New parents can sometimes be overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and in need of some help. If you have never been a parent, dealt with a little sibling, or watched an infant..it can be intimidating. These little humans come with a long list of do’s and dont’s that EVERY babysitter should know. In my next few posts, I will explain basic care techniques, activities to do with infants, and how to handle emergency situations. So lets explore basic care techniques.
- Wash your hands. Young babies have not built up a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection.
- Be careful to support the baby’s head and neck. Cradle the head when carrying the baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay him or her down.
- Be careful not to shake the newborn. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake the infant, don’t do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
- Remember that a newborn is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.
- Check and change diapers often. Diaper rash is common for children under 3. Ask the parents if there is diaper cream available should a rash occur.
- Feed every 2-3 hours.
- Never leave an infant alone if they are not in a crib or other confined area.
- Lay baby on back during naps to prevent SIDS
- Be mindful of healing umbilical cords, circumcisions or new belly buttons. (these will heal by the 1st month so if your baby is older than that…don’t worry about this)
- Use calming tones like humming, talking softly or singing. Never yell, make sudden movements that might startle the baby.
This is a good starter list. Always listen to parent’s specific routines, rules and suggestions. No baby is the same.
Smile and enjoy these little bundles of joy!!