The Most Googled Parenting Questions, Answered
New to the baby game or looking to refresh your baby how-to knowledge before the next little member of your family arrives?
We asked Google to provide us with the most common questions parents type into the search engine.
Here’s a list of the some of the most popular “How to…” parenting questions UK mums and dads ask Google, and the answers, so they’re all conveniently here in one space for you.
You’ll want to bookmark this one! How to…
1. Wind a baby
A great way to burp your baby after a feed is to sit her side-saddle on your lap, facing to the left or right of you. Place the flat of your hand on her chest with your thumb and forefinger gently supporting her chin. Use your free hand to gently rub your baby’s back in a circular motion.
Another great position is the ‘Superman hold’, which is also sometimes known as ‘tiger in a tree’. Gently lie your baby tummy down on one of your forearms, so his head and torso are cradled on your arm, and his hands and legs are free to hang. Gently rock him in this position, or carefully walk around the room or pace back and forth to encourage a burp.
Or, try the good old-fashioned way of laying your baby upright against your chest, facing you, with their head resting on your shoulder. Place one hand under baby’s bum for support and use the other hand to rub her back. If you can, place a towel or burp cloth on your shoulder.
2. Swaddle a baby
Lay a muslin wrap or swaddle blanket out in a diamond position on a nice flat surface (a bed is perfect – just don’t step away from the bed once your baby is laying on it), then fold the top corner of the blanket down a few inches and lay your baby on the blanket with his head positioned above the folded corner.
Place his left arm down by his side and pull the same side of the blanket across to his right, slightly diagonally down, and tuck it – snugly, but not tightly – under his back, rolling him gently to the side to help get the blanket into position.
Place his right arm down by his side and pull the bottom of the blanket up and across towards his right shoulder, then pull the remaining open side of the blanket across his body and tuck it under the left side of his body. Again, wrap it snugly behind his back.
3. Get rid of baby hiccups
Hiccups and reflux after a feed are common for newborns and young infants.
They’re quite normal and often go away on their own, however there are some steps you can try that might improve on or help prevent your baby getting hiccups, such as:
- Giving her smaller feeds more often
- Helping her to burp at intervals during the feed (see: How to wind a baby)
- Position her in an upright position for up to 20 minutes after a feed, and rub her back too if possible
4. Hold a baby
There are many lovely ways to hold a newborn. You’ll soon work out the best and favourite holds for both of you; the most important thing to remember is to always support his head, especially in the early months when he’s not yet strong enough to hold it up or control it himself.
For a classic cradle hold, lie your baby across your arm with his head resting into the crook of your elbow and his body lying across your arm and chest.
This NHS guide has plenty of midwife-approved suggestions for safely holding a young baby in a variety of safe and snugly ways:
5. Get a baby to sleep
Firstly, here’s one piece of important intel you may not know*: babies give sleep cues – little signs that they’re getting tired. Once you know the cues and what to look out for, you can start settling your baby for a sleep as soon as possible and avoid an overtired meltdown kind of situation.
Your baby may yawn if she’s tired, yes, but other common sleep cues include rubbing her eyes, tugging or rubbing her ears, and suddenly jerking her limbs in short sharp movements. If you see these cues, swaddle your baby and take her to the cot or bassinet for a nap.
Elements that may help a baby to sleep well include:
- a regular bedtime routine with steps such as a feed, bath, lullaby to help her wind down
- making sure she’s well swaddled so her arms don’t become loose and unsettle her throughout the night
- a well darkened room that’s not too hot or cold. A temperature within the range of 16-20°C is recommended for a baby’s safety and comfort
* I certainly didn’t! I cringe looking back at one particular home video of me with my newborn son in the first few days of his life. I can now see in it that he was clearly exhausted and giving me so many cues that he wanted to go to sleep, but I didn’t pick up on a single one and kept on happily chatting with him. Sorry, darling!
6. Bathe a newborn
If you give birth in hospital, a nurse or midwife may offer to help with you bathing your newborn for the first time and to run you through the basics of safe and successful bathtimes for babies.
This NHS video gives fantastic up-to-date advice for safe bathing and best practices, but it’s always worth reiterating the importance of checking the temperature of the water before placing your baby in a bath, and never ever leaving a baby alone in water.
A bit about Moment Health…
Moment Health is a technology company that aims to prioritise Maternal Mental Health and provide new parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental wellbeing – from pregnancy through to parenthood.
The Moment Health app has been developed with clinicians and healthcare professionals. It screens for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and includes additional features such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies.
At Moment Health, our mission is to make maternal mental health mainstream #MakeItMainstream.
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