The preparation to welcome a newborn baby begins as soon as the parents become aware of the pregnancy. Shopping for the essentials usually commences fast, and this includes stocking up on bibs, purchasing a crib, changing tables and so forth. Once the gender of the infant is determined, parents buy clothes and customize the nursery to reflect the gender of their baby. Additionally, some parents may also sharpen their baby care knowledge using online resources and books that offer a wealth of information on pregnancy and child rearing. This article attempts to accumulate a few tips to care for your newborn baby.
Tip # 1: To Promote Breastfeeding
The hormonal changes in the mother’s body that occur after a baby is delivered trigger lactation whereby the female breasts produce milk. This milk contains vital nutrition that strengthens the child’s immune system. Some mothers may however find that their little one is not accepting breast milk or that they are not producing sufficient milk to satisfy their child’s appetite. In the event of the former, the newborn baby needs to be positioned comfortably. Nursing mothers should also avoid eating foods that are spicy or strongly flavored since it may cause breast milk to taste funny to the infant. If the milk produced is insufficient, consult your doctor for solutions. Eating dates and fenugreek seeds has been shown to boost milk production. Breast massage also stimulates the mammary glands and boosts lactation.
Tip # 2: To Develop Consistent Sleep Habits
A newborn baby needs to sleep for at least 16 hours a day. Some infants may sleep even longer but almost all wake up in the middle of the night either because they are hungry, need to be changed or simply desire a cuddle. This may seem cute (the last one in particular) but it leads to sleep deprivation for the parents if it continues for more than a few weeks. To prevent exhaustion for both parent and child, regular sleep patterns need to be established. A warm bath before bedtime may help the child fall asleep, as does a quiet room. Additionally, practicing the Kangaroo Mother Care technique helps a newborn baby to sleep for longer hours. This not only reduces disturbances during the night, but also leaves the infant refreshed and healthy. Always ensure the little one is sleeping on his/her back to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Tip # 3: Everyday Baby Care
A newborn baby has weak muscles and soft bones, and requires constant support. When lifting your baby, keep one hand under the neck while your arm supports the spinal column and elbow lies directly under the buttocks. This will ensure the little one is comfortable and well supported.
Babies wet around 8 diapers a day; any less means the child is dehydrated or not consuming enough milk. Infants need to be changed immediately after their bowel movements, since a wet nappy can cause painful diaper rash, making your child irritable. Keeping the genital area dry reduces the incidence of rash.
You may also notice that the scalp of your newborn baby has developed flakes. This is a mild and fairly common condition amongst babies and it can be cured by lightly oiling the infant’s scalp for 15 minutes and washing it with a mild anti-fungal shampoo.