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It is even during the first few days that the newborn baby begins to recognize its parents. In fact research has proved that new born babies begin to differentiate between the strangers and their parents.
For new parents, their babies can be mysterious creatures. They can be as fragile as porcelain and again as parents you will feel that they are tough as steel. There is lots that you need to take care of when handling a newborn baby. During the initial few days of the baby’s birth you have to take care of the baby’s head. It is one of the most sensitive parts. As a new born baby is not used to supporting its head, you need to help the baby with this. During the first two months the baby’s neck muscle will experience rapid growth. This is when the baby will start to gain control of its head.
Another feature that you will come across in the baby’s head is two soft spots. These soft spots, also know as fontanels, can be found at the back of the baby’s head and at the front. Though these areas are soft and should be handled with care yet it is nothing to fear about. The back fontanel will close first that is within a months time. The front part takes longer and usually closes within 9 to 18 months.
You do not need to worry about the cradle cap. It usually shows up within the first few months and goes away on its own. Similarly, you may also come across white bumps on your baby’s face. This is in medical terms called milia, and like the cradle cap, even this disappears in a few days time. The eye color of the baby also changes in the initial few months. As the baby grows, the pigment in the baby’s eyes develops into the permanent eye color.
The nails of the baby grow at a rapid pace. The baby nails require trimming at least once or twice every week. There are babies who are born with nails which are jagged. These jagged nails should be trimmed in order to avoid it from scratching its face. If you are not willing to cut the newborn baby’s nails then you should cover it with a baby mittens or socks.
Also take care not to let the baby’s umbilical chord come in contact with water. When the baby is born an antiseptic is applied to the chord which protects it from infection. The signs of an infected umbilical chord are fever, bleeding, tenderness, odor, discharge and redness. In case you notice any such symptoms, you need to consult your child care expert.
These are some of the basics that you need to take care of when dealing with a new born baby. They are very sensitive and hence you need to be well informed and handle them with care.
Surviving the Early Weeks – You and Your Newborn Baby
You are just back home with your newborn child. You are excited about the arrival of the new member in your family and at the same time also very nervous. Since it has been only a few days that you and your baby have been together, it is only now that both of you will begin to know each other.
There is no reason to be nervous. Do not get the idea that it is going to be a herculean task or you will have to put in a lot of effort to deal with your baby. Just begin by getting the baby as close to you as possible. There is no doubt that the partners need lots of opportunity to feel close to the baby and handle the baby. There are times when fathers do feel a part of this new beginning as they sometimes have to leave you and his child back in the hospital and then go back to an empty home.
Give support to your partner and make him feel involved in the whole process. For both of you to feel more confident and controlled about handling the newborn baby, it is important that both of you cuddle and hold your baby. During the first few days you may feel tired and exhausted handling your newborn child. So it is essential that both you and your partner take turns to relax and rest.
Especially, being a mother, you need to get yourself plenty of rest. At this stage, even an act of simply walking around and moving can seem like a hard work and you may end up feeling exhausted. Moreover, if you have had stitches, then you may feel sore and may hurt.
Also, slowly and gradually, the milk will start to fill in your breast. This may also hurt during the first few days. If have decided to breastfeed your baby then this will help. You will be able to feed your baby as often as the baby needs it. In order to relieve the engorgement just before you feed the baby you can apply a warm cloth. However, if you are planning to bottle feed your baby, then you do not need to do anything about it. In fact, on the third or fourth day you will feel that your breast has become tender and the milk continues to be produced. In such situation you can wear a firm bra.
For the newborn mothers, it is the joy of the newborn baby which is far more overwhelming then the problems that are associated with it. But in certain cases this situation may lead to depression as the mothers may feel that are not able to take good care of their child or if they feel tired.
Giving birth is no doubt a tiring and an emotional experience. It is thus termed as a life changing moment, an experience which though painful is immensely fruitful and while it is about to end gives you a gift to cherish forever and that is your baby!
