Newborn babies are in every way 'bundles of joy' because just by the fact that they make it safely from the womb and into the outside world, we have enough reason to celebrate. Dads are arguably the most excited people in any delivery room because getting to see their little ones safe and sound is always a miracle and something to be eternally grateful for.
On the other hand, moms have to go through the painful events leading up to birth, namely the labor pains and the excruciating pain of delivery, so they take a bit longer to witness the joy of the baby. However, the moment they hear their babies cry, and get to hold their babies in their arms, the exceeding joy that fills their hearts is enough to make them forget all the pain they went through.
Therefore, since the baby is such a great source of joy and excitement in every family, it is only right for mom and dad to do everything in their power to make sure the baby is also happy. Furthermore, the joy of a baby, long after the day he or she is born, is at its greatest when he or she is happiest because it's also possible to feel as if a baby is a bother.
Parents and caregivers who do their best to keep their babies happy always enjoy every moment they have with them. Here are 20 things mom and dad can do to make their newborn happy.
20 Giving Lots Of Positive Touch
Mom and dad must always be ready to give their newborn as much positive touch as possible; because this is one of the main ways the baby will begin to experience the world. Examples of positive touch include cuddling, hugging, holding the baby close, and other forms of gentle and deliberate touch. By doing so babies will often cry less, express their happiness more often, and tend to be more aware of their environment compared to babies who do not get enough positive touch.
Mom and dad should also hold their babies on their bare chests in a way where there's skin to skin contact. This is sure to make the baby extremely happy because in utero they were used to such warmth as well as hearing their parent’s voices.
19 Giving Baby A Good Bath Everyday
One of the best things about newborns is that you don’t need to do much to make them happy since a warm bath every day is one of those things that are sure to make them happy. Sometimes when the baby is fussy, a warm bath can help soothe them and give them a better attitude. They also tend to take long naps thereafter especially when they have a full tummy.
New parents might be tempted not to bath the baby because they worry they might lose their grip or when they tried it the first time, the baby was distressed and cried hysterically. This is normal in most cases, and soon enough the baby will quickly learn to like bath time.
18 Nursing The Baby Frequently
Newborns have really small stomachs, hence their need for frequent nursing. In the first month, mom and dad should make sure to feed the baby every two to three hours throughout the day and night. In addition, frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement.
The baby will always be giving mom and dad cues when he or she is hungry. Crying is the most obvious clue but before that, the parents should be on the lookout for signs of hunger like putting their hands in the mouth or opening his mouth and turning his head when they gently touch his cheeks. Babies are always happy and relaxed when they are full.
17 Embracing Their Preferred Soothing Method
Newborns cry a lot because they don't have any other way of expressing their need for something. Therefore, if your baby is hungry, needs a diaper change, has not had enough sleep, or if he or she is in pain, you can be sure that he or she will cry. You might not always know why they are crying but soothing them can help them and even make them stop crying. Mom and dad can soothe the baby in several ways and babies can react to various soothing methods differently.
The most common and effective method of soothing them is rocking them gently while holding them in your arms. Some babies prefer suckling on a pacifier or on their finger. This might not be the best of habits but since it triggers a calming effect, the parents can worry about giving up the sucking later. Babies are always happy when soothed.
16 Planning For Lots Of Sleep
When they are comfortable, newborns can sleep a lot. Newborns are always happy and less grumpy when they get enough sleep. On average, newborns should sleep anywhere between 16 to 20 hours a day cumulatively. Therefore, mom and dad should always ensure the baby does not stay up longer than two hours between the sleeping intervals.
Parents need to learn the signs of when their baby is sleepy and wants to go to bed. In most cases, sleepy babies are most likely to yawn, quiet down, rub their eyes, and get fussy. The environment where the baby sleeps also matters, a peaceful and quiet environment will have the baby sleeping for longer periods.
15 Observing And Interacting With The Baby To Learn Cues
Mom and Dad can quickly learn what is making their little one fussy by observing and interacting with them. It could be that the baby is crying because he or she is too hot or too cold or the clothes are irritating his or her skin. By simply observing, mom and dad are able to find out what is bothering their baby.
