Here are some basic guidelines that you should know when caring for a newborn baby! I've put these together so you can see them at a glance.
Basic Guidelines for Caring for Newborns
1. What should I do when holding a newborn baby?
The first thing parents do when meeting a baby is to hug them. From 2 months of age, babies can hold up their own neck, but it is still difficult for them to hold up their neck during the newborn period. The most important thing is to support your child's head with your hands or arms!
It is also good to practice with a doll or pillow before holding a baby. When carrying the baby, support them with your arms or hands so that you are not only lifting the upper body, but also keeping the neck and back level.
2. My baby cries frequently, what could be the problem?
Many children cry for no apparent reason by 2 to 3 months of age. You need to check the cause of your child's crying, so ask the following questions.
- Is your baby hungry?
- Does your baby’s stomach have a lot of gas?
- Should you change their diaper?
- Are they tired from a lack of sleep?
- Is the room temperature appropriate?
- Is the room too noisy?
- Were there any strangers that might have disturbed your baby?
If you are hungry, give them breast milk/formula milk; if they have a lot of trapped wind, burp your baby and pat them on the back. If you need to change their diaper, change the diaper. If your child does not stop crying after repeating the above questions, hold the baby, lean them on your shoulder, and rock them slowly.
It's good to sing a soft song or tell a story. Be aware that your baby may cry for no reason (or even if there is a reason, the caregiver may not be able to deduce what it is despite their best efforts).
3. My baby keeps sleeping all the time.
It is normal for newborns to spend most of their time sleeping. They don't have a lot of waking time. There is no need to worry, because sleep habits are formed in the 6th to 8th week.
However, starting from the 6th to 8th week, in order to form a good sleep habit, please practice distinguishing between day and night for your child. You don't need to do any specific action, just make it bright and lively during the daytime and dark and quiet during the nighttime.
4. How do I give my baby a bath?
Newborns and young babies do not go out often yet, so the chances of getting dirty are low. Bathing them 3-4 times a week is sufficient. The bath time should be about 5 minutes, so it doesn't have to be too long. Of course, if your child likes to take a bath and feels comfortable being in the water, you can give them a bath more often.
When taking a bath, first clean the bathtub and the caregiver's hands. Remove the baby's clothes but wipe the baby's face and head first with a gentle cloth. After that, 1) wash your baby’s face and hair, and 2) wipe their body.
At this time, place the baby in a supine position, but support the baby's spine with the mother's arms. Wash their face in the order of eyes → face → head, wipe the area around the face with a handkerchief, and then prepare to wipe the body. When cleaning the front of the baby, you can start with your baby in a lying position facing the sky, and when cleaning the back of the baby, you can change them over to a prone position.
After the bath is finished and you have dried off your child, if your baby is still experiencing the Moro reflex, it's a good idea to start by wrapping them in an under wrap.
5. Are there any good points to note when breastfeeding or formula feeding?
When breastfeeding, your child's mouth should open wider than expected. In addition to fully latching onto your nipples, your baby can also have their lips touching your areolas for easy breastfeeding. In the case of formula, be careful of the water temperature and wash your hands thoroughly before using formula. The angle of the milk bottle is also important. Tilt gently and find a good angle for your child to suck.
Author: Lee Ji-hyun
- A Secondary School Level 2 Teacher Certificate
- As a real mother of a child, she ponders specific parenting tips between reality and theory. She has worked as an educational civic activist and freelance journalist.