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Baby care essentials

Baby care essentials

The basic rule of parenting advocates that you must have a clear idea of the baby care basics. Right from bathing, grooming and to inducing sound sleep everything that you do, skillfully promotes healthy development of your baby. Such hygienic and healthy practices saves the baby from contaminants, germs and diseases. Further, regular visit to the pediatrician and health check ups, ensure that your baby will always remain hale and hearty.

Bathing your newborn

If you are a new parent, then bathing can appear to be a real challenge for you. But this regime gives you a greater chance to establish a firm bonding with your baby. Follow the basics of baby bath that we have compiled for you.

1. Sponging

In the first couple of weeks, it might be a traumatizing experience for you to grab your baby with hands, smear soap all over and give a proper bath. Therefore, sponge bathing is highly recommendable. Dip a clean wash cloth in lukewarm water and wriggle it dry. Gently rub the body of your baby with the wash cloth to remove dirt and grime.

2. Plain water bath

Go for water bath only when you see that the umbilical cord stump has dried up considerably or fallen off. The bath water must be lukewarm. The room you chose to give your baby a water bath must also be air tight. These precautions will prevent your child from catching cold. For newborn babies, bathing on alternate days is perfect. But as your toddler learns to crawl give him a regular bath.

3. Soap water bath

If you intend to use soap, ensure that it is mild and pH neutral. Otherwise, it can create mess with your baby’s skin.Select a mild baby wash for creating lather in the water tub. Then bathe your baby gently.

Baby’s skin care

The delicate skin of your baby seeks special care and attention. Here are the guidelines for you.

1. Skin care basics

It is advised that you must refrain from harsh detergents and strong chemicals for your baby’s skin. They can deplete the natural moisture and disturb the natural pH level of skin. Always use products that are specifically designed for the baby skin.

2. Best skin care products

It is always best to go for herbal or natural products for your baby. These products are devoid of any side effects. So, you will be exempted from the fear of allergies, rashes and other outbreaks when you use them on the baby skin.

3. Range of skin care products

Your list of primary baby skin care products should comprise of a baby bubble bath, baby shampoo, a mild body powder and a bathing bar. You can also opt for a massage oil, moisturizer and baby cream to hydrate the soft skin of your toddler.

Baby feeding basics

Brest feeding is considered best for the baby. When you breast feed your baby, you boost his immunity to help him fight successfully against common disease causing germs.

1. Place of breast feeding

The process takes hardly fifteen minutes to half an hour. Therefore, select a place which is away from external distractions and noises.

2. How to hold the baby

The best position of breast feeding is to hold your baby closer to your chest. Support the position of the baby with a few cushions so that your arms do not get sore.

3. What to do while breast feeding

Keep a tissue handy in case your baby gurgles out milk. If you feel pain once in a while due to improper latching of your baby, break the suckling process. Do this by gently inserting a finger in between the baby’s gums and your nipple. The baby will stop sucking. Now, adjust the position again. Every time you breast feed your baby, center on one breast at a time. This will help the baby obtain fat enriched milk. This way his hunger will be satiated and you will have freedom from frequent breast feeding.

Baby sleep

Sound sleep encourages proper growth of your baby. But you might be worried that your baby never sleeps for long at a stretch. Frankly speaking, there is nothing to worry at all. Sleeping pattern of babies vary from age to age.

1. Nature of sleep

Newborn babies sleep for an average of seventeen to eighteen hours a day in the first couple of weeks. But you will never see your baby sleeping silently throughout this stretch of time. This is because neonates do not sleep for more than three to four hours at a time. However, as the kids reach one month of age, they sleep for sixteen hours on an average. This continues for two more months and gradually reduces as the baby grows up further.

2. Precautions to take

Never let your baby sleep on its front. Place your baby inside the crib in such a manner that his feet is closest to the end of the crib. This gives the baby less room for wriggling up with the blanket and getting suffocated. Make certain that you check your baby periodically as he sleeps to ensure his safety. Keep the ideal room temperature of the baby nursery at 24 to 25 degree Celsius. Never expose your baby to direct cold blasts of air conditioner or air cooler. Keep your baby at a safe distance from room heater.

3. Baby bedding

Get your baby soft cotton sheets especially during summers. Soft cotton banishes the chances of rashes and allergies in babies. During winters, get your baby thin cotton quilts. These are easy to handle and are comfortable for the toddler.

Baby grooming

Grooming the baby properly, promotes hygiene. Your baby will fall sick less, if you give attention to proper baby grooming.

1. Nappy change

This is a job you have to do frequently during the initial days of parenting. Every time you change your baby’s wet nappy, clean the moist area with cloth and slightly warm water. Dry the area further by sprinkling baby powder and then make your baby wear a fresh and new nappy.

2. Cleaning the genitals

Genital area of your baby is prone to contaminations due to its moist and warm nature. As for your baby boy, insist upon soapy water solution to clean the area. In case you have a daughter, wipe the area with clean and damp wash cloth. Do not use soap for your baby girl in this case.

3. Trimming the nails

In the first few weeks, do not trim your baby’s nails. It might cut the flesh below the nails. Alternatively, you can just tear them off as they are too soft. Once the baby is big enough, trim the nails with the help of baby scissors or baby nail clippers, specially designed with rounded edges for your baby.

4. Caring for umbilical cord stump

The umbilical cord stump of your baby is expected to dry and fall off within fifteen days of his birth. But it leaves behind a minor wound which needs to be attended carefully. Always wash your hand while handling it. Consult the doctor if it gets infected.

Baby tests and check-ups

A healthy baby passes through all the medical tests successfully. Therefore, you need to know what the tests and check-ups are that your baby needs to undergo right after its birth. Some of them have been listed here.

1. Apgar

This is the first test that your baby undergoes as soon as
he is born. It detects if your baby is normal or not.

2. Guthrie

In this test the heel of your baby is pricked and blood sample is collected. This test indentifies if your baby suffers from any deficiency of vital enzymes, thyroid or has juvenile cystic fibrosis.

3. G6PD

This test is also based on blood sample collection. It finds out whether your baby suffers from disorders related to family history.

4. Other tests

These checkups include weighing the baby, checking its visible organs, analyzing his basic behavior and responsiveness to external stimulus etc.

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