The baby will always be happy when he or she tries to communicate something and the parents attend to that need immediately. Cues, like rubbing their eyes, the rooting reflex, and yawning, are some of the easy ones to spot. Experts say that babies usually have different cries for different needs, however, this does not apply to all babies.
14 Going For Neighborhood Strolls
New parents may be tempted to keep their little ones indoors for worry of exposing them to germs and diseases. But just like adults, babies can get bored of being in the same environment for long periods. When they get cranky and fussy, they often calm down when their caregivers take them for a stroll or a short car ride.
Some babies find the motion of cars or strollers soothing and end up falling asleep in the process. Enjoying a walk with the baby is also a plus for mommy and daddy because it re-energizes their moods. Sometimes a grumpy baby just needs a change of scenery. Also, some mild sun is good for their skin.
13 Doing A Body Check
Sometimes babies cry and their parents are not able to tell why, even after eliminating the obvious reasons. Parents cannot read their babies’ minds. If he or she has a full tummy, a clean diaper, and does not have a fever, but is still crying, mommy or daddy can do a body check to find out what could be wrong.
Body checks entail checking whether the baby is too hot or cold, whether he or she is sick or has colic. Often when they have stomachaches, a touch on the tummy elevates the cry, gently massaging the tummy usually soothes them, if not they should visit a doctor.
12 Keeping The Baby On A Routine
Parents, especially those that have endured sleepless nights with a newborn, understand the importance of getting the newborn on a routine. With newborns, it might be difficult to follow a routine to the tee because the baby might get hungry before her feeding time. Following a routine does not mean that you must wait until its feeding time to give them some milk, the idea is always to make the baby comfortable.
With time, they will adapt to a routine fully. Babies often prefer to follow routines, since doing the same things at approximately the same time every day is sure to make them happy. A schedule will also help mom and dad to get a few hours of sleep every night.
11 Massaging The Baby
Massaging the baby, especially during and after baths, is sure to make him or her very happy. A long day of sleeping, waking up, and then falling back to sleep can get tiring for a newborn. Massages can soothe the baby and also help them fall asleep faster.
Massages are very beneficial to newborns, they help improve circulation and digestion. Massaging a baby is also one more way mom and dad can bond with the baby. Using baby-friendly oils, parents can massage the baby’s legs, arms, back, and tummy. As part of the routine, they can talk or hum gently to help their babies to relax even more.
10 Swaddling The Little one
Swaddling is the process of wrapping the baby in a shawl to help them feel safe and secure. This, of course, makes the baby happy because it stops their own startle reflexes from waking them. Experts say that swaddling also reminds them of their time in the womb when they felt secure.
Swaddled babies also sleep for longer periods because their startles do not wake them up. It also prevents the baby from scratching or hurting himself or herself while sleeping. As a precaution, mom and dad should not swaddle the baby too tight, they need to leave enough room for them to move their legs to avoid development issues.
9 Keeping Calm At All Times
Newborns should always be in peaceful and quiet environments, so this means that mom and dad should do everything they can to shield the baby from distractions and loud noises. Furthermore, mom and dad should always remain calm at all times when dealing with the baby, because if they panic, the baby will also panic and start crying.
A new parent is sure to freak out when he or she spots even a small red spot on their baby’s diaper, which is normal, especially in baby girls. A baby girl might experience a mini period as a side effect of her mother’s hormones. Consult a professional and avoid panicking or getting irritable around the baby, since they will surely sense it and react in a similar manner.
8 Constantly Checking For Soiled Diapers
Babies, more often than not, cry when they have a soiled diaper, however, immediately mom or dad changes the diaper, the baby stops crying and becomes happy. Clean and dry bottoms always make babies happy. Furthermore, mom and dad should always make sure the baby is clean and dry to avoid diaper rushes or itchy that is the result of the acid content in the #2.
Parents should stock up on diapers to avoid such issues. Newborns use approximately 8 to 12 diapers a day. Mom or dad should always change the diaper every time their baby has a bowel movement. However, diapers do a great job at absorbing urine.
