Taking care of a newborn is actually not too difficult or complicated, but for first-time mothers and fathers, taking care of children is still quite confusing and clumsy. Newborn babies are just exposed to the environment outside the mother’s body, so they will have to gradually adapt to breathing, feeding themselves and resisting the outside weather when it’s hot and cold. To protect the health and ensure the healthy development of the baby, proper newborn care is extremely important.
1. How to properly hold a newborn baby
When you hold your baby for the first time, it’s often a little awkward, but be gentle, after a few days, you will know what position your baby likes to be held the most. Each baby will like to be held in a separate position, some babies like to carry their shoulders, some babies like to be held on their backs…
Before picking up the baby, the mother needs to tell the baby that she will hold the baby. Look and talk to your baby lovingly, gently slipping your hands under her head, shoulders and bottom to gently pick her up. This helps the baby not to startle or cry because he is suddenly lifted from the bed. For new born babies, the safest and easiest position to hold a baby is for the baby to lie horizontally. The mother tries to keep the baby’s head and neck in a straight line, the baby’s belly pressed against the mother’s belly, the baby’s face turned to the mother’s chest.
2. How to properly breastfeed a newborn baby
Breastfeeding should be started as early as the first hour after birth. The first drops of colostrum are not really abundant but contain many nutrients, which are essential for the baby.
The stomach of a newborn is very small, can only hold 30-90ml of milk per feeding, and the baby will feed once every 2-3 hours. Depending on the case, the baby will breastfeed more or less. You also need to pay attention to the baby’s hunger cues. Some babies cry very loudly, others just suck their thumbs, smack their lips, turn their heads to look for breast milk.
It is necessary to choose a feeding position so that both mother and baby are comfortable, The simplest rule when breastfeeding that mothers need to remember is to keep the baby’s head and back in line, the baby’s face facing the breast. This will create the right feeding position and the baby will breastfeed easily and comfortably, can breastfeed in a sitting or lying position.
Choose the right breastfeeding position so that your baby gets the nutrients he needs
It is advisable to let the baby finish one breast and then move on to the other, this helps the baby to suckle the last milk (the most nutritious milk) and stimulates the breast to produce new milk. If your baby is still crying after emptying one breast, offer the other breast.
If the baby has not finished breastfeeding but is full, mothers should express the remaining milk and store it cold. After a few days, the mother will know the baby’s need to suckle. At later feedings, you can express some colostrum to give your baby more energy to suckle.
Breastfeed day and night on demand, usually every 2 to 3 hours, for 15 to 30 minutes each time. Newborns sleep a lot, even oversleeping. So the mother has to wake up the baby every 2-3 hours, otherwise the baby will be hungry and the blood sugar will drop. When waking the baby, absolutely do not shake the baby, because it can affect the baby’s immature nervous system. Instead, the mother gently tickled her feet to wake the baby.
Another note is that absolutely do not let the baby sleep while nursing, and do not lie down because it will cause the baby to choke very dangerously.
Newborns need to be burped after each feed to avoid discomfort in the abdomen. The easiest way to burp your baby is to hold the baby up against her shoulder, one hand to support the baby’s bottom and legs, the other hand to pat the baby’s back.
Newborn babies are also prone to hiccups. Do not panic because this is a normal phenomenon because the baby’s organs are not as mature as an adult’s. Vomiting too, mom, don’t worry too much. If your baby vomits a lot and cries non-stop, take him to the hospital right away.
3. Instructions for bathing and hygiene for babies
How often should a baby’s diaper be changed?
Mothers can give babies cloth diapers or diapers or use both diapers alternately to save money. When choosing diapers for your baby, you should choose an appropriate size, with anti-rashes and itching features. If you let your child use cloth diapers, choose one with soft, absorbent cotton. Breastfed babies tend to defecate more than formula-fed babies, because nutrients in formula take longer to digest, so formula-fed babies defecate less.
Breastfed babies usually have four or more bowel movements, while formula-fed babies have one to three bowel movements, depending on the baby. If your baby’s poop contains white mucus or streaks or red spots, you need to take your baby to the doctor right away because this can be a sign of danger.
Change your baby’s diaper as soon as he or she pees or poops. When changing, must clean the baby’s anal and genital area with a soft cloth and warm water from front to back. A diaper rash cream or skin protectant should be applied before putting on a new diaper for your baby.
How to bathe a newborn?
Newborn babies don’t need to bathe every day. Before bathing your baby, turn off the fan, turn off the air conditioner, and give the baby a massage. Use clean water mixed with boiling water to bathe your baby. Water with a temperature of about 36 – 38 degrees Celsius (depending on the season) is suitable for bathing children. If you don’t have a bath thermometer, you can use your elbow to test your baby’s bath water.
Note that while bathing the baby, it is advisable to talk with the baby lovingly so that the child feels the love. When bathing, pay attention to cleaning the baby’s body in parts with many skin folds such as the neck, armpits, legs, back of the neck, groin… After bathing, it is necessary to pay attention to how to take care of the baby according to the following steps to keep warm for the baby. baby: dry the baby with a soft cotton towel, put on clothes, drop eyes, nose, and ears. When bathing your baby, make sure the umbilical cord is kept as dry as possible to help prevent infection.
