Mother and Baby

The 12 baby care skills all new parents need

Section: Baby care

You finally mastered the whole sleeping-in-pregnancy thing (kind of…) and got the hang of those hypnobirthing techniques to get you through labour. Now your newborn’s here (yay!) – and there are a whole load of new skills to get to grips with. Good job we have these baby care guides, then.

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Nappy changing

Whether you go for disposable or reusable nappies, there are now new roles for you and your partner to embrace – Chief Leg Holder and Lead Get-The-Nappy-On-Before-She-Wees-Again Negotiator.
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From breastfeeding to expressing or making up formula, use the feeding support out there and try these tips if you’re struggling.
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This can help you newborn sleep and feel secure – it reminds her of the cosiness in your womb – but it’s important to get clued up on how to swaddle safely.
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Topping and tailing

Your newborn’s skin is sensitive so she doesn’t need a bath every day. Try a wipe down – otherwise known as topping and tailing – instead, using just warm water and cotton wool.
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The bond between you and your baby can hit straight away or take a little time to develop. Things like eye contact and skin-to-skin contact can really encourage the connection.
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Baby massage

Speaking of bonding, this is great for it – massage helps the production of the nurturing hormone oxytocin.
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Although she’s not producing actual tears yet (true story, find out why here), there are still clever ways to decode – and soothe – your baby’s cries. Also get clued up on colic (constant crying) and how to cope.
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Using a sling or carrier

Not a necessity but a good way of a) keeping your newborn close and b) leaving your hands free if you have things to do. Whether it’s a sling or a carrier you go for, learn how to use it safely. And get inspired with the M&B Awards shortlist.
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If your baby gets air trapped in her tummy, she’ll feel uncomfortable and unable to settle. Give her instant relief by getting the winding technique right.
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OK, so as we said, she doesn’t need daily baths right now, but you still get to grips with the basics when she does have one – from water temperature to supporting her in there.
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Yep, it sounds easy enough but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when picking up your little one. Buttons, anyone?
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From what to buy to how to do the actual dressing, put all those cute newborn outfits to good use with some handy keep-calm tricks.

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