Care of Newborns
Parents may not familiar sometime with their new bornís special needs, especially for their first time child.
Routine Care for Newborns
Umbilical cord care
Wash the umbilical cord stump two or three times a with soap and water and dry thoroughly.Swab the stump in the morning and evening with a cotton ball. Consult the doctor, if you notice any signs of infection or discharge from the cord site.
Bathing and skin care
You can begin giving the newborn tub baths after umbilical cord stub falls off at about 2 weeks old. Until then, the babyís face needs to be washed every day with water and mild soap. Wash the hair with babyís shampoo twice a week.
When giving a tub bath, use warm but not-too-hot water and mild soap. There are many baby soaps available that are less irritating to the newborn skin than regular soap. Keep the bath short and wrap the baby promptly in warm towels to prevent shivering. It is not necessary to use any oils, powders, or creams on the babyís skin.
If your babby is circumcised, use a cotton ball to wash the penis every day. Apply petroleum jelly to the penis for the first week or until it is healed to prevent the diaper from sticking into the penis.
Watch for signs of infection such as increased redness or discharge from the area, with or without a fever. Consult the doctor immediately, if you suspect an infection or if you have any other concerns.
Care of the uncircumcised penis
Wash the babyís penis using mild soap during the normal bath routine. Do not try to retract the foreskin. The childís foreskin may not retract before age 4 or older.
Common Newborn Concerns
Newborns often develop small pimples on the face, neck, chest, or back. Simply wash the areas with soap and water. Do not put lotions or creams on the pimples since these may clog the pores. The acne will usually disappear by the time the baby is 6 to 8 weeks old.
High levels of female hormones in the motherís body before birth can cause babies to be born with swollen breasts. This is nothing to be concerned about and the swelling will subside. Be alert for any signs of infection in the area such as redness or increased warmth.
Gas and bloating can make an infant very uncomfortable. To decrease the babyís chance of developing gas:
warm formula slightly.
make sure the hole in the nipple is not too big or too small.
make sure nipple is full of milk so the baby does not suck in air.
A newbornís breathing can vary from short, quick breaths to long, deep ones. He or she may also make noises from the back of the throat which sound like snorting. All this is normal in the first few months of life.
The yellowing of a newbornís skin or eyes is not uncommon. Sometimes it does not appear until a few days after birth. If you notice that your baby appears jaundiced, consult the doctor. It may be necessary to measure the level of a substance in the babyís blood called bilirubin.
Babies frequently get hiccups, which are not harmful. Sometimes, a few sips of water will make them go away.
Jerks and twitches
Newborn babies often twitch or jerk suddenly when they are falling asleep and wake themselves up. Wrapping the baby tightly in a light blanket can help prevent this from happening.
Most newborn babies sleep a lot, however, there is no set amount of time your baby should sleep. Some sleep all day, some much less. You should wake the baby every 2 to 3 hours to feed until the infant reaches his or her birth weight.
Experts recommend that most infants be placed on their backs or sides to sleep until they are at least 6 months old. Babies that are premature, have upper airway diseases, or spit up a lot should not be placed on their backs.
Sneezing and coughing
It is normal for newborns to sneeze and cough. This helps clear their breathing passages.
Breastfed babies have frequent yellow stools that are loose and watery. They often appear to have a curd-like or seedy consistency. Bottlefed babies have stools which vary from yellow to green in color and have the consistency of toothpaste.
Infants have a strong urge to suck, especially in the first 3 to 4 months of their lives. Frequently, babies will appear restless and irritable shortly after feeding and appear to be hungry again. Offer a clean finger or pacifier to help satisfy the babyís sucking desire rather than feeding frequently.
A newborn baby should have at least five wet diapers in a 24-hour period. Urinating more often is not unusual, but if your baby has fewer than five wet diapers, consult the physician.
Newborn girls often have a vaginal discharge that appears as a spot of mucus or blood on the diaper. This is a result of the high level of female hormones in the motherís body before birth. The discharge disappears shortly after birth.