Taking care of a newborn is uncharted territory for most, and parenthood is no easy task. When you start off as a parent, there are many things that you cannot prepare for, but luckily, there are some things that you will be able to anticipate. Taking care of your newborn is going to be difficult, but in the end, it will also be the most rewarding experience of your life.
The following are some different things you should do in preparation for newborn care.
1. Establish a Schedule
Newborns are not able to keep an itinerary or schedule for when they wake up and go to sleep, but all human beings are creatures of habit. You should be aware of the times that you need to put the baby down and when you should feed him or her. Establishing a schedule will be helpful to you as well as to the child.
Parts of a schedule include naps, which might be for two to three hours throughout the day, or feeding, which should be about every four hours or less, depending on when your baby starts to get fussy. As long as you ballpark the times, you can prepare in advance for your child’s schedules.
2. Breastfeeding versus Formula
This is one of the most heavily debated subjects today because of the health benefits of breastfeeding versus using formulas. In general, you should stick to one or the other because changing between the two can be a difficult adjustment for your baby’s sensitive digestive tract. In truth, the root of the decision should be your willingness for lifestyle changes, as breastfeeding means you have to be prepared to breastfeed at a moment’s notice as well as make changes to your diet.
Good hygiene is an important part of keeping your child healthy, but you should also realize that it is not as easy as placing your child in water and using soap. During the first week after taking your baby from the hospital, you will have to give him or her a sponge bath. After that first week, you can bathe the baby two or three times a week, but make sure you use products that are specific for babies, and never submerge the baby in water.
4. Regular Doctor’s Visits
An imperative part of newborn care after taking him or her home is making sure you schedule regular visits to the doctor. The first visit should be done at least three days after leaving the hospital, and you should then visit every two weeks to a month afterward. During these visits, you should report any abnormalities that you may have noticed between visits.
After leaving the hospital, it is up to you to keep up with your child’s health. Newborn care can be difficult, but it revolves around schedules and is mostly made up of common sense. Once you have a routine down, it should be easy to care for your baby.