Being a mother doesn’t come with a manual for anyone to follow. Sometimes most moms go with their gut feeling. New moms often find themselves facing many obstacles, which could lead to anxiety and, to an extent, the postpartum depression. Primarily, this challenging obstacles of caring for an infant is could be due to the communication barrier between a mother and their newborn.
Usually, moms could easily know how a baby is doing when they are still in the womb. However, when the baby is born, they get confused since infants don’t know how to express themselves verbally. Instead, they cry, squeal, or coo, during the first few months.
Essential Recommendations For Infant Care
Caring for a newborn is a daunting experience. There are a lot of challenges one could face. They might be in terms of baby health issues, finances, losing sleep, breastfeeding, etcetera. However, you don’t need to face this alone. It would be wise to find an experienced caregiver to help you take care of the child. If you consider this, ensure proper cleanliness when handling the baby. For instance, nannies can change into a fresh set of women’s scrub pants and tops once they come in. This tip, along with sanitization, will prevent the spread of germs to the baby.
If you have no help, below are a few recommendations to follow to ease the process.
Breastfeeding should be started as fast as possible after delivery. It’s a well-known fact mother’s milk has powerful immune-boosting nutrients. Yes, it might be challenging due to the unpredictable feeding patterns, and you may get exhausted. However, it can present a chance for you to bond with the child.
However, there are some things to note:
- Stick to breast milk whenever possible. If not, use recommended formula. Note that babies don’t necessarily have to take water or juices.
- Remember infants have unpredictable feeding patterns. Hence, you need always to be ready to breastfeed numerously during the day.
- Ensure the baby is deeply latched to ensure they get enough milk. This will also prevent you from getting damaged or sore nipples. Also, make sure that the child is positioned well, such that their belly is against yours before you start feeding them.
- You, as the mother, should take a lot of food and drinks. It’ll keep you strong and at the same time provide enough nutrients for your newborn.
2. Head To Toe Care
There are some recommendable steps to follow that can promote health and comfort for an infant. They include:
- Ensure that you wash the baby’s face with recommended baby soap to prevent redness and a blotchy face. However, keep in mind that baby acne is a common but harmless condition.
- Make sure that you wash the child’s scalp with mild baby shampoo if the newborn develops scales on the scalp. The condition is called cradle cap. Usually, it disappears after the first few months. Use a soft toothbrush or hairbrush to remove them when washing.
- Some babies develop a yellowish discharge from the eyes due to a blocked tear duct. It’ll also disappear after a while. Wash the baby using mild-warm water and a soft cloth in the area where the discharge is coming from.
- Despite newborns having soft nails, ensure they are well clipped to prevent the baby from scratching themselves.
- If your infant has eczema or skin irritation usually identified by being red and itchy, minimize their baths to a maximum of 10 minutes. Also, use hypoallergic creams immediately after the bath. Additionally, use fragrance-free soaps and lukewarm water when washing them.
- Confirm that you rinse the infant’s bottom with lukewarm water after every diaper change. Dry them with a soft towel, then apply petroleum jelly.
- When cleaning the umbilical cord, use a cotton cloth. Make sure that it’s clean and dry until it heals completely. Also, avoid covering the navel when changing the diaper.
- Newborns have bowed legs which is very normal. They will straighten up from 6-18 weeks. Additionally, they have their toes over each other which is also expected. Don’t stress over it.
- When infants poop, you may get a dark green or black substance. It’s known as meconium. After a few weeks of breastfeeding, you will get a yellowish or greenish substance, sometimes even having seed-like particles. It’s perfectly normal. If it’s diarrhea, consider medical consultation.
Sometimes it’s better to let your newborn cry. It might sound harsh, but it’s a beneficial tactic when handling newborns. You’ll find that it’ll be advantageous to the infant in the long run. Crying helps the baby teach themselves how to calm down. If you aren’t sure why the baby is crying, here are a few things to look out for:
- Confirm that the kid’s diaper isn’t soiled or pinching them.
- Use your hands to verify that they aren’t too hot or cold
- Infants love motion. Therefore, move around swinging them or take them for a walk with a stroller to calm them down.
- It might signify that they are just hungry; feed them.
4. Baby Products
Infants are sensitive to handle. When getting baby products, make sure your pediatrician approves them. It’s because some may have adverse effects on your infant. The best products should be those that are gentle to your child’s body. Again, ensure that they are not allergens to the baby.
Newborns can sleep for more than 16 hours each day. They can also sometimes nap for 2-4 hours then wake up. Since babies don’t have a standard sleeping pattern, you need to make sure they prolong their time during the day. You can do this by playing with them so that they can sleep more during the night. In addition, ensure consistent sleeping schedules to help the child know when it’s time to sleep. You can also have sleeping rituals like lullabies, rocking the baby, or reading them a book to help them sleep.
Again, new moms are advised not to sleep with the baby. It’ll reduce the risk of suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome. Resting near the newborn is an excellent way to boost the immune system of the baby. Furthermore, it helps regulate the heartbeat and makes it easy to breastfeed. Once the child is asleep, you can now move them to a baby cot nearby.
6. Baby Fever
Children tend to have a fever all the time. Above 100° F may signify a serious problem and needs you to get a doctor. Do not give your baby aspirin or self-medicate without asking for a pediatrician’s advice.
No matter how much anxiety you get while handling a newborn, you will get the hang of it in time. It’s an exciting journey with obstacles, but you will be much ahead of the game by following the tips discussed above. Information on baby care products, head-to-toe-care, sleeping advice, and breastfeeding are available in this article. You’ll find beneficial advice for crying infants and baby fever.
In case you’re experiencing more challenges than those addressed here, consider further research. You can also consult a pediatrician or other helpful persons for more advice.