If you’ve just become a parent for the first time or you’re soon to become one, there’s no doubt lots of things you don’t know and many questions that you need answers to. That’s something that’s completely normal and nothing to feel embarrassed about. Becoming a parent is a big learning curve for everyone.
You’re in the right place if you want to find out more because below we’re going to talk about some of the most commonly asked questions new parents have. The answers you’ll find should help you to learn more and put your mind at ease as a parent, so read on to find out more.
Am I Calling My Pediatrician Too Much?
First of all, it’s important to know that your child and their safety always have to come first when it comes to how you interact with your pediatrician. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out and asking questions, and any good pediatrician will be happy for you to do that.
When Can I Take My Baby Out and About?
Many parents want to know at which age they can start to take their kids outside and to different places. Getting fresh air is important, so starting out by going for walks with your baby is always a good idea. This gives them a chance to begin discovering different sensory experiences. Ensuring they’re wrapped up more than they would be at home, especially when the weather is cold, is very important. Newborn babies can’t safely use sun protection on the skin, so you’ll need to stay out of the direct sun too.
Is My Baby’s Crying Normal?
Babies cry for a very wide variety of reasons, and it’s important to know that this is very normal. It’s part of their development and it’s something that most babies will go through. The extensive crying associated with colic can last for the first 5 months or so of your baby's life. When they are crying, you should remain calm and accept that it’s alright to leave them alone in the crib while they work through their crying. It’s not always something that you can remedy through changing, feeding or burping. Sometimes, they just need to let it out.
What’s a Normal Sleeping Pattern?
The way your baby sleeps is probably going to be one of the things that challenges you most. You should usually let them sleep for four hours at a time to begin with, giving them feeds before and after those sleeping sessions. This is important because babies lose weight after birth and you’ll want to help them regain that weight as soon as possible. As they regain that weight, there’s nothing wrong with letting them sleep until they wake up naturally by themselves. They’ll do that whether you like it or not anyway.
Should Babies Use Pillows?
As you can see, there are many questions that parents have that revolve around the sleeping habits of their baby and the safest way for them to sleep. If you’ve been setting up the nursery and wondering should babies use pillows, the answer is no. Babies simply don’t need pillows and they offer no particular benefit to them as they sleep. However, there are risks that come with giving babies a pillow to sleep with, so they’re best avoided in the crib until they’re older.
How Do You Burp a Newborn Baby?
There are a few ways to burp a newborn baby. But the general consensus is that the safest and most effective way of doing it is to have the child positioned over the shoulder so that their stomach is on your chest and then lightly pat the back. This helps to release the bubbles that might be causing the baby discomfort. There are other options, such as having the baby sit on your lap, with one hand supporting their friend and the other performing the same patting motion on their back.
How Often Should My Baby Be Eating?
For the first 6 months of your baby's life, milk formula or breast milk is the best way to nourish your baby. And in terms of how often this should happen, it can be every couple of hours, which amounts to up to 12 times per day. That might seem like a lot, but it never really makes any sense for you to try to limit the amount of food they’re taking in. When they seem to be showing signs of hunger, you should be feeding them. When they reach 6 months old, that’s why you’ll be able to start giving them solid food.
Is Swaddling Safe?
Swaddling is a common practice and it allows you to soothe your baby and help them feel relaxed. When they’re still very young, up to around 4 months old, there’s nothing wrong with swaddling. It gives the baby comfort and replicates the feeling of being in the womb. However, when they’re older than 4 months and they’re at the age at which they’re able to roll over by themselves, you should stop swaddling because that’s when it can become dangerous for them. You don’t want the baby to ever roll onto their front when swaddled.
When Are Vaccines Required?
Babies get their first vaccine before you even head home after giving birth. This is the vaccine for hepatitis B and can protect them from the diseases that are commonly associated with that. At two months old, another dose of vaccines is needed, and this protects against things such as tetanus, pneumonia and diphtheria, as well as polio and others. It’s important your baby gets these vaccines and it’s something you can discuss further with your pediatrician.
There are so many things that you don’t know about being a parent when you’re having your first child. It’s not easy and there’s nothing at all wrong with not knowing things. You can’t know all of this stuff if you’ve never been through it before, so don’t be afraid to reach out when you’re unsure.