Caring for Your NewBorn Baby
You’re full of pride, wonder, and exhilaration mixed with exhaustion, on the birth of your baby.
Many first-born parents are terrified of the first month regarding care and hygiene and frankly, it’s okay. No one is born with these techniques, but you can learn them. Whether you are a mother expecting your first baby or just given birth, an expectant or new father you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about your new role. Finally, nine months and counting arrive. The baby will soon be here you. As a proud dad, you are so ready. To be the best supporting birth partner to mother and a doting father. Your delight at the prospect of having a new baby may be mixed with anxiety about whether you will be a good parent and able to cope with the prospect of bringing up a happy content baby. Don’t worry: while parenting is one of the most responsible and challenging of all jobs- (do not expect a thank you or pat yourself on the back just yet!) There will be opportunities for that because parenting is also one of the most rewarding of all the jobs.
- Your NewBorn Baby
Whatever you had expected- bigger, smaller, quieter- at a first glance, You may feel deeply attached straight away or the bonding takes a bit longer but for sure, You’ll almost be surprised at your baby’s appearance.. the oddly shaped head, wrinkled murky face but your baby will be an amazing delight to you both. I know grandparents may discern your baby’s personality at birth! But, as a first-time parent, after the initial outburst of crying, start building sensory experiences right from here on. Skin to skin contact helps to calm and give both chances to rest, helps keep both warm and get to know each other. When finally awake, your baby is alert and listening. Your baby recognizes familiar voices and can respond when spoken to, your baby is very responsive and can even know and may turn towards the area in the room with a different voice/unfamiliar noise. Frankly, know that Your baby is born wanting to talk and will ‘converse’ with you at every opportunity if you are close and holding your head about 20-25cm (8-10inches) from her face; at this distance, your baby is able to see your clearly(in black/white mainly and not in colors yet) but your baby will react to smiles in various ways- moving her mouth, nodding or jerking the whole body.
Your baby is more robust than you think and knowing this may help you feel at ease when you handle him.
The Key is, Children benefit from close physical contact. You will find that when you hold your baby close with a good eye to eye contact and talk soothingly, your baby begins instinctively to ‘mimic’ or simply looking and scanning your facial expressions.
Giving the First Bath… What you should Know
- Okay! Get the camera ready — like all the “firsts” to come, here comes the special event – Baby’s first bath. Yes, part of your daily routine will be to keep your baby clean. Know that, a young baby doesn’t need a bath too often because only the bottom, face and neck, and skin creases get dirty. You may find it simpler to continue to top and tail your baby using moistened cotton pads with cooled boiled water for your baby’s face, neck, and hands, for the first week or so allowing time for baby’s umbilical scar to fall off and be fully healed..Also, you may use this time to recover from the birth experience and get better at handling your baby before you are ready to bath him.
Experts agree that the timing for bathing a newborn is up to the parents. The key is to follow your instinct and your baby’s cues. In fact, every bath time can be a special time for bonding with your newborn. Cooing, singing, talking — your baby loves the sound of your voice and thrives on your soft touch.
- However, every baby is an individual and most babies will enjoy the bath, others will definitely let you know to find other ways to help him enjoy the water and there is nothing you can do about It!
Do note though, that not all babies like the transition, so if your baby gets fussy, go back to sponge baths/topping and tailing for a week or so, then try again.
Bathing your baby is a process — an adjustment for both your baby and you the parent.
Baby Bath: Getting Ready
- Pick a warm room with a flat surface, like a bathroom or kitchen counter, a changing table, or a bed. Cover the surface with a thick towel. Close any doors and windows to stop draughts because babies chill easily.
Using a baby bath sponge or washcloth, cleanse one area at a time. Start behind the ears, then move to the neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck.
While newborns don’t have much hair, washing the hair often helps prevent cradle caps from forming. To avoid getting eyes wet, tip the head back just a little. There’s no need to use body wash/shampoo for a newborn; just use water. From about six weeks, baby toiletries are fine. The act of washing hair removes any scales. Advisable to wash the hair toward the end of bath time so the baby doesn’t get cold.
Have a cuddly towel ready to wrap your baby up and cuddle afterward.
- You must cautiously dry without causing friction, paying special attention to the areas where the skin creases.
- Wash little girls from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away.
- If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone.
- If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed.
- Gently pat baby dry, wrap baby in a towel right away, covering baby’s head for warmth.
• Now it’s time for a fresh diaper.
• Apply the nappy ointment to protect against irritation. Experts do not recommend the use of talc powder.
Congratulations on a successful bath!
TIPS FOR TOPPING AND TAILING YOUR BABY
Cleaning the eyes, nose, and Ears
Gently wipe your baby’s face. Wash the eyes from the bridge of the nose outwards.
- Wipe from the inner part of the eye outwards using cooled boiled water. A fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye to avoid spreading any infection .
- Then clean outside and behind the ears. Do not poke around inside your baby’s nose and ears.; they are self-cleaning.
- If you see ear wax, please don’t try to scrape it out!
- Ear wax is a natural secretion from the canal of the outer ear and acts as an antiseptic, protects the eardrum from dust and grit.
- If you remove it, the ear will produce MORE wax!
If a concern, see your doctor.
- Cleaning Hands and Feet
Again, Clean with a fresh piece of cotton wool and then dry them with a towel.
Cutting your Newborn’s Nails
It is not advised to cut the baby’s nails before 20 or 30 days to avoid damaging the nail bed, the nails are very soft and fragile. If your baby’s nails are too long, you can use mittens to stop him or her from scratching himself. How ever, some babies are born with long nails and it’s important to cut them in case they scratch themselves. You can buy special baby nail clippers or small, round-ended safety scissors.
If you find the idea of cutting your baby’s nails too nerve-wracking, you could try filing them down gently with a fine emery board instead.
- During the first few days after your baby’s birth, the umbilical cord which was clamped after birth begins to dry, the stump shrivels and then drops off painless after about 7- 10days and some longer. The navel area may still remain moist and slightly oozing some fluids/pale blood, but not smelly. Allow the area to stay open to the air, fold underneath the nappy under the navel. Avoid covering the belly button with the diaper so it will not rub on the area. Try to keep the area as dry as possible.
- Some babies may develop a small swelling near the navel- called an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia is a painless lump in or near the navel (belly button).
- Umbilical hernias are very common in infants and young children, It may get bigger when laughing, coughing, crying or during bowel movements and then will shrink when the baby is relaxing or lying down. Again the baby is not in any discomfort. If the baby cries, it is not because the baby is suffering but just needs comforting!
- What causes the umbilical hernia?
The umbilical cord passes through an opening in the baby’s abdomen (tummy) during pregnancy. This opening should close shortly after birth, but in some cases, the muscles don’t seal completely.
This leaves a weak spot in the surrounding muscle wall (abdominal wall). Hence, an umbilical hernia can develop because a fatty tissue or a part of the intestine pokes through into the weak area near the navel. It is expected that umbilical hernia clears up within a year. If it gets bigger consult your doctor.