The Elements of Baby Care
When it comes to having their first baby, many couples probably have no idea what to expect, nor much about how to care for the baby when it arrives. Their level of knowledge will depend on their exposure to other babies, and the part they may have played in their upbringing; plus, what they have read and asked about in preparation for the baby’s birth. For most Western couples, that really can mean they do not know what to expect from the arrival of their Bouncing New Baby.
Things are really quite different from my home country, England, here in the Philippines. People generally are crazy about babies here, and a new baby’s older siblings will usually be keen to play a part in baby care. If there is no older sibling, there will be a cousin nearby anxious to carry and look after the offspring. With this tradition, most new parents have a good idea of what baby care is all about, at least from my viewpoint. And when the baby is born, the parents know there will be a lot of people around to help.
Such enthusiasm to help, and such pre-knowledge and experience with a new baby, is less likely in Western countries, so it is down to the parents to learn all they can before the baby is born, and then as they go along.
There is a great deal to bringing up a child, but for a new born baby you are able to concentrate on a few basic baby care skills. Much of it will come naturally, for mother and father, and the most important thing of all is not really a skill. That is love, the most natural baby care.
As a new parent, never forget that the baby loves you both totally. The need for love in return is imperative to its feeling of security, happiness and wellbeing. So, although there is no skill in feeling love for the baby, there is some skill in making sure the baby is aware of it, always. Modern living can make us self-centered. Having a baby is a wonderful opportunity to step back and view love in its most natural and innocent form.
The baby adores you both. If you can maintain that over the coming months, and then years, you will all be richer for it. Watch a baby learn to play as they get mobile, as they learn to chase and be chased, to bounce a ball, to play peek-a-boo. There is true happiness, and despite their age, it is a happiness you can learn from, simply by indulging yourself selflessly.
The other elements of baby care are of a practical nature, and they are explored more fully in other parts of the website, if not now, then in the near future. These elements revolve around health, feeding, cleanliness, hygiene, warmth (or coolness in a tropical country), safety, security and learning.
All of these elements, though, need to be wrapped in love; your love as parents. That will bring enduring happiness to all 3 of you.