How to Take Care of a Newborn— Part 2. Keeping Your Newborn Healthy

Part 2. Keeping Your Newborn Healthy ♥♥♥

1.Give your baby “tummy time” every day. ♥

Since your baby spends so much of its time on its back, it’s important to also give your baby time to stay on his tummy so that he develops both mentally and physically and strengthens his arms, head, and neck. Some doctors say babies should get 15-20 minutes of tummy time a day, while others say that you should just place your baby on his tummy for 5 minutes during different parts of the day as he develops.

  • You can start with tummy time as soon as a week after the baby is born, once the umbilical chord falls off.
  • To make tummy time fun, get level with your baby. Make eye contact, tickle your baby, and play around.
  • Tummy time is hard work, and some babies will be resistant to it. Don’t be surprised — or give in — if this happens.

2.Care for your newborn’s umbilical cord stump.♥

Your baby’s umbilical cord stump should fall off within the first two weeks of its life. It will change in color from a yellowish green to brown and black as it dries and falls off on its own. It’s important to care for it properly before it falls off to avoid infection. Here’s what you should do:[4]

  • Keep it clean. Clean it with plain water and dry it with a clean and absorbent cloth. Make sure to wash your hands before you handle it. Stick to giving your baby sponge baths until it falls off.
  • Keep it dry. Expose it to air so the base dries out, keeping the front of your baby’s diaper folded down so it is uncovered.
  • Resist the urge to pull it off. Let the stump fall off at its own pace.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of infection. It’s natural to see a bit of dried blood or a little bit of crust near the stump; however, you should see a doctor immediately if the stump produces a smelly discharge or yellowish pus, continues to bleed, or is swollen and red.

3.Learn to soothe a crying newborn.♥

If your baby is upset, it’s not always easy to find the reason right away, through there are a few tricks you can try. Check for a wet diaper. Try feeding them. If that doesn’t work, try adding a layer of clothing if it’s cold out or removing a layer if it’s hot. Sometimes, your baby just wants to be held, or is experiencing too much stimulation. As you get to know your newborn, you’ll become better at finding what’s wrong.[5]

  • Your baby also may just need to be burped.
  • Rocking them gently and singing or humming a lullaby to them will help. Give them a pacifier if that doesn’t work. They might just be tired so lay them down. Sometimes, babies just cry and you have to let them until they fall asleep.

4.Interact with your newborn. ♥

You can’t play with the child just yet, but they do get bored like we do. Try taking them for a walk to the park once a day, talking to them, putting pictures in the room where they spend most of their time, listening to music, or taking them in the car. Remember that your baby is just a baby and is not ready for rough play; do not roughhouse or shake your baby and be as gentle as possible instead.

  • In the beginning, the most important thing you can do is to bond with your baby. This means you should stroke your baby, cradle your baby, give the baby some skin-to-skin contact, or even consider giving your baby an infant massage.
  • Babies love vocal sounds, and it’s never too early to start talking, babbling, singing, or cooing with your baby. Play some music for the baby while you’re bonding, or play with toys that make noise, such as rattles or mobiles.
  • Some babies are more sensitive to touch and light than others, so if your baby doesn’t seem to be responding well to your attempts at bonding, then you can take it easier with the noise and lights until your baby gets used to it.

5.Take your newborn to the doctor regularly. ♥

Your baby will pay frequent visits to the doctor during its first year, for scheduled check-ups and shots. Many first newborn visits occur just 1-3 days after you and your baby are discharged from the hospital. After that, each doctor’s program will vary slightly, but you should generally take your newborn to the doctor at least two weeks to a month after birth, after the second month, and then every other month or so. [6] It’s important to schedule regular visits with your baby to make sure that your baby is growing normally and receiving the necessary care.[7]

  • It’s also important to pay a visit to your doctor in case you notice anything abnormal; even if you’re not sure that what is happening is abnormal, you should always call the doctor’s office to check.
  • Some symptoms you should look out for include:
    • Dehydration: less than three wet diapers per day, excessive sleepiness, dry mouth
    • Bowel movement problems: no movement during the first two days, white mucus in stool, flecks or streaks of red in the stool, overly high or low temperature
    • Respiratory problems: grunting, flaring of nostrils, fast or noisy breathing, chest retractions
    • Umbilical cord stump problems: pus, odor, or bleeding from stump
    • Jaundice: yellow color in the chest, body, or eyes
    • Prolonged crying: crying for over thirty minutes
    • Other illness: persistent coughing, diarrhea, paleness, forceful vomiting for more than two consecutive feedings, fewer feedings than 6 per day

6.Prepare to take your baby on car rides. ♥

You’ll need to be prepared to take your baby on car rides before the baby is born since you’ll need a way to get the baby home from the hospital. You’ll need to get a car seat that is appropriate for newborns and to make sure that it is secure and safe for your baby. Though you may not need to spend a lot of time in the car with your newborn, some mothers find that taking the baby for a ride can actually help put him or her to sleep.

  • You should also get an infant seat for your baby. These seats are there to help your young baby sit up, not to help your baby be secured in a car. In this kind of seat, the base should have nonskid surfacing and should be wider than the seat, and it should have a secure locking mechanism, along with washable fabric. Never place your baby in the seat on an elevated surface that the baby can fall from.
  • As for child safety seats, make sure the seat meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standard 213 and that it actually fits your child. Infants and toddles should sit in a real-facing seat until they are at least 2 years old.

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