If it’s your first time stepping into parenthood, feeling a little jittery is only normal. Nurturing and raising a baby is no small responsibility, and being pregnant is just the first step toward a completely new part of your life. Parenthood can be immensely rewarding yet exhausting, and each stage can come with its own set of challenges. Raising an infant, however, is easily one of the most daunting parts of the process.
Babies are super fragile, and new parents are often reminded that even the smallest misstep can have huge consequences. Figuring out how you can give your child the safest upbringing alone can be daunting. If you want a comprehensive guide on what to do and what not to do when caring for your infant, we can help out. Keep reading below for a comprehensive infant health guide that’ll let you provide the best care for your child.
Do stay updated on all the information
There’s a lot that new parents have to keep themselves educated on to ensure their baby’s well-being. Handling a baby requires a lot of information, and the more you stay in touch with the best resources, the better care your infant will receive. In certain cases, however, gathering all the information you need is even more important. If your child has a birth condition, the way ahead can seem rocky and confusing. Many birth conditions are genetic or occur due to unpreventable factors.
Cerebral palsy is one such chronic birth condition that affects your baby for the rest of their life. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy may seem daunting, and most parents will not know what to expect. Understanding the type of cerebral palsy can help you figure out how to care best for your child and give them a fulfilling life despite their condition. Cerebral palsy can be divided into spastic, mixed, athetoid, ataxic, and hypotonic forms, and each has its unique symptoms. Figuring out the classification of cerebral palsy can help you provide your child with specialized care and ensure they live a full life.
Don’t let your baby sleep all the time
It’s no secret that infants sleep a lot. In fact, your baby might spend more time asleep than awake for the first few months of life. However, letting your baby sleep all the time can be counterintuitive and do your child more harm than good. In these early days, your infant is still adjusting to being out of the womb and may have a disturbed sleeping schedule. The more you plan your baby’s sleeping and waking schedule, the better you will be able to deal with your child.
We recommend not letting your child nap for more than an hour at a stretch. You can schedule naps throughout the day to help your child rest, but be sure to have ample time where you keep your baby awake and engaged. The more you do this, the easier it’ll be for you to keep your baby well-rested at night. On the contrary, if you let your infant nap endlessly throughout the day, you can be sure they’ll be irritable at night.
Do keep interacting with your child
In the earliest months, parents might feel like there’s not much they can do with their child. Since your baby doesn’t talk or even babble, you might feel like your interaction will be limited. However, the truth couldn’t be more to the contrary. Your baby can still watch, smell, and hear you, and infants are much more receptive to environmental cues than you may imagine. If you give your child a positive, interactive environment from the start, they will reap the benefits later in life.
Cuddling, playing, and talking to your child are excellent ways of helping them bond with you. Moreover, these activities can help your child become more receptive to their environment. Introducing your infant to objects and sounds can pique their curiosity and help immensely in brain development. As you speak and respond to your child, you build a bond and help them learn how to use languages.
Don’t smother your baby in bed
Most eager new parents have a full arsenal of gadgets and toys for their baby. If your infant sleeps in a cot, you might feel like adding a few stuffed toys will help them feel occupied and not alone. Similarly, you might add a bunch of cushions and blankets to ensure your baby is comfortable. However, doing so can seriously endanger your child’s life. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS occurs when a baby passes away unexplainably. Many believe that since babies cannot move by themselves, suffocation is a common factor.
So, to reduce the risk of SIDS, it’s important to practice safe sleeping practices. It’s important to keep the area where your child sleeps as clear as possible. Any extra blankets, toys, or cushions can easily become a risk factor. Moreover, it’s essential never to put your baby to sleep on their stomach, as they won’t be able to change their position unassisted.
Do keep your baby squeaky clean
It’s no secret that babies can be disastrously messy. From spilling food over themselves to dirty diapers, keeping your baby clean can be a constant struggle. However, doing so is vital to prevent infection and keep your baby as healthy as possible. Regarding baths, three times a week is typically enough to keep your infant clean, given that they haven’t made any big messes. However, you can expect to change their diapers at least five times daily. It’s vital to ensure hygiene when you’re changing diapers to keep infections away and prevent any rashes.
Moreover, your baby’s umbilical cord can take time to fall off, and until it does, doctors recommend not submerging your infant’s navel in water. If you want to go for a natural process, leave the cord alone until it turns black and falls off, at around three weeks.
Caring for a newborn can be scary, especially if it’s your first child. However, staying in touch with experts and caretakers who can step in can help you stay on track. Moreover, following these tips can help ensure that your baby is healthy and happy and leads a fulfilling life. But remember to enjoy the new addition to your family while looking after their well-being.