Parenting is a challenging, exciting, and also the most terrifying experience of our life.
You often embark on this new adventure with great hopes and expectations about what life will be like when you raise your child.
Parenting is a journey defined by the many adjustments you must make as you learn to understand and fulfill your role as a parent and meet your children’s needs as they grow, develop, and change.
Becoming a parent for the first time is life-altering. But how much your life get alters, this you would only know when you actually go through this experience. And once you get to know, you can't move back, even if you want to.
Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. –Carl Jung
So if you are new in this rollercoaster ride, welcome to the most adventurous ride of your life with me Renu Rawat.
Here are some of the things that only new parents will truly understand.
1. Bonding and Attachment
Bonding and attachment are about always responding to your baby's needs with love, warmth, and care. Doing this, you become a special and trusted person in your baby’s life.
Bonding is a vital part of a baby's development. Bonding between parents and babies can be formed by simple gestures like cuddling, smiling, gazing, singing, reading, and talking. I guess babies get that bonding with their mothers quite naturally but the father has to do a little more effort here to form that connection with the baby.
Get yourself involved in every activity of your baby and eventually, you will become your baby's favorite.
2. Washing and Sanitizing your hands before holding the baby
As babies are at the highest risk of infection due to a weak immune system, always take care of hygiene. Also, Make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
Wash or sanitize your hands every time when you hold your baby.
3. Head and Neck Support
Support the head and neck of your baby whenever you lift him up, hold him, and carry him, this is to stabilize his entire body. Newborns have wobbly head and neck and need to be treated gently.
The fragility of babies is so intimidating that most of the parents initially get very conscious while holding their babies. But there is nothing to worry about, just be a little careful.
4. Baby Bath and Massage
Give sponge bath to your baby until the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely which takes time around 1 to 4 weeks. After that, you can give a regular bath using lukewarm water but yes, be gentle as babies are so fragile and delicate. After the bath, gently dry your baby using a soft towel or cloth and keep the skin moisturized.
Body massages are a great way to bring you and your little one closer. Trust and communication development as you interact with your baby. Your gentle touch will make your baby feel loved and cared for and will generate good hormones.
Massages may also help ease muscular tension, growing pains, and teething discomforts, as well as stimulate growth. The baby will also feel relaxed during a massage. This also helps to improve sleep.
A technique to wrap your baby using some soft cloth that soothes your baby.
Proper swaddling keeps a baby's arms close to the body while allowing for some movement of the legs. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm, but it seems to give most newborns a sense of security and comfort.
Swaddling also may help limit the startle reflex (sudden movement of the body during Sleeping), which can wake a baby.
Diapering is one of the most important things with babies. Whether to use a cloth or disposable diapers, it's completely your take. But make sure that the diaper is clean and also put some ointment during a diaper change to avoid rashes. You can use coconut oil or any other diaper rash cream, whatever you prefer.
Baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. Some newborns may need to be awakened every few hours to make sure they get enough to eat. Both breastfeed and formula feed is fine but does not feed your baby with cow milk until he is one year old. Cow milk contains high protein and a baby's digestive system is not that strong enough to digest it.
With formula-feeding, it is easy to monitor the amount of milk baby is consuming, but with breastfeeding, it can be a little trickier. If your baby seems satisfied, produces about 6-8 wet diapers and several stools a day, sleeps well, and is gaining weight regularly, then he or she is probably eating enough.
Babies often swallow air during feedings, which can make them fussy. So burp your baby to avoid this.
If your baby doesn't burp after a few minutes, change the baby's position and try burping for another few minutes before feeding again. After burping, keep the baby in an upright position for a few minutes to avoid spitting up.
Breastfeeding can be a struggle at the beginning, and in most of the cases, for the first 3 days after delivery, milk production is not up to the requirement of the baby and that's fine. Slowly after 2-3 days, milk production would be normal.
Breastfeeding isn't always easy and if you’re experiencing difficulties you’re not alone. You may face problems like pain while feeding or expressing milk, cracked and sored nipples, nipple biting, low milk production, difficulty in latching (very common initially).
But slowly you will come over it and within a month or two, you will be the master.
10. Sleeping can be a real battle for every new parent
Babies do not sleep for straight long hours. They usually wake up after every 2-3 hours as they are so tiny and need nourishment every 2-3 hours.
It is advisable to always place babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Routines help to reassure babies and reinforce natural circadian rhythms, signaling that it’s time to go to sleep. An ideal bedtime routine might include feeding with cuddles, baths, books, massage, and lullaby.
Try to form a sleeping routine for your baby. This will help a lot.
One of the most important thing which every parent should know is about vaccination. After birth, babies need Vaccination to get protected from various diseases and infections.
The first vaccination would be immediately after birth i.e., BCG.
After that, you'll have to follow a certain vaccination chart which has all the details about when and what vaccine needs to be given to the baby.
Vaccination sometimes becomes a nightmare for the parents as due to pain, the baby becomes fussy and cranky. But don't worry and just follow the doctor's advice. The very next day of vaccination, your baby would be in relief and so you.
12. No to water during the first 6 months
The first 6 months of babies are so important and utmost care should be taken at this time.
Do not give water to your baby until he completes 6 months.
Baby's water requirement is met by milk itself and does not require extra nourishment, other than milk.
Apart from this, you will get a plethora of advice from your family, friends, and close ones. But there is no need to take each advice seriously. Listen and absorb wisely. Each child is different and similarly, each parent is also different. You know your child best and do as per his needs and comfort. Don't follow other's advice blindly.
This is my personal experience that initially we get scared of little things that come on our way because we become extra conscious in the case of our munchkin. And so blindly adopt every advice without even using our own senses and intelligence.
It's natural to feel anxious about handling a newborn baby, but in a few weeks, you'll develop a routine and be parenting like a pro, as if you were born to be parents.
Is there any secret of being a good parent? There isn't one. And if someone says yes, I am sure he has still not entered into this parenting club.
But I can assure you one thing, having a baby is a blissful feeling and the amount of joy and happy moments which a baby brings to you life, has no substitute. You will forget all your pain, sacrifice just looking at the cutest smile of your baby.
Babies are truly angelic and mood booster.
So ending my note and wishing you a happy and wonderful parenting journey.
Thanks for reading!!
Love and Peace!