The first few months with a newborn can be very daunting for new parents. Even parents with older kids still have fears about doing right by their newborn because every baby is different.
When you buy a new gadget from the store, it comes with a manual on how to work it. I am pretty sure many parents wished their newborns came with a manual too. I certainly wish they did. They smell like fresh flowers and are very soft and cuddly.
However, taking care of them doesnt come without its challenges.
Listed below are a few newborn hacks that can help new parents go through this phase.
Sleep when a baby is sleeping! Im sure you have heard that before. I know I did. Its actually true because you need the rest to replenish your energy for the night ahead. The funny thing is that babies tend to sleep more during the day and are awake most nights, so get your sleep on mama to avoid being cranky when the baby is awake.
A tip for getting baby to sleep more at night is to swaddle. I can’t emphasise this enough. Remember that when your baby was growing in your belly there was little room for moving around. So if you place your baby in her cot and watch her, you will notice she jerks often. Unfortunately, those jerks can wake newborns up and they end up not sleeping for longer hours. So swaddle them to give them the same cramped up feeling like in the womb.
Another hack is to introduce some background noise while she sleeps during the day. Its counterintuitive, but the truth is that in most homes, it may be impossible to maintain 100% silence. When your baby gets accustomed to some noise, you wont have to tiptoe or hold your breath for fear of waking her up.
Babies can’t regulate their body temperatures so it’s good to keep the ambient temperature warm before bath time. This way, they are comfortable and are more agreeable during bath time.
In the bathtub wrap your baby with a towel while giving her a bath and pour warm water over it. This keeps her warm and also prevent slips. Because babies can be very slippery.
Newborns don’t need to have a bath every day. Top and tail them with a soft washcloth on days when they are not having a full bath.
Newborns cry a lot no doubt. Its their way of expressing themselves and sometimes they cry for no obvious reason. In time you will learn what their different cries signify. Pay attention to their cues and dealing with a crying baby wont have to be a stressful event.
There is almost no escaping being peed or pooped on by your baby, be prepared. That being said, one of the ways you can reduce this from happening is by placing a clean diaper under the soiled one while changing them and do this fairly quickly to reduce the water fountains and volcanic eruptions.
Another hack is to set up diaper changing stations at different locations in the house so you don’t have to run a marathon every time. You can set up a basket containing wipes, new diapers, a set of clean onesies (to change soiled ones), and diaper rash cream.
A lot of parents spend tons of money shopping for baby clothes and forget that they grow so fast without even going through all of them. My advice, buy a different size of onesies and overalls to fit them as they grow since your baby probably stays indoors most of the time.
And for parents who want to be surprised about the gender of the baby, they can buy unisex outfits in various colours such as greens and browns.
Did you know the onesies with the wide neck that look like envelopes weren’t made as a fashion statement but to help you remove an outfit that has been soiled? Simply pull the onesie from the shoulder downwards to take it off so you dont get poop all over the babys head and everywhere else.
Immediately wash soiled clothes right away with mild detergent and a little bit of baking soda, I find that this helps remove stains.
For breastfed babies, I would advise new mums to get a silicone breast pump to collect the milk that leaks from the opposite breast during a feed. A little goes a long way especially for mothers who would like to build a stash in the freezer.
Wearing a hairband on the corresponding wrist can help you remember which side baby sucked last.
Bottle-feeding is a good time to engage dad or older siblings. That way, you can get some work done while the baby is being fed breast milk or formula from the bottle.
These hacks have helped me in caring for my baby girl. I wish I knew them when I had her older siblings, I would have been less cranky and stressed. New parents, try and enjoy your newborn days while it lasts. Babies grow very fast as you will soon learn. There is light at the end of the tunnel.