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Tips and tricks on caring for your newborn

Bath time

You don't need to bath your newborn daily, they don't exercise or sweat like adults do but it can be introduced as part of your night time routine.  Be sure to allow your newborn babies umbilical cord to air dry thoroughly, the umbilical cord will fall off naturally, usually within 2 weeks. After bath time we recommend you use a baby oil or moisturiser on your newborns skin to help prevent your baby getting dry skin.  

Clothing

After having your newborn baby, it is best to dress them in loose clothing and nothing that is restricting around their waist.  This is to help prevent the umbilical cord from becoming irritated or infected.

Handy tip: When putting a nappy on your newborn, you can fold the front down and still do the tabs up the same if you think it will help your baby to be more comfortable.

Layer clothes

This can be one of the biggest challenges for new parents.  How do you know if your newborn baby is too warm, or too cold? As a general guide, it is recommended that a baby should wear one extra layer to yourself.  Example, if you are wearing 2 layers, your baby should wear 3.  In saying that, make sure you your child doesn't overheat.  If its a hot day dress your baby in light cotton or muslin to help prevent them from overheating.

Checking temperature (without a thermometer)

If you're concerned about your child's temperature, touch their chest with your hand to check their core temperature.  If your child has cold hands and feet, you can cover them with socks or mitts but it is not an accurate indication on your child's core temperature.

Kangaroo time

Kangaroo time is when your baby has skin on skin time with you.  It is good to try and do an hour a day with your newborn, however I know form experience that's not always possible. Therefore when you can, whether that be out and about or at home, carry or wear your baby.  It will help to settle your newborn being close to you, your scent and also hearing your heart beat.

Handy tip: Ensure you choose a carrier that encourages your babies natural hip position.  

Swaddling and calming your baby

Swaddling your newborn is a great way to help calm them and for sleeping, it imitates the "snugness" of the womb.  Once your babies startle reflex has gone, around 3-6 months, you can start to leave their arms free at sleep time.

Handy tip: If your baby is still being fussy, try taking a warm bath with them.  It'll calm you and your newborn, and is a great time to do Kangaroo Time, or skin on skin. 

Breastfeeding and your babies latch

Your newborns latch is important to get right, as many mothers (myself included) can tell you from experience, its not always easy to master.  A poor latch can case pain and doesn't promote a proper letdown. You can always seek help and advice from your midwife, lactation consultant or national breastfeeding helpline 1800-686-268.

Handy tip: While learning to master how to help your baby latch correctly, if you do experience pain during breastfeeding, try concentrating on wiggling your toes.  It helps to take your mind off the pain while keeping the rest of your body relaxed which helps with your letdown. 

Asking for and accepting help

When you have a newborn, many people will offer to help you in someway.  Whether that be to help with washing, cleaning, cooking a meal, grocery shopping or even watching your newborn so you can rest... the BEST advice I can give you is to accept help when offered and ask for help when you need it.