Children’s Boot Camps: Skills Every New Parent Must Learn

For a little thing like that, babies can be downright intimidating, especially if you’re a first-time parent. Babies do not come with operating instructions, so here is the Baby 101 survival guide for those feeling delicate and trying their first months with a newborn.

Like many new parents, the moment I found out that my child was on the way, I began to gobble up every parenting book I could find, every book with hundreds of pages of (sometimes conflicting) advice (for example, don’t let your child cry it out! Let the child cry it out!). However, if you keep all of this to a minimum, young parents only need to learn a few important skills. Here’s a cheat sheet.

1. How to hold a baby in your arms

A few minutes after the baby is born, he or she is thrust into your arms – a delicate and frightening moment. A basic rule you need to know: always support the baby’s head and neck while supporting his or her body. The neck muscles in newborns are not yet developed, and their head is heavy (and wobbly!). Therefore, when picking up your baby, holding him to your chest or carrying him, always support his head and body with both hands at the same time – at least for the first three months, until the baby can support his head on his own.

That’s all you really need to know. Dads Adventure , however, includes many children’s holds that are “best for men” (but also good for women):

  • Carry your baby with his chest pressed against yours and his head resting on your shoulder. [Ed. Note. Also support your head.] Very good burp position and babies love it because they can look at things over your shoulder.
  • Place her on your lap, pressing her back against you, and with your hand holding her breasts. Then rock back and forth. If you have a rocking chair, so much the better.
  • A forearm lift can often calm a hectic child. Bend one arm and place the baby with his belly down the length of your forearm, with his head resting in your open palm and his legs resting on your arm. Bring your hand close to your body for safety, and then pat or gently pat it on the back with your other hand.
  • Place it on your lap with your tummy to calm a fussy child. Pat or pat him gently on the back. It is best to place your baby on your chest so that he can fall asleep while listening to and feeling your heartbeat.

It is even better if your child will often contact your skin for deeper contact.

2. How to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby

For the first few months, all people will think about (other than sleep, below) is to feed the baby. Are you breastfeeding? Are you bottle feeding? Is the baby feeding enough? Newborns want to breastfeed every 2-3 hours ; slightly older babies – every 3-4 hours. To survive this demand-feeding phase, you’ll need a strategy.

How to breastfeed comfortably: If you are breastfeeding, the way you hold your baby while breastfeeding may affect or break the arrangement. At the hospital, nurses will help you get started with breastfeeding, but don’t worry if it takes some time and trial and error to make sure you are breastfeeding effectively and the baby is properly breastfeeding. La Leche League invites you to consider five breastfeeding positions and how to ensure a secure grip on your baby:

Good checkpoints for your child include:

  • his nose almost touches your chest, that is, no further than the edge of a credit card, his lips are against his lips, at least ½ inch of your breast around the base of your nipple, in your mouth.
  • If you are uncomfortable or in pain and the baby is not receiving milk, then something is wrong, try again: gently place your finger in the baby’s mouth between the gums to separate it, and try again.
  • The infant offered to breast will suckle without swallowing when he puts the nipple in his mouth and tells your breast that he is ready for the milk to go down. When he begins to receive milk, you will see his jaw return to his ear. His temples will stir. You will also hear him swallow, first quickly, then more slowly, as his appetite is satisfied.

You will be stuck in this position for 20-30 minutes with each feed, so make sure you are comfortable (and have a good book or other distraction). A breastfeeding pillow or regular pillow can help you position your baby comfortably in your lap. And when you get out of bed in your sleep for another late night feed, it helps you learn to breastfeed while lying on your side . Breastfeeding can be challenging at first, but with the right knowledge it will become easier over time.

How to bottle feed: When bottle feeding your baby, you also need to make sure the baby is drinking comfortably. Tilt the bottle about 45 degrees , or at least until the nipple fills with milk or formula to prevent additional air from entering (otherwise you will get gas in your baby!). As with breastfeeding, there are several different positions you can use to bottle feed your baby.

Before your baby arrives, you will also want to sterilize all bottles, tubes and parts as instructed, but after that you can simply wash these items with warm water and soap.

3. How to put a child to bed (and elude him himself)

Perhaps the most important skill you and your child need to learn is how to go to sleep on demand. You may be accustomed to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, but when the baby arrives, you are in for a great shock.

