Top Tips For First Time Parents

Top Tips For First Time Parents

If you’re expecting your first child, then knowing what to do when you have your bundle of joy in the world can be quite daunting.

Here are some top tips you can follow to ensure you’re providing the best care for your baby in those early weeks…

Bond With Your Baby

Bonding with your baby may sound like a straight forward thing, but it does in fact require time, effort and patience. Things like skin-to-skin contact, looking into their eyes and talking to them are all good ways to form a connection – the more they begin to recognise you, the more comfortable and safer they’ll begin to feel. You’ll begin to understand their expressions and behaviours, allowing you to take care of their needs more efficiently.

Feeding Your Baby

Whatever method you choose for feeding your baby, establishing a pattern at first will take a little bit of time. Baby-led feeding is where your baby decides when they’ve had enough milk, instead of you having to do guess-work. Signs that your baby is getting enough milk include calm and relaxed behaviour, they begin to gain weight after the first two weeks, they’re alert when awake and you can see and hear them swallowing. If you’re worried about your babies intake, then talk to a medical professional.

Bathing Your Baby

A full bath isn’t required in their first few days, but a gentle wash can help to keep them fresh. Known as topping and tailing, this is where you get your baby in a warm room when they’re awake and content and either hold them on your knee or lay them on a changing mat. You should use cotton wool, a bowl of warm water and have clean clothes and a nappy available to change them into after available before you begin. Dip the cotton wool into the water, and gently wipe around your little one’s eyes and nose, using a fresh piece of wool each time. Also clean around, but not inside, your baby’s ears (do not use a cotton bud), and clean their hands, neck and rest of the face. Dry them with a soft towel before changing their nappy and clothes. Talk to them during the process so they feel relaxed.

When it comes to bathing your baby in a bath, never leave them alone – they should always be supervised by an adult. Water should be tested on your wrist or elbow so you’re aware of the temperature, and should be kept plain as this is best for your baby’s skin.

Frequent Nappy Changes

Babies shouldn’t be left in wet or dirty nappies for long periods of time due to risk of nappy rash and build up of bacteria. The best way to change their nappy is on a changing mat, with a bowl of warm water or baby wipes to keep them clean. You should also have barrier cream, a new nappy and clean clothes ready to use before you begin changing. Frequent nappy changes will help them feel more comfortable, and will be beneficial to keeping them happy and healthy.


Your baby may only sleep for a few hours in the day or night at first, which is completely normal as they begin to establish a routine. They won’t be used to the concept of day and night, so will also require feeding through the night.  Putting your baby on their back to sleep and having them in the same room as you for the first six months will help to keep them safe and reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Remember, there is no set-in-stone method for caring for a baby and you can only do your best. Try not to become overwhelmed, and take things day by day – getting support from other parents can be a big help to learning ways to care for your baby.

If you have any worries at all about your baby, you should talk to a medical professional, who’ll be able to advise you and take further action if needed.

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