Raising children is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world — and the one for which you might feel the least prepared. We often hear the joke about how families act so differently with their first child than their younger children. The truth is, becoming a new parent can be very overwhelming. Not only are you trying to adjust to your new dynamic of a family of three and trying to get to know your baby, you are trying to navigate the unknown of your new as parent. Each child and each family will have their own unique experiences, but there are many common questions that new parents have.
- What’s the best way to burp my newborn?
Parents can burp their child after feeding by placing the baby over their shoulder so she is lying on her stomach on your chest. Lightly pat her back to help the bubbles come up. Alternatively, if parents are able, they can sit their baby in their lap and place their hands so that one supports the baby’s chest and the other pats her back. Both ways work well, just make sure that the head is supported well.
- How often should I change my baby’s diaper?
Families should change their baby’s diaper every 2 to 3 hours, but be mindful of when your child has a bowel movement. The acid content of a bowel movement could irritate your child’s skin and cause painful diaper rashes. If your child is sleeping throughout the night or for an extended period of time during the night, it isn’t necessary to wake them up and change them. Families should consider using an overnight diaper so that they do not become uncomfortable or leak overnight.
- How much and how often should I feed my newborn?
Newborn babies will need to eat about every two hours. Newborns always lose some weight right after they are born, so parents need to ensure they are eating enough to help them regain their weight. Once your child has caught up to their birth weight, they may start to go longer between feedings and they will slowly begin to increase the amount they eat at one time.
- Can I take my newborn outside?
Pediatricians encourage parents to take their babies for walks outside to get fresh air. Having them playing on a blanket outside allows them to experience all the sights and sounds and is good for development. Just make sure that your baby is appropriately dressed. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you would wear in both warm and cold weather. Babies younger than 6 months shouldn’t wear sunscreen, so it’s best to avoid the peak hours of sunlight.
- Why does my newborn sleep all day and is awake all night?
Babies have a tendency to mix up days and nights. If your little one was active when you were pregnant and you felt them move around a lot, you likely noticed they moved around most when you were at rest during the evening and you didn’t feel them as often during the day when you were moving around. It’s important to help them realize when it is day and when it is night. During the day, open the windows and let the light in, play, and be more energetic. When it’s nighttime, be sure to keep the room they sleep in dark and the atmosphere calmer. This will help signal them that it’s now time for sleep.
What are some other questions you feel most new parents would like answers to?