Welcome to the world of babies and their basic needs

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Handling a Newborn / Hygienic way to handle a newborn

·       Wash your hands

A newborn's immune system is not strong yet, they are susceptible to infection. So always wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your newborn.

·         Pick up a newborn

Be careful to support your baby’s head and neck. When picking up your baby, slide one hand under his head , with your other hand under his bottom. Scoop and bring the baby close to your body.

If you are lifting the newborn from the ground, get down on one knee and bring the newborn close to your body before you stand up.

·         Holding your Newborn

Rest your baby on your chest and shoulder, supporting his head and neck with your hand and don’t try to hold your baby by using one hand and always support the head and neck because newborns do not have strong neck muscles.

·         Cradle a baby

Move your baby’s head to the crook of your arm supporting the neck and place the other hand under the baby’s bottom. Using the cradle hold lets talk to your newborn.

·         Use a baby carrier

All babies love to be carried around and for a mother, nothing can be special holding her baby in her arms all day along. Always check the weight minimum and read instructions before you use it and select the best one.

·         Be Kind

A newborn is not ready for rough play. Limit any activity that could be too bouncy, rough and do not shake your baby too much and try to handle in gentle manner. 

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Bonding and Soothing Techniques

·         Skin to skin contact

Holding your baby close is a wonderful feeling. Every time you hold your baby close, that bond will grow a little bit deeper. Hold your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling.

·         Bond through massage

Massaging your baby is a natural way to improve baby’s physical and emotional health. Always try to spend a few minutes each day to connect with your baby through massage. Baby massage is soothing and can comfortably last 10 – 20 minutes. Before starting, make sure the room is warm and your baby is quiet, well-rested and alert.

·         Feeding

Feeding is one of the most natural ways to bond with your baby. Breastfeeding promotes closeness between a mother and baby. Feeding promotes both eye to eye contact and skin to skin contact.

·         Eye to Eye contact

Look into your baby’s eyes and use facial expressions to interact with them. Your newborn will typically see you best when your face is about one foot away from her body. When feeding your baby, make faces smile and look into your baby’s eyes to promote bonding.

·         Touch and Smell

Newborn will respond to the warmth of your touch. Lay your baby against your chest and cover your newborn with a soft and lightweight towel. Your newborn will be able to identify you through your touch and smell.

·         Talk to your baby

Your baby loves to hear your voice. Talk to your newborn all day long. Describe the things you see. Talk, read and sing to your newborn. Your baby will probably also love listening to music. If your little one is being fussy, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes. Sharing a picture book with your baby promotes an emotional connection and stimulates a positive interaction. Look for colourful picture books or books with pictures of babies faces to share with your baby.

·         Swaddle your baby

Swaddling, which works well for babies during their first weeks, is another soothing technique. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm but it also gives a sense of security and comfort.

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Why babies cry?

Reasons babies cry :

·         Hunger

·         Sleepiness

·         Dirty diaper

·         Hot or cold

·         Colic, gas or food allergies

·         Wants to be held

·         Not feeling well


Ø  Hunger

Most newborns eat every few hours. Learning to recognize the signs of hunger will help you start your baby’s feeding before the crying stage. If you are breast feeding your baby, the flavour of the milk might change in response to what you eat and drink. If you suspect that a certain food or drink is making your baby fussier than usual, avoid it for several days to see if it makes a difference.

Ø  Sleepiness

Your baby might need more sleep than you think. Newborns often sleep up to 16 hours a day. Some newborns sleep even more.

Ø  Dirty diaper

For some babies, a wet diaper is a sure-fire way to trigger tears. Check your baby’s diaper often to make sure it’s clean and dry.

Ø  Hot or Cold

A baby who is too hot or cold is likely to be uncomfortable. When your baby feels chilly, such as when you remove his clothes to change a diaper or clean his bottom with a cold wipe, he may protest by crying. Newborns like to be bundled up and keep warm but not too warm.

Ø  Colic, gas or food allergies

Tummy troubles associated with gas or colic can lead to lots of crying.

Ø  Wants to be held

Babies need a lot of cuddling. They like to see their parents faces, hear their voices and listen to their heartbeats and can even detect their unique smell.

Ø  Not feeling well

If you have met your baby’s basic needs and comforted them and they are still crying, he could be coming down with something. You may want to check his temperature to rule out a fever and be alert for other signs of illness.

