Postpartum nurse and mom, Karrie Locher, understands the confusion parents may feel when they bring home their first baby home.
Locher, a registered nurse, launched her Instagram last Spring in an effort to be a resource to new parents.
On her Instagram, the 29-year-old shares her professional and personal expertise so parents have a resource.
“When I had my own child and went home, I was like, ‘Wait, nobody told me about this, nobody told me about that,'” Locher told “Good Morning America.” “I found … that there was such a big lack of education for parents going home and of what to expect. I feel like there’s this highlight reel of what you see it’s going to be like and then when it’s not that way, it can feel very guilt-inducing for new moms.”
Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Locher said she noticed many hospital classes that taught new parents were no longer being held. And in just one year, she created a loyal audience of over 230,000 followers.
So let’s get to it! Here are Locher’s top pieces of advice:
Bath Time Is Just A 2-step Process
Locher reveals that many new parents are not aware that newborns are only supposed to have sponge baths for the first couple of weeks.
“You can’t actually submerge your baby’s abdominal area in water because that umbilical stump is in place for the first couple of weeks,” said Locher. “We’re really not supposed to get that area wet because the whole purpose is for it to dry up and fall off on its own.”
As such, Locher suggests a sponge bath completed in a two-step process. Locher says to first focus on the baby’s body. Be sure to also have a warm basin of water nearby as well as a washcloth with shampoo.
And once you get your little one all cleaned up, Locher suggested parents dry them off and put them in a fresh diaper and clean pajamas. Locher also says to swaddle your baby so that you have control of your baby’s head while you can wash their hair.
“She can be looking at you and enjoying herself, and that’s what makes bath time so fun in those early weeks, especially because you want to bond, too,” added Locher. “You want to have fun with the bath. It’s not just like a chore, you know?”
Baby bellyaches? Try This “I-Love-You” Trick
“We don’t really touch on it much with discharge instructions,” said Locher. “You get home and you’re like, OK, what can I do to help my baby? She’s struggling, she needs to pass gas — she might be a little bit more fussy… it’s heartbreaking as a parent.”
To help your baby, Locher recommends an “I love you” abdominal massage to relieve gas.
“What I found the most effective was actually infant tummy massage and just massaging her belly after a bath,” she said. “It helped so much.”
Locher said with your fingertips, draw an “I,” an “L” and a “U” on your baby’s left side of their abdomen.
“You just go downward to make the ‘I’ and then you start on the other side, the right side of their abdomen, go across and down to make that ‘L,’ and then you just do a nice big arch to make the ‘U’ at the end,” said Locher. “You always want to be moving in a clockwise position because that’s the way the baby’s gut moves.”
Craft A Nursing Cart
“I always found myself like running to get more things,” said Locher. “I’m like, ‘Why don’t I just have something on wheels that I can just take with me?’ It’s so much more convenient.”
Do you have any tips of your own? Be sure to comment below mamas!
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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