As every new mum can attest, looking after an infant can be a steep learning curve.
The challenges of understanding your little one’s cues when it comes to daily needs like sleep, feeding and diaper changing, among others, are usually lessons learned through trial and error. Here are some tips to help get you off to a smooth start.
No messy Diaper Change
- Prepare a well-organised tray or bag with necessary items near the changing area, like wet wipes, diaper rash cream, disposal bags, clean diapers, changing mat and hand sanitiser.
- Make eye contact and talk to baby, this will soothe your child and make him or her feel secure and loved.
- Never leave your baby unattended.The child can quickly roll off the surface.
- Change soiled diapers regularly to avoid diaper rash. Allow baby’s
skin to breathe for a few minutes between changes.
- Diapers should not be worn too tight or too loose, to prevent leakage and discomfort.
Breastfeeding & Bonding
- Be mentally and physically prepared. Breastfeeding can be physically and emotionally demanding. Know what to expect and how to tackle the challenges.
- Learning the correct breastfeeding technique takes time and patience. Ensuring a good, deep latch will prevent breastfeeding problems like sore nipples, breast engorgement and plugged ducts.
- Support from family and friends goes a long way to overcome breastfeeding difficulties. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Make time for rest and relaxation. Caring for your baby is exhausting – take care of yourself to avoid fatigue.
- Have a balanced diet to stay healthy and encourage milk supply.
A baby who doesn’t sleep well is irritable, cries often and is more demanding. In turn, parents may become stressed, worried and frustrated, not to mention exhausted. Establishing a good sleep routine is therefore crucial – so that both you and your baby get much-needed rest.
- Swaddle baby. It mimics the warm cocoon-like atmosphere of a mother’s womb which will soothe and comfort your little one. The swaddle should be well fitted so that it doesn’t unravel easily, and expose your child’s limbs.
- Remember to feed, then burp your child; your baby will sleep better after a feed and burping helps prevent digestive discomfort.
- Once lights are off, place baby into the cot. Do not rock, walk or feed your child to sleep, as he or she may be conditioned to understand these as pre-bedtime rituals.
- Make sure the room is comfortable and well-ventilated.
- Ensure a safe sleep environment – the cot must be secured and placed in a safe area. Check that there is nothing in the cot, like pillows, blankets and toys, that would endanger your child.