This week one of my best friends had his first baby and as many new parents he had no idea how to handle his baby. Of course both he and his wife had read a lot during the pregnancy period about all the details but when the real baby is there, all the theoretical aspects would seem only good for reading, not for application.
Here are some brief tips that I have told them about and I would like to tell every new mother and father:
- Make sure your baby has been checked thoroughly at the hospital after delivery and before being discharged. Check should include his colour, heart, breathing and nervous reflexes. Also his measurements including body weight, length and head circumference should be recorded. Make sure before you leave the hospital that these points have been fulfilled and ask the attending pediatrician about any further points that are unclear.
- Some few medications will be prescribed before discharge, such as as eye drops, alcohol for the umbilicus, nasal drops for cleaning, simple medicine for colic as well as cream for protection against diaper rash.
- Breast Feeding the newborn should be done in the first month on demand basis, which means that it should not be related to a regular schedule. Starting from the second month the mother can start making the feeds with an interval of 2-4 hours in between.
- Burping the baby is a very important issue that can help you to avoid lots of colics with the baby as well as improving the quality of life of the whole family, as there won’t be a crying baby all the day. It is very important to remember that burping can be done as frequent as 4 times per feed which means that the feed can be interrupted for the sake of making the burping easier.
- The best position to put the baby in bed to sleep is on the side, preferably on the right side. Avoid totally putting the baby on his belly to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) except if you are attending the baby at that moment. Also putting the baby on his back is not preferred as aspiration can easily happen with this position.
- Bathing the baby is a very important subject that parents are afraid to do. It can be done twice in the first week then on daily basis after that. Just try to avoid sudden changes of temperature for the baby from warm to cold weather. Make sure that the temperature of the water is preset before your baby gets into the water to avoid burns or cold shocks to the baby.
- Proper dressing of the baby is important for the quality of life and enjoyment of the baby. An overdressed baby will suffer from many problems especially overheating and skin rash. Also under-dressed baby will suffer from cold extremities and hypothermia.
- Minimize as much as possible giving any medications to your baby except under your pediatrician’s advice.
…THESE WERE A FEW POINTS I DISCUSSED WITH MY DEAR FRIEND