Newborn Care and Health: 4 Tips for the First 30 Days

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No one can completely encapsulate and convey the feelings of becoming a parent. Holding your baby for the first time is a special kind of joy. You may feel worried, anxious, excited, and nervous. However, at the same time, it’s natural to doubt your ability as a parent and become skeptical if you’re looking after your child properly. 

These concerns are a natural part of parenthood, and it’s okay to be filled with doubts. Most parents experience extreme agitation in the first month of bringing their child home. The drastic change in your routine, along with the lack of rest, sleep, and relaxation, can all weigh on you further, making you question your skills. Hence to ensure that you’re able to care for and nurture your child adequately, here’s what you need to do:

1. Take Them For A Doctor’s Visit

Taking your baby for frequent checkups during their first month informs healthcare providers how well your child is developing. When a baby is born, it’s hard to tell immediately if they have an underlying injury or experienced a traumatic birth. This is because newborns are covered in fluid and take time to respond to the doctor. The initial examinations also have a high chance of missing out on warning signs like weak muscles and ruling your child has healthy. 

This is why by taking your child in for an evaluation, a doctor can thoroughly inspect your baby. For instance, after a month, your child’s reflexes should settle in, yet if they’re still showing symptoms of lethargy, have a slumped posture, or have no muscle tone, they may be dealing with cerebral palsy. There are many causes of this condition. Some babies inherit cerebral palsy, while others may end up with this condition because of medical negligence. In any case, early intervention can help you get the treatment your baby needs right away. Doctors check for various ailments that govern your child’s well-being. This includes their reflexes, response, weight, and condition of their skin and muscles to determine if your child is hitting the proper milestones.

2. Get Help To Nurse Adequately

Breastfeeding is more challenging than it seems. As a new mother, your body needs time to produce milk, and you need to find the right way to help your child latch on. Your lack of milk supply can make your baby fussy, and they may opt for cluster feeding, in which your child may latch on for a short period but demand frequent feeding. If you’re also unable to nurse appropriately, you risk getting your milk ducts clogged and nipples engorged, which are both painful to experience. 

Therefore, if you’re unable to assist, always ask for help. A lactation consultant can guide you and help you get to the crux of your issues. These experts can also teach you valuable techniques to help increase the milk flow, ensure your child latches on safely and prevent your nipples from getting injured. You may want to invest in quality nipple cream and use a hot compress to soothe your aching chest. 

The first few days may be hard on you, and it’s not unusual if you feel defeated and exhausted. But don’t give up. On the other hand, if you cannot nurse, you may look into bottle-feeding your baby or obtaining breast milk from the milk bank. If you have trouble breastfeeding, it’s best to speak to a doctor and make your next move.

3. Learn How To Soothe Your Baby

Every infant has its way of calming down. While some need you to rock them gently, others require you to hold them longer. No matter what technique you use to help your baby relax, never shake them or jerk them harshly. This can cause permanent brain damage and even disable your baby. When you hold them, always support their neck and head and softly sway them side to side. 

You can try tucking your child against your chest, lay them across your arms or put them in your lap. Figure out what relaxes your baby the most, and ensure you always adopt that behavior to help them relax. You can try singing them lullabies, using a white noise machine, or buying toys that play tunes that can comfort your baby. 

Always notice how long it takes your child to calm down. If they’re crying longer and hysterically, that should be a source of concern for you. Sometimes, if your baby is dealing with a high-grade fever or has an underlying health condition, they may not relax immediately and require you to rush them to the ER.

4. Establishing a Sleeping Schedule

Babies like to sleep throughout the day. Generally, most infants can sleep up to sixteen hours daily. This is a process that requires several naps in between. Your baby may sleep through the morning and end up crying through the night. Their unpredictable sleeping schedule can weigh down on you and make it hard for you to rest. Therefore your best solution is setting up a partner system. Babies need time to adjust to a coherent schedule. Until then, you must get ready to pull several shifts at night, cradling, feeding, and burping them. 

Make sure you let your partner know what days you’ll stay up and when you need them to take over. You’ll burn out fast if you choose to tackle each day alone. Your health is vital for your baby. You can try keeping your baby awake in the morning by actively engaging with them. Reducing the number of naps they take can cause them to become drowsy at night. Speak to a doctor to learn the most effective way to get your child on a sleep schedule. 

Final Thoughts

Raising your baby and ensuring they’re healthy requires immense effort. At times you may feel worn out by your child. But this is all part of being a parent, and while it may be hard, your efforts will soon pay off. Hence, don’t hesitate to reach out to all the resources that can help you raise your child effectively. This includes visiting the doctor every month, learning how to nurse your baby without injuring yourself, and figuring out what makes your baby calm down. 

Lastly, sleep is the biggest challenge for most parents once they bring a baby home. Your child may keep you up at night, and without establishing a proper sleeping schedule, you may find it hard to continue sacrificing your sleep. In such cases, talk to your doctor and get all the relevant information you need to stay on track and get your rest.

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