Congratulations, you’re “Mommy” now! Wait of nine- months to hold your jewel in your arms ends joyfully. You’ve accomplished the most amazing “Maa” milestone: your own new- born baby!
And I know what your mind is saying at this point: “Woohooo….I’m no more pregnant now. I’ve become a mother of an amazing baby!” Like all mothers, you are on cloud number nine. You wish to head home with your new born to begin an exciting life as a mother: a moment of great delight! But somewhere in this happiness, your anxiousness is hidden to provide the best care to your new born. If it’s your first baby, you might feel un-prepared. Don’t worry! You’re not alone, many parents feel so. Take steps and make yourself ready to offer an excellent parenthood to your darling baby.
Following baby-care basics will lead you to better caring of your baby.
- Preparations ahead of child –birth: Prepare a shopping list for your new born. Ensure you include all important items in the checklist required to deliver the best care to him. Gather all important items of clothing, bathing, feeding, travelling and bedding. And yeah, do not forget to throw a baby-shower party. It is a pretty good excuse to get a group of friends together to celebrate a new phase of life and also get lots of gifts for you and your baby. It will put important gear on your baby’s checklist.
- No invitation to neighbor’s kids: Once you bring your baby home, just do not invite your neighbors’ kids to transmit germs. Important! The immune system of your baby is not strong yet. Keep visitors number to a minimum, at least for first few weeks. New born are highly prone to infection, make sure you and others handle them only after hands are washed.
- Keep umbilical stump dry and clean: After babies are born their umbilical cord is cut close to the body to leave umbilical stump. Keep this stump as dry and clean as possible until it dries up and falls off (it takes usually 10-21 days). When umbilical stump falls completely, a little blood is detected, which is normal.
- Avoid bath until umbilical cord sheds: Do not give tub-bath to your baby at all before umbilical cord falls off. Give sponge bath instead.
- Keep genital clean: Ensure new born genitals stay clean, which means changing diapers frequently, about 8-to-12 times a day.
- Know early signs of hunger: Learn signs that hint your baby, is hungry and feed him before he starts crying. Early hunger signs include crying, stretching, stirring, lip smacking, fussiness and sucking motions.
- Allow longer sleep: Allow your baby asleep as long as he can. Newborns (upto 3 months) generally sleep for about 16 to 20 hours a day. In a stretch they sleep, maximum for 4 to 5 hours. After 4-5 hours of sleep, they begin to feel alarming at the hunger and it wakes them up.
- Provide breast milk: Breast milk is the healthiest food for a baby and keeps baby healthy in the long -run. If you breast-feed your kid, he is much less likely to catch infection. So, at least for the first complete year of life, you should continue breast-feeding and beyond that depending on your own wish and child desire, you can decide.
- Napping changing: It is important to change nappies regularly. Urine with bacteria in fecal matter can make your baby skin sore and cause nappy rashes. Change nappies after/before every feed, plus he has done poo. ‘Cloth or disposable- which nappy is better?’- A question you surely be having in your mind. I don’t see anything wrong in using cloth nappy. Cloth nappy costs you less and babies don’t develop nappy –rash too. They can be washed and re-used, unlike disposable nappy. Disposable nappies can be used at the time of emergency or travelling.
- Resist trimming nails: Your baby might be born with long nails and it worries you that he will scratch himself. I say, avoid trimming nails at this early because nails may go below the line and can bleed. Instead, make his hands wear socks, use mitten or keep him covered not letting his hands to come near his face. If nails harden or growing quickly, you may trim them but with a lot care. Toe-nails do not require much attention.
- Low stimulation during nights: When babies are born, their nights and days are “mixed-up”. They feel sleepier during the day and stay alert and awake at night. One way to help your baby is by keeping stimulation to a minimum at night, like using a night-light, low lights and reserving talking.
- No comparison: Growth and development rate of different babies differ. So, mommies please don’t put your kids on comparison with others kids. If you hold any concern, bring up your baby to pediatrician in your next visit to his clinic.
- Support head-neck: Provide support to head and neck of the baby while handling him. Under any circumstances, never and never, shake your newborn.
- Avoid Fluffy bedding: Remove all flossy quilts, bedding, stuffed animals, sheepskins and pillows from the baby-bed to ensure baby doesn’t suffocate and can breathe properly. Also, alternate the head position of your baby from night-to-night (first left, then right and so on) to avoid occurrence of a flat spot on any head side. Most important is to make your baby sleep on his back in order to minimize the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Parenting is a moment of tremendous pleasure but it is a big responsibility and duty like no other! Post your baby-delivery, you might feel very hectic about handling your baby but in few weeks, you develop a routine.