Welcome to your new life as parents! This life has an abundant supply of cute giggles and dirty diapers. You’ll spend the nights perfecting your moves (while rocking the baby to sleep), and start feeling like a living milk machine. But this is an all-worth-it experience you will cherish for a lifetime. And we are here to help make the ride smooth.
Because besides all the cuddles and fun, you have an essential responsibility ahead of you: taking care of your newborn’s health. You’ll feel worried at the slightest sign of a fever or any other kind of discomfort. Initially, you’ll need clarification about where to start and what to do.
But it’s all part of being a parent. Your instincts are your best ally. Go with them, and you won’t need to worry too much.
1. Recognizing Signs Of Illnesses
Newborns are like tiny sponges that absorb the world around them. And that includes unwanted illnesses and germs. So, it’s important to know the signs that something is wrong.
The most common sign of a newborn being ill is fever. Call the doctor immediately if your baby has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Other signs to watch out for include changes in feeding habits, excessive sleepiness, vomiting, and diarrhea. These changes can signal a serious health problem.
Besides bacterial and viral infections, birth injuries are also a cause of concern. Birth injuries like birth asphyxia or shoulder dystocia can cause long-term physical disabilities. In such cases, it’s best to seek medical assistance immediately. If your child has suffered from medical negligence, you can get child birth injury legal help from a personal injury lawyer.
2. Hygiene Is Key
Of course, prevention is better than cure, and hygiene plays a vital role in keeping your baby safe. Ensure you and your partner wash your hands with soap before handling the baby. You can also use a sanitizer if it’s more convenient.
Also, since your child is still building immunity, we recommend avoiding taking them out in public places. These are breeding grounds for germs and can cause severe problems for your baby.
If you welcome visitors, set some ground rules, like not kissing the baby. Newborns are prone to whooping cough. So, you must also ensure everyone is vaccinated.
Of course, your baby’s environment matters too. It includes everything, from your bedsheet and clothes to the crib and toys. Ensure everything is clean, and regularly check for dirt, dust, or mold.
3. Keep Track Of Immunization
Most pediatricians recommend immunization for newborns. It helps protect them against life-threatening diseases like measles, polio, and diphtheria. Make sure you get your baby vaccinated as per schedule. You’ll get a vaccination card from your doctor, which will have the details of all the vaccinations along with the time and schedule. The last shot of the series is usually given when the baby turns four years old.
Many apps are available if you’re wondering how to keep track of your baby’s immunization records. These will help you store all the information in one place and remind you when it’s time for their next shot. Pick these tricks. As a parent, you’ll need them.
4. Feed Correctly & Regularly
Babies have small stomachs. Ideally, a newborn will feed every two-three hours. It may increase to four hours once they hit the one-month mark.
Breast milk is the best food for your baby. It contains all the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for their development. Plus, it transfers antibodies from the mother that helps protect the baby from bacterial and viral infections.
Frequent feeding will also improve your milk supply and your child’s sucking and swallowing abilities. If you still have a low flow, you can make dietary adjustments. Fennel, oats, and salmon are some of the best food items that increase milk supply in lactating moms.
Experts recommend at least six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
While feeding, your position and posture matter too. Ensure your baby is upright, which will help them swallow the milk more easily. Also, never skip a feed, as this will disrupt your baby’s sleeping cycle.
5. Encouraging Physical Activity
It’s also important to encourage physical activity in your newborn. Move their hands and legs in circular motions 10-15 times daily. It will help strengthen their muscles and improve their brain, eyes, and limb coordination.
You can also use a crib mobile or tie balloons to their bed. The bright colors and movement will help stimulate your baby’s vision.
Also, lay them on a flat surface now and then and let them explore their surroundings. It gives them a sense of control and teaches them new concepts like movement, cause-effect, and sound.
However, it’s crucial to constantly monitor them as they tend to put everything in their mouth.
6. Establishing A Healthy Sleeping Routine
Newborns need a lot of sleep. It helps them develop and grow. Good sleep also boosts their cognitive abilities and prevents them from becoming cranky or irritable.
Make sure their sleeping environment is comfortable as well. Keep the noise and light levels low, as they can easily startle your baby. You must also keep the humidity and temperature levels normal in the room.
Swaddle them in an appropriate blanket. The most suitable materials are lightweight cotton or muslin. Avoid using polyester or synthetic fabrics. These can make your baby sweat and disrupt their sleep.
Finally, establish a bedtime routine. Ensure you give your baby a warm bath and feed them right before sleep. Massaging with warm oil is also a great way to soothe them and promote better sleep.
Parenthood is challenging, and the first few months are often overwhelming for most parents. But it’s manageable. You can ensure your baby’s health and well-being with the right information and resources.
These are some tips for caring for your newborn’s health. Always consult a doctor before introducing radical changes and see what works best for your baby.
Remember, every child is different, so their needs can vary.
Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself some time to rest and take care of yourself too.