Your newborn child
It is known that newborns do differentiate between their parents and the rest of the people around them. As new parents, new skills will be tried, failed and learned. Knowing that, be patient with yourself and hold on to the love you have and the great responsibility you have decide to face to engage in your new parental roll that for sure will bring lots of joy, frustrations and emotions.
The first lesson to learn and a myth to break: real newborns may not look as pretty as in the ads you get to see: their head may look more like an egg shaped head, reddish wrinkled skin and body hair. This is normal and it will change soon!
The bones on your newborn head are not stuck together and thus the ability of passage through the vaginal canal. It is very important to protect the upper part until the bones grow together as your baby keeps growing.
How to take care of your baby?
- Diaper change: Have diapers, baby wipes or towels, talc, baby ointment or lotions in the diaper change area before bringing your baby. Use a clean safe surface to place your newborn and remove soiled diaper, use the items to wipe off and clean, remember to keep humidity away by keeping it as dry as possible. Ensure the umbilical cord is always outside the rims of the diaper, air is necessary for the cord to fall off and heal properly.
Keep the genitals very clean by using water and soap on penis; if circumcised then do not put baby on his stomach for 24 hours and push it to the base to clean as gentle as possible. You may use Vaseline to prevent the skin to glue to the diaper, which will be too painful. Remember your son’s penis had been brutally skinned removed and is in pain and red bare skinned, keep an eye on rotten odors, infections or if swollen. If not circumcised, water and soap is fine and do not remove the outer skin, only a pediatrician should do it.
- Nails: As you notice the white part from the tip of the nail, your baby can scratch the skin and gums; cut nails with baby scissors or clippers. You can keep baby’s hands in baby mittens that you can easily get in the infant’s department of your preferred store.
- Umbilical cord: Keep the area well dry and apply alcohol with a q-tip or cotton ball, very gently. It should fall within 5 to 10 days. After that keep it dry and use some alcohol to ensure no bacteria will enter the skin while properly healing.
- Bathing: It is not necessary to bath your baby every day. Use your common sense, if it is too cold your baby may catch a cold, keep face, neck, hands and genitals well clean. Towel bath are great for newborns while you become a skilled baby handler and you can find many baby bath devices that will make it easier and safer. It is very important to never leave your child unattended, before you start the bath, make sure you have all you need hand reachable before bringing your baby to the water. Use baby products, they are created thinking of the delicate skin and necessities of newborns and children.
- Sleep time: Use a crib, not your bed. It is best if you put on the back to sleep, you are greatly reducing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Use clean, soft sleeping clothing to avoid sheets that can become air blocking material. Sleep sacks are great comebacks!
- Absolutely no smoking around your
baby, keep room at a pleasant temperature and remember that baby’s temperature
is usually 2 degrees lower than those of the adults and thus they become colder
than we do. Socks are recommended to
keep feet warm.
How to know if your baby is hungry?
The basic signals are: moving the head side to side mouth open toward your voice; puts whole fist in mouth, sucking of tongue and gets fuzzy.
The late signals are: Open mouth and move head side to side very quickly and erratic, crying and shows discomfort by tensing facial muscles, such as the forehead.
Some parents will underfeed their child, we have seen this many times, it may cause the baby to fill with air and gas and your baby will be restless.
The only reasons why healthy baby cries are: hunger, soiled diaper or tired.