The 12 baby care skills all new parents need

Baby care skills

by Lorna White |
Updated on

You finally mastered the whole sleeping-in-pregnancy thing (kind of…) and got the hang of those hypnobirthing techniques to get you through labour. Now your newborn’s here (yay!) – and there are a whole load of new skills to get to grips with. Good job we have these baby care guides, then.


The 12 baby care skills all new parents need

Nappy changing1 of 12

Nappy changing

Whether you go for disposable or reusable nappies, there are now new roles for you and your partner to embrace – Chief Leg Holder and Lead Get-The-Nappy-On-Before-She-Wees-Again Negotiator.

Feeding2 of 12


From breastfeeding to expressing or making up formula, use the feeding support out there and try these tips if you’re struggling.

Swaddling3 of 12


This can help you newborn sleep and feel secure – it reminds her of the cosiness in your womb – but it’s important to get clued up on how to swaddle safely.

Topping and tailing4 of 12

Topping and tailing

Your newborn’s skin is sensitive so she doesn’t need a bath every day. Try a wipe down – otherwise known as topping and tailing – instead, using just warm water and cotton wool.

Bonding5 of 12


The bond between you and your baby can hit straight away or take a little time to develop. Things like eye contact and skin-to-skin contact can really encourage the connection.

Baby massage6 of 12

Baby massage

Speaking of bonding, this is great for it – massage helps the production of the nurturing hormone oxytocin.

Soothing7 of 12


Although she’s not producing actual tears yet (true story, find out why here), there are still clever ways to decode – and soothe – your baby’s cries. Also get clued up on colic (constant crying) and how to cope.

Using a sling or carrier8 of 12

Using a sling or carrier

Not a necessity but a good way of a) keeping your newborn close and b) leaving your hands free if you have things to do. Whether it’s a sling or a carrier you go for, learn how to use it safely. And get inspired with the M&B Awards shortlist.

Winding9 of 12


If your baby gets air trapped in her tummy, she’ll feel uncomfortable and unable to settle. Give her instant relief by getting the winding technique right.

Bathing10 of 12


OK, so as we said, she doesn’t need daily baths right now, but you still get to grips with the basics when she does have one – from water temperature to supporting her in there.

Holding11 of 12


Yep, it sounds easy enough but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when picking up your little one. Buttons, anyone?

Dressing12 of 12


From what to buy to how to do the actual dressing, put all those cute newborn outfits to good use with some handy keep-calm tricks.

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