New-born babies are born with the traits that we find cute and as new parents we can’t keep our eyes off.
New-borns may look alike, but they have their own personalities and physical attributes.
Some new-borns are chubby and some are lean. The appearance of each new-born is unique in their own way, no matter how alike they seem to look.
This is what makes them endearing to the people around them.
The excitement and joy when we bring a new-born home is something every parent enjoys and cherishes.
Having said that, our first priority is taking care of the child. After the first hour of life, new-borns should receive eye care, vitamin K, and recommended Immunisations (birth dose of OPV, BCG and Hepatitis B vaccine).
So in addition to this, here are few things to keep in mind while taking care of the new-born:
Supporting the baby’s neck and head
New-borns are very delicate and fragile, while taking care of the newborn’s head, especially around the fontanelles, which are the soft spots on the top of his head, always make sure to support the head and that the baby’s head is resting on our chest, we can slide our hand up from the bottom to support the neck. This way the baby is comfortable and secured.
All babies are born with increased hemoglobin. After birth, the extra red blood cells break down and release a substance called bilirubin in the baby’s blood. It is very important to watch our baby for jaundice during the first week home. Most newborns have jaundice and this is normal. However, some babies will have a higher level of jaundice;especially when mother’s blood group is O and baby’s blood group is A, B or AB and if mother’s blood group is negative and baby’s blood group is positive, always keep a check on it.
Cleaning the umbilical cord
First thing to keep in mind before cleaning the umbilical cord is to ensure that our hands are washed to avoid spreading any germs that might cause infection. Dip cotton in warm water and squeeze the tip to remove the excess water. Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin, use a clean thin cloth to dab it. It is important that the umbilical cord remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally and my recommendation is to clean it several times a day and keep it dry.
Choosing the right diapers
The first thing to do is decide what type of diaper you want to use and as a mother, we all know what’s best for our child. Whether you choose disposable or cloth nappies, it’s a personal choice. Always ensure the baby’s umbilical cord stump should be uncovered. Babies’ skin is thinner and more prone to irritation, their skin is extra-sensitive; so proper care is essential.
Feeding and burping
Despite much effort, there are some moms who cannot breastfeed and left with no other choice, simply choose to formula feed, however this is a personal decision again. Breastfeed or formula feed, new-born babies need to be fed after ever 2-3 hours and most newborns need eight to 12 feedings a day. That being said, there’s no rule that babies have to burp after every feeding. Some babies need to burp a lot, while others rarely do. In general, if the baby has not burped entire day after feeding, then gently rub or pat her back or rear end with the fingertips or palm of your free hand. Or dance slowly while she’s over your shoulder.
A sponge bath with warm, damp washcloth is all your newborn needs. After giving bath, wipe the umbilical cord. Keeping that in mind, always use a mild liquid soap (clinically proven) or it can be just water for those few initial days and maintain a good grip on the baby while bathing.
Our baby wants to be at a comfortable temperature, just as we do. Newborns have very small bodies, and don’t produce much heat themselves, but they readily absorb heat when they are held. Normal newborn temperature is around 97.8 to 98.8 F (axillary); recheck the temperature within 30-45 minutes, always check with your paediatrician.