is too tight. Go for a looser fit next time. If that doesn’t help, your baby may be ready for the next size diaper.
  • If a rash develops at the diaper openings around your baby’s leg and waist, change the brand of diaper you’re using. Sometimes babies become sensitive to certain brands of diapers.
  • Always wash your hands well after changing your baby’s diaper to prevent the spread of germs.

Cloth Diapers

Most parents choose disposable diapers because of their convenience. But some parents opt for cloth diapers, which can be more affordable (if you wash them yourself). Some believe that cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly.

Cloth diapers come in many shapes and sizes. Traditional cloth diapers usually come folded or in a square and require pinning. More modern types are fitted or contoured like disposable diapers and come with Velcro closures or snaps. Other cloth-diapering accessories include absorbent liners (some are flushable), diaper doublers for extra protection at night, and diaper covers to help prevent leaks.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using cloth diapers:

  • If using diapers that require pinning, use oversize pins with plastic safety heads. To prevent pricking the baby, keep your hand between the pin and his or her skin. If this makes you nervous, use diaper tape that comes in a dispenser.
  • If you’re washing the diapers yourself, wash them separately from other laundry, using a mild detergent that is hypoallergenic or recommended for infant clothing. Don’t use fabric softener or antistatic products, which can cause rashes on babies’ sensitive skin. Use hot water and double rinse each wash.
  • Always wash your hands well after changing your baby’s diaper to prevent the spread of germs.

Preventing Diaper Rash

It’s common for babies to have some diaper rash. But if the rash happens often, lasts for more than 2 or 3 days, or gets worse, call your health care provider.

 Also let your provider know if your baby has a fever with the rash or if the rash seems painful, is bright red, or has blisters.

To prevent and help heal diaper rash, keep these tips in mind:

Change diapers often, and right after bowel movements. Clean the area gently. Wiping vigorously or rubbing can further irritate the rash.

  • Use a diaper ointment to prevent and heal rashes. Look for one with zinc oxide, which acts as a barrier against moisture. A&D ointment is also soothing for minor rashes.
  • Let your baby go without a diaper for part of the day, laying your little one on top of a few diapering cloths.
  • If you use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents, and avoid drying them with scented drying sheets.

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