Newborn babies require a lot of ultra care and attention for healthy growth. For first time moms, this might be quite overwhelming, as they mayneed someone to guide them on the right ways of feeding, changing the diapers, bathing the baby, trimming nails, etc. However, before ensuring good and hygienic care for the baby, the new mom must first and foremost take care of oneself and ensure proper diet and hygiene all the time. As one may be engaged when the baby is awake, it’s advisable to get a house help who will assist with the house chores when the baby is asleep so that one may sleep too. This is an opportune time when the dad, relatives, and close friends come in handy.
1. Holding the baby the right way
Newborn babies’ bones are very fragile as their neck muscles and backbones are not yet strong enough to support the head. For that reason, the mother should always ensure that she gives the necessary support to their neck and head. When other people (especially teen girls) volunteer to assist to hold the baby, they should be keen to see to it that the proper holding position is maintained. Moreover, the baby will mostly cry when uncomfortable and the mother should be quick to come to her rescue. Other things to consider while holding the baby are;
- Make sure that anyone who volunteers to hold the baby uses a hand sanitizer as the baby’s immune system is still weak.
- Avoid shaking the baby either when waking her or any personal movements which may be too bouncy or rough.
- Avoid throwing the baby in the air as in a play.
For healthy babies with high immunity to diseases, only breast milk should be feed for a minimum of 6 months. The baby may cry, put fingers in mouth, or make sucking noises, as a way of expressing a hunger to the mom. Whether one uses bottled or breast milk, it’s important to feed the baby every 2-3 hours, allowing about 10-15 minutes at each breast. If the baby needs to be awakened every few hours for feeding, one should consider consulting a doctor. Signs that the baby is feeding well are as follows;
- The baby seems satisfied feeding
- The baby produces around 6-8 wet diapers and stools each day.
- The baby sleeps well
- There’s a regular weight gain
- The breasts feel less full after feeding the baby
3. Burping the Baby
Mostly, babies swallow air during feeds which can make them cranky or fussy even after feeds. Burping should be tried after every breast switch, or after every 2-3 ounces of the bottle feed. This is important as the baby may end up feeling uncomfortable and full before being really full. The best-recommended burping techniques include:
- Holding the baby upright with the head on one’s shoulder and gently patting the back with the other hand.
- Laying the baby face-down across one’s lap and, while supporting the head to be higher than the rest of the body, gently pat or rub the baby’s back.
- Holding the baby in a sitting and slightly leaning-forward position, support the head and chest, as one rubs or pats the back.
4. Changing the diaper
The diaper should be changed as frequently as it deserves to avoid diaper rash. When the temperatures allow, one can let the baby remain without a diaper for a few hours each day. To avoid a Urinary Tract Infection, one should wipe a baby girl from front to back rather than vice-versa. Applying ointment is important to prevent or heal the baby rash.
5. Bathing and massaging the baby
In the first 2-3 weeks, one should use a sponge bath using warm water and a clean washcloth (possibly cotton ball) until the umbilical cord and circumcision heals-up. The washing should be done in a warm room being careful not to leave the baby alone while bathing.
For tub baths, one should gently use a washcloth to wash the baby and regularly pour water gently over the baby’s body to avoid getting cold.
Gently massaging different body parts is good to encourage bonding with the parents and also ensure sleep to the baby.
Finally, it’s important to place the baby on his or her back to sleep to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). One should also avoid blankets, pillows, and also alternate the head position of the baby from night to night (left then right) to prevent the development of a flat spot on one side of the head.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Hi! I’m Shruti, a mom of a toddler. I like to spend my whole day around my baby and helping other moms through my blogs. I love to write on topics like Baby Skin Care Routine, Parenting and Pregnancy that are helpful to other mommas to nurture their child appropriately.