The Newborn Baby Care Tips and Advice for Parents
New parents face a steep learning curve the first few weeks after a baby is born. Here are some tips and advice for new parents who have just had a baby. This is your 6-week newborn baby care survival guide.
What are the most important newborn baby care tips and skills new parents should know?
The umbilical cord should fall naturally within the first week of birth. The HSE recommends the following guidelines for caring for the cord.
- Before and after touching the cord, wash your hands.
- If necessary, clean the cord around the base with cotton wool and cool boiled.
- After cleaning it, dry the belly button area.
- You should make sure the nappy does not cover the cord.
How to trim baby’s nails
Nails will grow quickly so it is a good idea for your baby to have them filed or trimmed.
Do this while your baby is sleeping or awake. Special baby nail clippers are recommended. To prevent ingrown nails, trim toenails straight across. You can gently nibble your baby’s nails if they are not too soft.
Between nail trimmings, wrap your baby in cotton mittens to protect his hands. This will prevent him from scratching his skin or irritating dry skin conditions.
How to ensure your baby sleeps safely
Your baby should be lying on its back, with their face up. This is the best position for them to go to sleep.
You can encourage your baby’s head to turn to the brighter side of the room by changing their position in their cot. This will allow your baby to strengthen their neck and head muscles on both sides. This will help shape your baby’s head.
You must not allow others to smoke in your house or car.
A cot in your bedroom is the best place for your baby’s nighttime sleep. Place your baby’s feet at the foot of the bed and ensure that your baby is not able to see your head when they fall asleep. To avoid them falling over, covers should not be higher than their shoulders.
You should not place anything else in the cot. It should be free from soft and fluffy objects.
Make sure that your baby’s room is not too hot. The ideal temperature should be between 16oC-20oC (62–68F). The room should not feel too warm for you or too cold for your baby. A room thermometer is the best way to check the temperature in the room. You should never let your baby fall asleep on a couch, an armchair, or on a bed.
How to take your baby’s temperature
Get a thermometer to determine if your baby feels warm to the touch. A digital thermometer is the best way to determine your child’s temperature, according to the HSE.
It is not recommended to take your child’s temperature right after a bath, or while they are wrapped in warm clothes. This will not yield an accurate result.
First, lay your baby flat. Next, place the thermometer under their armpit. To keep the thermometer in its place, gently hold your baby’s arm against their side. You will find instructions on how to use the thermometer. Many digital thermometers also have a timer that tells you when it is ready. The thermometer’s display will indicate the temperature of your child.
Your infant may be fighting an infection if the temperature is greater than 37.5C. Normal temperature for newborn babies is 37@C, but it can vary from one child to the next. Fevers above 38@C in babies younger than 3 months require immediate medical attention. If your baby seems unwell, trust your instincts.