American Baby offers some tips on the do's and don't's of what your newborn needs.

As a new parent, you know your baby will need things like food, diapers, and love.  Jessica Hartshorn, Sr. Lifestyle Editor for American Baby, explains what else your newborn baby will need and what you should skip. 

The first thing you should learn is, from the moment you first put your baby in a bassinet, place him on his back.  Older relatives might tell you babies sleep better on their bellies, but if you put your infant on his back from the start, that's how he'll learn to sleep.  It's also one of the best precautions against SIDS.  

As fun as bath time might sound to you, you don't have to deal with baths now.  You should wait until your baby's umbilical cord stump falls off before she is submerged in water.  Until then, you can use a warm wash cloth and spot clean any dirty spots. 

What might surprise you is that you should be trimming your baby's nails.  Infants have sharp nails and if you let them grow, your baby might scratch himself.  As intimidating as giving those tiny nails a trim can be, there are ways of making it easier.  Wait until your baby is sleeping to clip his nails or have another adult help hold baby  to ease the anxiety.  

You might get a lot of books or stuffed animals at your baby shower, but you don't have to worry about story-hour or playtime for a little while.  The best stimulation for your newborn is your voice and face.  You can entertain her by talking, singing and cooing to her.  Once your baby is about two months old, she'll be able to focus on images and engage with toys for real playtime. 

And finally, don't rush tummy time.  You can wait until your baby is about three weeks old or older before laying him on his belly each day.  This will build his neck and arm strength, which will eventually help him to roll over.

For more information on newborn needs and other parenting advice, please visit American Baby.


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