A newborn baby is such a blessing. But do you find yourself wishing they came with an instruction booklet?
You’re not alone, all new parents with a newborn baby feel like this, which is kind of reassuring.
To help you out we’ve got answers to 5 common questions that nervous first-timers ask. Knowing what to do will hopefully help to raise your confidence about caring for a newborn baby.
1. How often should I feed my little one?
Your newborn baby will need food, by breast or bottle, every 2 to 3 hours. If your baby sleeps through feed time you may need to wake them to ensure they get enough nourishment. Don’t let them sleep for more than 4 hours.
As a general rule of thumb:
- Breastfeeding – nurse about 10–15 minutes at each breast
- Formula feeding – 150 – 200 ml per kilogram of body weight every day.
Signs your baby may be hungry include:
- Turning their head and opening their mouth
- Sucking their fists or fingers.
- Crying (a late sign of hunger).
2. Why is my baby crying?
It’s completely normal and natural for a baby to cry, it doesn’t mean they’re sick or unhappy. Babies can’t talk so this how they communicate to us. Predictably it’s usually that they need food, their nappy is wet, they’re tired, or they just want a cuddle.
The hardest thing for new parents is figuring out exactly which one of these they need to be comfortable. As you get used to it though, you can recognise your baby’s crying patterns and start to anticipate their needs.
3. How often should a newborn baby sleep?
A newborn baby needs to sleep about 14 to 17 hours sleep per day and will sleep usually 2 to 4 hours at a time and then wake up to feed. Most babies will need 1 – 3 feeds during the night until they’re 4 months old.
Your baby might start sleeping through the night as early as 3 months of age but if they don’t you can start encouraging this by keeping them up longer during the day by talking and playing, and reducing stimulation at night.
4. How do I bathe my newborn baby?
Newborn babies will only require a sponge bath until their umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals. This can take 1 to 4 weeks.
Sponge baths – place your baby on a flat surface and wrap them in a towel. Using a soft, clean washcloth dampened with warm water gently wipe their eyes and ears. Wet the cloth again and add a little mild unscented baby soap to wash their face and head. Next wash the rest of their body paying special attention to creases. Dry and dress in a clean nappy and sleeper ready for bed.
Infant tub baths – fill with less than 10 cm of warm water. Gently lower your baby in feet first with one hand and support their head with the other. Use a washcloth and a little soap to wash face, body and hair, gently massage their scalp and rinse by cupping hand over the forehead so suds run towards the sides. Afterwards wrap them immediately in a towel and dry off, then dress.
You don’t need to bathe your baby every day as it can dry their skin out. If their skin is very dry use Vaseline on those areas.
5. What should I look for in a disposable nappy?
Look for disposable nappies that offer quality, comfort and won’t break the bank. Little One’s nappies have been tried, tested and recommended above leading brands by Australian Mums and they are great value for money.
So these are some of the most common questions parents of a newborn baby spend their time wondering about. Did we miss a question you’d love the answer to?
Or have you got some good advice to help out another mum with a newborn baby? SHARE with us in the comments below.
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