What Every First Time Parent Should Know
New parents are bombarded with information about their little bundle of joy. Our goal is to be a trusted partner to parents everywhere, and first time parents are no exception. Here are a few things we think every new parent should know.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies sleep on their backs to help reduce SIDS. To discourage resting on the same side of their head, place baby facing alternating directions in the crib.
Learn more about the ABC’s of safe sleep.
Tummy to Play
Tummy Time can start as soon as baby comes home from the hospital. Start with tummy to tummy (or tummy to chest) to help baby get used to Tummy Time. You can also use this time as an opportunity for skin to skin, or Kangaroo Care.
Keep in mind Tummy Time will change as your baby grows. Check out our Tummy Time abilities to make sure baby is on the right track.
Baby massage is a great way to bond with your newborn, especially when you are talking to them and making eye contact. Massage+ 30, 10, 5 is a baby massage intervention based on 35 years of research and can help develop baby’s senses while also improving your confidence.
Ask the Experts
While you’re in the hospital, you’ll have access to many healthcare providers. Nurses can provide great tips on how to do the basics – from swaddling your newborn to changing and burping. If you choose to breastfeed, many hospitals also have lactation consultants on hand to help ensure your baby is latching on properly. Ask as many questions as you can so that you don’t have to make additional appointments with these specialists later on. Saves you time and money!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Caregivers aren’t superheroes and you aren’t expected to do everything on your own. Don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician questions. Reach out to family and friends. Life isn’t Instagram-perfect and you don’t need to pretend like it is. There will be hard days but your friends and family can provide support and reassurance.
Your baby will be hungry! Newborns will nurse or take the bottle every 2-3 hours and some more often, depending on their hunger level. Formula-fed newborns lose about 5% of their body weight and breastfed newborns lose about 7-10% of their body weight during the first few days. Most babies should be back to their birth weight by their two week well-baby visit. Your pediatrician will help walk you through these steps to ensure baby is eating healthy and hitting feeding milestones. Make sure you pay attention to baby’s feeding habits so your healthcare professional can make the proper recommendations.
Communicate with Baby
Your newborn baby will have many needs and will communicate through crying, whether it is because they are upset, tired or hungry. You’ll be able to identify these various types of cries over time. Babies love hearing your voice so be sure to talk to your baby throughout the day to help baby feel safe. Plus, it’s a great way for parents and baby to bond and will help baby’s communication skills later on!