Becoming a new parent can be an enriching yet challenging experience. While everyone is ready to give new parents a bunch of advice, it is equally important that parents choose a suitable medium of information, as many myths and misinformation are available, both offline and online.
We spoke to our expert, Dr Jesal Sheth, Senior Consultant-Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital Mulund, who listed different ways to keep your new baby happy and healthy.
Expert Tips For New Parents: Dos & Don’ts
1. Learn to communicate with the baby
Creating a strong bond with the baby is one of the most exciting aspects of parenthood. It is extremely important in the first few days after the baby is born. In fact, for a baby, physical and emotional connection is significant, as it can help them feel safe and contribute to their overall wellness and growth.
Dr Sheth listed some ways in which a parent can create a lasting relationship with their baby.
- Repeatedly touch and cuddle the child. This is crucial for the baby's overall well-being because newborn babies feel and attempt to seek contact from the time of birth.
- Never ignore a baby when crying, even if you do not know the reason for their behaviour.
- It is a good idea to carry your baby and rock them while they sleep. Skin-to-skin contact also helps them connect and bond with their parents.
- Try wrapping the baby and providing them with good neck and head support. This gives them the safety they felt in the womb, which is essential for their well-being.
- Talk and sing songs for them in a soothing and reassuring tone. It will help them recognise your voice, learn languages, and feel calm.
- Some babies respond well to massages as they can enhance their growth. You can check with a doctor on a good time to start massages and ensure you stay gentle as their bones are not quite strong.
2. Seek help, especially if you stay on your own
For any couple, having a newborn baby will be hectic and chaotic. And if the couple is staying alone, it can become extremely tough. Hence, they should seek help whenever possible. Remember that asking for help does not make you less capable.
3. Look out for the sleep pattern of kids
In the womb, the baby has no sense of day or night; it is essential to help them adjust to timing once they are born. During the day and night, a baby should sleep for two to three hours and then be woken up for feeding. Also, they must have small, frequent meals because their stomach is small, and digestion will take time and effort. If your baby tends to sleep for long hours, take them out in the sunlight, as it helps set their circadian rhythm.
4. Don’t stress out too much
As a new parent, worrying and stress can become second nature. However, it is essential to know that various resources are available for parents to help them tackle and overcome challenges effectively. New mothers must take care of their health and be able to rest and relax whenever time permits. As partners and caretakers, it's critical to recognise the symptoms of postpartum depression. If the mother exhibits any of these symptoms, it is crucial to take appropriate action and seek professional advice.
Babies grow up very fast, and new parents must take every opportunity to savour their time and bond with their children, especially in the formative years. These opportunities for connection and bonding can result in helping children grow and develop positively and healthily.