Everyone gets excited when they’re expecting a baby, but there’s also a certain amount of anxiety involved in it. You’ll need to worry about taking care of your child, as they naturally wouldn’t be able to do it yourself. As a first-time parent, that can feel overwhelming, but it gets easier with some baby care basics.
Knowing what to expect in the days and weeks after having a baby helps with this. While it can still be an exhausting experience, you’ll be able to make sure you and your baby are still taken care of. With a little effort, and maybe even a few sleepless nights, you shouldn’t have a problem looking after your newborn.
It’s worth diving into everything you need to know before you have a baby. If you’re pregnant, consider it essential reading.
Top Baby Care Basics You Need To Know About
With a few baby care basics, you shouldn’t have a problem taking care of your newborn. There’s quite a bit of advice out there, so it’s hard to figure out what’s actually helpful. While keeping your and your baby’s needs in mind helps, you’ll need a little extra help with it. It’s worth diving into a few of the essentials with it.
If you’re a first-time parent, this is one of the more anxiety-inducing parts of the process. Where do you even start, and how do you even look after a newborn? Thankfully, it shouldn’t be as complicated as you might’ve thought. When you’re having a newborn, there are a few things to focus on, especially in the days and weeks after they’re born:
- Sleeping – Your baby doesn’t know what night and day are, and they’ll be adjusting to life outside the womb. That leads to newborn sleep patterns being a little all over the place. It’s one of the more obvious things you’ll have to know about before your baby arrives. They’ll be sleepier than they would be as they get older, and will often need much more than older children.
- Safety – You’ll already know you’ll need to keep your baby safe, but you mightn’t know everything you need about doing it. Swaddling them right, getting them the right kind of clothes, and similar baby care basics help with that. Then there’s the likes of sudden infant death syndrome and other conditions to worry about. Know how to reduce the risks of these happening so you don’t have anything to worry about.
- Washing – You’ll have to wash your baby regularly, with this being at least two or three times a week. Sometimes, that can be complicated, and your newborn mightn’t enjoy it. If they object to having baths, you could consider the topping and tailing approach, where you clean their head, bottom, and similar areas. They’ll be more comfortable with it and will get used to being cleaned. Bathe them two or three times a week on top of this.
That doesn’t mean that’s all you’ll need to focus on when your baby’s born. There are quite a few other things you might want to know about. You mightn’t know about many of these until your baby actually arrives. By knowing what to expect, though, you’ll make it a lot easier for yourself.
At least, you’ll be better prepared when they actually get here. It’s worth going through seven of the more important – and often overlooked – things you’ll need to expect when your baby gets here.
What To Expect After Having A Baby
1. You’ll Be Sore
When you’re having a baby, it’s natural to focus on the health and wellbeing of the newborn as soon as they’re born. It could be all you’d think about, and you mightn’t even factor in how you’ll feel in the days and weeks after they’re born. It’s something you’ll need to think about.
Chances are you’ll be quite sore, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Childbirth can be a traumatic experience for any woman, and you should be prepared for it. Know what the recovery will be like in the days and weeks after you give birth.
2. They Could Get Sick
You’ll naturally want your baby to be as healthy as possible, and you’ll put a lot of time and effort into that. It mightn’t always turn out that way, and there’s a decent chance they could get sick in the first few days after they’re born. These are usually some of the more common illnesses and shouldn’t be life threatening.
You’ll still need to be prepared for it, though, as it avoids you being overly stressed about something you don’t need to be too worried about it. Consult your newborn’s doctor, and everything should be fine.
3. Feeding Is Hard
Your newborn will naturally get hungry at various points during the day. In most cases, it’ll be easy to feed them, but that mightn’t be the case during the first week of their life. They could be much harder to feed than you would’ve expected. It’s easy to see why that’s the case.
They would’ve gotten used to being fed a certain way in the womb, and they could be expecting that kind of treatment again. They’ll need to adjust to being fed with a bottle, so it’ll be a little trickier to feed them in the days after they’re born.
4. You Might Cry
Everyone knows a baby will cry a lot in the weeks after they’re born. What they often don’t realize is the parents could cry a decent bit, too. That’s especially true with moms, as they would’ve been through a traumatic experience during childbirth. It’s a natural part of the process, so be prepared for it.
Even if you have a C-section, it could still be an emotional time. Don’t be ashamed in feeling the way you do, and make sure you experience your emotions. Don’t keep them inside, and let them out when you need to.
5. You Won’t Get Much Sleep
As mentioned above, a baby’s sleep patterns can be a little all over the place. You’ll need to adapt to that, which could mean you mightn’t get as much sleep as you might’ve had before. Be prepared for that and try to sleep anytime your baby sleeps. It’ll make it easy for yourself.
Taking shifts with your partner gives the both of you the chance to get some extra sleep whenever you need it. While that takes a bit of juggling, it’ll make sure you’re getting close to as much sleep as you and your partner need.
6. Your Baby’s Skin Needs TLC
After your baby is born, you’ll likely want to give them a bath pretty soon. They’ll be coated in a white, waxy substance when they first come out of the womb. It happens with every baby, and this substance is called the vernix. Since it might make them appear dirty – and even make them smell – you might want to wash it off quickly.
As it turns out, that mightn’t always be the best approach. It could offer a few benefits if you leave your newborn coated in it for a few hours or even a day or so. They might cry less, and they’ll be less likely to develop hypothermia while protecting their skin. Give it a day or so before you wash it off, and your child will be better off because of it.
7. There’ll Be A New Normal
With all of the above in mind, it’s easy to see how having a baby leads to your life changing dramatically. That should be obvious to everyone, but it’s often difficult to understand and figure out exactly what this new normal will be. In many cases, things could get more difficult, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing.
The key to this is to adapt to your new normal, and there are quite a few ways you can do this. You and your partner can figure this out relatively easily by working together on it. Since most of these changes can be quite personal, it’s worth spending some time figuring this out with your partner.
It’s also worth mentioning friends and family might be eager to help. If you need it, there’s no shame in taking them up on this.
Baby Care Basics: Wrapping Up
First-time parents have a lot to take on board, and it could feel like an overwhelming experience. It leads to a lot of anxiety as you worry about how you can take care of them. You’ll have to know the essentials before the baby’s born, and that’s especially true of some baby care basics.
By knowing what to expect and how to handle it, you shouldn’t have much of a problem. There’ll still be a lot of work involved, and you could even feel yourself getting exhausted on more than a few occasions.
That’s natural and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. You’ll still be getting your grips on everything, but knowing a few things beforehand makes this much easier.