Tips for First-Time Parents

Hygiene Tips

New parents! It can be a daunting experience to care for a baby if you have not spent a lot of time around newborns. Their fragility may be intimidating.

Newborns do not have a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection.

These are a few basics you would want to remember.

1. Get a car seat

You will need to get a car seat before your baby is born, as one will be necessary to take your new baby home. Be sure to always use a car seat which is appropriate for the age and weight of your child. Rear-facing car seats are the safest and should be used until your child is at least 1 year old.

2. Ensure infant safety in car rides

Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat. Limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy. Remember that your newborn is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.

3. Have sanitized hands

Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby. Newborns don't have a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection. Make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.

4. Support your baby’s head

Be careful to support your baby's head and neck. Babies have little muscle development in this area and if they do not have support when lifted, they can become seriously injured. Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.

5. Use a stroller or baby carrying wrap

You will want a method to carry your baby while you are shopping or out walking around. You can get a stroller and push them or, if you want to save space, carry your baby in a carrying wrap. These are perfectly comfortable for both of you and will also help you bond.

6. Sit your baby in infant swings and seats

These will allow your baby to see the action going on around them, as well as a comfortable place to fall asleep if they get tired during the day. Try to get seats which bounce in response to your child’s movement and swings that can swing themselves. These will help keep baby entertained while you get things done. Just don’t leave them unattended!

7. Do not shake your newborn

Be careful not to shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake your infant, don't do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby's feet or blow gently on a cheek.

It pays to be ensure you have clean, sanitized hands when handling a baby. When taking your newborn out of the house, make sure you have the proper baby equipment such as a stroller to push him around as well as a rear-facing car seat to fully secure your baby in car rides.

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