Taking care of a newborn or infant isn’t that hard, right? Changing their diapers and feeding them should be enough! While many articles will dive into healthful diets and the right diapers for your little one; happy and healthy babies require a bit more than we may realize. Today we are looking at all the different ways to contribute to the health and happiness of your small child.
Sleep Is Important
Have you heard the phrase, “if Mom isn’t happy then no one is”? Well in many households the phrase, “if the baby is cranky, so is everyone else!” rings true. The number one reason many newborns and infants are cranky is due to a lack of good sleep. Most newborns sleep 16+ hours and infants sleep an average of 12+ hours. Newborns also will wake up every 2-4 hours, which is why they keep you up all night long. Infants wean off that and will typically sleep 8-9 hours at night as they get older. So how can you be sure that your baby is getting enough sleep? Start with the crib mattress. A good and firm crib mattress supports your baby, rather than sinks or is too soft. You also want the room to be conducive to sleep. A dark room with minimal noise is helpful. You don’t have to tiptoe around the house but you don’t need to bang around the kitchen as loudly as possible either. If you have a baby that is fighting sleep, a white noise machine can be tremendously helpful. They have some that mimic the sounds of the womb (great for newborns) or you can opt for a traditional one that incorporates natural sounds. A popular option is teddy bears or stuffed animals that make sound when you turn them on. If you do this, do not place the animal in the crib with your child until they are at least a year old.
Keep Them Clean
How often you are bathing your babies is important. Interestingly enough, most adults bathe daily or every other day based on their level of activity for the day. Newborns and babies don’t quite need that much in the way of bathing. You can get away with bathing your newborn about 3-4 days. Babies up to a year you could bathe every other day. If they have played in the mud, had an interesting episode with a diaper or simply got into the baby powder when you weren’t looking, an extra bath is expected. The reason we don’t bathe them nearly as often is that they typically don’t get as dirty, sweaty, and smelly as we do. Bathing is a splendid time to check in with their little bodies. Checking for unusual rashes and watching for growths is important. When you do bathe your little one, do be sure to use some moisturizing cream to keep their skin soft.
See The Doctor Regularly
One essential step to take is to regularly take your baby for checkups with your pediatrician. Each pediatrician may have a slightly different schedule, or your baby may require a frequency that differs from other children. Regular checkups ensure your child is healthy and progressing well. This is the best way for a doctor to catch any health issues early and quickly. It is also the best time for you to talk with the doctor about any concerns or questions that you have regarding the child’s health. Make sure that you have a great relationship with your pediatrician and that you trust them. If you feel like something is not quite right or you feel dismissed, take your child to someone new for a second opinion. There may be nothing wrong, but that second opinion can be helpful for you and your family.
Taking care of babies is comparatively easy. It’s simply time-consuming and exhausting some days. Make sure you are taking care of yourself along the way!