By Amanda Carlson
Caring for a newborn child can be one of the most strenuous and emotionally draining experiences anyone can face. This life that has been recently brought into this world is dependent on the care specialist for everything. There is no room for error and great attention needs to be paid to every minuscule detail. Although this may be frightening for some, it is a wondrous experience for others. And caring for a newborn requires a great deal of knowledge and work.
1. Carrying and Holding - Always realize that a newborn child does not have the ability to support its own weight in any fashion. Proper support for the head and neck are vital when holding or carrying the baby. Improper lifting of the newborn can cause a severe amount of damage to the infant. Essentially, the baby's muscles need time to develop in order to support and move his or her head about.
2. Feeding - A newborn child can eat every two to four hours depending on the type of meal. Breast milk is easier to digest for an infant which could cause the baby to eat more frequently. Many mothers will leave breast milk behind for the care specialist. If the infant becomes fussy, ensure that it's time to be fed as he or she can be hungry.
3. Sleeping - Sleeping schedules are hard to pinpoint for a newborn. As the infant really doesn't know any better, they break up their own sleeping patterns in a seemingly random time. As a newborn can sleep anywhere from 10 to 20 hours per day, developing a napping schedule may help increase the chances of baby sleeping throughout the night. Try not to let the infant sleep longer than three to four hours per day by waking them up gently and playing with them. Before long, you can create a sleeping pattern for the child.
4. Relentless Crying - An infant will cry in order to express itself. Since the newborn doesn't understand languages, crying is its only true method of communication. There are several things to try if the infant is relentless about crying:
- Is it time for feeding?
- Is the diaper full or needs changing?
- Does the infant need to pass some gas? Burping usually does the trick.
- Do they need to be comforted? It's a big scary world at that point in time and the infant may simply need someone to comfort them by holding and rocking the child. Music can also be helpful as the child is being comforted.
5. Emergency - Always have the parent contact information on hand in your immediate area. Emergency numbers should also be programmed into your phone and ready with just a touch of the keypad. We would like to think that all will go well on a regular basis, but sometimes the unthinkable happens and you need the emergency information on hand for a quick response.
These are just a few items to be aware of out of many. Entire books are written on the subject of newborn care and new techniques are being developed regularly. This child is relying on you to know how to do what needs to be done. It very well could mean the difference between life and death.
Amanda Carlson, a blogger as well as a former newborn care nurse contributed this post. To stay connected to her previous career and share the knowledge she gained, she began writing for www.newborncare.com. You can reach her at amanda.newborncare @ gmail.com.