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Soothing a crying baby

Ø  Swaddle your baby

Swaddling is the best thing ever! Swaddling your baby in a receiving blanket keeps your little bundle feeling cozy and secure. Expert says, swaddling soothes babies because it creates a womb like feeling.

Ø  Sucking

Babies love to suck, It’s a natural reflex in newborns through about three months of age. Some babies begin sucking their thumbs while still in the womb and for many newborns sucking on their fingers and hands or a pacifier can be very soothing.

Ø  Get Outside

Babies just stop crying immediately when they feel the fresh air. Fresh air can also work wonders for cranky babies. The change in light, air, temperature, sights, sounds and smells is likely to improve your baby’s mood.

Ø  Carry your baby

Babies enjoy the feeling of closeness and the rhythm of your steps. The carrier is also convenient because your hands remain free for multitasking.

Ø  Make some noise

Some babies calm down to rhythmic whooshing sound which may remind them of the womb. Having just emerged from a very loud place – your body, where the sounds of a pumping heart, flowing blood and various other bodily functions can get a bit noisy. Newborns are often soothed by the familiar dull roar of white noise - Noise machines, vacuum cleaners : try them out and see what works for your baby.

Ø  Sing a song

Your baby has no idea whether you sing off key or with perfect pitch. What she does know is that whenever she is being crooned to, you are there with her.

Ø  Give a massage

Massaging your baby can be a relaxing ritual for both of you and it is a great way to calm your little one’s cries. You can experiment with lotion or special baby massage oils, though neither is necessary. Use a gentle touch but make sure it’s firm enough not to be ticklish.

Ø  Entertain

Even young babies can get bored. You may also try sitting on the floor with her and showing her how the toys rattle and spin. Some babies love to look at and listen to you read a simple rhyming board book, while others get the giggles if you turn on some tunes and dance with them.

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Newborn daily care

Ø  Face

It is disconcerting to see a newborn with a red, blotchy face but baby acne is a common and harmless condition.

Wash your baby’s face daily with a mild soap.

Ø  Eyes

With a clean hands, moisten a cotton wool ball with warm water and gently clean your newborn’s eyelids, wiping from inner eye to outer eye. Use a different piece of cotton wool for each eye.

Ø  Ears

Use a cotton wool ball to wipe behind and around the outside of baby’s ears.

Ø  Hair

After washing baby’s hair, dry it by gently moving the towel back and forward across the scalp.

Ø  Nails

A newborn’s nails are usually soft but they can scratch his sensitive skin.

Use baby nail clippers, clip after his bath when nails are soft or when he is asleep and his fingers are relaxed.

Ø  Diaper change

Too much moisture plus sensitive skin can equal diaper rash for many babies.

Change diapers frequently. Rinse your baby’s bottom with water during each change and blot dry.

Ø  Umbilical cord

Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry. Avoid covering the cord area with diaper.

Ø  Legs

Newborn’s legs are bowed out and the feet are turned in, which is no surprise given their previous cramped little quarters.

Don’t worry about it – your baby’s legs and feet will straighten in anywhere from six to 18 months.

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Establishing sleep habits

Newborn babies sleep a lot. Expect your baby to be asleep for up to 18 hours over the course of 24 hours in his first few weeks. But they won’t sleep for more than one hour to three hours at a time.

 1.   Recognise the signs that your baby is tired

Ø  Rubbing eyes

Ø  Yawning

Ø  Flicking ear with hand

Ø  Looking away from you

Ø  Fussing

Ø  Whining and crying

Ø  Becoming quiet and still

2.   Don’t start a bedtime routine right away

No need to impose a sleep schedule on your newborn as soon as you bring her home. Your adorable bundle will likely sleep a lot those first few days.

3.   Show your baby the difference between night and day

After a few weeks, you can begin to show him the difference between night and day.

Day time

Ø  Change his clothes when he wakes to show him that it’s start of a new day.

Ø  Play, talk and interact with him as much as you can.

Ø  Keep the house and his room light and bright.

Ø  Let him hear everyday noises, such as the radio or television.

                Night time

Ø  Keep lights and noises low.

Ø  Change him into his pyjamas to show him that it is the end of the day.

4.   Separate eating from sleeping

Ø  After the first month, you don’t want to let your baby fall asleep while you are feeding or rocking her because you want her to figure out how to put herself to sleep.

