So, it is your first week after childbirth. You may have read tomes of pregnancy literature beforehand. Gradually, you gain confidence that everything will be at your fingertips – be it breastfeeding, diaper changes, or night schedules. Yet, you’ll find yourself stumbling at every step as your planned schedules fall apart. This is quite natural, honestly. But the silver lining is, you’ll soon settle into this chaos and start handling all your new-mother duties like a pro. So, to help you with your learning curve, we pitch in with these 6 baby basics that you can easily master in a month:
1. Clip Those Little Claws
A baby’s nails are brittle yet sharp enough to cause cuts or bruises. In fact, many times, babies end up hurting themselves. So, clip your baby’s nails regularly, preferably after a bath or during a siesta. Gently hold their fingertip, and begin from one corner and end at the other. The baby may jerk a bit on contact with the nail cutter, so have a light yet firm grip. If you do end up drawing blood, do not freak out. Wipe the wound with a sterile cotton pad dipped in an antiseptic solution. Do not bandage your baby’s fingers as he/she can choke on it.
2. Swaddle Your Bundle (Of Joy)
Swaddling helps babies relax and sleep well. Spread a light-weight blanket in the shape of a diamond and fold the top portion a bit. Place your baby on his/her back such that the folded top section lines the neck. Bring the bottom end of the blanket right up to your baby’s tummy and lay it. Do leave some space for the leg movement. With a firm grasp, pull the right corner of the blanket across your baby’s body and tuck it underneath his lower left side. Do the same with the left corner as well by tucking the ends on the right lower side. Tuck any remaining ends at the bottom.
3. Lookout For The Cord
Keep the cord dry and clean. Stick to sponge baths for the first two weeks or until the cord dries and falls off. Use newborn diapers with a cutout or fold down the regular ones to prevent them from grazing against the cord or clamp. Don’t panic if the cord comes into contact with water. But, visit your pediatrician if you see any signs of infection like a yellow discharge, redness, or foul smell.
4. Wipe The Tush
Slide a water-proof changing mat underneath your baby’s butt before removing the soiled diaper. Keep a clean diaper handy. Now, holding the ankles of your baby with one hand, lift both the legs and use the other hand to remove the soiled diaper. For a girl, start with delicately wiping off the poop, especially in the folds of the labia. A little white discharge is normal. Finish off by cleaning her butt – front to back. For a boy, start with the butt first and then clean his delicate parts. Put the used wipes in the soiled diaper. Apply diaper rash cream, put on the clean diaper, and close the tabs. Run your finger along the diaper edges near the groin to ensure the fringe, which prevents leakage, isn’t tucked in.
5. Keep Diaper Rashes At Bay
Avoid keeping soiled diapers on for a long time. Change diapers frequently and generously apply zinc-oxide based diaper creams. Dabbing a few drops of breast milk also helps soothe diaper rashes. Plan a few diaper-free hours whenever possible. If you do see some rashes, blisters, or pus, immediately visit your pediatrician.
6. Scooping Out Your Baby After A Bath
Most new mothers are scared to lift their baby after a bath as they are slippery. So, here’s the trick. Keep the towel ready on your lap or wherever you want to place your baby. With your baby in a face-up position, slide both your hands under your baby’s underarms. Use your fingers to support your baby’s head and neck, and, with a firm grasp, lift your baby out of the water. Place your baby with his/her back on the towel, wrap immediately, and you are done!
Now that you’ve got a lowdown of these important basics of newborn baby care, we’re sure you’ll be a master of these in a month’s time. Good Luck!
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