When you welcome a newborn into your life, it is an incomparably beautiful experience that changes you forever. Once you cradle your little one in your arms, you’ll experience the purest form of love. From then on, watching your baby grow and learn will provide you and your family glee. You’ll be a proud witness to every milestone and celebrate every achievement.
Every parent wants nothing more than the health and happiness of their child. However, the joys of parenthood also come with ample responsibilities. Nurturing life is an enormous task because your child is highly vulnerable and utterly dependent on you for survival. Newborns are especially susceptible to diseases because their immune system is still developing and significantly weaker than adults.
The first few months may be the most tiresome and draining as you get used to your newborn baby, and it is normal to have concerns. You may not feel the most confident right now, and that’s okay. You can use the following information to learn the essentials about baby care and ease your nerves.
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Routine medical checkups
Routine medical checkups ensure your kid’s well-being, and you should schedule an appointment within the first few days of a baby’s birth. There are possibilities of various medical conditions that can impact your child’s health and development, which is why screening for these conditions is necessary. Early treatments can help prevent severe complications like Cephalohematoma and ensure the baby gets the care required.
Not all parents may be familiar with what is Cephalohematoma in newborn babies. Still, it is imperative to know about it. Cephalohematoma is a blood collection that forms beneath an infant baby’s scalp. The accumulation of blood appears as a raised bump on the baby’s head. The swelling is usually firm to the touch and may resolve after several weeks or months.
In most cases, the node is limited to one side of the head but can occur on both sides. The baby may not show any other signs of distress or discomfort. However, it is crucial to monitor for complications.
Cephalohematoma can usually go away within a few weeks to months without treatment. However, in some cases, a healthcare provider may need to intervene. If you notice any complications such as anemia, jaundice, infection, excessive bleeding, and fluid buildup around the swelling, seek medical attention immediately.
Nutrition has a significant impact on the health and growth of newborns. A recent study from 2021 on the nutritional needs of newborns found that babies have increased energy and nutrient needs compared to other age groups. Deficiencies in essential nutrients can lead to various health issues, such as a heightened risk of infection, impaired growth, and delayed cognitive development.
The study also emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding during the first six months. It provides essential nutrients, improves immune function, and reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes later in life. Other studies also highlight the numerous benefits of breastfeeding. They suggest that infants have higher IQ and mental development levels if their mother breastfeeds them, compared to babies who feed through a bottle.
However, women are advised against breastfeeding when on medication or diagnosed with HIV, hepatitis, herpes, or any other illnesses.
Umbilical cord care
Proper umbilical cord care is essential for the health and well-being of your newborn. The umbilical stump is prone to infection because it is a point of entry for bacteria, so it is crucial to administer proper care. If you treat it correctly, the stump can heal quickly and fall off after a few weeks. Your newborn will be more comfortable without the umbilical stump’s irritation and less likely to kick up a fuss. For proper care, you should;
- Keep the stump clean and dry
- Keep your baby’s diaper below the stump to prevent irritation
- Avoid submerging the baby in water until the stump falls off
- Avoid dressing the baby in tight clothing that can rub against the umbilical stump
Stay vigilant for signs such as redness, swelling, foul-smelling discharge, or a fever. If you notice any of these complications, contact your doctor immediately. Providing umbilical cord care may seem challenging initially, but following these steps should ensure your newborn feels as little discomfort as possible.
Newborns have weaker immune systems and are more vulnerable to infections and illnesses, as mentioned earlier. Hence, sanitization is crucial to prevent the spread of germs and keep your newborn healthy. To ensure your child’s well-being, sanitize yourselves and the environment. Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your baby or any of their belongings. You can ask your family members to do the same.
Always disinfect surfaces your baby comes into contact with, such as changing tables, cribs, and toys. You should wash your baby’s clothes and bedding regularly with a gentle, baby-safe detergent. Lastly, sterilize bottles and pacifiers to remove harmful bacteria.
Bonding with your newborn baby is essential for their overall development and well-being. It creates a foundation for a healthy parent-child relationship and helps the baby feel secure and loved. Touch is a crucial aspect of bonding, and there are numerous benefits of skin-to-skin contact and other forms of touch for both the baby and the parent.
Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth can help regulate the baby’s body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. It can also reduce stress levels in the mother and baby by promoting bonding. Skin-to-skin contact is so vital that the WHO advises mothers to hold their babies in case of a premature delivery to help soothe them. This method of touch is known as kangaroo mother care.
Newborns need special attention and care to ensure their health and safety. You can help your newborn baby grow healthy and strong with proper care. It is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure their health, and as a parent, you must give your baby the best start. Your child relies on you to maintain their health, so do your best to ensure they develop properly.