The much-awaited arrival of the new baby always stirs up a lot of mixed emotions in parents. While you are over the moon about being blessed with a bundle of joy who’ll fill your hearts and home with unimaginable happiness, there is also a lurking concern about handling the newborn baby, especially for first-time parents. These concerns are often amplified by an abundance of unsolicited, mostly conflicting advice from family, friends, and well-wishers. Even though there is no single right way to raise a child, there are a few ground rules and precautions for handling your newborn baby that will help keep them out of harm’s way at all times.
This can be intimidating for first-time parents who have never been around little babies before. Be rest assured that you will not harm your baby in any way as long as you follow the right techniques for handling a newborn. Scoop up your baby with both arms when you lift them, placing one hand under the neck at all times because their neck muscles aren’t yet strong enough to support their head.
It is important to burp your baby after every feeding session. Sometimes, it may seem like you have been at it forever with no luck but do not give up mid-way. Skipping the burp-after-feed regime while handling the newborn baby can hamper digestion and cause nasty episodes of vomiting that can make your baby ill-at-ease.
Yes, it is heartbreaking to see your little bundle of joy getting shots and ending up with stiff legs, or in some cases, even mild fever. However, following the immunization schedule prescribed by your child’s paediatrician is one of the most important precautions for your newborn baby, as it helps protect your little one from a host of medical conditions and illnesses.
Whether you choose to co-sleep or place a bassinet or crib near your bed, it is important to keep the area secure in order to minimise the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you are co-sleeping, place a pillow between you and your baby to avoid exerting your body weight on them in your sleep. Similarly, clearing out any toys, cushions, and other accessories from their crib is a crucial precaution for the newborn baby. Also, make sure you always place your newborn on their back to avoid the risk of choking.
It is important to learn and follow the right breastfeeding technique to not only make sure your baby gets their fill but also for their safety. If you’ve attended any Lamaze or prenatal classes during pregnancy, you’d already be aware of it. If not, ask your doctor to take you through the right breastfeeding process. Maintaining some gap between your breast and your baby’s face is an essential precaution for a newborn baby, as a mother’s breasts are large enough to block the baby’s nasal passage and lead to suffocation. This can be done by pushing your breasts inward with your fingers around the area where the baby's nose is in contact with your skin.
With these few basic precautions for newborn baby care, you remain rest assured that your baby will be safe and secure at all times. Besides this, you must learn to trust your parental instincts to get you through different phases of parenting.