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How to Care for Your Infant

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Your baby has finally been born and you must be very excited to bond with the new member of the family. Each pregnancy is different and whether you had an easy one or a challenging one, you now have a new role to play. Child rearing can be a challenge but it is possible once you get the information you need on how to take care of your new born baby. Children differ hence the parents need to understand their baby in order to give the proper care required. Here are a few tips on how to care for you child.

Newborn Baby Care Guide

How to Care for Your Infant

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1. Physical Touch

It is widely known that an infant yearns tender care from the time it is born. The best people to provide this are the parents, especially the mother. Physical contact can be through any skin-to-skin contact including gently strokes. This creates an emotional bond with the parents, something that is very important for the newborn.

Physical contact with the baby is emphasized due to many reasons. One of them is that the infant has come out of a restrictive environment and need to feel comfortable in the new environment. The physical contact with the parents will help the baby to feel relaxed and will create an emotional bond with them. In fact, the most important thing after child birth is not the mother to sleep but to bond with the baby. Some infants may wilt and die if they do not have this parental bond.

In some instances, the parent-child bond immediately after child birth may not be possible. A baby may need emergency medical care after birth and may not be in contact with the parents for some time. However, the parents can do all they can to ensure they establish this bond as soon as possible after the baby recovers.

2. Massage

It is not only adults who love to have a good massage from time to time. Newborns also need a massage frequently, daily if possible. There are very many benefits of giving your baby a massage. One of them is that physical and emotional information is transmitted to the baby in this manner hence they feel loved.

Another benefit to massaging is that it relaxes your baby. It is best to do this when oiling your baby after a bath. You will notice that the baby sleeps more soundly and may sleep even longer. In addition to relaxing the baby, it also tones the infant's muscles.

There is an intellectual benefit to massaging too. Since the baby senses of sight, touch and hearing are stimulated during the massage, his/her memory and learning processes are also stimulated.

Massaging also regulates the baby's respiratory and digestive systems hence instances of stomach aches may be reduced.

3. Read and Talk to Your Baby

You may wonder what the point of doing this is since they may not even understand what you are saying. It is however recommended even when your baby is just a few hours old. Although they may not understand what you are saying, they pay close attention.

In order for your child to develop good vocabulary and sound recognition, you need to talk to them from infancy. Brain maturation is quite critical in the months after child birth hence this time needs to be used to instill intellectual things in your child's brain. They may learn to talk faster and understand a language more clearly when you start talking to them early enough.

One mistake some parents do is using baby talk while talking to their children. When you do this, they may not know how certain words are supposed to be pronounced and may not understand clearly when other people talk. Hence, it is recommended that you talk to the baby using good diction and pronunciation.

Apart from reading to your child, you can increase their knowledge of words by pointing to certain objects or people and naming them. You can introduce books suitable for their age once they start growing up. The main purpose of doing this is to help them to recognize words and read them well. When choosing which books to buy, observe your child carefully to see where interest lies then buy books with topics that interest your child. This will encourage them to read.

4. Respond to Their Cries

Parents are different. Some respond immediately when their child cries and others ignore the child thinking they will spoil them. Which type are you?

Both types of parents are right at some point but let us see how you should handle this. An important point you should know beforehand is that newborns do not shed tears when they cry. This is because it takes several weeks for tear ducts to develop but their eyes have enough moisture during this time.

We first need to understand why babies cry. They do this is a way to express distress. Most babies cry when they are uncomfortable, hungry or upset and this releases stress hormones to the body.

It is important to quickly respond to your baby at this time. No, this is not spoiling them. In fact, many studies have shown that babies who are responded to quickly in the first 8 months cry much less afterwards. What determines if you are spoiling them or not is how you respond to them.

Responding the same way each time your baby cries is spoiling them. You thus need to come up with different methods of how to respond. For example, you can carry them, you can gently touch their stomach, acknowledge their cry with your voice and talk gently in their ear.

5. Spend Time with Your Child

With increasing economic pressures, both parents may need to work for long hours. If you are in this situation, it means you have placed the care of your child in the hands of someone else while you are away. It is quite understandable. However, you need to know that although your child may be cared for during the time you are away, they still need to spend time with you. Try as much as possible to bond with your child some time before and after work.

How to Care for Your Infant - Videos

This is important because separation from parents can have a negative effect on the child physically and psychologically.

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