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Though it is exciting to take your newborn home from the hospital, it can also be a bit scary for first time parents. Once you are home, you might feel that you just don't know where to get started and how to care for your newborn. So today we are sharing 40 Newborn Care Tips and Hacks to guide you through.
Even though you may feel anxious about handling a newborn, in a few short weeks you'll develop a routine and be parenting like a pro!
NEWBORN CARE TIPS & hACKS
SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT WITH BABY
Skin-to-skin time is when baby snuggles on your bare chest and is great for all babies, whether they are breastfeeding or formula feeding. There's so many benefits of skin to skin. Babies tend to become more calmer and cry less. It also causes the release of hormones that relieve stress and stabilizes baby's temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood sugar!
support baby's head at all times
You'll need to support your baby's head during the first few months, until the neck muscles get stronger. The baby will rely on you using your hands to support her head and neck when you pick her up and hold.
LEARN TO SWADDLE
If you want your baby to be happy and calm, then you should definitely consider swaddling the baby. Swaddling is an ancient technique where the baby is wrapped in a thin blanket or cloth. and gives a sense of security. Swaddling also prevents the baby from flailing her arms or her legs, which can trigger her startle reflex.
PUT MITTENS ON BABY'S HANDS
Babies sometimes tend to scratch themselves in the face with their little, razor-sharp fingernails which are nearly impossible to trim. Soft mittens can prevent your baby from scratching his face while they are asleep.
FILE NAILS WHILE BABY SLEEPS
A baby's fingernails grow fast, so you may have to trim them weekly or even more frequently. Consider filing your baby's nails with an emery board. which is not as scary as using a nail clipper. However, be careful not to file the tender skin under baby's nail bed.
change the position of the baby's head when sleeping
The safest way to put the baby to sleep is on his back since babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, if the baby sleeps with her head to the same side all the time, she can develop flat spots. Hence, to prevent the baby from getting a flat head, change the position of the baby’s head each day.
GET THE BABY ON A BATH TIME ROUTINE
It's never too early to start a bedtime routine with your baby. Bedtime routines will help calm the baby and prepare him for a good night's sleep.
USE A SOFT BRUSH FOR CRADLE CAP
Your newborn may develop rough, scaly patches on the scalp that seem to come out of nowhere. It is called cradle cap and is completely harmless to the baby. To get rid of cradle cap, use baby oil, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly overnight and wash with baby shampoo in the morning. Use a soft brush to gently loosen the flakes.
GATHER ALL THE BATH ESSENTIALS BEFORE YOU PUT BABY IN THE TUB
Make sure you've gathered all the bath essentials before you put the baby in the tub. You'll need soft washcloths,
cotton balls, baby shampoo and baby soap, a hooded towel and of course a bath tub.
Give the baby a sponge bath
Your baby’s first baths will need to be a sponge bath since newborns can not have a bath in a tub until the umbilical cord falls off. Watch how to give a newborn a sponge bath below.
USE A WHITE NOISE MACHINE WHEN BABY IS SLEEPING
Use a white noise machine to drown out startling noises and to calm your fussy baby to sleep. We love the MyBaby SoundSpa because not only does it provide white noise but also plays lullabies and projects slowly moving images of animals on to the ceiling or walls to lull a fussy baby to sleep.
REMOVE ONESIES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
If your newborn spits up all over the onesie or has a explosion in the diaper, just pull the onesie downwards over baby’s legs rather than trying to get it over her head. That way, you can easily get her out of the mess without it getting on the face and head!
KEEP A CLEAN DIAPER READY BEFORE YOU START A DIAPER CHANGE
Before you get started on changing the baby's diaper, be sure to have a clean diaper underneath, just in case there's another poop or pee session is around the corner.
A DARK ROOM HELPs BABY SETTLE DOWN EASILY
Your baby will find it much easier to settle and sleep in a dark room regardless of the time of the day. If your baby is over 2 months old, a dark room will promote the release of melatonin, which is a hormone crucial to your baby settling and sleeping well.
BE CONSISTENT WITH BEDTIME
Wake up your baby at the same time every morning and be consistent at night with bedtime. This helps your baby understand the day/night difference by regulating their circadian rhythm.
MAKE SURE THE BABY IS AWAKE DURING DAYTIME FEEDINGS
After the first month, you don’t want to let your baby fall asleep while you’re feeding or rocking her. Instead, you want her to figure out how to put herself to sleep. If she goes to sleep and keeps sleeping when you’re feeding her, stop and put her to bed.
AVOID TALKING AND SINGING DURING NIGHT TIME FEEDINGS
When you feed or change the baby at night time, keep the lights low and your movements slow and quiet. In the morning, open the curtains, play with the baby and don’t try to stifle general household noise; let the phone ring, the dishwasher run and the dog bark.
ENCOURAGE BABY TO SELF SOOTHE
If you put your baby in her crib when she's already asleep and she wakes up in the night, she won't recognize her surroundings and will need your help getting back to sleep. So try to put your baby down drowsy but awake to help her learn to self-soothe and fall asleep—and, back to sleep—on her own.
TRY MOVING BEDTIME 30-60 MINUTES EARLIER
Did you know that most babies doze off easily and sleep longer when they’re laid down before they get tired and bug-eyed. If you’re having difficulty getting your newborn to sleep at night, then the solution might be starting the bedtime drill 15 minutes earlier every 2 to 3 nights until you settle on a time that works for your little one.
LOOK FOR CUES FROM BABY
Your baby is unlikely to have regular feeding habits initially. So look for cues from your little one when she's hungry such as rooting, sucking hands or fingers or smacking her lips.