Newborns wake up to feed every two to three hours , so you’ll have to work in shifts to do this teamwork – for example, dad wakes up to bring the baby to mom every two or three feeds, and then mom gets up for two or three feeds. while dad sleeps. At least that’s the ideal.

How to swaddle a baby: Swaddling is our best defense against unhappy, sleepless and crying babies because babies want to be swaddled and often cannot sleep unless swaddled. Swaddling makes babies feel like they are being hugged tightly in the womb, so swaddle them as tightly as possible.

If you swaddle too loosely or incorrectly, you will infuriate the baby. (I once swaddled my daughter too loosely after trying a not-so-good sleeping bag / diaper and it was a disaster – tiny baby legs and arms thrashed violently all over the place .) Watch the video above to see you swaddling your baby. Make sure you have enough fabric to wrap your baby several times.

4. How to keep your child (and yourself) clean

Babies are usually clean, but they tend to itch with their small, sharp nails, get diaper rash, and sometimes explosive poop. They will also spit up and sometimes vomit violently at you. There is nothing you can do about it but prepare for the worst.

How to bathe your baby: For the first couple of weeks, you are the cord protector. It can’t get wet, so for the first few weeks you will need to wash your baby with a sponge, which involves placing the slippery little creature in a sink or bathtub and gently washing with a sponge or washcloth every few days until the umbilical cord falls off. off (after one to four weeks), or if the baby is circumcised, the circumcision heals (up to four weeks).

How to change a diaper: Changing a diaper is not such a difficult skill, but it does take some preparation if you don’t want to be accidentally splashed. You will probably need to change your baby or check the diaper: after each feed, when your baby wakes up, and before you go out with him for a walk. Change your baby as soon as possible after each bowel movement.

Here’s a video that shows you how to protect yourself and your baby when changing a diaper: Place a new diaper under the one you are taking off and change it quickly to prevent splashing or spills.

Also, keep bottles and other items out of reach of the changing area and use a changing table / pillow strap to keep your baby from rolling off the table. It happens!

How to stop regurgitation, vomiting, and bowel movements: Get comfortable with rough things , young parents. Diaper explosions and pooping asses are all part of the parenting initiation. However, if you don’t see any traces of blood, this is usually normal.

According to First Choice carpet cleaners, if you need to get rid of baby vomit from your couch, vinegar is probably your best solution. Baby poop can be moistened with hot Oxi-Clean water and / or exposed to the sun. Otherwise, just wash as usual.

5. Survival skills: find out what the child wants and needs

The first few months are all about getting to know your baby, whether diapers are knocked out or not.

How to Interpret Your Baby’s Crying: As you know, babies cry to communicate. Sometimes it may seem like the baby is crying for no obvious reason, but to better understand the baby – and importantly, stop crying – start thinking about the basics: Is the baby hungry? Does the baby need to change the diaper? Is your baby too hot or too cold? Need a nap? Or maybe I just want some comfort from you? This helps you keep a log of feedings and sleep times so you can narrow down your mistakes. If your baby has colic, 5 recommendations from Dr. Karp can help: swaddle, put the baby on its side or stomach, make hissing noises, make rocking movements and give the baby something to suck on. (I had a big exercise ball that I bounced on while holding my daughter, which always worked like magic to stop her crying.)

However, the worst is when the child is overly excited and tired, but the teacher interprets these screams as meaning: “The child wants to be juggled and cooed very loudly.” You will know your child’s clues better than anyone else, so do not be afraid to take your child to the nursery, if necessary, for a while, when he is asleep, or in silence. Sleep when the baby sleeps!

Helping a soda or fussy baby: Babies may swallow a lot of air while breastfeeding, which can lead to gas and fussiness. This is why it is often advised toregurgitate the baby when changing breasts while breastfeeding, or for every two to three ounces he swallows. You can do this with the baby on your belly in your lap, stroking your back, or by placing the baby facing you on your chest and resting your chin on your shoulder. There is alsoa baby yoga technique for relieving gas.

How to do infant or toddler CPR: A good lamaz or parenting course will teach you a life-saving CPR skill. While it is best to practice in real life on a doll, the video below explains in detail how to do infant CPR according to the latest CABD guidelines.

Know how and when to take a break: Finally, caring for a newborn can be challenging. If you get to the point where you feel like you are losing your mind, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to put your baby in the crib, even if she is crying inconsolably, and step back for a few minutes to clear your head and regain control. Taking care of yourself during this time is also an important skill.

Congratulations, new parents. You’ll do a great job at kids boot camp.

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