Caring for a Newborn

Hannah Knight

How will my baby look physically?

During birth, your babies eyes and other facial features can be swollen and even slightly bruised due to pressure on the face from contractions of the uterus. His or her head may also appear slightly misshapen, but this will round out within a few days. Your babies arms and legs might be bowed and appear stiff, but this is only due to cramped quarters within the womb. While these features are often shocking to parents, all of these conditions are known to fade and disappear anywhere from a couple of days to a week after they have been born. Just after birth, your baby will be covered in a substance that will range in appearence from a fine slime to a white cheese type substance. This is called vernix caseosa, and it helps protect your babies skin during birth. While this can be a bit disgusting, it will all wash off with your baby's first bath.

Bonding: Time for connection!

Nearly every activity you do with your newborn can help you bond with them. In fact, your baby has been listening and learning the voice of his or her mother for months before they were bor, and they will recognize their mom even after birth! Activities like feeding time, bath time, and even rocking your baby to sleep can open the window for forming that close personal connection every new parent wants with their baby. The most important factor for bonding with your baby is to be affectionate with your newborn and constantly talk to them about anything and everything you are doing. With time, your baby will begin to respond to your voice and your touch, causing you two to grow even closer!

Toys: to Buy or Not to Buy?

It is important to always encourage proper development for your baby through playtime with toys. These areas of development include emotional, physical, social, and intellectual. While you want your baby to have fun playing and growing, you also want your baby to be safe. It is important to buy toys that are non-hazardous and are appropriate for your child.

Toys for your newborn baby must all have:

  • Rounded Edges
  • Tons of Color!
  • No Cords or Loose Wires
  • Tightly Constructed Parts
  • Led and Toxin-Free Paints

If you follow thee guidelines, your baby will be able to play and grow safely! Examples of good toys will follow below!

First Foods! Yum!

Babies receive all nutrition from their food! Your baby will need either breastmilk or formula up until their first birthday. After about three months, you can begin feeding your baby soft, soupy cereal and oatmeal. These give your baby lots of iron and B vitamins. Puréed vegetables, followed by puréed fruits, can be introduced at four months. You should always wait a minimum of five days before introducing a new fruit or vegetable just to assure your baby is not allergic to that food. At six months, purred meats can be introduced. Soft breads and pastas can be introduced at seven months. Solid foods can be given to your baby after 8-10 months.

Crib Safety

Making sure that your baby has a safe place to sleep is one of the most important things you can do as a new parent. For starters, never let your baby sleep in the bed with you or your partner. You can easily roll over onto your baby and hurt them in your sleep. They need their own crib with proper safety features. The crib must have led free paint, a tight fitting mattress, no big toys or thick comforters, and crib bumpers that fit tightly. The crib needs to have no loose or missing parts or screws, and needs to be placed away from Windows so the cords won't wrap around your babies neck. If you follow these guidelines, your baby will have a safe and quiet place to sleep!


SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome kills thousands of babies every year. This is caused when the baby suffocates during sleep. To prevent SIDS, you need to always lay your baby on their back so if they vomit during sleep, they don't inhale it on accident. It is also to remove any pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals from your baby's crib. The mattress needs to be firm and tight fitting. You can save your baby's life from a very preventable death by following these guidelines.