You just got home from the hospital with your bundle of joy. You are elated that the life that was forming within you is finally here. But then panic sets in and you realize that you are not sure what to do or how to take care of a newborn baby. Although a baby is a blessing, that blessing comes with a lot of responsibility and hard work.
The bliss of motherhood for every mother is to have a good-looking and healthy baby. Bringing a baby into the world is a big deal but introducing the baby to the world is a greater task. However, the way in which you take care of the baby is highly imperative and will have a huge impact on the baby's life. Here are some things to consider when taking care of a newborn.
"Newborn babies can get infected easily because their immune system isn’t strong enough."
Bathing The Baby
A newborn does not have to be bathed every day but can be bathed every other day. There is no set number of times that a baby should be cleaned. Newborns are generally clean besides the occasional spit-up or diaper change. If your newborn baby looks unpleasant you can wipe them down using water and a little soap. If you want to give them a full bath you can follow these easy steps to clean him or her.
- Get a washcloth and some baby soap along with a towel to dry off the baby.
- Put some lukewarm water in a baby basin or bathtub. If not sure of the temperature of the water, use your elbow to check it.
- Hold the baby gently with one hand while wrapping a towel around baby’s body, use one hand to hold the baby and the other hand to wash baby’s hair (this can be done once or twice a week). After washing hair, dry baby’s hair with the towel.
- Next, lower your baby gently into the basin or bathtub then use your hand to pour water apply soap and scrub the baby’s body. Rinse all soap gently.
- Wrap baby in towel and dry the skin. Make sure to dry skin folds such as under the arm and neck.
- Apply lotion on the baby
- Put on a fresh diaper
- Put on clean clothes
Keep The Environment Clean
One of the most important and necessary aspects of taking care of a baby is to keep the environment safe and clean. Newborn babies can get infected easily because their immune system isn’t strong enough. When the environment is unkept, the baby may get sick, which can lead to severe infections. This is why it is important to wash your hands after changing the baby and before breastfeeding.
When relatives come over and would like to hold the baby and kiss them it is important to make sure they wash their hands and keep kisses to a minimum as germs are easily spread to newborns. It may be hard to say ‘no kisses please’ to your relatives but it is important for your baby to remain healthy and that is more important than hurting your relatives’ feelings.
When bottle-feeding, bottles should be sanitized to eliminate germs. The easiest way to do this is to wash and boil nipples and bottles after baby drinks from them as well as any pacifiers the baby may use.
Taking care of the baby’s hygiene includes: cleaning the ears, wiping the baby’s tongue and gums, washing the toys, towel, baby carrier, and every other thing that the baby uses. It’s a hard tedious job, but someone has to do it and it is worth it to keep the baby healthy.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
A baby needs warmth and cuddles before they could go deeply to sleep. So, a nursing mother should try and sleep while the baby sleeps. On the other perspective, babies also want attention and if the mother doesn’t sleep when the baby is sleeping, it will be hard for her to sleep while the baby is awake and craving attention.
Bond With Your Baby
At times babies get bored and restless. In order to calm them, the mother needs to hold and get close to them by creating chemistry of love and affection between herself and her baby. That is why skin to skin is important. The baby has been inside of your body as a mother for 9 months and is used to hearing your heartbeat. With skin to skin, a baby’s skin is right against the mother’s skin without the barrier of clothing which helps the baby feel safe and to hear the familiar heartbeat of his or her mother. This also gives the mother the chance to know how the baby is feeling and take note of anything strange like abnormal body temperature, irritation, and a lot more.
Breastfeed The Baby Regularly
Breast milk is very essential for the growth of a baby. According to WHO and UNICEF, a baby should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Breast milk is the first medicine for every baby. During the newborn stage, babies tend to cluster feed. So feed the baby anytime the baby feels hungry. Most times, when the baby is crying, they may be hungry and breastfeeding may help to calm him or her down.
Breastfeeding is good for both the infant and the mother. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can also help protect the infant and mother against certain illnesses and diseases.
Always Seek Help
Being a nursing mother is not easy, so the mother should ask for help when necessary, and also seek advice. In a situation where the woman is a working mom, she needs to get help to make sure the baby is well taken care of and not deprived of anything.
Keep An Eye On The Baby
Babies will always move around, not knowing what might get them hurt or injured. It is therefore important to keep a close eye on them all the time. Ensure that there are no harmful gadgets that the baby can easily reach like sockets and hanging switches. Also make sure that there is ample and safe space for the baby to crawl, roll or play on depending on his or her age.
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