Sister Lilian Centre’s Top Ten Tips For Life With A Baby
Being a new parent can be daunting and the number of things you need to learn can seem to tower over you like a mountain. Mount Everest, no less… Relax, all new parents feel this way, and soon the many rewards of parenting will be yours! Here’s Sister Lilian’s list of ten basic Baby-dos nobody probably told you, and you probably didn’t think to ask:
1. Breastfeed as soon as possible after birth: Tell your hospital, doctor, and midwife that you want to nurse Baby before she is bathed and tested. This first feed is invaluable for bonding with Baby, makes breastfeeding easier later, and builds Mom’s confidence!
2. Have skin-to-skin contact with Baby often: Premature, ill, or low birth weight babies have better temperature control and weight gain with frequent skin-to-skin time. Hearing Mom’s heartbeat and feeling her warmth and closeness is wonderfully relaxing for anxious babies – and moms!
3. Clean the umbilical cord and navel at each nappy change: Clean the cord until it is off (about Day 10 or 14), and clean Baby’s navel thoroughly until about six weeks. This prevents urine and stool from causing infection by contaminating the cord stump.
4. Wash behind Baby’s ears: When Baby possets, milk runs down to behind her ears and can start to smell. Gently pull the shell of the ear away from Baby’s skull – it may be crusty at first so keep moistening it – and wipe down with a moist facecloth or cotton wool.
5. Wash Baby’s buttocks at each nappy change: The best way to prevent nappy rash is to run a basin of warm water at each nappy change, dunk Baby’s buttocks into the water, wash with baby soap, and pat dry with a towel. When you’re not at home, use wet wipes, moist cloths, or oil on cotton wool.
6. Thoroughly and gently clean a baby girl’s labia: When a baby girl passes a stool, splay the labia (lips) of the genital area and gently clean away all traces of poo with moistened cotton wool balls. Also wash this area gently every time you wash her buttocks.
7. Establish a flexible baby-friendly daily routine: Routines help Baby to feel secure, but they shouldn’t be rigid and forced. Watch Baby and base your routine on her natural patterns.
8. Smile at Baby: Forget the six week rule! If you smile at Baby lots, she will likely respond with a smile much earlier – those half smiles aren’t just wind!
9. Talk to Baby!: Baby loves hearing your voice and learns early speech from the first days. Simply walk with Baby and talk about what you see, think, and feel.
10. Put multiples together in a cot: Twins have snuggled together since the womb, so they’ll probably be most content if you let them carry on during sleep time. At play time, they keep each other happily entertained too!