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infant care

You’ve survived 9 months of pregnancy. You’ve made it through the excitement of labor and delivery, and now you’re ready to head home and begin life with your baby. Once home, though, you frantically realize you have no idea what you’re doing!

These tips can help even the most nervous first-time parents feel confident about caring for a newborn in no time.

Getting Help After the Birth

Consider getting help during this time, which can be very hectic and overwhelming. While in the hospital, talk to the experts around you. Many hospitals have feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can help you get started nursing or bottle-feeding. In addition, nurses are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and care for your baby.

For in-home help, you might want to hire a baby nurse or a responsible neighborhood teenager to help you for a short time after the birth. Your doctor or the hospital can be good resources for finding information about in-home help, and might even be able to make a referral to home health agencies.

In addition, relatives and friends often want to help. Even if you disagree on certain things, don’t dismiss their experience. But if you don’t feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors.

Handling a Newborn

If you haven’t spent a lot of time around newborns, their fragility may be intimidating. Here are a few basics to remember: