With every baby, a mother is born! It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time mom or an experienced mother, each pregnancy and childbirth is unique in itself. And so is the way your little baby needs to be taken care of. While each baby’s need is different, here are a few ground rules that every mother should follow for a newborn (and a few she needs to avoid):
1. Back Is The Best
The wisdom to put the baby to sleep on his/her back has been handed down through generations of mothers, and rightly so. It is the safest position to rule out the danger of your baby rolling over or suffocating himself/herself in the soft pillows or beddings, and also lessens the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So, stick to this rule!
2. Feed On Demand
Babies have tiny stomachs that empty as easily as they fill, which is why babies often wake up crying for a feed. Do not assume this to be only due to a wet diaper or schedule feed time on a 4-hourly basis. When your baby cries for a feed, it means your baby is indeed hungry. Feed immediately!
3. Give Some Tummy Time
While sleeping on the back is best, some tummy time when the baby is awake also does wonders. Put your baby on his/her tummy on a flat surface for a few minutes once in a while. This will help straighten out and strengthen your baby’s back and neck muscles.
4. Play Soft Music
Babies learn to appreciate music even in the womb. Music has a soothing effect on them. So, next time your baby is in one of his/her cranky moods, try playing some soft music as you are cradling them. And, that should be enough to calm him/her down.
5. Fix Some Play Time
Say ‘Peek-A-Boo’ and it’s sure to bring a smile to your little one’s face. Babies just love this and other such hide-and-seek games. These games also help in some mother-baby bonding. So, set some time aside from your busy schedule for such playful bonding.
6. Clean Baby’s Gums
Newborns do not have teeth, but this doesn’t mean their mouths don’t need cleaning. Until the time your baby learns to rinse the mouth, you can start on some cleaning yourself. Dip a soft, clean cloth in some warm water and gently clean the mouth area off the milk particles to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
1. Ignore That Cord
The umbilical cord is cut soon after childbirth and takes time to shrink and fall off. However, during this time, it remains sensitive to infections and injuries. This is why it is advisable to not wet this area with water enabling it to dry faster. Stick to sponge baths as much as possible and keep the area clean.
2. Delay Diaper Changes
Some mothers keep diaper changes on hold so they can finish a task at hand. But the longer your baby stays in a soiled diaper, higher the chances of a diaper rash. So, drop everything that you are doing and change that smelly diaper ASAP!
3. Use Fluffy Bedding
Don’t get carried away by those pretty baby pictures in cute blankets and pillows. Remember, such photos are taken under supervision. This does not mean that you should get your baby’s bed filled with such stuff. On the contrary, steer clear of these as they come with a huge risk of suffocation and may prove to be fatal at times.
4. Leave Unsupervised Around Pets
Your pets might love you, but they too are not immune to jealousy. Be around your baby and pets, especially dogs, until they get used to each other and develop a bond. And if it’s a cat, it’s a bad idea to leave your baby alone until your baby is big enough for the cat’s height.
5. Take Babies To Crowded Places
Since your newborn’s immunity is low, avoid going to crowded or enclosed spaces. Taking your baby to such places may result in an exposure to innumerable bacteria and viruses in the air that may result in infections and diseases. Thus, crowded places are a complete no-no!
While wrapping and swaddling are good for the baby, make sure you don’t over-do it. Mothers end up overdressing their little ones, especially during winters. However, since a newborn’s body is yet to develop heat regulation, the baby might get overheated and this could lead to fever, dehydration, and even vomiting.
We are sure some of these dos and don’ts might come as an eye-opener for you. So, follow these thumb rules and stay alert around your baby. And, stay safe!