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How To Take Care Of A Newborn Infant
Pictures of how to take care of an infant
How to change a diaper...video explanation
How to bottle feed and burp your child
How to bathe your baby.
How to swaddle your baby.
What you need to know to take care of your baby...
If you are asking, "How do I take care of my baby?" This should get all the first time parents started. First of all, for all the mothers that are reading this, the most important thing is to trust your instincts. There is nothing more important than that. I hope to teach you the basics of how to take care of a baby. I also icluded some videos so that you can understand what some of it is if you don't know already. So let's get started.
I personally call the first stage of development the Eat, Sleep and Poop stage.
Feeding (Eat Stage)
How much a baby eats depends on the baby themselves. While breastfeeding is preferred, it is not always possible. With breastfeeding, you feed until the baby is finished and as long as you keep yourself hydrated and feed whenever they are hungry, you should produce enough milk for them. If you do not, the hospital should of introduced you to a lactation consultant or given you their information.
When breastfeeding is not possible, as was in my situation, formula is used. I personally suggest that you research what type of formula you want to use. You also want to research what type of bottles you want to use. They now are making BPA free bottles if you are worried about BPA transferring to the milk. Always have about half an ounce more in the bottle and add another half an ounce more as they start having a bigger appetite.
One reader pointed out that breast pumps are a good way to go too. It is a great way to have your baby still get your milk but in a bottle. It is also a great way for the father of the baby to bond with the child as well. My husband loved to feed our babies.
Warming A Bottle
Bottles should be room temperature to warm as a colder bottle can cause colic. Breast milk should never be put in the microwave. The plastic in the bottle can remove the necessary nutrients that are present in breast milk. There are many types of bottle warmers such as one that uses water to warm the milk. You can also run it under the faucet with hot water although that may take a considerable amount of time as the amount you have to warm becomes more. If you microwave formula, always test the milk on your wrist. The milk shouldn't feel warm or cold but feel like your own skin temperature.
What Type Of Bottle Should You Use?
The bottles with the plastic insert drop-ins seemed like a great idea until my pediatrician informed me that none of them are BPA free and they are not the best thing to use when it comes to your babies health as it could add extra chemicals to the milk. This also goes for freezer bags. The best thing to use is BPA free bottles to freeze the milk (just breast milk). Do not freeze formula. The brand of bottle that you use is up to you. Once again, I will stress that you should research which one to use. I personally use Dr. Brown's bottles as it does not allow a lot of air to go into the babies tummy. Be aware that there are different sizes for the nipples of the bottle. Level one is for Newborns. Level two is three months and older. Level three, six months and older and Level four is for thicker liquids for older babies.
Some babies can be difficult to burp. Finding the position that works for them can often switch. Whether it is putting them against your shoulder, or just sitting them in your lap, it will take time for you to know which is best for them. Babies can fuss or even scream if they have gas. The best way to get rid of gas is to get rid of the burp. You can also pump the babies legs to help with gas pains.
Changing The Diaper (Poop stage)
Your probably thinking, "Oh boy!" Not many people like the idea of changing diapers but you get used to it pretty fast. The brand of diaper or whether it is disposable or cloth is up to you. I have found that pampers worked best for both of my children but it all depends on the child. I would caution you that babies tend to have more diaper rashes with the cloth diapers. Before you start, make sure you have everything that you will need. Whether a boy or girl, it is easiest to put the clean diaper under the baby before you remove the dirty one. Open the dirty diaper and clean the baby. Remove the dirty diaper and you will then be able to quickly pull the front part of the diaper over the baby and close it. Your baby is ready to go. Now there are a few things to be careful of. There is something known as explosive poo. The baby farts and if they have poo, it could go everywhere. We learned this the hard way. There is also the possibility of being peed on, so be careful and watchful, especially with boys.
Cribs/Bassinet (Sleep Stage)
The most important thing to know is to make sure your child sleeps on their back and that they are not too hot in order to lower the risk of SIDS. SIDS is described later in this blog.
Bassinet- A bassinet is a small crib that sometimes is made to be like a rocker. It normally only goes to about 15 pounds. It is great to have to put right next to the bed for those late night feedings.
Crib- Cribs are what a child will sleep in until they turn 2 years old (sometimes sooner if they have a younger sibling). Experts are warning against the cribs with the sides that are able to come down in order for you to get your baby. There have been many deaths due to chokeing and have forced many recalls. The crib that I use is one that you can lower manually by screws and bolts. It only took my husband five minutes to lower the mattress base. Do not keep anything in the crib until they are older as newborns, even as old as six months could suffocate themselves on thicker blankets and stuffed animals
Babies are accustomed to noise as you tummy was never quiet when they were in there. You may find that your baby will sleep better with classical music or cd's that have the womb or heart sounds.
Bathing your child could be difficult. There are many baby baths that you can choose from as the normal bathtub could be scary for your baby. Always keep a hand behind their head. Check the temperature so that it is not too cold or too hot. Babies do not need soap at this age but if you would like to, find a mild baby bath soap. Never leave your baby unattended. Newborns are not to have a bath until their umbilical cord falls off. Wipe a newborn down with a warm washcloth or sponge until then.
Things that you should know!
1) SIDS- SIDS is the shorten version of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. There is not much known about what causes it. Parents will go to their babies and find them unresponsive. The risk of SIDS is 0.5 in a 1000 live births.
2) A temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher could cause the baby to have seizures
3)You need to support the baby's head whenever you pick them up until then can support their own head
4) A newborn can't regulate their own heat yet so it is best to keep them dressed and swaddled. Swaddled is in a sense, a way to wrap them in a blanket. Another hubber wrote on how to swaddle in Swaddling 101.
5) Colic is defined as a child screaming for hours without anything working to soothe the baby.
6) Babies tend to spit up so make sure that you keep a blanket or burp cloth around at all times.
7) Sleep when the baby sleeps isn't always possible but worth a shot to try.
8) If someone offers to help, accept it. It doesn't mean your a bad parent if you accept help.
If I have forgotten anything that you believe should be in here, or you have a question about anything relating to this, please let me know. I wrote this to help benefit those that do not have someone around to teach them.
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