Babies are blessings. That is why most people become excited when a new baby joins the family. This is not only felt by the parents, but also by the family members around. It is only natural that you’d want to take care of your baby and give the best to them. That is why, it is very important that you provide your baby with proper health care.
Health care for babies does not only pertain to following check-up schedules or having them get their required vaccination shots. It also involves on how you handle your baby on a daily basis, giving them baths, taking care of their skin care needs, etc.
When you are taking care of an infant or a newborn baby, here are some things that you might need to know about:
1. Keeping their umbilicus clean and free from infection – During the first days to the first week of life, your baby’s belly button will look like a stump, since this is where the umbilical cord was cut. However, you should treat this area as wound. You should keep it clean and dry until the stump falls off. It is important that you clean it during baths and when you change the baby’s diaper. If it develops a foul smell and/or has pus like fluid coming out, you should refer this immediately to a doctor, since these are signs of infection.
2. Baby skin care – Babies have very sensitive skin which will react adversely to chemicals. When giving your baby a bath, you should make sure that you use products that are mild and safe for your baby’s skin. You should also keep your baby’s skin moisturized by using natural oils, rather than commercially sold lotions and creams. You should also avoid using petroleum jelly. Though it was used a lot for baby care in the past, you should use milder products. Remember, the more natural the contents of the products that you use, the better it is to use for your baby.
3. Holding your baby – For first-time parents, it is very important that you learn how to hold or carry your baby correctly. You can ask the health care providers in the hospital on how to properly hold your baby. You should hold your baby gently. Avoid shaking your baby, even during the times when you might become frustrated when he/she doesn’t stop crying. Shaking your baby is not advisable.
Also, you should provide support for the baby’s entire body, especially along the neck and the head. The neck muscles of babies are not yet well-developed, so they are unable to support the weight of their own head. You should hold and cuddle your baby as much as possible, as this will also help create a stronger bond between you and your baby.
4. Giving your baby appropriate food or formula – Your baby will require milk most especially in the earlier months. Make sure that you provide him/her with a milk formula that is appropriate for his/her age. Some babies may have trouble digesting certain formulas, as characterized by diarrhea or hard stool. The safest and most recommended way to feed your baby is through breastfeeding, as it allows your baby to get the nutrients that he/she needs without any risk of indigestion and other problems.