The Newborn Care Week is observed every year in the month of November from 15 to 21 which chiefly aims at creating awareness among people about the importance of newborn care for eradicating neonatal deaths and increase survival rate.
Newborn care is of utmost importance as the first 28 days of your baby’s life, also known as the neonatal period is extremely crucial for the child and ultimately lays the foundation for lifelong health and development. Extreme care should be taken during this period as it carries the maximum risk of death.
According to current statistics, every year within the first 28 days of newborn life, approximately 2.6 million babies die and most of the deaths happen in the first week. The main objective of the newborn care week is to diminish the mortality rate to 20 or less per 1000 live births by 2035. And, this can only be achieved with special efforts and by effectively following certain health measures during the time of birth and the first week after birth.
From the time you saw those two little lines on the pregnancy tester, we know both of you have been eagerly waiting to meet your little bundle of joy. But once you have your little one in your arms, you are overwhelmed with a burst of emotions as to how you are going to feed your baby, or how should you put him or her to bed without hurting or what to do if your baby is constantly crying.
Well, we get you, adjusting to this new lifestyle, of taking care of the baby and balancing household chores isn’t cake walk. And much to the relief of new parents, the market right now is flooded with new and improved baby care products to choose from, so as to ensure proper nourishment for your precious little one and hassle-free parenting for new parents.
But, if you are still worried being a first-time parent, we got your back. We have curated a list of baby care tips to help you take proper care of your little one.
Baby Care Tips For Newbie Parents
Although neonates may seem extremely delicate and fragile, but don’t be afraid to touch or hold your little one. Holding your baby properly is pivotal for creating that special bond between the mother and the baby but do ensure that you are supporting your baby’s head and neck properly with one hand while holding her in your arms. This is because the newborn’s neck muscles aren’t strong enough to hold up the head on its own during the first few months.
Comforting your baby when he or she cries is extremely necessary. Studies suggest that on average, a baby normally cries for nearly 1-2 hours a day during the initial 3 to 4 months. Although sometimes it’s normal, do make sure that your baby isn't crying for some other reason. And for this, you need to check, whether your baby is hungry, or may need a diaper change, or feeling sleepy, or getting stimulated by some light or noise or crying due to some rashes. If your baby cries for a longer duration without any possible reason, do consult a doctor.
Bathing a newborn although enjoyable, is quite a delicate task, which most new parents face in the first few days. For the first few weeks, a soft cotton cloth dipped in lukewarm water is enough to bathe and clean your baby. But once the umbilical cord dries off, you can bathe your baby 2-3 times a week but make sure you have all the bathing essentials ready including infant bathtub, a washcloth, soft towel, mild baby soap or body wash, baby lotion or cream, new diapers, and fresh baby clothes before undressing your baby. Use a washcloth dipped in mild baby body wash and gently clean the baby’s genitals, scalp, neck, face, and arms to remove any dried mucous. But do remember while purchasing baby skincare essentials, get the ones that are hypoallergenic and are approved by your pediatrician.
Well, as important as it is to feed your newborn every 2-3 hours, it is equally essential to burp them every time you feed. While feeding, babies usually swallow air, which ultimately leads to gas and colic in their tummies. When you burp your newborn, you help expel this excess air, thus promoting better digestion and averting spit-ups and stomach colic. To burp your little one, gently hold the baby against your chest with one hand. While your baby’s chin is resting on your shoulder, gently pat or stroke his/her back with your other hand until your baby makes a soft burp.
Well, in most Indian households, massaging the baby with oil is pivotal from day 10 or 11 to make the baby’s skin soft and supple, calm the body, and strengthen the bones. This practice also improves a baby’s sleeping pattern, promotes digestion, enhances blood circulation and makes the baby less irritable. Although, there is no dearth of videos showing how to massage a newborn, getting a well-trained person or someone with baby massaging knowledge is preferable for the first month to learn the proper way to massage your little one. And for this purpose, you can make use of natural oils like castor oil, sesame oil, mustard oil, almond oil or olive oil. But make sure you check which oil suits your baby’s skin most and try giving the oil massage right before the bathing time.