Ø  Some parents try to push more formula, breast milk or baby food to try to make a baby sleep on schedule or sleep longer. This is not good for your baby.

5.   Allow your baby to learn to fall asleep independently

When your baby is at least three months of age and healthy, it is recommended that you give her the opportunity to learn to fall asleep independently.

Safe sleep for baby

Ø  How many hours a day does your baby sleep?

Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day. Usually in 3 to 4 hour periods. Your baby needs to eat every few hours, which is why she doesn’t sleep for longer periods of time. Your baby may get cranky or overtired if she doesn’t get enough get enough sleep.

Ø  Always place your baby on their back to sleep

Put your baby to sleep on his back every time until he is 1 year old. It is not safe for a baby to sleep on his side or tummy. If your baby can roll over from his back to his side or tummy and over to her back again, don’t worry if he changes positions while sleeping. Give your baby tummy time every day. Tummy time helps your baby to sleep well.

Ø  Safest place for your baby to sleep

·         Place your baby to sleep in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples, put each baby in his own bassinet or crib.

·         Put your baby to bed in his own crib or bassinet. Don’t share your bed. Keep your baby’s crib close to your bed so your baby’s nearby during the night.

·         Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm surface like a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet.

·         Use a bassinet, crib or play yard that meets current safety standards.

·         Don’t let your baby sleep in his carrier, sling car seat or stroller. Babies who sleep in these items can suffocate. If your baby falls asleep in one of them, take her out and put her in crib as soon as you can.

·         Don’t put your baby to sleep on a waterbed or sofa.

·         Remove any hanging window cords or electrical wires near where your baby sleeps.

·         Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping.

Give babies space to breathe – no pillows, bumpers, blanket or toys.

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Sleep Problems

Newborns generally sleep about 16 hours a day, waking up frequently for feedings both day and night.

Ø  A 2 month old should get a total of 14 to 16 hours a day, while a 3 month old should get about nine to 10 hours at night and few naps a day of one and half to two hours each.

Ø  By 4 months, your baby should be sleeping about 15 hours a day, broken up into two or three daytime naps totalling three to four hours and then another 10 to 11 hours at night. As your baby gets closer to 6 months old, she should be sleeping nine to 11 hours at night.

Ø  By 6 months and up, almost everyone adults and babies alike wakes up a times during the night. If your little one is still waking you up for midnight feedings and snuggles at 6 months old, you may want to consider sleep training.

Ø  Your newborn most often wakes up because he is hungry or needs to be changed. Be aware of sudden changes in your baby’s sleep patterns.



Ø  Establish a regular bedtime

Putting your baby to bed at the same time every night sets her internal clocks so she is more likely to be sleepy at a predictable time. Make sure it is not too late. Over tired babies have an especially hard time calming down.

Ø  Empty the crib

Keep the sleep surface free of everything but the cutest thing in the room, your baby. Blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals can be hazardous, increasing the odds of suffocation.

Ø  Hands – on

When you transfer your baby into the crib at bedtime, try putting your hand gently on her stomach, arms and head to comfort and soothe her.

Ø  Lights out

To help your little night owl understand when it’s bedtime, keep her room dark. Use dark curtains or blackout shades to simulate night time during the day. When it is time for her to wake up, whether in the morning or after a nap, open the curtains and let light in to help her to understand the difference.

Ø  Baby massage

A soothing massage is a wonderful way to make your baby feel secure, loved and ready for sleep.

Research has shown that routine touch and massage improves sleep quality and quantity when part of a bedtime routine. Massage can also help you recognize and respond to your baby’s body language and it is a great way to make your little one feel safe and secure.

Ø  Bath time

Bath time is the perfect way to start your baby’s pre-bed routine. Warm water, combined with soft and loving strokes with a washcloth can relax just about anyone.

Ø  Avoid eye contact

·         After giving your baby a warm bath and a relaxing massage, it’s time to send her off to sleep with a little quiet time together. Close contact between you and your little one helps calm your baby’s breathing.

·         Make sure you keep the atmosphere calm and cozy. You can help your baby wind down further by reading or singing softly.

·         It is best to avoid active play at this time, so your baby goes to bed sleepy but still awake. This will help her learn how to self soothe and get back to sleep on her own if she wakes up during the night.


Ø  Swaddling

Your newborn was used to being tightly packed in your womb, so being wrapped in a swaddling blanket duplicates the experience, helping her to sleep better.

