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As a new mom, you’ve read, watched and scoured the Internet to learn all you can—but when the new baby arrives, you may want a cheat sheet. To help you get off to a good start, we created this quick guide for navigating the baby basics.

Holding Your Baby

Your newborn baby may feel fragile and delicate to you, but don’t be afraid to touch, handle or hold your newborn! In fact, studies have shown that babies that are held and cuddled more thrive better and cry less. (Dr. Nathalie Maitre of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio)

Because your newborn’s neck muscles are not yet developed, you will need to support their head whenever you pick them up. You should also support your newborn’s head against your shoulder or with your opposite hand while carrying them. Newborn baby care isn’t hard when you give it a go, so worry not!

Bathing Your Baby

It is recommended to clean your newborn baby with a sponge bath until the umbilical cord heals and falls off (usually in a week or two). Make sure you have all of the necessary bathing supplies ready before your little one arrives, so you don’t have to miss a moment with your new baby.

Learn easy tips on how to give your baby a sponge bath, here!

How to Choose Baby Products for Your Newborn Baby?

Baby’s skin is 3x thinner and loses moisture 2x faster than yours, so they need superior care to keep their skin healthy. Ideal newborn baby care products should not irritate your baby’s skin or eyes, dry out your baby’s skin or disrupt their skin’s natural pH. Importantly, newborn baby care products should be effectively preserved to help maintain the quality of these products during normal use.

Diaper Change

Many first-time parents are surprised by how many diapers they go through in a day. To make life easier for yourself, have plenty of diapers at hand before you bring your new baby home. It’s also helpful to learn how to change your baby’s diaper ahead of time (and even practice)!

Comforting and Newborn Baby Care

Most babies cry for an average of 2 hours a day in the first 3 months. So, while it may be disconcerting, it’s also normal.

To comfort your baby, first try to determine the cause of your baby’s discomfort. Is your baby hungry? Does your baby have gas? Does your baby’s diaper need change? Is it time for a nap? Is your newborn baby overstimulated by noise, lights or activity?

To help soothe a sleepy or overstimulated baby, hold your baby on your shoulder while gently rocking. Newborn baby care also involves singing or speaking softly—reassure your baby with a calm voice. It can also help to rub your baby’s back as you do so. Try different positions to find one that’s comfortable for both of you.

Something else to consider: Your new baby doesn’t have much mobility in the first few weeks and may cry for help if they are lying uncomfortably in the crib. You can help your baby by gently shifting your baby’s position. But for safety, always place your baby on their back for sleeping.

The First 10 Days of Your Baby Can Mean So Much MoreTM

By age three, 85% of your baby’s brain is developed; every experience leading up to this time helps to shape your baby’s brain. Multisensory experiences that are repetitive, consistent, predictable and nurturing can help your little one’s healthy development. Effective newborn baby care is essential.

But don’t worry too much if you’re doing things “right”. What matters most is that you spend a lot of time with your new little one, engaging your baby’s sense of touch and smell, helping the two of you bond, while nurturing baby development.

Baby Massage

Research has shown that massages can relax babies, improve their sleep patterns and calm them when they are irritable. Massaging your baby is also a great way to bond, and it’s easy to do.

Baby Feeding

Many healthcare professionals agree that nothing is better for your newborn baby than breast milk. Nutritionally speaking, it’s tailor-made for your baby. Of course, sometimes mothers cannot breastfeed, due to medical problems or other special circumstances. Discuss with your paediatrician how best to feed your newborn.

No matter how you decide to feed your newborn baby, always be sure to hold your baby while feeding. The cuddling that comes with nursing and feeding helps to build a strong, loving bond between you and your baby, which is one of the pillars of newborn baby care.

Newborn Baby Sleep

The way your baby tends to sleep changes as they grow. Newborns sleep a lot throughout the 24-hour day, waking up often during the day as well as night. Even so, you can still begin to develop a regular bedtime routine for your new baby, even as early as 6 to 8 weeks.

As your baby develops and starts to consolidate their sleep into nighttime sleep with fewer daytime “naps,” you can help your baby gradually develop a sleeping pattern, learning that night time is for sleep, and not play.

Learn more about helping your new baby sleep better with the JOHNSON’S® 2-Step Baby Sleep Routine.

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Your first moments home with your new baby can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. BabyCenter® offers a thorough breakdown to help you be well prepared.

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