Taking care of a newborn can be a daunting task, especially if you are a first-time parent. Regardless of how many books you read and how much research you do to prep yourself, parenthood comes with its fair share of uncertainties and ups and downs that cannot always be predicted.
But what we do know is there are tried and tested methods that will keep your baby happy and make navigating the journey of parenthood less stressful for yourself.
This is a first-time parent’s guide to raising a newborn - keep reading for more tips!
1. Avoid shopping for new clothes or baby items too early
It is natural for parents to want to provide their babies with the best, which is why you may find yourself shopping for new clothes and baby items very frequently. However, newborns go through rapid growth when they are 7 to 10 days old and again at 3 and 6 weeks. In the blink of an eye, your baby may no longer be able to fit into the clothes he or she wore just last week!
Thus, a trick is to hold off on purchasing new items and simply make use of hand-me-downs or gifts, included in hampers for newborns given to you by your family and friends, during the newborn phase. You will be able to save quite a bit of money from this, lessening the stress of raising a newborn in return.
Learn more: 5 Practical Items New Mums Can't Go Without
2. Swaddling your baby helps
Babies, especially newborns, want and need to feel protected. Swaddling your newborn is an easy way to protect him or her against their natural startle reflex, calm them down, and eliminate anxiety for better sleep. It also keeps their hands away from their faces, preventing scratches.
You will probably receive a lot of swaddles as newborn gifts from your loved ones so put them to good use before your baby grows and no longer want to be wrapped.
3. Keep blankets and soft toys away from your baby’s crib
It may be tempting to decorate your baby’s crib with soft toys and place blankets in it to provide some form of comfort, but these items could pose safety concerns. In fact, it is recommended to keep soft toys out of the sleeping environment for babies under 7 months of age as they may interfere with breathing and increase the risk of suffocation.
Keep those soft toys and blankets included in hampers for newborns away till your baby is old enough to appreciate the comfort these items provide.
4. Never sleep in the same bed as your baby
Sharing a bed with your baby increases the risk of SIDS, also known as sudden infant death syndrome. It can be caused by suffocation from pillows, entrapment between the mattress and headboard, and strangulation caused by being stuck in the bed frame.
Thus, an alternative and safe way to keep your baby close is by letting him or her sleep in their own bed, but in the same room as you.
5. Wash your hands before handling your baby
Newborns have immature immune systems so staying vigilant against germs as a parent is a good practice to adopt. Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your baby to avoid spreading germs that can make your child fall sick.
Once your baby is a few months old and has built a stronger immune system, you will be able to worry less.
6. Always support your newborn’s head and neck
Newborn babies are not able to support their own head and neck so you need to do it for them. Scoop your baby up with one hand supporting his or her head, neck and spine while your other hand is tucked under the bottom for extra support.
7. Double check that your newborn is securely fastened to the stroller or car seat
Lastly, make a note to always double check that your newborn is securely fastened to his or her stroller or car seat. This can save your baby’s life if an accident occurs and prevent life-threatening injuries.
A tip to help your baby feel more comfortable is to place a blanket over the harness to keep your little one warm and snug. A swaddle usually included in hampers for newborns can double up as a blanket too.
Pineapple!, a one-stop shop for newborn gifts
We have a wide selection of hampers for newborns that you can select from, containing the essentials that all first-time parents will need.
Get your hands on one that will help to make journeying through parenthood a breeze.