The little life that was once growing inside you is now outside in the world, and to say that it’s overwhelming is an understatement. Think about all those cherishing memories when you found out you were pregnant, the first time you heard their heartbeat, the first time you felt them move, and today when you listen to those little cries and watch those cute little movements.
As a new mom, you are bound to feel confused, scared, stressed, and unprepared, but parenting is a learning experience. Besides, as soon as you share the arrival news of your little bundle of joy, everybody, including your family, friends, and even strangers, will shower you with “words of wisdom” to help you raise your little one.
The best way to handle the information overload is to stay calm, trust your gut feeling, and focus on the basics that will help your baby develop and grow happily and healthily. After all, it’s your baby. You know them better than anyone else.
Let’s go over some pieces of advice to help you raise your little one with love and care:
Address Developmental Delays
As a parent, monitoring your baby’s progress is crucial. It helps identify delays in hitting milestones such as lifting their head, smiling, laughing, crawling, sitting up, and walking. If you notice your little one is not reaching these milestones on time, it’s vital to seek the advice of a pediatrician.
While most developmental delays are not severe and can be managed with early intervention, some could indicate underlying medical conditions like cerebral palsy, which can impair motor function. At times, medical malpractice can also be the cause of such issues.
Now you’re probably wondering: Can medical malpractice result in cerebral palsy? Unfortunately, it can. But you can always contact patient advocates and receive financial compensation for such wrongdoing.
Stay Alert on Hygiene
Newborns have very fragile skin and a weak immune system which leaves them vulnerable to germs and infections. So, keep all baby items clean and wash your hands whenever you go close to them. Use antibacterial wipes or soap and water to wipe down surfaces, sanitize toys, and clean baby bottles and other items your baby uses.
Make sure to bathe them daily and ensure their diapers are changed regularly. Also, try to keep their nails short and clean, as they can cause injuries when they scratch themselves while being playful.
Ensure the bedding and clothing are always clean because even a tiny stain can cause skin rashes or infections. Use suitable clothing material such as organic cotton, which is lightweight and breathable to keep your baby comfortable.
Avoid Excessive Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics has laid out some guidelines for children’s screen time. If your child is under 18 months of age, you shouldn’t allow them screen time; however, video calling with loved ones is an exception. On the other hand, if your child is between 2 and 6, the AAP recommends limiting their non-educational screen time to one hour per weekday and no more than three hours on weekends.
Overexposure to screens can harm your little one’s development, impair focus, delay language development, and other problems.
Instead, foster your child’s imagination and creativity by engaging in activities that spark their interest. Whether reading captivating bedtime stories, indulging in exciting board games, or providing stimulating experiences that promote healthy growth, there are myriad ways to steer clear of excessive screen time.
Encouraging your child to explore their interests can also help bolster their social skills, motor development, and cognitive abilities.
Establish a Regular Sleep Routine
It is vital to establish a regular sleep routine for your baby and follow it to ensure everyone in the house gets enough rest. Create a calming environment before bedtime by dimming the lights, turning off the television, and playing soothing music. You can also sing lullabies, cuddle your baby, and give them hugs and kisses before putting them to sleep.
Besides nighttime sleep, ensure your baby gets ample daytime naps and encourage them to sleep in their bed as soon as possible. It will help you and your baby get adequate rest, enabling you to keep up with your daily tasks and ensuring your baby’s health.
Focus on Nutrition
Breastfeeding is the best way to give your little one the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow strong. But if breastfeeding isn’t an option, consult your pediatrician before switching to formula milk. Ask them to recommend the right formula and suggest safe solids for your baby’s age.
Most importantly, monitor their progress when introducing solids to ensure they digest the food properly.
Caring for a baby is a full-time job, and as a new mom, you may need help juggling parenting and other daily tasks. On top of that, getting some me-time might become difficult. However, your loved ones, including your spouse, family members, and friends, can offer some assistance.
Ask for help when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed, and don’t hesitate to accept it graciously. You’ll be amazed at how willing your loved ones are to lend a helping hand. It could be running errands, cooking meals, taking care of your little one, or even giving you a break for some well-deserved me-time.
Motherhood is a transformative experience that can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially for first-time moms. However, it’s crucial to establish healthy routines such as a consistent sleep schedule and a balanced diet to ensure your baby’s well-being.
Engage your child in interactive and stimulating activities, rather than relying on screen time, to promote healthy development and strengthen your bond.
Observing your baby’s developmental milestones and seeking professional help if you notice any delays is vital for their growth and well-being. Lastly, remember you don’t have to care for your baby alone. When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, ask your loved ones for help and support. It will ensure that your little one is safe and happy and that you can enjoy motherhood fully.