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Your Newborn: Do’s and Don’ts for the First Few Weeks

Your Newborn: Do’s and Don’ts for the First Few Weeks

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

A newborn is the most awaited new member to the family. His/her birth is a moment of joy and excitement for all. Everybody wants to see the baby and wish for his good health and future. Newborns are tiny creatures of God and are new to this world. A Mother has protected the baby for nine months in her shell, and is now in the open environment and at risk because of the immature immune system and body organs. So we have to take special precautions in the initial few weeks to give a protective atmosphere to the newborn and help the baby in smooth transition so that he or she can adapt to the outer world. A Father has also important contributions in taking care of child and mother. 

Breastfeeding:

Best gift for the newborn is breast feeding. Breast feeding is the first vaccination for the child. It not only gives nutrition but also protects the child from infections and chronic diseases including asthma and cancers. A father needs to cooperate with the mother in baby care so that she can have rest and be awake even during the night to maintain exclusive breast feeding the whole day.

Do’s during breastfeeding:  

  • Mother should clean her breast before feeding.
  • Feed child on both breasts alternatively.
  • On demand feeding should be done.

Don’ts during breastfeeding:  

  • Don’t discard the first milk of child.
  • Don’t introduce cow’s milk before one year of age.
  • Don’t give ghutti/gripe water/honey. 

Hygiene:

Most important in the care of new born is to provide clean environment to him to protect from infections.

Do’s in ensuring hygiene:

  • Hand wash before touching baby.
  • Change clothes daily.
  • Bathing or sponge baby daily.
  • Use clean clothes for wrapping
  • Immediately change of diapers once soiled with stools
  • Change diapers frequently every 2-3 hourly (also in night).
  • Clean the surroundings with wet mop.
  • Mother also needs to keep herself clean, so daily bathing is must for her.

Don’ts in ensuring hygiene:

  • Don’t use baby soap or shampoos for bathing before 1 month of age.
  • Don’t allow visitors in mother and child’s room in initial weeks.
  • Don’t allow any persons with cough/cold/any infection to touch the baby.
  • Don’t keep soft toys and carpets in rooms. 

Vaccination

Vaccination starts at birth. So never forget to ask about vaccination before discharge.

Your contributions are important

A Father can also help the mother in managing the daily needs of the child like making baby sleep, baby massaging and diaper change etc. This will also strengthen bonding between father and baby.

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