Bringing home a newborn means parent experience a whole range of emotions - from happiness, joy, fulfilment to exhaustion and uncertainty about decoding the baby’s needs.  

India celebrates Newborn Care Week every year from November 15 to 21 to educate first-time parents on how to care for the infants. New parents face a lot of questions, confusions, challenges in dealing with their little one even as their lives change forever.

We bring you top 5 concerns faced by new parents and the ways to dispel those worries.

How & When Should I Breastfeed?

It is quite normal for the new mothers to struggle with breastfeeding and understand what lactation all about is. Doctors recommend nursing the baby within first one hour of the birth and continue as often as possible. The milk produced in the first few days is known as colostrum, aiding in excretion of excess bilirubin and acts as a laxative. The mature milk that comes a few days later is also loaded with several growth factors and immunologic substances that help the infant in defending various infections, besides promoting retinal and neural development.

Do not stress if you are not able to breastfeed within an hour of delivery, give yourself some time and a chance for the baby to master latching. Take help of elders in the family or lactation experts.

Can My Baby Be Swaddled?

Wrapping the newborn in a clean, thin blanket or sheet is an old practice as it makes the baby safe and secure. Doctors believe that swaddling gives security like that of staying in the womb and help in soothing the infant from excessive crying.

However, learn the right ways to swaddle the newborn. Wrapping up the newborn tightly in a cloth may affect mobility and make sure to leave plenty of place for the baby’s legs and hands to move freely. Make sure the temperature is just right – not too hot or too cold for the baby in the thin blanket.

How To Care For The Umbilical Stump?

Soon after the baby is born, doctors will clamp and cut the umbilical cord. The baby’s umbilical stump will drop anytime between one week to two weeks and it is important to keep it clean and free from infection. The stump will dry and shrivel and drops on its own, but don’t pull it.

Always wash hands before changing nappy and give a warm water shower. Never use any antiseptics on the stump.

When To Bathe The Newborn?

In India, doctors or midwives give the newborn a quick warm water bath, soon after the birth. If the baby has creamy white texture on the body called Vernix, leave it without worrying as it serves as a natural moisturizer protecting baby from contracting infections.

However, most babies enjoy bathing from day one. Talk to the paediatrician about baby oils, baby creams and soaps that would suit your baby. Traditionally, pure sesame oil with moong dal powder is used to massage and exfoliate babies in India.

Can Visitors Hold Baby?

The arrival of a newborn baby excites both family and friends. You may have a lot of visitors coming home to see the baby. Ask your visitors to wash their hands before handling the infant. However, make sure visitors don’t cough or sneeze when they are around the newborn. Ask smokers politely to stay away from the child as it can harm their breathing pattern. Do not let anybody cuddle the child for more than 2 minutes.