Being a first-time mom has its own set of challenges as you get introduced to a lot of new things, ranging from breastfeeding to soothing a crying baby. Though with patience and right information, you can make it a fulfilling experience.
“You have already accomplished one challenging task of giving birth to your baby with ease, and now the second—the daunting task of raising your little one is unnerving you. You must have thought that once your baby comes out – all will be fine, but as you embark on the journey of motherhood, you realise that you have no idea about taking care of that delicate, trusting creature who is lying peacefully in his brand new crib. His tiny hands and beautiful face have already enchanted you and all you can think of is how do you prevent him from any unforeseen harm?”
If you can relate to this, then you must be embracing motherhood for the first time thinking these thoughts play only in your head, though that’s not true. These are generally the thoughts dominating the minds of almost all first-time moms. But, there is no need to worry. Every mother feels nervous about managing a fragile newborn. However, with time and patience, you will learn to take the best care of him. Each passing day will help you to understand the signs of hunger, drowsiness, reasons for crying etc. And you will soon be a pro.
Most Common Worries of New Moms
As your little one depends on you for everything, your responsibility increases. Your one wrong action can hurt your child and this thought makes you all the more nervous. Here are some common fears experienced by all new moms. It is alright to worry, just remember to not allow it to overpower you.
What’s Wrong with My Baby?
As you settle into your parenting routine, you will notice that your baby cries frequently. In the initial months, you will be unable to fathom why your baby is crying. Whenever he cries, you will wonder if something is wrong with him. You will be constantly worried about his eating and sleeping habits. These thoughts will rule your head and you will live in this perpetual fear of not being good enough for your child. But, do not stress yourself. Talk to your parents or any experienced moms. Learn from their experiences and devise new ways to soothe your child.
Am I Breastfeeding Right?
As a first-time mom, you will be asking this question to yourself a lot. Breastfeeding is a new experience and almost all women face problem in breastfeeding in the first few days of childbirth. Sometimes babies don’t latch properly, if they do, then they won’t suck- and that’s alright. Many new moms also get worried if their babies reject the breastmilk. They start thinking of alternatives to breastmilk. If you also have such doubts in your mind, then do not think twice before reaching out to a doctor. Ask her about breastfeeding positions and how frequently should a baby be breastfed. Get your doubts answered and you will feel a lot better.
Taking Care of The Baby
Clipping your baby’s nails, bathing him, looking after him when he is sick, satisfying his needs – all this can make you feel nervous. Taking care of a newborn is not hard, it is just an overwhelming experience and it is something you will learn as the time passes. You must be strictly adhering to a lot of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ from a parenting book while taking care of your little one, but sometimes all you need to do is follow your maternal instincts. Trust your parenting skills and you will cater to all the needs of your baby confidently.
A baby’s pooping schedule also becomes a cause of concern for new moms. A baby’s pooping cycle is not constant. In the first few days, a baby can poop frequently or he may not poop for days. An irregular pooping routine of your little one can disturb you. An infant’s poop colour can also change which is even more frightening for a new mom. But there is no need to panic, you can always consult a doctor for the same.
If your baby spits up some milk after you breastfeed him do not panic as it is normal for a baby to spit up milk after being breastfed. What you can do is, pat his back and make him burp after breastfeeding him. However, if your baby is spitting milk and not gaining enough weight or not growing properly, you should seek a doctor, as it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
12 Tips to Help First Time Moms
Being a mom is not an easy task. As a new mom, you will experience many challenges and you will be tired. But here are some baby care tips for new moms to make your journey easier.
1. Prepare a Checklist
Make a checklist of all the items that you will require for baby care and nursing. Ensure you stock enough before he arrives home. Do include things that would be essential for you while nursing him, like nursing pillows, nursing bras, etc.
2. Get Breastfeeding Right
In the first few months of birth, make sure you breastfeed your baby. Breastmilk is nutritious and will help in boosting the immune system of your baby. Feed him at regular intervals, i.e. for at least 8 to 12 times a day. Do not bottle feed him before three months, unless there is no other option.
