Knowhow-Now Article

How to Care for a Newborn

By Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Welcoming a new baby in the family is such a wonderful blessing that deserves careful preparation. If you are a first-time parent, it is reassuring to know that help is readily available as you make the effort to browse the web, read some books or simply talking with other parents. In no time, you will gain greater confidence in your skills as a parent. Caring for an infant will not be as scary or overwhelming as you initially thought.


Perhaps the first lesson you have to realize is that you don’t have to do all the work by yourself. Some of those who can provide immediate assistance right after your child is born include family members and friends. They can offer many valuable suggestions derived from their experiences. You will definitely be a better father or mother if you apply their ideas. In general, most hospitals also have lactation consultants or feeding specialists that you can speak with. They can answer any questions you may have regarding breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.

Handling a newborn properly is a skill you must acquire early on in your parenthood. Babies are very fragile that’s why you need to hold them with caution. Ideally, you should wash your hands either with a soap or with a sanitizer before holding your infant. Babies do not have strong immune system yet that’s why they can be vulnerable to infection.

Now make sure that you support the baby’s head and neck when you hold him. Carrying him around and laying him down will be a lot easier for you if you hold the head and neck properly. One warning about newborns, however, is that you should never shake them. Strong shaking can be dangerous to your baby’s health and may cause bleeding, brain damage or even death. Fasten your baby carefully when using a stroller, a carrier, or a car seat. Try to avoid bouncy activities when you are with your baby.

babies are adorable

Changing diapers is another skill you should master as you learn how to care for a newborn. One of the immediate decisions you will make is to either use cloth or disposable diapers. You have to prepare everything you need before changing a soiled diaper so you don’t have to leave your baby after placing him on the changing table. Be sure that you have a clean diaper, diaper ointment, and diaper wipes. You may also need a baby fastener if you are using cloth.

To begin with the change, simply lay your baby down his back and remove the diaper. Use the diaper wipes to clean the dirty areas. Apply ointment on body parts whenever you discover any rashes. If the rash doesn’t get any better after more than 3 days, contact your pediatrician. As always, wash your hands before and after changing diapers.

Bathing the baby is something you will also do on a regular basis. For the most part, you will only give your baby sponge baths from his first to fourth week. It is also recommended that you bathe him at least two to three times a week during his first year. Going beyond that can possibly dry your baby’s skin. You will need a clean washcloth, baby soap and baby shampoo, a soft brush, a towel, an infant tub, lukewarm water, clean diaper and changing clothes.

For more practical suggestions, use the Internet and you will find many websites that contain easy-to-follow instructions about how to care for a newborn. You will see that few things can be more fun and more rewarding than being a parent.


Strong shaking can be dangerous to your baby’s health and may cause bleeding, brain damage or even death.

protect your child well, but not overly

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