7 Incorporating A Grooming Routine
A grooming routine is essential for a happy baby. If the baby is on a schedule, moms and dads will find themselves grooming the baby almost the same time every day. By doing so, the baby will relax because he or she knows what will happen next. The best time to groom a baby is right after a bath since the bathwater softens the nails, mucus, and hair.
A newborn’s nails grow quickly and he or she can easily hurt him or herself if mom or dad doesn’t trim the nails often. A parent can use baby earbuds or with an aspirator to clean the baby's nose gently. Using a damp cotton swab to clean the outside and back of their ears is a great idea, and if the baby has long hair that is getting to their eyes you can trim it a bit using a pair of scissors.
6 Not Letting The Baby Cry For Long Periods
Mom and dad should avoid using the self-soothing method on newborns when they cry. Many old generation moms may advise new moms to let their babies cry it out, however, when the little one is crying, he or she is usually trying to say something. Ignoring a baby who is trying to tell you that he or she is uncomfortable, wet, sick, or needs attention is just wrong.
When they cry, a parent's job is to figure out why and what you can do to help. When their cries fall on deaf ears, their stress hormones usually shoot up and it becomes even more difficult to soothe them. Attending to them immediately stops the crying, if the baby keeps crying for long periods for no reason at all, seek medical advice.
5 Sleeping In The Same Room As The Baby
Sharing a room with a newborn reduces the risk of SIDs because the baby is within mom and dad's view, and they can easily reach out to them even faster when they start crying. Knowing that mom and dad are near is sure to make the baby happy.
Co-sleeping for the first one year is a great idea as mom can easily nurse and comfort the baby with ease, especially at night. Mom and dad should get a crib that attaches to their bed for close monitoring. However, although mom and dad may be tempted to share their bed with their baby, it is not always a good idea because it's risky especially for the baby.
4 Not Forgetting Their Own Well-Being
Handling a newborn is a lot of work especially for new parents. Therefore, it is very easy for mom and dad to get carried away and forget everything and everyone around them including themselves. A happy mom and dad equal a happy baby. As a result, parents are encouraged to take time for themselves.
Taking time out to focus on themselves also helps avoid the small fights that come with being overly tired and exhausted. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with getting trustworthy people to watch the baby as the parents take some time out to focus on themselves, especially when they feel too stressed. The baby will always be happy when the parents are happy.
3 Ensuring They Maintain Proper Hygiene
Parents need to be keen, especially on matters relating to their hygiene, that of the baby, and the environment they're in. This is because a newborn's immunity is very low, and this means that they are prone to diseases and infections. Anyone can easily forget to wash his or her hands properly before handling the baby or even after changing their diaper, which is very dangerous.
All caregivers or family members should be keen to wash their hands before touching the baby, regardless of where they've been. Mom and dad should make sure that all the feeding essentials, including the breast pump attachments, are clean, sterile, and handled with clean hands. It's better to be safe than sorry.
2 Burping The Little One
Burping is an important part of feeding a newborn. When suckling, newborns swallow a lot of air, which if mom or dad does not remove properly, can cause the baby to vomit all the milk or feel very uncomfortable and become fussy. The burping process helps get rid of some of the swallowed air.
Burping entails holding the baby in an upright position against your chest and gently patting their backs until he or she lets out some gas. Burping is not only done after feeding, since mom can burp the little one during feeding, depending on how the baby is reacting. A burped baby is less irritable and happier; he or she will even sleep better.
1 Nurturing The Newborn
Newborn babies require a lot of tender nurturing, and their primary caregivers; who are mom and dad, are the first people responsible for this. Parents need to be aware that their baby is relying on them a hundred percent for their well-being and protection. Nurturing the little one increases the bond between the baby and the parent.
Nurturing does not just involve meeting the baby’s needs, mom and dad need to show love and affection towards them, which encourages positive physical, emotional, and mental development. Nurturing also creates an environment in which the baby feels safe and secure. A nurtured baby will definitely be happy.