10 Baby Care Skills Every New Parent Should Master

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4. How to breastfeed a baby

Breastfeeding is very important, especially in the first few days. It can be an obstacle for the mother and sometimes for the baby as well. Since milk is the only source of food and nutrition for the baby in their first days of life, it is important to be adamant in asking questions about technique until you learn how to breastfeed successfully.

As simple as it may sound, it can sometimes be complicated. New mothers can face a lot of issueslike poor latch, low milk supply, an over-demanding baby, and breast infections.

There are many types of holds you can use to breastfeed (see the graphic above) and you should choose whichever is most comfortable for you and the baby. If you have a sleepy newborn that tends to get tired while sucking and fall asleep, we have a tip for you, just tickle the baby’s feet during breastfeeding sessions to keep them awake. This will make sure they don’t fall asleep with an empty stomach.

5. How to burp and administer CPR to a baby

Burping is essential to keep the baby comfortable, especially in the first few months. A comfortable baby will in turn eat well and sleep well too. To burp a baby, hold them on your chest in a way that their chin rests on your shoulder. Don’t forget to support their head and shoulders. Now gently rub or pat their back until they burp.

Another method to burp a baby is face down on your lap. While the baby lies on your legs, support their chin and jaw with your hands making sure to hold their head a little higher, so that blood doesn’t rush toward the head. Now, rub or pat the back gently to burp the child.

In an emergency situation if you sense that the baby is choking, you can also lay the baby in the same face down position you used for burping. The right method for responding to this is to first do chest thrusts — 5 times using only 2 fingers. Then, back blows until the baby starts coughing. Remember that the baby is small and that you don’t want to pat or thrust too forcefully.

Coughing is an indicator that the object has shifted from the air way.

6. How to massage a baby

Massage is generally done for newborns to make their bones and muscles stronger. The first rule is to not do it before or after a feed. To give a successful baby massage, follow these steps: lay your baby on a towel or sheet on a comfortable surface, like a bed, and start massaging with a vegetable based oil. Start with the legs, followed by the arms, then the chest, and finally the baby’s back.

Massaging not only soothes but strengthens the baby as well. An added bonus is the bond that is created with the baby during these daily massages.

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