Newborn Care For First Time Moms

Newborn Care - You can never be prepared once your bundle of joy is born, especially for first time mommies. Being a mom for the first time is not that easy but nonetheless it requires dedication because a baby's needs are urgent, continuous & often unclear. Both you & your baby will have to adjust, just give yourself some time. Get to know your baby.

Now that you & your baby are home, the next question that will come to mind is "how do/will I take care of a newborn?" Below are some of the questions most mothers have asked me:

Is it ok to bathe my baby even if he's only a few days old?

Yes, it is a must to bathe a baby everyday provided that the water for bathing should be warm so that your baby will not get chills. Make sure to get a bed-like shift to place your baby into while bathing so that there will be no slips or accidents occurring during bath time. As for soaps & shampoo, use something that is mild and hypoallergenic for baby's skin. If you notice any change in your baby's skin (i.e. Redness, rashes, lesions, etc.), stop using the current soap and consult your pediatrician.

After bathing, clean your baby's umbilical stump (if it still hasn't come off) using cotton with alcohol. Make sure to clean it three times a day. If the stump has fallen off already, clean the insides as well by using a cotton bud w/ antiseptic to prevent infection from taking place.

How much milk am I suppose to give my baby?

A growing baby needs all the nutrients you can give. During his first few days of life, a baby can tolerate 1oz of milk every 2-3 hours (approx. 8-9 times/day).

Milk Formula vs Breast Milk

As much as possible, it is much better to give your baby breastmilk. Breastmilk is already good enough to meet a baby's growing needs and your baby gets an added bonus of immunoglobulin to help your baby fight off sickness. Unless, your baby has problems in digesting milk (lactose intolerance, milk allergy, etc) then it is best to use a milk formula suited for your baby's needs.

As your baby grows each day, the amount of food he takes in also increases. So, if your baby still cries after giving him his usual amount of milk, then its time to increase the volume of milk in small increments of the usual amount you give.

During feeding, it is a must to carry your baby and position him at approximately 45 degree angle to prevent your baby from aspirating milk into his lungs.

After every feeding, make sure you burp your baby. This can be from a few minutes to about an hour. A baby thats not being burped properly can be irritated. This may be due to having a gassy abdomen or Filipino counterpart is "kabag".

Another important aspect of caring for your baby is by giving him his vaccinations to help his immune system fight off preventable diseases. Your pediatrician will advise you when he should receive his vaccines.

Frequent follow-up with your paediatrician is important so that you will also be aware about his growth and developmental status

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