The New Parent Guide


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Congratulations! Your New Baby Is Here! It seems like you've been waiting for this moment forever. Then, suddenly it’s here. You may feel as though you've forgotten everything you've read or learned and aren't sure what to do with yourself right now! Relax. You’ll get plenty of helpful advice from your pediatrician, family, and friends. You can also refer to this new parent guide that covers some of the basics about caring for your newborn in the first 10 days. Take it one step at a time. Just do what comes naturally and enjoy every one of these blissful first days with your newborn.

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The New Parent Guide

  1. 1. The New Parent GuideFirst 10 daysCongratulations! Your New Baby Is Here!It seems like you’ve been waiting for thismoment forever. Then, suddenly it’s here. Youmay feel as though you’ve forgotten everythingyou’ve read or learned and aren’t sure what todo with yourself right now!Relax. You’ll get plenty of helpful advice fromyour pediatrician, family, and friends. You canalso refer to this new parent guide that coverssome of the basics about caring for yournewborn in the first 10 days.Take it one step at a time. Just do what comes naturally and enjoy every one of theseblissful first days with your newborn.
  2. 2. Helpful Highlights• How to Hold Your Newborn• How to Bathe Your Newborn• How to Change Your Newborn’s Diaper• How to Comfort Your Newborn• How to Feed Your Newborn• How to Take Your Newborn’s Temperature• Shopping List for the First 10 Days
  3. 3. How to Hold Your NewbornYour newborn may feel fragile and delicate to you, butdon’t be afraid to touch, handle, or hold your new baby! Infact, studies show that babies that are held more than 2hours per day thrive better and cry less.Because your newborn’s neck muscles are not yetdeveloped, you will need to support your newborn’s headwhenever you pick him or her up. You should also supportyour newborn’s head against your shoulder or with youropposite hand, while carrying him or her.Some parents find that a sling or baby carrierprovides an extra sense of security when carryingtheir newborn babies. And your baby will love ittoo!
  4. 4. How to Bathe Your NewbornSome pediatricians recommend cleaning your baby with asponge bath until the umbilical cord heals and falls off (usuallyin a week or 2).1. Lay your baby on a soft towel, or use a sponge-lined bathbed. Support your baby’s head and limbs throughout.2. Clean around each eye—from the inside corner outward—with a separate cotton ball dipped in warm water.3. Keep your baby covered with a towel to stay warm: uncoveronly the area you are washing. Dip a warm, wet washcloth in alittle baby wash, then wash and rinse baby’s face, arms, legs,tummy and diaper area, in that order. Always clean the diaperarea from front to back. Clean the umbilical stump, separately,with a cotton ball dipped in clean water.
  5. 5. 4. If your newborn has hair, clean it with baby wash and rinse with a softwashcloth and clean water.5. Next, dry your baby in the same order as washing—from head to toe. Drythoroughly, without rubbing too hard. Then wrap your baby in a dry, hoodedtowel.6. Finally, using an ultra-mild lotionspecifically designed for newborns,moisturize baby’s skinwith a gentle massaging touch.
  6. 6. How to Change Your Newborn’sDiaperMany first-time parents are surprised byhow many diapers they go through in aday. To make life easier for yourself, haveplenty of diapers on hand before youbring your baby home.Before you change your baby’s diaper, besure to wash your hands. And becauseyou should NEVER leave your baby aloneon the changing table, you’ll need togather what you need before you start.
  7. 7. Have the following items within reach beforeyou begin:• A clean diaper• Baby wipes or a wet washcloth (that you’ll use ONLYfor this purpose)• A plastic bag to dispose of soiled diapers• Diaper rash preventative ointment containingpetrolatum• Diaper rash treatment cream containing zinc oxide• A change of clothes for baby (just in case)
  8. 8. (cant)Now that you have everything ready, here’s what todo:1. Lay your baby on a flat, secure surface. If youchoose to use a changing table keep a hand onyour baby at all times. Don’t leave your baby—even for a moment.2. Remove the diaper by lifting the adhesive tabs.Fold the tabs back on themselves so they don’tstick to anything (including the baby!).3. With a baby wipe or a washcloth moistened withwater, clean the diaper area by wiping fromfront to back—for boys and girls. Fold the dirtydiaper onto itself and move it to the side. Place aclean diaper under your baby.
  9. 9. 4. Pat your baby dry and apply protective ointment. If your baby already has a diaperrash, choose a product with zinc oxide and other ingredients that soothe the skinand promote healing.5. Secure the clean diaper by fastening the adhesive strips from the back of thediaper to the front panel. It should be snug, but not tight.6. Dispose of the dirty diaper and wash your hands again.7. Finally, be sure to go through the baby care sites for more detailed informationabout identifying, treating and preventing diaper rash.
