Caring for a small infant can be very demanding and taxing on a newbie mum. This is primarily the case in first time mothers who are overwhelmed with their symptoms and tend to get alarmed at the first sign of discomfort in the baby. However, with these basic tips in mind you too can adeptly handle your new bundle of joy and enjoy mommy hood.
In the initial few days when the infant is too small, you will need all the help you can. Enlist the support of family members in caring for the new baby. Allow them to clothe, feed and change the baby’s diapers. This will give you the rest you so badly need. Mothers can be quite exhausted after childbirth and delivery and need all the energy in the world to be able to bond with their babies.
Infant Baby Care Tips
Regular And Timely Breastfeeding
Regular and timely breastfeeding is needed for new borns. New infants are hungry babies and you need to get them initiated to the process of breastfeeding right away. The first 2 days after delivery are critical as the child suckles on ‘colostrum’, the yellowish liquid that is loaded in immunity building nutrients.
Establish a regular schedule of feeding the baby every 2-3 hours. Let the baby suckle for a minimum of 10 minutes from both breasts. This ensures that the baby gets the precious hind milk that is rich in fats and calories. This is the only way your baby will get quality nutrition the first 6 months.
Please make it a point to exclusively breast-feed the child for the first 6 months. Recent research has clearly stated that breast milk is wholesome, rich in nutrients and is more than adequate for babies until they are 6 months old. Mother’s milk is also rich in antibodies and gives the baby protection against a host of diseases.
Swaddle the Baby
It is very important to swaddle a new infant when it is born. Swaddling is the process of wrapping the infant securely in a warm blanket. Swaddling helps to make the infant feel secure by mimicking his/her uterine environment. It also promotes better sleep for the baby. Depending on the weather, do not over clothe or under clothe the baby. The baby should not be too cold or too hot.
Bathing the Baby
In the initial one week, you are not required to bathe the baby. A gentle wipe with a warm, wet cloth will suffice. Warm sponging also works very well for small infants. Ideally, you should wait for the umbilical cord to heal before bathing the baby. This will happen 10-12 days after delivery. If bathing is necessary, ensure that no water goes into the baby’s naval region. This is done to prevent an infection.
Burping the Infant
This is one of the most important requirements with new infants. New infants have weak digestive systems, which causes their tummies to bloat and become full with even a small amount of milk.
By burping the baby you will prevent the formation of gas in the baby’s stomach and also prevent colic, which is very common in young babies. Burp the baby by putting him/her on your shoulder and gently patting and rubbing his/her back.
Getting the baby to sleep at night is one of the most arduous journeys for most parents. Young babies and infants cannot differentiate between night and day and keep most parents awake at night. The first thing to do is to make the baby understand the difference between night and day.
Keep the baby in a bright and well-lit room during the day and surround him/her with noises and sounds. This he/she will eventually start associating with daytime activity. At night give the baby, one large feed and dim the lights in the room. The room should also be quiet with minimal disturbance.
The process is long and often takes about 3 months to accomplish. Generally, after the first 3 months, most babies are sleeping well at night. Relentless crying could be a sign of colic or hunger and should be dealt with immediately.
Soothe, Comfort and Love the Baby
Even young babies respond well to their mothers through a process called as bonding. Make sure you are there to soothe and comfort the baby especially if he/she is sick, cold or uncomfortable. This helps to establish a close bond with the mother. Infants who are attached to their mothers thrive better.
Take the Baby For Check Ups
It is equally important to take the baby for regular checkups. These are also called as well baby check ups. These check ups are done to monitor the baby’s height and weight and see if he/she is growing optimally. Generally, the baby should be taken once every month for a check up.
Update yourself well with the kid’s vaccination schedule and make sure your baby is vaccinated on time. These vaccinations will prevent a host of deadly diseases.
Dealing with Common Skin Problems
Some new borns have extra sensitive skin and may break out into a rash. This generally happens after using a particular shampoo or soap. In such cases, show the rash to a doctor who will try to heal it with an ointment. Some babies also develop nappy rash. In such cases, it is best to use cloth nappies.
A massage for a new infant is very important. Massage promotes blood circulation, limb mobility and strengthens the infant’s joints. Use pure coconut or olive oil to massage the infant’s limbs and torso. It is best that you massage the baby yourself. By massaging the baby with your own hands, you are establishing a very close bond between yourself and the child.
Dealing with Infections and Fevers
Young infants are still adjusting to their new environments and may fall sick in the process. Fevers, stomach problems and diarrhea are very common. To prevent diarrhea, do not give the infant any top feed before the child turns 6 months. Fevers and colds are best treated by visiting your paediatrician’s office.