• 07 Oct - 13 Oct, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly

Every parent can use some guidance when caring for a newborn. Here's what you need to know about taking care of your newborn baby, covering everything from sleeping and feeding to crying and diaper changes.

While family and friends may be eager to visit your new addition, consider delaying visits initially. This allows you to spend precious alone time together as a new family and focus on bonding.

While those adorable outfits are tempting, remember that newborns can't regulate their body temperature effectively until they're about 6 months old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies usually need one more layer of clothing than adults to stay comfortable.

Newborn Feeding
Regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, there are some important things to keep in mind. Here are tips for both breastfeeding and formula feeding during the early weeks:

• Don't delay:
If possible, start nursing within an hour of delivery when your baby is most alert. This promotes bonding and helps your baby adjust to the world.

• Nurse on demand: Newborns may want to feed every 1 to 3 hours in their first few days, so feed your baby whenever they show hunger cues.

• Create a comfortable nursing environment: A cozy chair, supportive pillows, a footstool, and easy access to water and snacks can enhance your breastfeeding experience.

• Maintain proper nutrition: While breastfeeding, you'll need an extra 300–400 calories per day. Also, stay well-hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.

Expressing Breast Milk:
• In some situations, you may need to express breast milk, especially if your baby has trouble latching or if you're separated due to complications.

• Consider using a spoon or syringe to feed your newborn expressed colostrum in the early days to prevent nipple confusion if you plan to nurse directly later on.

Your Newborn's Body
Newborns have unique characteristics that require special care. Here's how to care for different parts of your baby's body:

• Face and Neck: Gently wash your baby's face and neck daily with lukewarm water or mild baby soap, using a soft washcloth.

• Scalp: Wash your baby's hair with gentle baby shampoo no more than three times a week. Brush their scalp daily using a baby hairbrush or soft toothbrush if they develop cradle cap, which typically goes away in the first few months.

• Nails: Trim your baby's nails to prevent them from scratching their sensitive skin. Use baby nail clippers or blunt-nosed scissors. It's easier after a bath when nails are softer or when they're asleep and relaxed.

• Umbilical Cord: Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry. It will naturally fall off in a few weeks, and any odor associated with it will disappear. Avoid covering the cord area with a diaper and stick to sponge baths until it detaches.

• Genitals: Gently clean your baby's genital area with warm water on a daily basis.

By following these guidelines and seeking advice from healthcare professionals, you can ensure that your newborn receives the care and attention they need during their early days of life.