  10. 10. How to Comfort Your NewbornMost babies cry for an average of 2hours a day in the first 3 months. Sowhile it may be disconcerting, it’s alsonormal.To comfort your baby, first try todetermine the cause of your baby’sdiscomfort. Is your baby hungry? Doesyour baby have gas? Does your baby’sdiaper need changing? Is it time for anap? Is your baby over stimulated bynoise, lights or activity?
  11. 11. To help soothe a sleepy or over stimulated baby, hold your baby on yourshoulder while gently rocking your baby. Sing or speak softly to yourbaby—reassure your baby with a calm voice. It can also help to rub yourbaby’s back as you do so. Try different positions to find one that’scomfortable for both of you.Something else to consider: your baby doesn’t have much mobility inthe first few weeks and may cry for help if he or she is lyinguncomfortably in the crib. You can help your baby get comfortable bygently shifting your baby’s position. But for safety, always place yourbaby on his or her back for sleeping.
  12. 12. How to Feed Your NewbornHealthcare professionals agree thatnothing is better for your newbornbaby than breast milk. Nutritionallyspeaking, it’s tailor-made for yourinfant. Of course, sometimesmothers cannot breastfeed, due tomedical problems or other specialcircumstances. Discuss with yourpediatrician how best to feed yournewborn.No matter how you decide to feedyour baby, be sure always to holdyour baby while feeding. Thecuddling that comes with nursingand feeding helps to build a strong,loving bond between you and yourbaby.
  13. 13. Get an early startNursing should begin within an hour after delivery if possible, when yourinfant is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though you won’tbe producing milk yet, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid thatcontains beneficial antibodies.Proper positioningThe baby’s mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back intohis or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for you. If you’rehaving trouble getting your baby to latch on or are experiencing any pain,rest assured that this is a common problem. Seek help from a lactationspecialist at your hospital or talk to other moms.Nurse on demandNewborns need to nurse frequently, about every 2 hours, and not on anystrict schedule. This will stimulate your breasts to produce plenty of milk.Later, the baby can settle into a more predictable routine. Alternatebreasts with each feeding: if you started with the right breast with onefeeding, start with the left at the next feeding.
  14. 14. Use nursing padsUse a nursing pad, such as super-absorbent, cushiony nursing Pads, to helpeliminate embarrassing leakage between feedings.Air dryIn the early postpartum period or until your nipples toughen, you may wish toair dry your nipples to help prevent them from cracking. Proper positioning atthe breast can help prevent sore nipples. If you’re very sore, your baby maynot have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth. Also be sure to speakwith your lactation specialist about ways to prevent or relieve dry nipples.Watch for infectionSymptoms of breast infection include fever, painful lumps, and redness in thebreast. These require immediate medical attention. Clean hands and breaststhoroughly before each feeding to avoid infection.
  15. 15. Eat right, get restTo produce plenty of good milk, you’ll need to eat a balanced diet thatincludes an extra 500 calories a day and drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid.Getting the proper amount of rest is crucial when your body is facingthese new responsibilities.
  16. 16. How to Take Your Newborn’sTemperatureShould your baby appear to have a fever, knowing the best way to gaugeyour baby’s temperature is the first step. Using a rectal thermometer isthe endorsed method of temperature-taking by the American Academy ofPediatrics and is considered by many to be the most accurate.If using a rectal thermometer:1. Clean the end of the thermometer, from the tip to about ½ inch withrubbing alcohol or some warm water and soap.2. Thinly cover half of the thermometer from the tip up with petroleumjelly.3. Place your baby on his or her back or tummy—whichever makes babymore comfortable.
  17. 17. 4. Gently slide the tip of the thermometerinto your baby’s rectum— only about ½inch to an inch, being sure not to force it.5. Hold the thermometer until thenecessary time is up.6. Note the temperature, then clean thethermometer with rubbing alcohol orwarm water and soap.If your baby does have a fever, call your doctor—even if you think it’s “low.”With a newborn, any kind of change in health requires attention.
  18. 18. Shopping List for the First 10 DaysYour newborn’s delicate skin needs extra special care, so be sure touse extra-gentle products developed especially for newborns.1. Baby Wash2. Fragrance Free Baby Lotion3. Baby Lotion4. Nursing Pads5. Rapid Relief Cream6. Gas Relief Drops
  19. 19. Practice Will Build Your Confidence WithYour NewbornAfter the first few days you’ll probably befeeling a little more confident aboutholding, bathing, feeding, and changingyour newborn. You’ll get plenty of practicewith these things over the next few weeksand months, and this new routine willbecome more familiar to you.Best of luck to you and your newborn asyou adjust to this wonderful new journey.