You have survived thorough 9 months of pregnancy and have made it to labor pain and delivery. So, the new excitement of life is in front of you. It’s the time to head home with your new born baby to begin a new life.
Once you are home, you frantically realize that you have no idea what you are doing or what you have to do next.
Handling the new born baby:
If you have not spent much time with new born babies then their fragility may be intimidating you. Here are few basics to remember:
- Wash your hands first: Newborns do not have a strong immunity and hence they are susceptible to infection. Make sure that everyone who handles the baby also has clean hands.
- Be careful to support head and neck: Support the head of the baby when you are holding him/ her upright or when you lay him or her down.
Position of baby during sleep
- Healthy infants should be placed on their backs for sleep, as this is the safest position for an infant to sleep.
- A firm crib mattress covered by a sheet is the safest bedding.
- Keep all soft toys and stuffed animals out of your child’s crib throughout infancy.
- Keep the temperature in baby’s room comfortable ( if using Ac temp should be set at 26- 29) and do not place her near air-conditioning vents or heating vents, open windows.
- Use sleep clothing (such as a one-piece sleeper), you can use baby blanket to wrap the baby but do not keep them loose.
Changing the diapers:
A baby dirties the diaper about 10 times in a day. So, it is going to be a hectic task for you to change the diaper every time. You have to change the diaper immediately if baby pass stool. Otherwise change it either if it is heavy or after 4- 6 hrs. Before beginning the process of changing the diaper make sure that you have all the supplies within your reach..
You give only sponge bath to your baby until at least up to umbilicus has fallen off, clean and dry. Give him or her bath at least three times in a week in the first year.. Frequent bathing may cause skin dryness. For bath use a soft clean washcloth or sponge, unscented soap and shampoo, warm water (and not hot water) and soft clean towel or blanket.
Feeding – Breast or bottle ?
Breast milk is the best milk made for babies by God. No manufacturing company can make milk as good as breast milk.
- Breast milk contains the perfect proportion of nutrients that your baby needs, including protein, carbohydrates, fat and much more.
- It is easily digestible.
- It may protect against allergies and asthma in the future.
- It may decrease a baby’s risk of obesity in the future.
- It may contain some fatty acids that promote brain development.
- Breastfeeding can help new mothers loose weight more easily.
Breastfeeding: How Much and How Often?
Babies should be demand feeding after 1st 3-4 days (when there is enough supply of breast milk ie. when feeding one side, other side is leaking). That means, when babies cry – feed them. That could be 2,3,4 hourly. If baby does not wake up for feed after 4th hr then you should wake him up and offer feed.
You can be reassured that your breastfed infant probably is getting enough milk if he or she:
- is steadily gaining weight
- feeds at least six to eight times per day
- is wetting diapers on a regular basis (at least 6 urination per day in newborn stage)
Your baby might not be eating enough if he or she doesn’t appear satisfied, even after feeding, and cries constantly or is irritable – call your doc.
Feeding and Burping Your Baby
- Babies should be fed on demand — whenever they seem hungry. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises.
- Burping in babies is caused by trapped air in the stomach. As babies feed they gulp air as well. The air takes space in the stomach so there is less room for the milk. The trapped air (also known as wind) has to be released – so burped out – to make space for the milk.
- Always burp your baby when feeding time is over, then keep him or her in an upright position for at least 10-15 minutes to avoid spitting up.
What is Newborn Jaundice
- A common condition in newborns, jaundice refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells.
- Physiological (normal) jaundice: occurring in most newborns, this mild jaundice is due to the immaturity of the baby’s liver, which leads to a slow processing of Bilirubin. It generally appears at 2 to 4 days of age and disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age. If it is too high then they need phototherapy. The baby is placed under a special light which brings the jaundice down.
When to call your doctor or what are the danger signs of newborn babies.
Babies can get very sick very quickly as their body reserve is very less.
Following are some signs which needs immediate medical attention –
Not feeding well, excessive drowsiness, excessive jaundice, bleeding from umbilicus, too much watery stool, fever ( More than 98.4), extreme floppiness or jitters or convulsion.
Hearing Test for Your Baby
Babies learn to understand and speak words through hearing. If your baby has a hearing problem and it is not found, your baby will have a hard time learning words and how to talk. When a hearing loss is found early, treatment can begin right away to prevent long-term problems.
As a part of your baby’s care, a hearing test could be done. The test measures how your baby responds to sound. It takes about 10 minutes and can be done while he or she is sleeping.