Essential Baby Health Tips Every Parent Should Know

Masthead Image
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Tuesday March 26, 2024

Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site. 

Having a new baby for first-time parents can be nerve-wracking. Here are some essential baby health tips to ease your journey and create a safe environment for your little one. 

Nutrition and Feeding

Feeding your little one is like laying the foundation for their growth and happiness. It’s one of the essential baby health tips that could help you. Understanding what they need and keeping it healthy makes the journey more exciting. 


Breastfeeding is like a superfood for babies. Most infants still breastfeed when they reach six months because it contains nutrients and antibodies that help them grow healthy and strong. It’s not just food for the little ones — moms benefit too. 

Breastfeeding aids in quicker recovery after childbirth, reducing bleeding and shrinking the uterus back to its standard size. Moms who breastfeed have a lower risk of certain cancers like breast and ovarian cancer, giving them extra health protection in the long run. It’s also a heartwarming experience that builds a strong bond between moms and their babies. 

How to Breastfeed Your Baby

Proper breastfeeding techniques involve mastering two key elements: latching and positioning. Look for signs of hunger, like rooting or sucking on hands. 

Pay attention to their sucking patterns to gauge when they’re satisfied. Place pillows under your arms or behind your back to maintain a comfortable posture during breastfeeding. This helps prevent back and neck strain.


Encourage the baby to open their mouth wide before bringing them to the breast. A wide latch helps the baby take in more breast tissue, making breastfeeding more comfortable and practical. 


Whether it’s the cradle hold, cross-handle hold, football hold or side-lying position, choose one that suits both you and the baby. Experiment to find what feels more comfortable.

Ensure the baby’s body is facing yours, with their nose in line with your nipples. This helps them latch on more easily and facilitates swallowing.

Formula Feeding

Many moms opt for formula feeding and it’s a perfectly excellent choice. Bottle feeding is a chance for bonding. Hold your baby close, make eye contact and enjoy these special times together.

Newborns typically feed every 2-3 hours but every baby is unique. They usually have their timetable. 

Your baby will tell you when they’ve had enough or want more. Newborns usually consume about 2-3 ounces per feeding but this varies. Watch for those adorable signs like turning away or eagerly reaching for the bottle.  

Safe Formula Storage and Handling

These guidelines are general and individual babies may have different needs. Consult with your pediatrician.

  • Formula preparation area: Ensure a clean and sanitized environment for formula preparation. 
  • Water quality: If using powdered formula, use boiled and cooled water. For liquid concentrate or ready-to-feed formula, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Formula concentration: Measure it accurately. Too concentrated or diluted formula can affect your baby’s nutrition. 
  • Storage of prepared formula: Store pre-prepared formula in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and warm refrigerated formula by placing the bottles in warm water. Avoid using a microwave to prevent uneven heating. Throw away any formula left in the bottle after a feeding to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Sterilizing equipment: Regularly sterilize bottles, nipples and other feeding equipment, especially for newborns

Starting Solid Foods

Starting solid foods is a big step for your baby, recommended around six months. Look for signs like sitting with support, interest in your food and tongue control. Here are some first foods you can prepare that are easy to make:

  • Rice or oat baby cereal: Mix with milk or formula until smooth.
  • Pureed fruits: Bananas, avocado or peaches. Peel, mash or blend until smooth — no added sweeteners.
  • Pureed vegetables: Sweet potatoes, carrots or peas. Steam or boil, then mash or blend — no salt or seasonings. 
  • Mashed or pureed protein: Chicken, turkey or lentils. Cook thoroughly, mash or blend with a bit of water or milk.
  • Full-fat plain yogurt: Serve as is. Choose full-fat options for healthy fats.
  • Soft cooked egg yolk: Hard-boil eggs, remo e yolk, mash or chop finely. 

Avoid honey due to the risk of infant botulism. Try one new food at a time to watch for allergies. Begin with smooth purees and gradually move to lumpier textures.

Baby Hygiene

One of the best baby health tips for baby hygiene is choosing fragrance-free baby soap and shampoo. Use lukewarm water around 37°C and test with your elbow to ensure it’s not too hot. 

Clean your baby’s body and hair gently, avoiding the eyes. Use a soft washcloth. 

Keep baby dry by changing diapers regularly. Use fragrance-free. Alcohol-free baby wipes or clean with water. Give some diaper-free time to let the skin breathe. 

Create routines for you and your baby. Have a to-do list for activities or playtime with your baby that you want to try and follow daily, even on days you may not feel like it.

Pick breathable, soft cotton clothes. Dress your baby in loose clothes to avoid skin friction. Keep the room comfy to prevent skin irritation.


Getting vaccines on time is super essential for your child’s health. Vaccines protect them and everyone around them from serious diseases, creating a shield against infections. Common vaccines and benefits are:

  • DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis): Keeps away dangerous respiratory infections.
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): Blocks three contagious diseases.
  • Hepatitis B: Guards against liver infections. 
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b): Stops severe infections like meningitis. 
  • Polio: Protects from poliovirus, preventing paralysis. 
  • Varicella (Chickenpox): Shields against a very contagious virus.

Vaccines are tested and safe. They are scheduled to keep the immune system balanced. 

Safe Sleep Practices

Following these guidelines creates a safe sleep environment for your baby, promotes healthy sleep and reduces the risk of sleep-related accidents. Always consult with your pediatrician for personalized advice on safe sleep practices.

  • Back to sleep: Always place your baby on their back to sleep, whether it’s naptime or bedtime. This reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Firm mattress: Use a firm mattress with a fitted sheet for your baby’s sleep surface. Avoid soft bedding, pillows or stuffed animals in the crib.
  • Separate sleep space: Use a separate sleep space designed for infants, like a crib or bassinet. Avoid co-sleeping, as it poses risks.
  • Room sharing: Place your baby’s sleep area in your room for the first six months. Ideally, it should be within arm’s reach but in their sleep space.
  • Avoid overheating: Dress your baby in lightweight clothing and keep the room comfortable to prevent overheating. 
  • Pacifiers: Consider offering a pacifier during naps and bedtime. Research suggests it may reduce the risk of SIDS. 
  • Tummy time: Encourage tummy time during awake hours to help develop strong neck and shoulder muscles.

Basic Baby Health Tips

These essential baby health tips offer a roadmap for parents to care for their little ones. Trust your instincts, seek professional advice and enjoy the journey of parenthood.

Previous ArticleFind the Best Self-Tanner for that Off-Season Glow Next ArticleTrailblazing for Wellness: Hiking the Mountain Trail for Mental Health
Subscribe CTA Image

Subscribers get even more tailored tips & deets delivered directly to their inboxes!