3. Handle with Care
A newborn’s body is delicate and needs to be handled with utmost care. When you hold him in your arms, hold and support the head first with one hand as it is the heaviest part of the body, rest it in the cove of your elbow and then use your other arm to scoop up his bottom. You will need to switch hands at regular intervals. Make sure that one hand is always supporting the baby’s head, even when you hold him upright overlooking the shoulder. You may also seek advice from your doctor in this regard.
4. Trim Nails Regularly
Trim your nails regularly. The skin of your baby is very delicate and he might get hurt if you have long nails. In addition, you must trim his nails as well, at regular intervals, as he might scratch his own face. However, do it cautiously and while the baby is sleeping.
5. Bond with Your Baby
Try to bond with your baby in the first few days as it is believed that initial bonding is everlasting. Develop an emotional connection with your baby. There are three ways to bond with your little one: skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, and responding to a baby’s needs. Skin-to-skin contact involves cradling your baby in your arms and gently stroking his back and tummy. Breastfeeding also encourages skin-to-skin contact. While breastfeeding, make sure your baby’s eyes are open so that he will look in your eyes. As your baby looks into your eyes, he gets familiar with you and this helps you two bond. It is also important that you take care of your child’s emotional needs to strengthen the bond.
6. Soothe Your Crying Baby
Crying is the only way of communicating for newborns, be it for when they are hungry or are facing any discomfort. With some observation, you will be able to understand what your baby is trying to convey. A baby may cry because:
- He is hungry.
- He has soiled his diaper.
- He needs to be swaddled.
- He is bored and wants to be entertained.
- He wants to suck on something.
- He is tired and wants to sleep.
- He is feeling hot or cold.
- He just wants to cry.
7. Choose Baby Products Wisely
Your baby’s skin is sensitive and prone to rashes and irritation. It is recommended that you use baby skin care products only while giving him a bath or changing his nappies. Baby care products you use should be free of strong artificial fragrances, harsh cleansing agents, and any other unnecessary additives that could irritate the baby’s skin or trigger allergies. Ask your doctor about the best hypoallergenic brands to avoid skin rashes or other related problems.
8. Go for Comfortable Clothes
When selecting clothes for your baby, ensure that they are soft, stretchable, and easy to wear. Stock some extra regular wear and get some plus size clothes as your baby will grow faster than you may even realize.
9. Baby Cleaning Basics
Your baby is expected to pee or poop at least 8 to 10 times a day depending on the number of times he is fed. Ensure he does not wear a soiled diaper for long. Change it immediately as soon as you sense a dirty diaper. A soiled diaper may not only make him feel uneasy but may also lead to infections. Use soft baby wipes to clean him and diaper rash cream before you put on a diaper on him.
10. Set a Schedule for Your Baby
Make a schedule for your baby. See to it that he feeds, sleeps, and poops at regular intervals. Do not let him doze off at odd timings as this will mean that you go sleepless at night.
11. Seek Help
Initially, taking care of your baby will be difficult for you. You will not be familiar with many things Raising a child is not easy but don’t worry as you will learn with time. However, there is no harm in seeking help when you need it. Take advice from experienced people, like your mother or grandmother. They can guide you if you face any problem in breastfeeding or suggest home remedies if your baby is sick. You can even hire a full-time help to take care of your baby in the initial months.
12. Look for The Signs of Over Stimulation
Babies’ cries are generally mistaken for signs of hunger or lack of sleep. However, not always this is true. Babies may even cry when over stimulated. Playtime is essential for a baby, but too many activities can result in overstimulation. If your baby is overstimulated, it will be difficult for you to settle him down; he will be overtired and may cry. If your baby is overwhelmed, take him to a quiet place and talk to him in a soothing voice.
Remember, planning a schedule is important, it will help both you and the baby in the long run. There are numerous things that you need to take care of when you bring your newborn home. No matter it’s your first time, it’s an experience of a lifetime that you will remember and cherish always.