4. Instructions for taking care of the umbilical cord for babies
The umbilical cord is one of the most sensitive parts of a newborn’s body, so special care is needed to ensure that the umbilical cord is dry and the umbilical cord falls off naturally without any damage. If not paying attention, the umbilical cord in newborns is very susceptible to infection and many other complications such as bleeding, discharge, etc.
The care of the umbilical cord for a newborn needs to be done daily and cleaned according to the following steps:
- Before taking care of the baby’s umbilical cord, the mother needs to wash her hands thoroughly and disinfect them with 90 degree alcohol.
- Gently remove the baby’s umbilical cord and gauze.
- Observe the umbilical section and the area around the umbilicus for redness, pus, yellow discharge, bleeding, foul odor or any other abnormalities.
- Wipe the navel with a cotton ball with clean water, then pat the umbilical cord and umbilical cord area dry.
- Disinfect the skin around the navel with physiological saline.
- The navel can be left open or just covered with a thin layer of sterile gauze.
- Wrap the diaper area below the navel to prevent feces, urine or anything from contaminating the navel area.
- Always keep your baby’s navel as dry and clean as possible.
Do not use lotions or sprinkle powder on or around your baby’s navel.
About 1-2 weeks after birth, your baby’s umbilical cord will dry out and fall off naturally. However, if there is bleeding or infection, or any other abnormalities, consult your pediatrician.
5. Newborn skin care guide
Newborn skin is very sensitive and easily damaged, so baby skin care needs to be focused. The care and selection of skin care products for babies need to adhere to the following principles:
Avoid exposing children to skin irritants:
- Choose clothes for children that are soft fabrics;
- Pay attention to avoid rubbing, even lightly rubbing on the baby’s skin because it can cause damage to the baby’s skin;
- Avoid exposing children to harsh soaps because these products are often highly alkaline, which can easily irritate the baby’s skin;
Keep your baby’s skin properly hydrated:
- Dry climates or excessive bathing can dehydrate your baby’s skin. Mothers should apply lotion on dry or flaky skin for the baby.
- Not changing diapers regularly plus hot and humid weather can cause fungal infections, infections in babies. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly wash the diaper area of the baby with mild, non-irritating cleaning agents;
Limit changes to the balance of bacteria on the baby’s skin:
The strains of bacteria that normally reside on the skin are present from the moment the baby is born. They rarely cause disease unless there is an open wound on the skin or the natural acidity of the skin is destroyed. Therefore, mothers need to:
- Keep your baby’s umbilical cord and open wounds clean;
- Clean your baby’s skin with a gentle, pH-balanced body wash that is suitable for the physiology of the skin.
6. Newborn eye care guide
Newborn babies’ eyes are very fragile and weak and especially very sensitive. To help children’s eyes develop in the best way, parents should pay attention to how to take care of babies’ eyes. Steps to clean eyes for babies are as follows:
- Step 1: Wash your hands before cleaning your child’s eyes
- Step 2: Prepare specialized physiological saline for newborn eye hygiene, 2 sterile gauze pads to clean each eye separately.
- Step 3: Use physiological saline to wet sterile gauze, gently wipe in the direction from head to eye.
You should clean your baby’s eyes 3 times a day in the morning after waking up, after bathing and at night before going to bed. Don’t forget to wash your child’s face with a clean towel and warm water. It is necessary to prepare a separate towel for the baby, wash it after use, dry it in the sun, change the towel periodically and do not use it to wipe people.
7. How to put a newborn to sleep
Sleep is very important for babies. Lack of sleep or not enough sleep will affect the development of the newborn. Usually, babies from birth to one month old sleep almost all day and night and only wake up to feed every 2-3 hours. Because they can’t distinguish between day and night, babies can sleep during the day and wake up more at night (8-9 hours during the day and about 8 hours at night).
Normally, it is not necessary to wake an infant to feed, but it is not recommended that a newborn sleep for more than 3 hours without feeding. Special cases such as prematurity, low birth weight, gastroesophageal reflux, etc. may require more frequent feedings.
Teach your baby the difference between day and night
Some babies have a habit of staying up at night right from the womb. You can tell this when you notice that your baby moves in the womb more at night. When the baby was born, the baby still maintained this habit and made the mother tired because she refused to sleep when the mother was already squinting. In the first few days after birth, you cannot change your baby right away, but you can only start teaching your baby when he is two weeks old.
During the day, while the baby is awake:
- Play with your baby as much as possible.
- Talk and sing to your baby during daytime feedings.
- Make sure the bedroom has plenty of light during the day.
- No need to “cut off” all normal daytime noises, such as TV, radio, washing machine, etc.
- If the baby is asleep while nursing, gently wake the baby up.
- Keep quiet and speak softly when feeding your baby at night.
- Keep the room dark (you can leave the night light on) and quiet, don’t talk to your baby much.
It is necessary to teach the baby to recognize that the night is the time to sleep from the time he is two weeks old, not too late.