Care of the Newborn – The Handbook You Need
The transition of a foetus, from the protection of amniotic fluid and dependence on the placenta for nutrition and oxygen, to a crying, air-breathing baby entering the world is an inexplicable source of joy and wonderment. Panic sets in when there are complications during birth, and oxygen needs to be administered through venturi mask, and then relief sets in once your little one is ready to go home. To make sure that the baby enjoys normal development and continued health, it is very important to take good care of the baby and in the correct way. As a new parent, if you are feeling at a loss for what to do, then read on for an overview on how to take care of your newborn.
- Get familiar with the behaviour and habits
Newborns mostly spend their first couple of months sleeping and eating at small and regular intervals. Additionally, a warm bath (not more than twice or thrice a week) and using warm wipes can make the baby feel relaxed and refreshed. When it comes to feeding, there’s no alternative to breast-milk. This can be supplemented with commercial infant formula besides puréed vegetables and fruits at later stages. Sleep is equally important for the baby to get sufficient rest. The key is to mimic the womb. If the baby has trouble sleeping, play soothing tones, nurse or rock the baby to sleep.
- Keep a constant eye on the baby’s health and well-being
Newborns are vulnerable to various infections and common diseases once they leave the protection of the womb, so one needs to take extra caution. Keep a medical infrared thermometer handy to find out if there is any fluctuation in body temperature as it could indicate an infection or excessive heat loss. New research suggests that taking a newborn’s temperature with infrared thermometer placed under the arm is as reliable as taking a rectal temperature, at least for babies who were not under a radiant warmer.
- Divide duties
Taking care of your newborn can be, no doubt, overwhelming. During the first few months at least, the baby’s well-being is of utmost priority. The parents can divide duties to avoid reaching the stage of complete exhaustion which in turn can compromise their effectiveness. Keep switching duties every once in a while, to break monotony while developing the ability to take care of the baby on their own.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help
New parents who seek help have a higher success rate in taking care of their newborn. So never hesitate in taking advice and suggestions from elders, talking to friends who have had good experience in nursing, consulting the paediatrician, or asking a nurse for useful directions.
Taking care of your newborn can be one of the most special experiences of your life. And with these guidelines in mind, as well as a healthy dose of love and affection, you will surely make it through.