Newborn care: Understanding the dos and don'ts

Parenthood is one of the most magical seasons of human life. Parents experience a range of emotions right from happiness to fulfillment to joy and many times even exhaustion. And yet, the weariness fades away at the sight of your baby.

However, one challenge which you may face as new parents face is decoding your baby’s needs. As new parents you may be often perplexed and have tons of questions when dealing with your little one.

Don’t worry, in this article, we will look at some dos and don’ts which you ought to keep in mind as a part of the ‘newborn care’ routine.

Breastfeeding:

It’s normal if you have any struggles with breastfeeding and understanding what lactation is all about. Many pediatricians recommend nursing the baby within the first few hours of birth.

Dos:

  • Begin the nursing of the baby within the first few hours of the birth.
  • Continue breastfeeding as often as possible, especially after the first feeding.
  • Frequent feeding is the best way to increase the flow of breast milk.
  • Consult a lactation expert if your baby is restless, wets less than 6 nappies a day, or if they continue to pass green stool.

Don’t:

  • Don’t worry or stress if you are unable to breastfeed your baby in the first hour after the delivery.
  • Don’t stop feeding the baby unless the baby is full.
  • Don’t ignore the sign of no-weight gain or less weight gain.

Swaddling the baby:

An important aspect of newborn care is knowing the right way of swaddling the baby. Many pediatricians believe that swaddling the baby gives them a sense of security of staying in the womb. It also helps in soothing them from excessive crying.

Dos:

  • Always wrap your newborn in a clean, thin blanket or sheet.
  • Learn the right way to swaddle the baby.
  • Ensure that you swaddle them not too tight or too loose. Tight swaddling may affect their mobility, while loose swaddling may not give them enough warmth.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t swaddle your baby 24*7, give them some free time too.
  • Don’t wrap your baby too tight during the summers, as the humidity from the surroundings and the temperature inside the blanket may cause your baby discomfort.

Caring for the Umbilical Stump:

Soon after the delivery, doctors clamp and cut the umbilical cord. The umbilical stump drops in about one week to two weeks after it has been cut. As a parent, you need to:

Dos:

  • Keep the umbilical stump clean and free from infection.
  • Keep the naval area dry.
  • Clean the area only when it is completely healed.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t pull the umbilical stump.
  • Don’t use any antiseptics on it.

Bathing the newborn:

Another important aspect of newborn care is bathing your baby. Generally, doctors or midwives give the newborn a quick warm water bath, immediately after birth.

Dos:

  • Let the creamy white texture on the body called Vernix be. It serves as a natural moisturizer protecting the baby from contracting infections.
  • Consult the pediatrician about the various baby oils which you can use for your baby.
  • Opt for more natural options such as pure sesame oil to massage and moong dal flour or gram flour to exfoliate the skin while bathing.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t settle for store-bought creams for your newborn.
  • Don’t hurry in the massage or bathing process.

The first couple of years of your child are crucial when it comes to health and growth. As a parent, you may be a little apprehensive about newborn care. Don’t worry, follow the dos and don’ts mentioned above to the T. The key factor in newborn care is to be confident about what you are doing for your baby. Tips and consultation from your child’s doctor and elders can come in handy.

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