Heath Beacon

Baby Care

Ten tips for Baby Care UK for your newborn baby.

1. Safely holding your newborn baby

Baby Care UK knows babies love to be held close and should be supported by a secure, head-supporting carrier. Mothers should encourage skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible with their babies after giving birth.

You might find your baby happy cuddled up against your chest where they can hear your heartbeat. Your baby will enjoy being held or supported in your arms, or their head against your shoulder.

Swaddling is a favorite method for newborn babies. There are some studies that show that swaddling helps infants sleep better and calms them. For more information, see our article on swaddling.

2. Take care of your baby

Babies are born hungry and need to eat frequently. You can see how important feeding your baby is. During the first few weeks, your baby will likely need to be fed at least eight times per day.

It might be easier for your baby to eat more peacefully if they recognize the signs that they are hungry. It can be exhausting to feed your baby often, especially if it is late at night. It’s important that you take care of your body and get enough sleep when possible.

Our feeding articles are for you, no matter if you are bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. These articles provide information about what to expect, how to find support, and how to know if your baby’s feeding is good. If you have any questions, you can call our feeding support number.

It is also a good idea for your child to monitor the content of their nappies. This can help you determine if they are drinking enough milk or are otherwise healthy.

3. Take a bath for your baby

A midwife at the hospital can help you give your baby his first wash or bath. A midwife at the hospital will also help you clean and dry your baby’s umbilical chord stump until it falls off after about one week.

You don’t have to give your baby a bath right away. You can just’tail’ your baby every day. Washing their bottom and face is a good idea. To avoid scalding, always check the water temperature first with your hand.

Your newborn shouldn’t be exposed to any baby products, including cleansing agents and medicated baby wipes. Because their skin is delicate, it is best to wash them with water and cotton wool in the beginning.

Baby massage might be a good addition to your baby’s bedtime routine. This is a great way to relax your baby before bed. Some babies love it. Learn more about baby massage.

4. Change your baby’s nappies

It is a significant milestone to change your baby’s nappies for the first time. There are two types of nappies: disposable or washable. No matter what you choose, you will soon know how a nappy is put on. Young babies may need to change their nappy 10-12 times per day.

Our guide will help you determine if your baby is eating well and using enough wet and soiled nappies. Soon you’ll be able to see how to make sure your baby has a balanced amount of poo.

5. Keep your baby warm

Your baby must be kept warm especially outside. It’s important that they don’t become too hot or too cold.

It’s a good idea to add one layer to your baby’s clothing over what you are wearing. If you are wearing a t-shirt, jumper and vest, then dress your baby in a vest, jumpsuit, cardigan, or sweater.

When you enter from the outside, take off any extra clothes and get into a warm vehicle, bus, or train.

6. Healthcare for newborn babies

It is a good idea for visitors to wash their hands after holding your baby. They will understand that you want to minimize the chance of your baby contracting an infection.

It’s also important to remind smokers not to smoke outdoors and to wash their hands before holding your baby. It might be a good idea to ask them to wear a jacket when they smoke, and then take it off before they hold your baby.

You should keep an eye on the temperature of your baby to ensure they don’t become too hot or too cold. To check their temperature, you can feel their back or chest. Contact your GP if you have concerns about your baby’s health or feeding.

7. Safety tips for babies

You will need a car seat if you intend to drive from the hospital or midwife-led unit where your baby was born. To make sure you have the right car seat, check out our articles on choosing car chairs and safety.

When you get home from work and feel tired, your coffee habit may start to take hold. Be sure to not have hot drinks or boiling water near your baby. Be careful not to fall asleep on a couch or chair while you’re tired.

8. Baby sleep for newborns

You should know some basic rules about how to put your baby to sleep. You should always place your baby on its back to, and follow safe sleeping guidelines. Also, you will need to place them in the ‘feet-to-foot’ position in their cot. You can find more information about sleeping in our sleep articles.

It is helpful for some people to think of the first three months in a baby’s life as the fourth quarter. It’s considered a transitional period in which your baby adjusts to life outside of the womb. They need lots and lots of attention.

Your baby will be awake all night to be fed and held, and comforted in the beginning. This won’t last forever, but don’t be discouraged. As your baby’s stomach grows and they begin to understand the difference between night and day, they will eventually stop eating as often and be able to sleep longer.

Some babies may find movement helps them to sleep. Some babies like to be carried, while others may prefer to sleep in a sling, pram or baby carrier. White noise, swaddling and holding baby skin to skin are some of the ways parents suggest that their babies can be helped.

While some parents may co-sleep, it is important that they do so safely. Take a look at our cosleeping article to learn more.

9. A crying baby can be soothed

Your newborn baby’s primary communication method is crying. It can be helpful to go through this checklist if your baby is crying.

  • Are they thirsty or hungry?
  • Are they in need of a nappy?
  • Are they too hot?
  • Are they tired?
  • Could they be sick?
  • Are they just looking for comfort?

Seek medical attention if your baby keeps crying or if their cry is unusual or high-pitched.

Your GP may diagnose colic if your baby is crying a lot, but otherwise healthy. Our article on how to deal with crying babies will help you stay calm. Excessive crying can cause emotional distress and exhaustion. It’s important to seek help.

10. When should you seek medical assistance?

Trust your gut instincts. Your baby is your best friend and you will be able to tell what their normal behavior is. If you suspect your baby may be seriously ill, even though there aren’t obvious symptoms, contact your doctor, NHS111, or 999 for a medical emergency.

If you are:

  • Your baby has a high temp that doesn’t decrease with paracetamol or ibuprofen; or if their temperature is below eight weeks.
  • They cry inconsolably and constantly, which is not normal for them.
  • Their vomit is green
  • Your baby becomes very pale or blue.
  • Their breathing is rapid and difficult or they make a loud, stifling sound.
  • They are extremely difficult to get up from, and they can be very confused or drowsy.
  • They have glazed eyes that don’t focus on anything and are unable to see clearly.
  • Your child is less than eight weeks old and is not willing to eat or refusing to eat.
  • Your baby’s nappies may be more dry than usual.

If your baby is in distress, you can take them to an accident and emergency department or call an ambulance.

  • They don’t breathe
  • They won’t get up
  • They have a rash that won’t go away when you press against a glass tumbler.
  • They are younger than 8 weeks and you’re very concerned
  • They have a fit, and they’ve never had one before
  • They may have severe allergic reactions
  • Someone has seriously injured your baby.