In a woman’s life, settling down and making your own family is always a big part of our checklist. Finding a partner who’s perfect for you- check! Getting married (or not)- check! Going through pregnancy- check! Giving birth to your baby- check! But when you come to the point where you already have a baby, nothing would seem to go as planned especially for first time parents. By the time you start living with a baby, it would seem like you are not sure if you are doing things the right way. You would become clueless in most of things and hesitant in jumping off to something since you already have a baby to consider by then.
If you are living together with your parents or in-laws, good because that means there would be some extra hands to help you and some moral support to lift you up. But if you are only living with a partner who knows nothing more than how you do, then its about time that you read and research for tips and advice, do’s and don’ts to consider. Here are some of top questions from first time parents and their answers.
•How often should I feed my baby?
For babies who are fed by formula, it is advised to feed the baby every 3-4 hours. As for breastfed babies, as soon as they ask for it, you can offer it to them. Some common signs that the baby is asking for milk is when they are suckling their fingers and fist, they are lip smacking, and sometimes crying or fussy.
•Do I need to sterilize feeding bottles and pacifier every after use?
As much as I want to say yes, that is not quite realistic. What you can do though is have a couple of feeding bottle to use alternatively. Wash them with soapy warm water after use to remove dirt and bacteria and you can sterilize it by night to make sure of deep cleaning and to remove the bacteria that wasn’t removed by just washing.
•Is it okay to wake the baby up to feed them?
If your baby is not having any trouble in sleeping, then yes. It is important to that we make good feeding routine for newborns to help them gain weight and for their proper development as well.
•What is the normal color of baby’s poop?
Green, yellow, brown, watery (but not very watery), and seedy. These are all normal especially if the baby is exclusively breastfed. So as long as it’s not white and chalky, black and sticky, or red, it is okay. But if otherwise, then you better consult your pedia for further examination to your baby’s poop.
•How often does a baby poop?
A newborn can soil his diaper up to 8 times and sometimes even more. It is normal. Breastfed babies tend to poop more than those who are formula-fed. That is a good sign because it simply means that your baby is getting plenty of milk. There are also times when babies that are breastfed won’t have bowel movement for couple of days, but that’s nothing to worry about though. As the baby grows up, the lesser the frequency of the bowel movement would be.
•How do I properly make the baby burp?
Burping is the process to get rid of the air the baby has swallowed during feeding. Hold your baby upright in your chest. Let his chin rest in your shoulder. Hold the baby properly with one hand and use the other hand in gently patting the baby’s back until the air comes out through his mouth. You can also try laying the baby in your lap. Make sure the head is more elevated than the body part. Gently pat the baby’s back until he burps.
•When do i stop using mittens and socks?
Mittens and socks are used for newborn babies to avoid them scratching their sensitive skin. They have to wear mittens on daily basis from the time they are born until around 1 month old, when their nails are already having hard free edge you can cut on. Keep in mind to always be careful and be gentle when cutting a newborn’s nail though.
•Should I bathe the baby everyday?
Bathing is one of the things that new parents are excited to try on. It gives you new experience and a chance to bond with your little one. Though, too much bathing might cause your baby’s skin to dry out. You can bathe your baby around 3 to 4 times in every week. Make sure to use baby soap or baby bath that are advisable for a newborn’s gentle skin. They could get rashes and skin irritation if their baby wash is too strong for them.
•How soon will the umbilical cord come off?
The umbilical cord is the baby’s connection to his mother inside the womb. It runs from the baby’s belly, connected to the mother’s placenta. When the baby comes out and the cord is cut off, the remaining part on the baby’s tummy will be clamped. Before the baby could go home, the clamp is removed. However, it is advised to never ever try pulling off the baby’s cord stump. It will eventually become dry and would fall off on its own when the baby is around 4 weeks and above. Forcing the cord to come off might cause some wound and active bleeding, or worse, infection. So just be patient and let it hang in there until it’s time.
•Which is better to use in cleaning baby’s bottom: baby wipes or water in cotton?
A baby’s skin is still very sensitive at this age. It is okay to use either baby wipes or water in cotton to clean the baby’s bottom so as long as the wipes don’t contain chemical that are not advisable for baby. When you are wiping a baby boy’s bottom, you can just clean around the genitals thoroughly. When you are cleaning baby girl’s bottom, start with upper part then going down to avoid the bacteria causing urinary tract infection.
•Is it okay to breastfeed while lying down in bed?
If the baby is formula fed, it is ok to lie down while feeding so as long as the baby’s head is partly elevated. If the baby is breast fed, you can still feed the baby side-lying. However, you need to be careful especially if you are feeding a newborn baby because it might get into his lungs which could be fatal. In general, it is okay to feed a baby so as long as you make sure that his head part is elevated and you do it with extra care. Try your best to stay awake and watch the baby while feeding to ensure safety.
•Why do babies stay up at night?
Babies aged 1-3 months normally can’t distinguish night from day. They got it mixed up so they still don’t understand that night is for sleep. If your baby isn’t hungry, isn’t feeling unwell, is on a dry nappy, then that must be it. Your baby needs a little help from you to establish a sleeping routine and slowly make him understand that night is for sleep. Eventually, when he grows up a bit more, he will then follow through. He just needs your help, consistency and patience all the more.
•Is it necessary to vaccinate my baby?
Most of the parents are worried that vaccines might cause some danger to their baby’s health or they think that babies are still too young for it. But the answer to the question is yes, your baby needs vaccine to help them fight life-threathening illnesses such as polio, measles, diptheria, pertussis, rubella, rotavirus and more. Even if they are still so young, their immune system tends to respond well to these vaccines. So again, yes to baby’s vaccines.
•Will cutting or shaving the baby’s hair make it thicker when they grow?
The answer to that is no. Shaving the baby’s head won’t affect the hair follicles located in the dermis. It will just temporarily seem to be thick when it grows since the hair becomes of the same length after the cutting.
•Can a newborn baby recognize their mom’s voice? How about her smell?
It has been proven already that babies can already recognize their mother’s voice even before birth so it is no surprise that when the baby is born, he can already tell which is mom’s voice and it makes him feel secured and comforted hearing it. When it comes to mommy’s smell, yes, the baby can recognize it after a few weeks from his birth.
As you embark to this new journey called parenthood, it is only normal that you would only want what’s best, you would only give what’s best, and do what’s best for your baby. In a perfect world, yes, that is possible. But in reality, this new challenging phase of life could only be learned best through mixture of experience, mistakes, advices, expert consultations and opinions, but most of all, the parent’s willingness, patience and efforts to make their babies grow, and grow with them too.