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The first few months with a newborn can be very daunting for new parents. Even parents who have older kids, still face similar fears taking care of a newborn because every baby is different.
When you buy a new gadget from the store, it comes with a manual on how to work it. I am pretty sure many parents wished their newborns came with a manual too. I certainly wish they did. They smell like fresh flowers and are very soft and cuddly.
However managing them doesn't come without its challenges.
Listed below are a few newborn hacks that can help new parents go through this phase.
Sleep when baby is sleeping. I am sure you have heard that quite a lot. I know I did. This is true because you need the rest to replenish your energy for the night ahead. The funny thing is that babies tend to sleep more during the day and are awake most nights, so get your sleep on mama to avoid being cranky when baby is awake.
A tip for getting baby to sleep more at night is to swaddle. I can't emphasise this enough. Remember that when your baby was growing in your belly there was little room for moving around. So if you place your baby in her cot and watch her, you will notice she jerks often. Unfortunately those jerks can wake newborns up and they end up not sleeping for longer hours. So swaddle them to give them the same cramped up feeling like in the womb, so that they do not wake up suddenly and you too can get some good uninterrupted sleep.
Another hack is to train her to sleep with some background noise during the day because you can't maintain 100% silence.
Babies can't regulate their body temperatures so it's good to keep the ambient temperature warm before bath time.
In the bathtub wrap baby with a towel and you can pour warm water into the bath. This keeps her warm and also prevent slips. Because babies can be very slippery.
Newborns Babies don't need to have a bath everyday. Top and tail with a soft washcloth can help on days when they are not having a full bath.
Newborns cry a lot no doubt. That is their way of expressing themselves. With time you will learn what the different cry means. Generally babies cry when they are hungry, when their diaper is soiled, when they want to sleep, when they want to be cuddled, when they are uncomfortable. So in this department, you just have to pay attention to their cues and dealing with a crying baby doesn't have to be a volcanic eruption.
Sometimes babies just cry for no obvious reason. After you have checked and have made sure you have attended to all the needs listed above, you can just take them outside, play some music. They may just be bored. Yes babies get bored too.
There is almost no way of escaping being peed or pooped in my your baby, so be prepared. That being said one of the ways you can reduce this from happening is by placing a new diaper under the old one while changing them and do this fairly quickly to reduce the water fountains.
Another hack is to set up diaper changing stations at different locations in the house so you don't have to run a marathon every time baby does her business and get ready they do a lot of it. You can set up a basket containing wipes, new diapers, a set of clean clothes (to change the soiled ones), diaper rash cream.
A Lot of parents spend tons of money shopping for baby clothes. But they forget that they grow so fast and may not even go through all of the clothes. I would advise that parent s to just buy a different sizes of few onesies, overalls in different sizes to accommodate them as they grow, socks and blankets. Because baby is going to be indoors most of the time.
And for parents who want to be surprised about the sex of the baby, they can buy i=unisex outfits in various colours such as greens, browns etc. so that they can accomodate what ever sex the baby will turn out to be.
You know the onesies with the wide neck that look like envelopes. They weren't made as a fashion statement but to help you if you need to remove an outfit that has been soiled pretty good. You can hardly avoid this sometimes. Simply pull the onesie from the shoulder downwards to take it off so as not to get poop all over the baby's head and everywhere else.
For the clothes that are soiled, wash them right away with mild detergent and a little bit of baking powder, I find that this helps take away the stains.
For breastfed babies I would advise new mums to get a silicone breast pump to collect the breast milk that leaks from the opposite breast during a feed. A little goes a long way especially for mothers who would like to build a stash in the freezer.
Wearing a hairband on the corresponding hand can help you remember which side baby sucked last.
For bottle feeding, this is a good time to engage dad or older siblings. So you can get some work done while baby is being fed breast milk from the bottle or formula.
These are some of the hacks I have learnt from caring for my baby girl. I wish I knew them when I had her older siblings, I would have been less cranky. Try and enjoy your newborn days while it lasts. Babies grow very fast as you will soon learn.
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