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How to care for your newborn

How to care for your newborn

  • October 31, 2021
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The birth of a child brings happiness to a family, but it can also create fear of the unknown. You may feel like you have no idea what you are doing.

Let’s discuss some simple tips that can help you feel more confident about caring for your little one.

Open to accepting help from friends and family.

When you become a first mother, you will have many questions. While you are in the hospital, doctors and nurses can teach you how to hold, move, and care for your baby.

Relatives and friends can help you manage this stress. One can learn a lot from their experience.

Dealing with your baby

Your newborn’s fragility can be intimidating. But these few basic steps will help you a lot:

  1. Wash your hands before handling the baby.

Your baby may not have a strong immune system, making them more prone to infections. Always make sure that everyone (including you) handling the baby has clean hands.

  1. Support your head and neck.

Always support your head and neck when you carry your baby or lie down.

  1. No shaking your newborn

Shaking your baby can have serious complications (bleeding in the brain). Instead, you can blow gently on your cheek or tickle your baby’s feet.

  1. Secure your baby securely in the carrier.
  2. Avoid rough play with your baby (wobbling or being thrown in the air).

Bond with your baby

Bonding with the newborn is the most comfortable and important part of baby care.

The bond takes place in the first hours and days after the birth. Physical closeness during this sensitive time can lead to an emotional bond.

Your baby lives on the unconditional love of the parents or other adults in the family. Bonding is necessary not only for emotional well-being, but also for the baby’s physical development.

Parents can bond by developing skin-to-skin contact with their babies while they are being weighed or fed. Sometimes babies also respond to a gentle massage.

Your little one may also love you talking, babbling, and singing. Some babies are sensitive to touch or sound. You might be frightened if someone sings or speaks to you loudly. For these babies, parents need to keep noise and light levels down.

Wrap your baby up

Gently wrap or wrap a baby in breathable towels to make your baby feel comfortable and secure.

As a parent, you should learn the correct swaddling technique.

Wrap your baby

Your baby will get the diapers dirty about ten times a day, which makes diapering one of the most difficult chores for parents to do.

Before changing the diaper, make sure that you have all the necessary items with you so that your baby is not left unattended.

You may need the following:

  • a diaper
  • Diaper moisturizer / ointment / oil
  • Diaper towels

Sometimes a diaper rash can appear on your baby’s delicate skin. Follow these simple tips to avoid rashes:

  • Change your baby’s diaper immediately after a bowel movement.
  • Gently clean the area with mild soap and water
  • Apply a thick layer of cream to create a moisture barrier.
  • The baby can walk part of the day without diapers.

Bathing your baby

Give your baby a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off and the cut has healed completely (it usually takes one to 4 weeks).

For the first year, you can bathe your baby two to three times a week. More often, your baby’s skin can dry out.

Umbilical cord care of your newborn:

You shouldn’t submerge your baby’s umbilical area in water until the umbilical stump has fallen off. If the navel area turns red or has some discharge, contact your doctor right away.

Feed your newborn baby

How Often Should I Feed My Baby? It’s one of the most common questions asked by new mothers. The answer is simple. Feed your baby when he is hungry. Your baby can give you a clue by crying or by putting their fingers in their mouths.

A newborn baby can be hungry every 2 to 3 hours. While breastfeeding, breastfeed your baby on each breast for about ten minutes.

Burp your baby

Babies sometimes take in air while they eat. This air makes them feel full or can cause gastroesophageal reflux.

If you’re breastfeeding, burp before switching to other breasts. When bottle feeding, you burp your baby every 2 to 3 ounces of milk. Also, try burping your little one after feeding them.

Your baby’s sleeping habit

A newborn baby needs about 16 hours of sleep a day. The typical sleep duration is 2 to 4 hours. Your baby’s small digestive system needs food every 3 to 4 hours and should be awakened if it has not been fed for 5 hours.

Some healthy sleep practices include:

  • Always lay babies on their backs to sleep
  • Do not use blankets, pillows, quilts, or soft toys in the cot
  • Alternate the position of your baby’s head every night to avoid a flat spot on one side of your baby’s head.

It is very natural for you to be anxious when dealing with your little one. But in a couple of weeks you will learn how to take care of your baby. If you have any questions about your baby, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your doctor.

Happy parenthood.

Dr. Kiranmayi Setty, Senior Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Bangalore

Thank You For Reading!

Reference: www.narayanahealth.org

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