Childproof Your Home for Your Newborn
Your precious newborn is has entered your life and is now all set to enter into your home. Before you do so, you would like to ensure your home too is ready to welcome the new arrival. You may decorate the home and baby’s room with the choicest of accessories, but it is equally important to make it safe in every way.
Though a newborn baby isn’t quite mobile on their own and will spend most of their day either feeding or sleeping, installing the correct nursery equipment and taking care of other safety considerations like pets is equally important to the health and safety of your newborn.
The most central of all nursery equipment, it is where your newborn will spend most of his/her initial days. Buying a crib that is manufactured keeping all safety considerations in mind and certified by a national safety association is the right thing to do.
Second-time parents often re-employ the crib they used for their firstborn- a perfectly practical choice, though when contemplating reusing a crib, do check that the crib is in a good condition, free of cracks, loose bolts and fitted mattress. A good crib will have the following features:
- corner posts should be kept very low so that a baby’s clothes do not entangle themselves on the post.
- Head and foot boards are simple and without cutouts where a baby could entangle his/her head.
- Screws and bolts are secure and fastened.
Also, never leave your newborn in the crib with the side latch dropped down, and place the crib away from blinds or curtains he/she would be tempted to hold on to.
Sucking is a natural reflex for any newborn, and as new parents it would be wise to remove any rattle or squeeze toy from the baby’s crib while he/she sleeps. All baby toys are provided with age labels, and parents must adhere to those instructions for the newborn’s safety.
Choose toys that are sturdy in their construction and will not break easily. Toys with attaching parts are also better avoided.
Pets and your newborn will make for a great combination in your baby’s growing years, only this is the time to take care of some safety issues. A pet will at first be curious about the new addition to the household. The pet, commonly dog or cat, is better off being introduced to the newborn to bring in familiarity.
With dogs, ensure they are controlled with a leash; sniffing without physical contact is alright, and licking is best avoided as the newborn’s immune system is still developing. Cats can get unpredictable when they first see a baby; they might be either fearful or they could lash out their claws playfully.
Thus, prepare your home for your newborn’s arrival and make it as welcoming for him/her. All it requires is a little hindsight and eye to detail, and you are on your way to make a home filled with baby laughter!
The Right Ways to Feed Your Little Ones
Feeding a little baby is an amazingly spiritual and satisfying experience. It’s a moment to connect with your little one, watch him/her move in your palms and love and caress him/her. Feeding your baby from a bottle or breastfeeding him/her is a choice that’s completely yours to make. However, many parents make use of both these methods in different scenarios.
For now, we are going to concentrate on breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is perfect for your baby. Breast milk comprises of all the vital nutrients that a newborn would need for his growth and development. The list of benefits is endless.
Breastfeeding and Diseases
Newborn babies are prone to all kinds of diseases. It has been found that babies who are are breastfed have a significantly lesser risk of developing diarrhea, constipation, ear infections, asthma, diabetes, respiratory problems and other common allergies.
Mothers also stand to benefit from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding catalyses postpartum recovery and also reduces the risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.
Is your baby ready for Breastfeeding?
It’s often difficult to tell when your baby might be ready for another round. Here are some ways:
- When hungry, babies generally open up their mouths wide (as if they are yawning) with their tongues touching their bottom gum.
- Another way your baby is going to indicate that he or she is hungry is by bring his/her hands up to the mouth.
- Lastly, if all other methods to gain your attention fail, your little one will start to cry. Care should be taken! When babies cry, they breathe in and breathe out rapidly. It’s important for you to calm them down before you start feeding them.
How Often and For How Long?
Babies that are 3-4 days old need to be fed at least 8 to 12 times a day. This would mean that you will have to feed your babies every 2-3 hours.
Babies, initially, may need to be fed for about 5-10 minutes only. After the first week, they will need to be fed for 10 minutes or longer.
Take care as to change your breast every time you feed your baby!