Article
EDUCATION CORNER
    Kick Counter

    Newborn care

    Finally, the most awaited day has come, and you are blessed with a lovely baby. 

    As the baby has just entered the new world, therefore it is vital to give all the care and love. The mother too has put in a lot of efforts to deliver her baby; therefore, she also needs proper care.


    Newborn development (developmental milestones)


    Developmental milestones are a set of standard functional skills that most children are expected to attain at a certain age range. These are important to check how your child is developing. But as every child is different, his ability to learn or attain any skill is different too. So, there is a time range for achieving any milestone. Your child may learn some things early and may take time to learn others.  

    And if you are really bothered about the growth and development of your child, please consult your pediatrician and seek expert advice. 

    The first day (one day baby)


    The first day of your baby is very important for his health and well-being. So, preparation for these moments may help you to handle them carefully –


    Following things should be ensured: 


    Initiate breastfeeding within 1-2 hours after birth and give the first yellow milk (Colostrum) to the baby as it has essential nutrients and antibodies which are required for the baby during the first 2 weeks of its life.

    • Breastfeed at least 6-8 times a day or as frequently as the baby wants (On demand).
    • Ensure to keep the baby close to the mother for temperature maintenance and for mother-baby bonding. 
    • Do not give any other food or fluid to the baby as milk is sufficient to meet his daily dietary and water needs- Exclusive breastfeeding
    • Baby will pass first urine within 24 hours of birth, and stool within the first 48 hours. But if it does not happen, then seek medical help.
    • The first few stools may be greenish black in color and it’s normal.
    • The baby is given 3 vaccines at birth - Oral Polio Vaccine, Hepatitis B Virus, BCG vaccine. The first two vaccines are a birth dose which is followed by monthly doses starting from the 6th week onwards. Immunization schedule
    • The baby is also given a shot of Vitamin K at birth, this is to prevent bleeding disorders since Vitamin K is needed for proper coagulation of blood.


    First week of baby


    Baby and mother are discharged from the hospital within 3-4 days after delivery. This may extend if there is some complication or health concern to either of them. 


    After a successful first day, the first week is also crucial for a baby’s health: 


    • A baby normally loses about 10% of its birth weight in the first week. But it is not a cause of concern as the baby will regain the same by 10 days of life.
    • Breastfeeding should be done every 2 hours or as much as the baby requires. 
    • A well-fed baby will have a sound sleep for about 2-3 hours and will not cry until it is hungry again or has soiled the diaper.
    • A breastfed baby passes about 4-5 stools a day, which will mostly be yellowish semi-solid to watery in consistency. 
    • The baby will pass urine minimum 6-8 times a day and may sometime cry before micturition. 
    • Almost 60% of normal newborn babies develop jaundice (increase bilirubin level leads to yellowish tinge to the skin). It appears at 2-3 day and peaks at 4-5 days of life. The baby should be monitored regularly and consult the pediatrician if it persists beyond 7 days of life. 
    • Only sponging should be done until the cord falls off. Thereafter, bathing every 2-3 days of life is sufficient.
    • Massaging is good for the baby, as it increases blood circulation and promotes mother-child bonding. 


    First month of baby


    There are few things to take care during the first month of the baby: 

    • Baby will start gaining weight from 2nd week onwards and will double in weight by about 6 months of age and triples by the first year of age. 
    • The umbilical cord falls by the 10th day of life. Keep the cords stump dry and clean. 
    • Ensure exclusive breastfeeding and feed on demand. 


    On any day if you feel your baby is not active or doing well, consult a pediatrician and seek expert advice.

     

    Newborn baby sleep patterns



    Sleep is the most important part of a baby’s growth and development. A newborn sleeps a lot, typically up to 16 to 17 hours a day in unequally divided naps. As the baby grows the sleeping time changes and the number of naps decreases. 


    By 3 months of age, the baby is more awake during the day, has 3 nap during the day and sleeps for 10 hours during the night. By 1-year baby sleeps for 14 hours with 2 naps of about 3 hrs during the day.


    It may be very exhausting for first-time mothers to adjust according to the sleeping patterns of the newborn. But it is always beneficial to set good sleep habits of the baby from the beginning. 


    Immunization (immunization schedule)


    Immunization or vaccination is the safest and the most effective way to protect your child from some deadly diseases like diphtheria, Tuberculosis, tetanus, measles, etc. These deadly diseases can result in repeated hospitalization and even death of a child. 

    Consult your pediatrician or immunization tracker for regular and timely immunization. 


     


    Frequently Asked Questions

    The sleep schedule for a baby depends upon how old the baby is. Here is a brief overview of the recommended sleep duration: 

    • under 2 months - 14 to 18 hours a day
    • 2 - 4 months - 13 to 14 hours 
    • 4 months to 1 year- 12 to 14 hours 

    The umbilical stump should be left absolutely dry and nothing should be applied to it. It will dry on its own and shed within a few days after birth. Also, the nappy pads used for the baby should not have contact with the stump in order to keep it clean and away from impurities. 

    Usually, a baby cries due to sleepiness, hunger, fatigue, wet or dirty diaper, overstimulation, tummy pain, illness, stranger anxiety or fear. These are more or less normal and you should try to comfort the baby patiently. But if the baby is unresponsive to this it is highly recommended that you consult a pediatrician at the earliest.

    Oil massage is a low-cost traditional practice that is very beneficial for babies and has no reported adverse outcome. Oil massage should be done in a gentle way and with clean hands. Oils with additives or irritants should not be used. Coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil makes a good choice for oil massage.

    In most of the babies, teeth erupt at the age of 4 to 6 months. Typically, the two bottom front teeth are the first to erupt, followed by the four upper front teeth.

    It may start with the baby crying a lot, not taking breastfeed or being irritated. In association with these, a baby may also show symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea or distention of the stomach. These suggest that there is some problem in the stomach that needs medical attention.

    A baby should be given bath once in 3-4 days, as taking a bath reduces the body temperature and makes them vulnerable to infections.

    The ideal birth weight of a newborn can range between 2.5 to 4kgs.

    You should visit the pediatrician if your baby shows the following signs: 

    • High fever
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Crying which is unresponsive to comforting
    • Diarrhea 
    • Vomiting 
    • Jaundice

    Signs of dehydration in a baby include:

    • Sunken eyes with a dry mouth 
    • Dry skin, with delayed recoil on pinching
    • Irritable baby, with incessant crying
    • Decreased urine frequency or a dark yellow color of urine

    If any of the above signs are seen, contact your doctor immediately.