Raleigh, N.C. — New parents often feel stressed as they prepare to bring home their new addition, but Triangle-area nurse practitioner Susie Catchings has advice on what to do.
For newborns, Catching said there's not much to be done outside of deciding where the baby will sleep. She recommends that parents sleep with the baby in their room for the first few months.
“Ideally, as your body is recovering, you want the baby close by,” Catchings said. “Get that bassinet or something portable.”
Catchings also recommends a monitor – just don’t overdo it.
“It's not essential, especially initially as the baby is sleeping in your room,” she said. “You can have it later on as you move the baby into its own bedroom.”
Once parents move the child into its own room, Catchings said keeping the nursery or baby's bedroom uncluttered is important. A crib, changing table and simple things for everyday care are the only furnishings necessary.
One final tip from Catchings: parents should make sure to take time to be alone together.
“Leave the baby with the grandparent. Get some coffee or dessert. Take a walk around the neighborhood. If you don't take care of that marriage, you aren't going to have a healthy child,” she said.
More advice from Catchings:
- Humidifiers are helpful ONLY during the winter. There is plenty of moisture in the house during the summer.
- Never leave a child alone with a pet. Introduce them slowly to newborns.
- Avoid hand sanitizer and use soap and water to wash your hands.
- Parents and close family should get the pertussis vaccine to protect the baby from whooping cough.