Being a first-time parent to a newborn baby is overwhelming. In this article, we give you 13 newborn baby hacks to help you feel less overwhelmed and more confident as you take care of your baby.
Learning Newborn Tips and Tricks Will Help You Relax
Knowing newborn tips and tricks can help you relax as you care for your baby. If you are relaxed, your baby will be relaxed also. Studies show that babies sense and react to their parents’ emotional cues. “From birth, infants pick up on emotional cues from others. Even very young infants look to caregivers to determine how to react to a given situation,” said Jennifer E. Lansford, Ph.D., a professor with the Social Science Research Institute and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.
13 Newborn Baby Hacks
It is not easy to care for a newborn. Your time is not your own. Such a tiny human can be so much work and figuring out how to keep your little one content is difficult, particularly if you are a first-time parent. Nothing quite prepares you for the first time you bring your newborn baby home, and for how exhausted you will feel. For that reason, here are 13 newborn baby hacks to make your life easier as you adjust to life with your baby:
Newborn Baby Hacks for Sleep
1. Follow the ABCs of Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following sleep tips to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
- Your baby should always sleep alone in a separate surface such as a crib, but ideally in your room for at least the first six months. Having your baby near you but in their crib decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS ) by up to 50 percent, while sleeping in their crib reduces the chances of strangulation or suffocation.
- Your baby should sleep on their back. Until your baby turns a year old, always place them on their back when you put them to bed. Sleeping on the tummy or side is not safe.
- Babies should sleep on a firm surface, such as a crib. Soft mattresses can pose a risk of suffocation if your baby rolls over.
2. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
As a parent of a newborn, you are exhausted. The key to feeling less exhausted is to sleep when your baby sleeps, and since babies sleep so much, by sleeping when they do, you keep yourself better rested. You may be tempted to catch up on all the other household chores you need to do but catch some zzz’s when your little one closes their eyes. Your body will thank you!
3. Use Blanket Sleepers Instead of Blankets
Blankets and other bedding are dangerous for your baby as they increase the chances of suffocation or strangulation. A blanket sleeper is a safer choice. Blanket sleepers typically have long sleeves, cover the legs, and sometimes the feet, which will keep your baby warm throughout the night.
Bonding with Your Baby Hacks
4. Support Your Baby’s Head and Neck
A newborn baby has little control over their heads because their necks are very weak, which is why you always want to support your baby’s head and neck when you hold them. Holding them securely helps stabilize their body, but there is a bonus benefit to securely holding your baby. You communicate unconditional love to them that “helps to form the parent-child bond,” according to Kids Health.
5. Put the Baby on Your Chest
Skin-to-skin contact between a parent and a newborn baby for at least one hour is recommended by experts as it increases bonding. “Newborns crave skin-to-skin contact,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Make sure you are awake and alert when your baby is on your chest to make sure they are safe because falling asleep while your baby is on you increases the risk of SIDS.
6. Use a Bouncy Seat in the Bathroom
What do you do when you need to use the bathroom or take a shower and your baby is awake? Put a bouncy seat in the bathroom for those times so your baby is safe and content and knows you are near.
Reducing Fussiness Hacks
7. Feed on Demand
It will not take long at all to figure out the “I’m hungry” cry, and when your baby gives that cry, they are signaling to you that they are hungry. If your baby wants to eat and eat, that is okay. It is normal and feeding your baby when they are hungry can reduce fussiness. Signs of hunger to look out for include licking or smacking their lips, making mouth movements, and sucking on their hands.
8. Learn How to Relieve Newborn Gas
Newborn babies have gas as their digestive systems are developing. They will make noises and pass gas quite frequently. Although gas is normal for a newborn baby, it can be uncomfortable. Signs your baby is passing gas include, crying, sucking on a pacifier, hiccupping, having a distended and hard belly, and grunting.
When you notice your baby has gas, here are some tricks to give them relief:
- When your baby is on their back, move their legs as if they were riding a bicycle, which will help release any gas that is trapped.
- Massage their tummy in circles while your baby is on their back to help release gas.
- Sometime’s your baby just needs to be burped to relieve any trapped gas.
Changing Your Baby Hacks
9. Create Portable Changing Centers Throughout the House
Make your life easier by creating portable changing centers in your home. Stock necessities in each changing center such as diapers, wipes, and diaper cream, and don’t throw away your empty wipes containers. Save them and fill them with compostable bags for throwing away dirty diapers. Place the wipes containers with the plastic bags in each changing center.
10. Put Diaper Cream on Your Baby with a Makeup Brush
Diaper cream takes some scrubbing to get off of your hands. A very soft-bristled makeup brush allows you to put diaper cream on your baby and spare your hands.
Diaper Bag Hacks
11. Organize your Diaper Bag
Your diaper bag is filled with everything your baby needs when you are outside of the house. Having it organized will make your life easier. Here are few tips to organize it:
- Roll up your baby's change of clothes into a sock to save space.
- Get a bag with compartments.
- Use pencil cases to pack essentials, such as wipes and pacifiers, and label them.
12. Pack Pre-filled Bottles in Your Diaper Bag
When you are away from the house, be prepared to feed your baby by packing a couple of two-ounce bottles that are pre-filled and sealed in the diaper bag. Certain formulas don't keep well, so be sure to check the label for how long a bottle of formula will last after it was mixed!
13. Keep a Change of Clothes in the Diaper Bag
When you are out and about with your baby, you just might need a change of clothes stashed in the diaper bag. Baby puke and poop is not the best look on you.
Making Life with Your Baby Easier
There are so many ways you can make life with a newborn easier. Try some of these tips and tricks, and free up some precious time to soak up even more special moments with your little one!