As a new parent, holding your child for the first time is a momentous occasion. Their soft coos, gentle gurgles, and the feeling of their warm skin against yours are enough to melt any parent. However, as enjoyable as it is to be a new parent, you have many challenges ahead of you. In the first few months, your baby needs extra care, and you need to monitor their well-being and ensure they’re feeding on time and developing as they should.
So how do you do this? Looking after a baby is undoubtedly an overwhelming process. It’s okay to take one day at a time and adjust to this new life. To make this journey more straightforward for you, here’s what you need to know:
1. Know What Are Birth Injuries Are
Babies can get injured during birth. This is why you must learn what could go wrong during this stage and how it will impact your child. This can happen because of your troubled labor, difficulty in pushing your child, and if your blood pressure shoots up, putting your baby in severe distress. Specific injuries like forceps wounds, fractures, and lacerations from the scalpel need immediate medical care.
On the other hand, mild swellings and if your child develops a cone head get remedied on their own. Therefore, by utilizing resources like www.childbirthinjuries.com, you can better understand what you need to keep an eye out for once you deliver your child. This saves you from panicking and succumbing to anxiety when your child behaves unusually.
2. Sanitize Your Hands Before Handling Your Baby
You shouldn’t handle your baby without cleaning your hands first. Babies have a weak immune systems, and sudden exposure to pathogens and microorganisms can make them sick. Before you pick them up, either wash your hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Make sure you let your friends and family do the same. You should also prevent kissing your baby on the face, especially right after birth.
The bacteria from your saliva can harm your baby and even lead to severe outcomes like SIDS. Furthermore, ensure you get all your vaccines to prevent conditions like whooping cough and, in recent times, Covid from impacting your baby. Your baby will receive a Hep B at birth and the rest when they are slightly older.
3. Attend All Necessary Appointments
Your pediatrician will need you to visit your baby for timely checkups. These ensure your child is doing well and hitting all the proper milestones. You shouldn’t skip these visitations, no matter how healthy your baby may seem. If your child’s doctor wants to run screening exams, test their blood, or carry out a routine exam, make sure you get them done.
Your child needs to get checked every week. Once they cross the one-month mark, you’ll shift your visitation from going weekly to stopping by every month. Don’t be afraid to call your doctor if you find anything unusual, like your baby’s swollen abdomen, notice blood in their stool, or if their muscle tone seems too weak. There are also useful helplines online to guide, provide you with consultation, and assure you about your baby’s condition without the need to go to the ER. However, you should get a follow-up and visit a doctor to confirm your child is doing well.
4. Dress Your Baby Properly
The attire you choose for your baby is vital in regulating their body temperature. Your baby’s homeostasis and internal body clock are still in the process of adjusting and controlling themselves. So make sure your baby is clothed and warm enough to sleep comfortably. Avoid putting too many clothes on your child since it can make them hot and sweaty. This can dehydrate them and lead to painful skin rashes for your baby. Likewise, leaving them with fewer clothes on can make them cold, making your child sick immediately.
Generally, it’s a good idea to bundle your child in a onesie and wrap them up in a blanket. When you put your child to rest, remove headbands and pacifiers. Their headpiece can wrap around their neck, and pacifiers are a choking hazard. Go for cotton clothing and breathable material that is easy to put on and remove. Studded clothes with fancy buttons can scratch your child.
5. Take Care Of Your Health
Looking after your health is just as important as taking care of your child. Postpartum is complex. You may be a mess of hormones and emotions, making it difficult to adjust to your new role. This can make it hard for you to care for your child adequately and can open the doors to neglect. Start by ensuring you have a proper support system to support you and prevent you from overburdening yourself. This can be your parents, a babysitter, or your partner. If you are actively breastfeeding, ensure you are keeping yourself hydrated and eating nutritious meals that can give your child the necessary antibodies.
However, if you cannot breastfeed, you can use formula feed. But, ensure that you sterilize the bottle and always check the temperature of the prepared milk before feeding your child. If you struggle to connect with your child, look into professional therapy. Your baby needs an attentive parent, and unless you are emotionally and mentally well, you may find it hard to provide care.
Becoming a first-time parent is a joyous occasion. But, at the same time, you may feel stressed by the responsibilities you now have to shoulder, which is why it is okay to ask for help and learn what it takes to be a parent. Part of bringing a baby home is understanding what can harm them. If you had a turbulent labor, there is a chance that your baby may have gotten injured in the process. Therefore, keep your doctor on speed dial. Seek consultation anytime you feel that your baby’s development is stagnant.
Other factors ensuring your child’s health include maintaining hygiene. Likewise, attend all the follow-up appointments recommended by your doctor to stay on top of your baby’s health. Your child’s clothing also matters. Finally, look after your well-being and don’t ignore the importance of your mental stability. All of these factors are crucial in playing a part in your child’s health.