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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Newborn care: A guide for first-time parents

Here, we tell you how to take care of your newborn, and enjoy parenthood.


Updated: October 21, 2021 11:14:09 am
newborn baby, parentingSupport the baby's head whenever you pick them up. (Source: pixabay)

By Dr Suresh Birajdar

Are you a new mom or dad, wondering how to take care of your newborn? Then, read the following tips.

You may be elated at the birth of your newborn, but at the same time, may have some mixed feelings about how your parenthood journey would be. Will you be able to take care of the baby properly? How to tell his/her hunger cues? If it’s your first child then you may panic. But, you don’t have to worry as we have some useful tips to help you sail through this new journey. Here, we tell you how to take care of your newborn, and enjoy parenthood.

Holding: The baby’s neck muscles are not yet developed, so you will need to support her/his head whenever you pick her up.

Bathing: It can be challenging but should be done properly. Try to be gentle and use mild baby shampoo. Hold the baby in the correct position and don’t be too harsh. Whatever products you choose for the baby, they should be of good quality, clinically tested, and shouldn’t dry out the baby’s skin. You can speak to the doctor regarding what to choose and avoid. The baby product should be tested negative for allergies.

Breastfeeding: It should be done as and when the baby demands it. Crying, bringing hands to mouth, lip licking, sucking, and clenching fingers are some of the signs that mean the baby is hungry. So, feed the baby on time.

Limit visitors: Yes, everyone will be excited to see the baby. But, without sounding rude, you need to limit visitors in a polite manner. Explain to them that the baby is susceptible to infections, and it is a safe bet to be cautious rather than sorry.

Dress appropriately: Overdressing the baby is a strict no no. The baby may profusely sweat, feel irritated, and may become cranky.

Diaper change: If you are a first-time parent then you will be shocked at how many diapers the baby goes through in a day. Just to make it easier for you, try to store plenty of diapers before you bring your baby home. Be ready for nappy rashes as most children aged 0-2 years develop one from time to time. Don’t forget to use a diaper rash cream while changing the diaper. It reduces friction on the skin and gives enough protection to the baby.

Massage: It is one of the best ways to bond with the little one. Be gentle while massaging the baby. Did you know? Massaging can improve his/her sleep, and will be calming and relaxing.

Sleep: Your little one may sleep most of the time. But, remember that he/she can also wake up during the night. So, be prepared instead of getting frustrated or irritated.

Take-home message: Consult the doctor if the baby has fever, cough, cold, watery stools, chest discomfort, refuses to accept feeding and vomits every now and then.

(The writer is Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar.)

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