BREASTFEED DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR
The first 60 minutes after birth, is known as the “golden hour,” and is important for both skin-to-skin contact as well as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding during the golden hour will help you bond with the baby and the suckling will release hormones that help the uterus contract and stop bleeding.
GET A HAKAA
If you are going to breastfeed then consider purchasing a Hakaa breast pump. It is a simple gadget that helps relieve engorged breasts or leaky breasts. The Hakaa is a soft silicone pump that you squeeze and put on your breast. The suction pumps milk out. Check out this post on why we think the Hakaa is a game changer.
INVEST IN A BABY BUM BRUSH
Who wants to get their fingers greasy? Instead buy a Baby Bum Diaper Cream Brush to keep your fingers clean from diaper cream and apply ointment smoother, thicker, and faster.
USE ZIP UP PAJAMAS AT NIGHT
During the night, the last thing you want to do is mess with snaps and buttons. One of our favorite newborn care tips is to change the baby into zip up pajamas at night so late night diaper changes can become less cumbersome. Check out this post where we share our BABY REGISTRY LIST FOR 2020 with printable checklist.
INVEST IN A BASSINET
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborn babies sleep in the same room where mom sleeps for at least the first six months. A bassinet is a great option to keeping the baby close and we love this bassinet and bedside sleep because of the flexibility and convenience it offers.
CREate essential stations for newborn care
Among our top newborn care tips is to create stations with essential supplies in the nursery. You'll save so much time and sweat if you have designated areas for diapering, breastfeeding, postpartum and of course pumping. Read this blog post where we show you how to create the stations.
download the glow app
Trying to remember sleep, breastfeeding, pumping schedules as well as diaper changes that need to be done is no easy task. Download the Glow Newborn Tracker app to take the craziness out of your home and track everything you could think of, with regards to newborn care.
get a cool mist HUMIDIFIER
There's nothing worse than watching your baby with a cold and not been able to do much. You can breastfeed a bit more and then there's a cool mist humidifier which you can use. A humidifier will decrease nasal congestion by helping to loosen mucus and in addition to relief from a cold, it also protects baby's skin from drying out. Check out this blog post where we pick our top 20 baby registry items for 2020 ( Yes, it includes a humidifier!)
buy a nursing light
Your night time breastfeeding sessions will be a whole lot easier with a nursing light that clips on to you. It is a lightweight button that produces a soft glow light with just a push of a button so you aren't stumbling around in the dark.
give the baby a massage
Yet another one of our favorite newborn care tips is to give the baby a massage. Massages are known to promote better sleep, relieve colic, and improve baby's immune system.
keep a diaper bag packed at all times
Perhaps you are running late for a pediatricians appointment or maybe it's an emergency, and the last thing you have time for is to go through and pack the diaper bag. Restock and pack the diaper bag whenever you return home from an outing so you are always ready. Read this blog post where we share our diaper bag checklist.
take care of yourself
With all these newborn care tips, it is easy to forget your own health and wellness. No matter how busy you are, take a shower everyday, pay attention to your postpartum recovery, eat healthy meals and go outside for a bit everyday. Ask for help, make freezer meals, get our house organized and stockpile on household necessities before your due date, so you are better prepared.
WASH HANDS BEFORE HANDLING THE BABY
Your baby's immune system is immature and can not work as well as an older child,. Hence, it is imperative that you and anyone else handling the baby wash hands each time you hold the baby.
try baby wearing
Babies like to be cradled all the time but you have a million other things to do as well. A baby carrier lets you do your own thing, hands-free, while your baby relaxes against you. We love this baby carrier!
make sure the baby is securely fastened
Whenever the baby is in a car seat, stroller, bouncer or ,swing please make sure your newborn is securely fastened with the safety straps and buckles.
never shake a baby
Shaken baby syndrome is a serious brain injury caused by forcefully and violently shaking a baby. It can result from as little as five seconds of shaking. It is never ever OK to shake a baby. Make sure that all the people who care for your baby know this.
get help from a lactation consultant
Breastfeeding is not easy. It can be difficult on our bodies and there's so many things new moms need to know from positions to nipple care. If you have trouble getting to latch or need advice, do consult a lactation consultant.
encourage tummy time
Placing the baby on his tummy encourages him to lift his head, which helps strengthen his head, neck and shoulder muscles and boost motor skills. The American Association of Pediatricians recommends parents get going on it early. Always check with your baby's pediatrician first though!
burp the newborn after feeding
As a new parent, you'll need to master the art of burping! Burping is one way to get rid of the gas, the air that is trapped in the baby's gastrointestinal system. If the gas is not released, it can cause a feeling of fullness and discomfort, which often causes babies to squirm or cry. Learn this important newborn care tip by watching the video below.
take care of the umbilical cord.
A very important newborn care tip is to take care of the umbilical cord. It will take some time (approximately 1-2 weeks) before the stump dries up and falls off. It needs care and attention to prevent irritation and infection. Allow the cord to be exposed to air as often as possible so the base of the stump can dry. Also, only give the baby a sponge bath until after the umbilical cord has fallen off. Look for signs of infection such as the base appearing red or swollen, white or yellow pus or continued bleeding.
learn this AMAZING TRICK TO CALM the baby
We were blown away by the video we are sharing below. This video has been viewed over 31 million times on Youtube. It features Dr. Robert Hamilton and he demonstrates how to calm a crying baby. It's under 5 minutes and definitely one of the best newborn care tips!
BABY CARE TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS
These baby care tips and hacks include all the things you need to know to help you navigate and care for your newborn along with videos, how to's and needed gear.
Please take a moment to share this with other moms or pin for future reference!
Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by Tira Attygalla