Ideally, people have timelines set for every milestone they want to achieve in life. College at 22, marriage at 25, kids by 30. But we all know life doesn’t follow plans.
And that’s especially true when it comes to starting a family.
Maybe you attended your friend’s neighbor’s baby shower, and all the mushy talk of new life and the miracle of childbirth made you want to have a baby right then and there.
Or maybe you discovered that you were unexpectedly expecting, and the news sent you into a tailspin.
Whatever the circumstances, if you’re a young parent, you might feel scared, alone, and unprepared for this new chapter in your life. And it’s okay! Really. There is no pressure in the world to be a “perfect” parent. You will make mistakes, but you will also learn and grow from them.
We have put together a list of newborn care tips for young parents to help you get started on this incredible journey:
Your Child May Be at Risk of an Injury:
We don’t mean to scare you. Neither do we want you to dread the birthing process. But, it’s essential to be aware of all the potential risks that can occur during childbirth so you can be prepared for anything.
Your newborn is at a higher risk of specific injuries because their bones, joints, and muscles are still developing and are much more fragile than an adult’s. You can learn more about the common injuries that can occur during childbirth and how to prevent them by talking to your doctor or attending a birthing class. If you’re looking for online resources, childbirthinjuries.com is a great starting point.
Some birth injuries can be a natural result of the birthing process. However, there are chances that medical interventions such as vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, or negligence like delayed cesarean section, can cause injuries. Suppose your child was injured during birth, and you suspect it was due to medical negligence. In that case, it’s crucial to speak to a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Your Newborn Will Need to Be Monitored for Jaundice:
Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes resulting from excess bilirubin in the blood. It’s a common condition that affects almost 60% of newborns.
Jaundice usually appears on the second or third day after birth and peaks around the fifth. It should subside by the time your baby is two weeks old.
In most cases, jaundice is harmless and will go away on its own without any treatment. However, in some instances, it can signify more serious underlying conditions. That’s why it’s crucial to have your newborn checked by a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any signs of jaundice.
You can also try one of these helpful home remedies to help reduce the symptoms of jaundice:
Place your baby under a sunlamp for short periods
Avoid giving your baby anything other than breast milk or formula
Keep your baby’s nappy area clean and dry
Don’t Miss Follow-Ups and Vaccines:
It’s essential to keep up with your baby’s immunizations and health check-ups. These follow-ups are crucial in ensuring that your child is developing properly and that any health concerns are caught early.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that babies must have their first check-up within the first week after birth. After that, they should have wellness visits at least once a month for the first six months, followed by every two to three months until they’re one year old.
During these visits, the doctor will check your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference. They will also assess your baby’s development and immunization status. Some underlying conditions like developmental delays or congenital heart defects can be detected during these visits.
Your baby will also need vaccinations to protect them from serious diseases. Some of the vaccines recommended for babies are:
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
Child-Proof Your Home:
We are sure the excitement and butterflies of becoming parents must have already had you running around the house, trying to prepare everything for your little one’s arrival. But have you thought about child-proofing your home?
It’s critical to ensure your home is safe for your baby to explore. From falls to ingesting poisonous substances, there are many dangers that your child can face at home.
Start by child-proofing areas your baby can access, like the kitchen and bathroom. Next, you must install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases or cover the electricity sockets with safety plugs.
You should also keep harmful substances like cleaning products, medications, and alcohol out of reach.
You can never be sure when these little explorers will start crawling and walking, so it’s always better to be prepared.
Breastfeed When Possible:
Breastfeeding has plenty of benefits for both mother and child. It’s the perfect food for your baby and can help boost their immune system. In addition, breastfeeding strengthens your bond with your baby and improves your emotional well-being.
If you can, try to breastfeed your baby for at least the first six months. Breastfeeding improves your baby’s digestion and can help to prevent them from developing allergies.
We know that not every mother can breastfeed, and that’s okay.
If you cannot breastfeed or supplement formula, sterilize your baby’s bottles and nipples before each use.
Always sanitize your hands before handling your baby’s food or bottles. It’s also important to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol while you’re breastfeeding. Please remember the world might push you into a dark pit of breastfeeding vs. formula, but it’s ultimately YOUR decision.
Caring for a newborn can be overwhelming, but we hope these tips will help you feel more prepared. Newborns are a big responsibility, but they’re also a lot of fun. So when they pull your hair or wet your cheeks with their drool, you’ll know it was all worth it.
We wish you a sweet journey filled with sloppy kisses as new parents! And remember, you’re doing great!