Ø  Understand

Pay attention to your baby’s unique cues and it will be easier to determine when she is ready for bed. She might rub her eyes, become whiny or yawn.

Ø  White noise

Some babies sleep easier if you turn on a white noise machine or a fan. Don’t give your baby the silent treatment.

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How to play with your newborn?

Ø  Face

There is nothing more enjoyable for your newborn than a good face – making session. Spending time face to face with your newborn not only makes them happy, it also helps develop that bond between the two of you that will likely lay the foundation for a healthy relationship in the months and years to come. Your baby will be especially excited to observe wide open eyes and genuine smiles. Look your baby in the eye and respond to any actions the baby makes by changing your expression.

Ø  Imitate / Interact

By engaging with your baby by imitating her sounds, facial expressions and movements, you are teaching her about the basics of back and forth communication. Know that you will need to initiate almost all interactions with your newborns for the first few months of their life.

Ø  Talk to her

Hold your face close to your newborn while speaking to them to get more face to face time together as well. Newborn babies may prefer the silly noises often associated with speaking to babies but you can also simply speak softly using an actual human language.

Talk to your newborn while feeding, bathing and changing them as well.

Ø  Sing

Your baby will be especially interested in listening if you are singing. Sing songs that incorporate a physically active component and move their arms or playfully touch your newborn as you sing to them. Incorporate singing with hand motions into your baby’s daily routine.

Ø  Read

It’s never too early to read to your baby. Start out with books that have highly contrasting colours and simple pictures. Exposure to your voice, the rhythm with which you speak and structure sentences and the vocabulary you use will all steadily increase your baby’s understand of verbal communication. Make sure to eliminate extraneous noise when reading to your baby. Turn off any televisions or other devices emitting distracting audio.

Ø  Dance

They may not ever take the lead, but swaying back and forth with your newborn is delightfully playful and will greatly increase your bond with your baby.

Ø  Toys

Your baby’s visual capabilities will drastically change during the first few months of their lives. Your newborn will likely be fascinated by the different ways things feel to the touch. Provide a variety of toys and fabrics to your newborn to expose them to how vastly different things can feel.

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How to care for baby skin ?

Newborn skin is delicate and so is the baby’s immune system. Chemicals, fragrances and dyes in clothing, detergents can cause newborn skin irritation, dryness, chafing and rashes. Your new baby’s skin is still developing, so it needs special care. As their skin adapts to their new world, many newborns experience these common skin conditions.

Ø  Bath Time

Too frequent bathing more than three times per week during the first year of life removes the natural oils that protect baby’s skin.Baby need maximum of two to three baths a week in warm (not hot) water to stay clean. Avoid bar soap and bubble baths. Support your baby’s head and test the temperature of the water on the inside of your wrist. Never leave your baby while she is in a bath – not even for an instant.

Ø  Wash and Wear

Newborns tend to have sensitive skin. So always wash the new clothes and towels before using them. Use only baby laundry detergents that are fragrance and dry-free. Wash baby clothes, bedding and blankets separately from the family’s laundry. Don’t use scented baby products in the early months. This can irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

Ø  Eczema and Dry skin

Many babies experience eczema or dry skin. Eczema appears as a red, itchy rash mostly on face and scalp, at the elbows and behind the knees.

Few Tips :

·         Avoid the things you think may cause itching such as dust, grass, detergents and perfumes. Make sure baby wears only soft clothing, preferably cotton.

·         Try once a week bathing. Give your baby short baths.

·         Check with doctor about using over the counter lotions or creams to treat eczema. You may need a prescription treatment.

Ø  Diaper Rash

Many babies experience diaper rash at some point. Most often, diaper rash is caused by the irritating wetness of a soiled diaper. The rash can also develop when baby’s skin is not properly dried after a bath.

Check diapers frequently. Change diapers immediately when wet or soiled. Wash the diaper area with mild fragrance free cleanser or plain water.

Ø  Block The sun

For babies younger than 6 months, try to keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. When you take them out in the daytime, use these items to cover and protect her tender skin:

·         A hat, tightly woven clothing with long sleeves and pants.

Also, try not to take her out between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun is strongest.

Ø  Baby Massage

A better way to monitor the healthiness of your baby’s skin is through massage. Giving your newborn a massage is important one on one time. Massage is a way to convey your love and affection for your baby. Massaged babies are calmer, sleep better and cry less.

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