Leaving the hospital with a newborn baby is one of the most exciting adventures in a lifetime, especially for first-time parents. The car ride home, even if only traveling 10 minutes down the road, can feel overwhelming. Driving over bumps and potholes is no easy task for the tired, restless mind of a new parent. However, the biggest task is introducing your new baby to the world and making sure they are comfortable.
In the womb babies are used to being in a warm, compact and dark space. Therefore, it is beneficial for new parents to interact with their little ones by using skin to skin contact. During skin to skin contact your baby will feel comforted by the rhythm of your heartbeat, the warmth of your skin and remind them of their former home in the womb. Skin to skin contact can also increase breast milk production, and is great for establishing a strong bond.
Although it can be difficult to get your newborn baby on a schedule, life is much easier once a schedule is established. Newborns need to recognize the difference between day and night. When baby is awake during the day, keep him/her in a well-lit room and try and keep them entertained by smiling and talking to them. Interaction will help keep them awake and helps stimulate brain development. With that being said, newborns require a lot of sleep and will nap frequently throughout the day.
To establish a nightly routine, try a warm bath to help them relax. All natural bath products can help soothe and are safer for sensitive skin (check out ewg.org). After a soothing bath, try singing and lightly rocking your baby to sleep. When baby wakes during the night, keep the lights dim and use a hushed voice to calm baby during feedings and diaper changes.
Running a humidifier in the nursery can help keep the correct humidity and reduce the risk of SIDS. Never place any blankets, toys or anything that could interrupt baby’s breathing in the crib. Sleep sacks or swaddles can provide comfort and keep them warm and provide a more womb like feel. Be sure the temperature in the room is comfortable – not too hot and not too cold. Choose clothing that is soft and cozy to help regulate their body temperature.
Keeping a newborn comfortable is not always an easy task, but new parents can accomplish this and it becomes easier every day. Always consult your pediatrician with questions about infant safety.
Taking a childbirth education class can help ease your minds during this wonderful new stage in life. Care for Mom Doulas are here to help so contact us today!
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