Everyone talks about what to do when you have a newborn baby. But did anyone tell you what NOT to do? Well, if your answer is yes, then we have gathered up the things that you should avoid doing. We understand that caring for a newborn baby can be both exciting and frightening. You are always terrified of making mistakes, just like all new mums do. So, here are the things you should avoid according to experienced mums and more experts. Keep in mind – those are not myths, they are actual scientific facts.
Things to avoid when caring for a newborn baby
First of all, when caring for a newborn baby, do not count the bottles during feedings. Newborn feedings, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, have no textbook. Some newborn babies need about ten minutes to be full. Others need more time. So, the right amount of feeding depends on your newborn, and there is no fixed time for that. Newborn babies have weak muscles, so they need practice to learn how to feed properly. And that means you need to give him or her time to make sure they are full.
Experts ask mums not to watch the clock when feeding their babies, but rather watch their babies instead. They usually call this “Cluster feeding”. Which is where you feed your baby every 15-30 minutes for a few days or a week. During that, you keep an eye on the signs that your baby is full.
As babies grow, so do their little tummies. So, their need for milk increases, thus taking more feeding time. So, it is not about the time, but about their needs. When your baby is older than three months, his or her feeding needs become more clear and a little more constant than before.
Signs that tell you your baby is full:
- – Hunger signs stop.
- – Crying stops
- – They become more rested than before feeding.
- – Their suckling slows down.
- – They release their feeding source, be it breast or bottle.
- – Your baby will uncurl his or her fist, which is a sign or relaxing.
- – Appearing drowsy or sleepy.
Leaving the baby alone when crying
“Don’t over coddle babies, teach them to calm themselves alone”. This bit of advice is common amongst mums, and sometimes it does work. But not all the time. There is a big difference between over hogging babies, and actually answering their calls.
Experts say that crying is a newborn baby’s way of communicating. Especially during the first year. There are many reasons why a baby would cry. They might be afraid to be left alone. They might be telling you they are hungry, in need of a change, or they are feeling some kind of pain. The best thing to do is first to check for these obvious reasons why a baby is crying. Then, we need to keep them company. This way we will ensure them that they are not alone, and there is no need to be afraid. Keep your baby in the crib, and don’t leave until he falls asleep.
What we don’t want babies to get used to is to be held. That would make them more dependable and cannot sleep unless they are in your arms. That is tiring for the both of you. So, if your baby is crying and they are full, in a clean diaper, and nothing is hurting them. Then keep them in their crib, stay by their side for as long as they need to fall asleep. With time, your baby will get used to you being by his or her side and fall asleep peacefully.
Using certain fragrances or perfumes
We all love the smell of baby’s perfumes and fragrances. Especially when people come over to congratulate you and meet your little angel. However, not all perfumes, even if they are for babies, are good for your baby. Your newborn baby’s skin is so sensitive, that even those perfumes might irritate it. They might even cause eczema for some babies.
To keep your newborn baby smelling sweet, use 100% cotton clothes to clean their mouths and bodies. Using water wipes is just as efficient as well.
Neglecting cleaning your newborn baby’s mouth
Some parents think that there is no need to clean their babies mouth until they start teething. Experts assure us that dental and oral care should start from the first months. We are not talking just about lips and chins, but their gums and tongue as well. Even if your baby isn’t teething yet, bacteria will be there in their little mouths and you don’t want that.
Forgetting to burp the baby after feeding
Burping your baby after feeding is very important. Otherwise they might throw up, get colic or gasses. Which will leave your baby crying and hurting. Even if it’s night feeding and you cannot wait to go back to sleep. Make sure to burp your baby well before putting her or her back in their crib.
New mums always wonder: “how much should I dress my newborn baby?”. Surely, you don’t want them to be cold. We need our babies to be cozy and warm, but not too warm. Newborn babies need to be warm at all times. Their little bodies will need to burn calories in order to warm themselves. So, you need to provide proper nutrition for your baby along with dressing them just enough to ensure that. You shouldn’t over-dress your baby, even if the weather is cold. Otherwise, babies will sweat more than they should and might catch a cold then.
Ignoring a newborn fever
If a newborn baby has a temperature of 38 degrees or higher, then this is an emergency. The best course of action is to take them to a hospital. Some parents leave them overnight hoping that the temperature will get lower on its own, and that is wrong.
The only exception is if your baby was vaccinated. If that is the case, then keep an eye on their temperature for the first 24 hours. If it is still this high, then they should be taken to the ER.
Read more on baby fever here.
Over rocking your newborn baby
Carin for a newborn means to keep them calm and happy. One of the best ways to calm down a newborn baby is to rock and swing them. But if we over rock them, it will be counter productive. When we want to rock a baby, we need to support their heads and necks. Rock them softly and calmly from left to right. Do not swing them harshly or quickly. You can always get a rocking chair to make things easier. Also, you can massage your baby to help him or her calm down. Massages are also great to relieve them from tummy aches.