Basic Child Care Tips For New Parents

When you bring your new baby home you’ll probably be thrilled and excited, however the reality of having a new little person to deal with can be more worrying that you thought it would be and every day will bring its own new challenges. To help new parents through the first few days at home with their little one, here are some handy basic child care tips for new moms and dads.

Holding Baby

This may seem like common sense, but always be sure to support your baby’s head and neck. Newborns cannot support the weight of their heavy heads, so to avoid injury, it is important to always keep your hand or arm in place. With baby lying on his back, scoop him up with one hand under his bottom and the other under his neck and shoulders. You can then lift him up to your neck if you wish, using one hand to support his bottom and the other to support his neck.

Feeding Baby

At first, your little one will need feeding very frequently whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Sometimes, you may need to feed him every two hours which can be quite stressful, especially during the night, but remember that soon your infant will be able to go longer between feeds. If your baby turns away from the nipple, he is probably full, but watch out for signs of dehydration including a shrunken fontanelle, dry skin and less than eight wet diapers during 24 hours.

Burping Baby

If your baby gulps in milk, he will take in too much air causing him to become gassy and fussy. After feeding, to help your baby bring up the excess air, hold him over your shoulder, supporting his bottom and pat his back with your free hand. Don’t forget to cover your shoulder with a cloth or towel.

Putting Baby To Sleep

Babies sleep a lot, sometimes up to 21 hours a day! Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm baby-safe mattress and use a baby sleeping bag rather than blankets or duvets. Always put baby down to sleep on his back and never give a baby under a year old a pillow. If your little one sleeps for longer than three hours during the day, wake him up for a feed or to play to avoid him being too wakeful at night.

Child Care Tips For Crying Babies

Babies are wonderful when they are quiet and peaceful, but if they won’t stop crying it can be difficult to know what to do. Your little one cannot yet tell you what’s wrong, so knowing how to soothe him can be a challenge. Here are some child care tips for soothing crying babies that may help to give you some ideas.

Identify The Cause

Babies usually cry to indicate a want or a need. There are several reasons why a baby may cry and if you can eliminate some of these then you are one step closer to stopping your little one from crying. Is your baby hungry or thirsty? Is he overtired? Is his diaper wet or dirty? Has he been overstimulated by too much activity? Does he have a pain or an illness? Does he need burping? Is he afraid of a stranger or of being separated from you?

Know Your Baby’s Signals

Although at first, all baby cries sound the same, soon you will pick up subtle nuances that give you clues as to the problem. Sometimes your baby will be prone to crying at a particular time of day and this may mean that you need to change a nap time or feeding time. Sometimes your baby will react badly to different environments or around certain people. Your babies cries will develop different sounds so that you can identify the problem and may have particular mannerisms or body language to give you a clue. For example, your baby may rub their eyes when tired, or may arch his back when he has gas.

Make A Womb-Like Environment

Sometimes when nothing else works, recreating the environment in the womb will work. Swaddling in a blanket helps your little one to feel safe, while creating some white noise, for example running the vacuum cleaner or clothes drier may help him relax. Rhythmic motion often helps to soothe a crying baby, whether through a ride in the stroller or a trip in the car, and sucking on a bottle or pacifier often helps baby to sleep.

Tips For Bathing A New Baby

Many experienced parents say that the birth is the easy part, it’s when you bring your new baby home that the challenges start cropping up. Child care doesn’t always come naturally and sometimes new moms and dads need to tips and advice to know what is the best way to look after their little one. One of the things that new parents often worry about is how to bath their newborn. Bathing your baby need not be stressful, in fact it can be a great opportunity for bonding. Here are some ideas for where to start.

When To Give Baby Their First Bath

As long as your baby was born at full term and is healthy, you can give your little one his first bath whenever you like, however you should try to keep it brief- no longer than 10 minutes. Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will still be in place for a while but you needn’t worry about this as long as you make sure the area is thoroughly dried afterwards.

Where To Bathe Baby

Although you can buy a baby bath, you could even wash your newborn in the sink. Using your own bath is possible but isn’t easy as you will have to stoop down and you could end up hurting your back.

What Time Of Day To Bathe Baby

You need to choose a time where you are unlikely to be interrupted and have plenty of time to spare. You should never try to bathe baby when he is fretful or sleepy and it is best to wait until between feeds.

Keep The Room Warm

Babies lose heat easily, so make sure the room in which you bathe your little one is warm and that the windows and doors are closed to prevent any chills.

How To Run A Bath For A Baby

It’s important not to make the water too hot or too cold for your baby. Start by running the cold water into the bath and then adding the hot water until you reach the right temperature. The water should be about 5 inches deep and you can use a thermometer to check that the heat is about 37 degrees C, or alternatively test with your elbow to ensure that the water is not scalding.

Face And Hair Washing

Undress baby (except for the diaper) and wrap him in a towel. Then gently sponge the face and hair over the bath. Make sure that the eyes, ears and nose are well cleaned.

Putting Baby In The Bath

Take off baby’s diaper. If there is any soiling, clean him gently first before putting him into the water. Then gently slide your little one into the water feet first, supporting his shoulders and neck. Wash using a sponge and water and clean from the top to bottom on his front and back. You may wish to use a baby cleanser, especially on the nappy area.

Drying Baby

After a few minutes, lift baby gently out of the bath and wrap immediately in a fluffy towel. Pat dry then put his diaper back on and wrap again in a dry towel for a few minutes of cuddling time before dressing him once more.

Tips for Choosing Child Care

Every mom wants to be with her baby all the time, but sometimes life gets in the way. When you need to find child care for your little one, perhaps because you have to return to work or have other commitments, you need to know how to go about choosing the right setting.

In-Home Care Or Child Care Center

One of your first considerations is whether you want your baby cared for in a home environment with a child minder or whether you would prefer a more formal day-care setting. Both have their advantages – your little one will be in a more natural setting within a traditional home setting with a child minder, but they may benefit educationally from being in a child care center. Whichever you choose, there are several aspects you should pay attention to before making a decision.


Whether in a home setting or day-care facility, you should look at how the child carer interacts with the children in their care. Do they sit on the floor with them and join in with play? You need to be reassured that your little one will receive the care and attention that they would enjoy at home and will get plenty of 1:1 time.


Babies need consistency so you need to find out how often there are staffing changes and whether your little one will be able to form a close ongoing relationship with their care providers.


You need to be sure that the care provided will be in line with your own beliefs and expectations. Find out as much as you can about the care giver’s policies. For example where do they stand on time outs or sanctions for poor behavior? How are babies laid down for sleep? Will the TV be on all day or just occasionally? These are all pertinent questions to be asked.

Once you have chosen a child care service, make sure that you keep the lines of communication open. This is the best way of achieving consistency between care provider and family and also of resolving any issues before they get out of hand. If in doubt, drop in unannounced a few times just to see how things really work when you’re not expected and if you have any misgivings, don’t forget that you aren’t tied to any arrangement and can choose a different care arrangement.