Handling Your Newborn Baby: Some Dos and Don’ts

New parents can likely feel overwhelmed by that tiny, helpless little bundle that they now find themselves in sole charge of. A new baby is so small and fragile looking and vulnerable seeming that new parents may constantly wonder whether the normal handling can possibly cause harm to the baby.


1. Learn to hold baby properly

A new born is not able to support their head properly, so when holding the baby, hold it in a sure grip that supports all of the body including the head, which tends to flop down. Many parents find that swaddling a baby is a good idea not only because the baby feels more secure but also because holding a swaddled baby is easier for parents who are unaccustomed to holding new infants.

2. Get rid of the bumper

In recent times the expert view has moved against the use of one of the staples of baby bedding: the cot bumper. It is supposed to look cute and is meant to supposedly keep the baby snug, preventing him or her from bumping their head.

But research has shown that it significantly increases the chances of suffocation and hence of SIDS. Most experts now advise that these should not be used at all.

3. Attend to the baby when he or she cries

No, you will not spoil the child if you pick him up when he cries. If the baby cries, it likely has some discomfort, is hungry, feeling unwell, needs to be changed or perhaps needs some company and some cuddling – all sound reasons for attending to the baby promptly.

4. Guard against diaper rash

Use a barrier cream regularly, and if a rash does seem to be developing attend to it promptly. Diaper rashes are very common but they can be very troublesome for the baby. So try and prevent them as far as possible and treat them promptly before they worsen.

5. Take care of the fontanel

That soft spot on the top of the baby’s head can seem quite alarming for the new parent. However new parents may do well to remember that keeping the area safe from hard and sharp objects is about all they have to really do. Otherwise the membrane that covers the fontanel is quite tough and there is little that can cause it harm.

6. Trust your instincts

If baby seems off color or if a parent’s instinct says something is amiss, don’t ignore this. Very often that gut instinct could be a valuable aid for detecting a problem.


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