Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, with it comes the immense responsibility of caring for a newborn. As a new parent, feeling overwhelmed and anxious about caring for your baby is natural. But with some basic knowledge of essential infant care, you can ensure a healthy baby.
As a new parent, you want nothing but the best for your baby, and that includes keeping them healthy and happy. However, with so much conflicting information out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out what’s best for your little one. Fear not!
Here are some tips for newborn care backed by research and experts to help keep your baby healthy and thriving.
Dont Skimp On Breastfeeding
Breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition, providing all the necessary nutrients and immunity your baby needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continuing to breastfeed with the addition of solid foods until at least 12 months of age.
Breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits for both you and your little one. Research proves breast milk is rich in antibodies, enzymes, and other protective substances that can boost your baby’s immune system, promote healthy growth and development, and reduce the risk of infections, allergies, and chronic diseases later in life.
Breastfeeding does not benefit the baby alone. It has innumerable benefits for the mother too. Studies show that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression for mothers.
If you think that the benefits of breastfeeding are over yet, you are wrong. One very underrated benefit of breastfeeding is the mother-baby bonding. A wealth of research supports the idea that breastfeeding can help promote bonding between a mother and her baby. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that mothers who breastfed their babies reported higher levels of bonding and attachment than those who did not breastfeed.
Breastfeeding releases hormones like oxytocin, often called the “love hormone,” and can promote feelings of relaxation, closeness, and bonding between a mother and her baby. This hormone helps with milk production and has a calming effect on both the mother and the baby, making breastfeeding a calming and soothing experience for both.
Make A Vaccination Log
Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to protect your baby from serious and life-threatening diseases, such as measles, polio, whooping cough, and meningitis. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a series of immunizations starting at birth and continuing through adolescence, following a safe and effective schedule.
Often parents avoid getting their babies vaccinated due to various misconceptions about vaccinations. No evidence supports the claim that vaccines cause autism or other developmental disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in preventing diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, and influenza. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, which protects against a type of bacteria that can cause meningitis and pneumonia, has dramatically reduced the incidence of these diseases in young children. Another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, which protects against a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia and meningitis, has significantly reduced the incidence of these diseases in young children.
While some parents may be concerned about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, numerous studies have shown that vaccines are not only safe but essential for protecting newborns and young children from serious illnesses.
Give Them Tummy Time
Tummy time is a crucial activity for babies that helps promote their physical development and can even lead to some giggles and smiles. You can engage your baby in tummy time, placing them on their stomach for short periods to help them strengthen their neck, back, and arm muscles.
Research has shown that tummy time can help strengthen a baby’s neck, shoulder, and core muscles, which are essential for crawling, sitting, and eventually walking. One study published in the journal Pediatrics found that infants who received more tummy time had better head control and were more likely to reach developmental milestones like rolling over and sitting up.
So, while it may be tempting to keep your baby on their back for most of the day, making time for tummy time is also essential. Try placing your baby on a blanket or playmat on the floor and encouraging them to lift their head and look around. With a little bit of practice, tummy time can be a fun and vital activity for your little one.
Engage Them In Physical Activity
Even though babies can’t walk or run yet, they still need physical activity to develop their muscles, coordination, and sensory skills. Regular movement helps babies develop essential motor skills and improve their mood.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should have at least 30 minutes of supervised tummy time and several periods of floor play every day. Floor play can include reaching for toys, crawling, or scooting around on their bottom. Not only does this type of play encourage physical activity, but it also provides opportunities for babies to explore their surroundings and engage with you.
A study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that infants who engaged in more physical activity had better sleep patterns and were less likely to experience fussiness or colic.
So, next time you’re playing with your little one, consider incorporating some physical activity into your routine. Whether it’s tummy time or floor play, these activities can positively impact your baby’s development and overall well-being.
Consider Their Mental Health To Be As Important
Infants can also experience mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and attachment disorders. It is crucial to provide a nurturing and responsive environment that meets your baby’s emotional and social needs, such as holding, cuddling, talking, and playing with them.
Research shows that positive emotional well-being in infancy can lead to better mental health outcomes later in life. One study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that infants who experienced positive emotions and received sensitive care from their caregivers had better mental health outcomes in adolescence than those who did not.
Hence, it’s important to prioritize mental health in infancy and provide a nurturing environment for babies to grow and develop. Simple activities like playing, singing, and reading with your baby can all help promote positive emotional well-being.
Take Good Care Of Their Sleep
Sleep is essential for your baby’s growth, development, and well-being. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing your baby on their back to sleep in a crib or bassinet with a firm, flat mattress, fitted sheet, and no soft bedding, pillows, or toys.
It is recommended to share a room with your baby for the first six to twelve months of life, as it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by up to 50%. Another important tip for newborn care is to avoid using sleeping aid products and techniques. This may include rocking, bouncing, or feeding to sleep, as they can create sleep associations that can be difficult to break later on. Also, ensure your baby is not too hot or cold, and dress them in comfortable sleepwear.
Understand That Medication Is Not Always Bad
While it’s always best to avoid giving medication to babies unless absolutely necessary, sometimes it’s necessary to use medication to treat certain conditions or illnesses. For example, antibiotics can be lifesaving for infants with serious infections. Pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help ease discomfort caused by teething or fever.
It’s also important to note that not all medications are safe for babies. You must consult your child’s paediatrician and choose the safest medicine available as a part of essential infant care.
One such reliable medicine is Bonnisan. It is a complete digestive tonic that will keep your baby happy and healthy! Bonnisan is specially formulated to help manage common gastrointestinal disorders in infants and children. Say goodbye to colic, indigestion, and constipation, and hello to a happy and healthy baby!