To support you along the way, we’ve put together 40 dos and don’ts of newborn baby care. We can’t promise it’s going to be simple, but at least our tips can help you organise things for your new arrival!
20 Dos of Newborn Baby Care
1) Be prepared. Getting ready for newborn baby care seems like a challenge, but since you’re already reading up on it, you’re on the right track.
2) Buy hundreds and hundreds of nappies. Seriously, you could go through up to twelve a day in the early stages. A newborn baby needs to be changed a lot!
3) Accept freebies and hand-me-downs from other mums with older children. From clothes and toys to larger items like pushchairs, you’ll find plenty of other parents willing to pass on their baby gear for nothing!
4) Sleep whenever you can, even if it’s just for five minutes while your little one naps.
5) Create a newborn baby budget to avoid going overboard on your spending, because babies can be really expensive!
6) Order in. There will be many times when you don’t have a second to make toast, never mind cook a full meal. So grab your takeaway menu for tonight!
7) Keep your newborn baby out of exposed sunlight, no matter what. Car shades, sun hats and full-length clothes are all very necessary.
8) Pop a baby changing bag on your shopping list. It will change your life! That might seem like an exaggeration, but they have a lot more space than the average handbag, plus specialised compartments like bottle-warmer pockets – all to make days out with a newborn baby much easier.
9) Use muslin squares. They can do pretty much everything. Okay, not everything, but they’re great for stopping your clothes getting covered in milky sick.
10) Check what you’re entitled to. The government offers a variety of benefits for parents, so make sure you know what you can get help with.
11) Sign up to parenting clubs online, so you can get access to special offers and save money on those important newborn baby purchases.
12) Share the load and accept help from your family and friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean babysitting – it could be as simple as your neighbour doing the dishes for you.
13) Read up on how to change a nappy. If it’s your first baby, you’ll have probably never done it before. But with lots of practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!
14) Build a newborn baby care schedule. At first, you won’t have any kind of routine with your tiny tot. But as you learn your baby’s cues, you’ll soon discover what they need and when. This will give you an idea of how a usual day with your newborn will turn out.
15) Always keep your baby changing bag packed and ready at the door. If you use something up, try and replace it straight away. It’ll make supermarket trips and walks in the park much easier.
16) Have fun! A baby bouncer is perfect for making lots of giggles and laughter.
17) Take lots of walks. Even if it’s just a short trip to the corner shop, you and your baby will both benefit from the fresh air.
18) Talk to your newborn baby. They might not be able to understand just yet, but regular chit-chat will improve their social and communication skills.
20) Remember that, although things don’t always go to plan, life with a newborn baby is extremely rewarding.
20 Don’ts of Newborn Baby Care
2) Be afraid to get pooed on, because it will go on your hands, and perhaps your face.
3) Buy a baby bath. A clean, washing up bowl will be much cheaper and does exactly the same job.
4) Expect to fit back into your pre-maternity clothes. Due to your uterus expanding in pregnancy, your bump might still remain a few weeks post-birth.
5) Get a second-hand car seat, mattress or bedding for your newborn. The NHS recommends you purchase these new.
6) Think newborn baby care means you can’t go on holiday. Whether you’re flying abroad or camping, you definitely can take a trip with your little one. Just make sure your travel bag is properly packed!
7) Compare yourself to others. ‘Super mums’ on social media might make you feel like you’re falling behind, but as long as your baby is healthy and developing well, you shouldn’t worry.
8) Be surprised when your baby’s umbilical cord stump turns black. In the first few weeks, the stump will dry up and fall off. Although this might come as a bit of a shock, it is supposed to happen!
9) Get upset if your little one doesn’t give you a grin straight away. It takes around a month before a newborn baby learns how to smile.
10) Feel bad if you forget something. You will, so let it go!
11) Be scared to cut your baby’s nails. As these tiny nails can grow like sharp claws, newborn baby care involves a little trimming to make sure your baby doesn’t scratch themselves.
12) Use any massage oils or creams until your newborn baby is one month old, as their skin is too sensitive.
13) Stay silent while your newborn sleeps. A baby will learn to get used to background noise quickly, so you don’t need to tiptoe around the house as your little one naps.
14) Overstimulate your infant. Newborn baby care might seem like it involves a lot of learning and playtime – and it does – but if there’s too much going on at once, your baby can become overstimulated (code for very grouchy!).
15) Think your baby is crying for no reason. If you’ve tried different ways to stop your newborn crying, consider if your baby has colic and ask your doctor for help.
16) Avoid the swimming pool. You might find you have a water baby who loves to splash in the pool! Plus, you can take your newborn swimming at any age, and you don’t have to wait until after they’ve had their vaccinations.
17) Be scared of meeting other mums. It can feel quite lonely on maternity leave, so bring your newborn baby to sensory classes or postnatal exercises classes and make some new-mum friends – most of them will be in the same position as you.
18) Feed your newborn baby anything but breastmilk or infant formula until they are six months old.
19) Buy everything you see. Those cute baby shoes really aren’t necessary, so put them back!
20) Worry! Newborn baby care can feel really daunting, but you don’t need to worry too much.