The New Parent's Guide: Basics of Baby Care!
Congratulations on your new arrival! As a new parent, there are many things to learn to take care of your baby. We’ll give you an easy-to-follow guide on changing nappies in a changing table to bathing your baby gently! So relax– we've got you covered.
Changing nappies: Step by step
Once your baby gets out of the hospital, you'll be changing many nappies! Newborns will need their nappy changed around eight to twelve times a day, so it's important to know how to do it properly! Here's an easy step-by-step guide:
1. Place the baby on a clean, dry surface.
Before anything else, the first thing you should do is make sure that you have placed your baby on a clean, dry surface.
A fantastic changing table is ideal, but any safe, flat surface like a baby bed or floor will do in a pinch. Just make sure that it's clean and dry, so your baby isn't lying on anything wet or dirty.
2. Prepare everything you'll need.
Before going in deep, gather all of your supplies– nappy wipes, nappy rash cream (if needed), and a fresh set of clothes (in case of any accidents!).
Ensure all of these items are within reach, so you don't have to leave your baby unattended on the changing surface.
If you're using a disposable nappy, open it up and place it within reach. If you're using a reusable nappy, prepare it beforehand.
Tip: Wipes are essential for cleaning up after a nappy change. Choose a brand you like– many are hypoallergenic and alcohol-free, ideal for delicate newborn skin.
Nappy rash cream can also be a life-saver for preventing and treating nappy rash. If you don't need it, great! But if you do, make sure you have it on hand.
3. Time to get started!
Start by gently wiping your baby's bottom with a wet wipe.
If you're using a disposable nappy, place it under your baby's bottom, ensuring the sticky tabs are facing the correct way. If you're using a reusable nappy, now put it on your baby.
Once the nappy is in place, use a dry wipe to clean up any excess mess. And that's it! You've successfully changed your baby's nappy. Well done, parent!
Now that you know how to change a nappy let's move on to the next task: bathing your baby!
Bathing baby: Step by step
A clean baby is a happy baby, so you'll often be bathing your little one! Here's a step-by-step guide to making the process as smooth as possible:
1. Fill the tub with lukewarm water.
The first thing you'll need to do is fill the tub with lukewarm water. The water mustn't be too hot or too cold, as this can harm your baby's delicate skin.
A good rule of thumb is to test the temperature of the water with your elbow– it should feel warm but not hot to the skin there.
Once the tub is filled, you can add some baby-safe soap or shampoo. A small amount will do– too much can irritate your baby's skin.
Tip: If you don't have a baby bathtub, that's OK! You can bathe your baby in the sink using a basin filled with lukewarm water. Just make sure that you're very careful, so you don't accidentally drop your baby!
2. Gather everything.
Much like when changing your baby's nappies, you'll want to ensure that you have everything you need within reach before getting started. This prevents you from having to leave your baby unattended in the tub.
So, what do you need? A clean towel, a washcloth, and any soap or shampoo you'll use. You might also want to have a few toys to keep your baby entertained during the bath!
Tip: It can be helpful to put all of these items in a small bucket or basket so you can easily carry them to the tub. And if you can, have someone else help you– an extra set of hands is always appreciated when bathing a wiggly baby!
3. Lower baby into the tub.
Now it's time to get your baby into the tub! Gently lower them into the water, careful not to splash them in the face.
You can hold onto them with one hand while using the other to wet their hair and body with the washcloth. Once they're wet, you can add a small amount of soap to the washcloth and start washing them from head to toe.
Tip: Newborns don't need to be washed every day– in fact, bathing them too often can dry out their skin. A few times a week is usually plenty!
When you're finished washing your baby, it's time to get them out of the tub. Gently lift your baby out of the water and wrap them in a towel. Be sure to support their head and neck– newborns are top-heavy and can easily lose their balance.
Once they're wrapped up, you can hold them close and gently pat them dry. And that's it!
Baby care tips you should keep in mind.
While learning how to bathe and change your baby is important, there are a few other things you should keep in mind when it comes to caring for your little one. Here are a few tips:
Tip 1. Burp your baby after feedings.
Feeding time is an important part of caring for your baby, but it's not over when they're done eating! You'll also need to burp them to help avoid any discomfort later on.
Simply hold your baby upright against your shoulder and pat their back gently to do this. You can also try sitting them on your lap and gently rubbing their back in a circular motion.
Burping can be a trial-and-error process– every baby is different! Just keep trying until you find what works for your little one.
Tip 2. Always handle your baby with clean hands.
Before and after handling your baby, it's important to wash your hands thoroughly. This helps prevent the spread of germs and keeps your baby healthy.
Whenever possible, try to avoid touching your face while holding your baby. And if you do happen to sneeze or cough while holding them, be sure to turn away from them, so you don't accidentally get them sick!
Tip 3. Don't let strangers hold your baby.
While it's tempting to let everyone coo and cuddle with your new baby, be cautious about who you allow to hold them. Strangers may not have clean hands, and they could potentially pass on germs to your little one.
If you're not comfortable with someone holding your baby, don't be afraid to speak up! It's your decision who gets to hold them, and you shouldn't feel pressured into letting someone do so if you're not comfortable with it.
Tip 4. Keep an eye on your baby's diaper.
Diapers can fill up quickly– especially overnight! Be sure to check your baby's diaper frequently and change it as soon as possible when it's full. A wet or dirty diaper can cause irritation and discomfort, so it's important to keep them clean and dry.
Tip 5. Limit baths to up to 10 minutes.
Your baby's skin is delicate, so it's important to limit baths to no more than ten minutes. Any longer than that, and their skin could start to dry out!
When you're finished bathing your baby, gently pat them dry– never rub! And if their skin looks a bit red or irritated, try using a hypoallergenic moisturizer to help soothe it.
Caring for a baby can be a lot of work, but it's also an incredibly rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your baby is happy and healthy– and that you're prepared for whatever comes your way!