Baby Care Tips
Here you will find basic advice on baby care from the first days of life until it begins to gain autonomy. These ideas will be very useful in the day to day with the baby.
We tell you how to take care of the umbilical cord of the baby, what to do if you suffer from the exit of the teeth, how to avoid dangers at home, the best massages to relax, how to change the diaper and much more information on the care of your baby.
The possibility of babies becoming healthy adolescents and adults will depend to a large extent on the way in which we educate them, protect them and attend to their most basic needs. Here are some tips for caring for your baby.
Manage a newborn
If you have not spent much time near newborns, your fragility may be intimidating. Here are some basic aspects to consider:
• Wash hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before taking the baby. Newborns still do not have a strong immune system, so they are at risk of catching infections. Make sure that everyone who touches the baby has clean hands.
• Hold the head and neck of the baby. When cradling the baby, lifting him upright or putting him to bed, it is necessary to hold his head.
• Never shake the newborn, either to play or download their frustration. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake the baby, do not shake it; just caress her feet or cheeks.
• Be sure to tie the strips on the stroller or the car safety seat when you place the baby. Limit activities that could be very rough or cause jolts.
• Remember that the newborn is not prepared for sudden games, such as rocking him on his knees or throwing him into the air.
Breastfeeding is more than a choice: it is an important decision that will have a great impact on the health of your baby. Regardless of how long you can do it, the recommendation of the World Health Organization is to do it until 2 years. The truth is that few children reach this age when breastfed, but the WHO indicates that even after two years of age breast milk is still an excellent contribution of calories and nutrients.
It is also important that you initiate your child in food based on vegetables, instead of sweet fruits. After six months, the vegetables must be part of the baby’s diet, complementing the mother’s milk.
Caring for the skin
The sunscreen to children under 6 months of age is not recommended. It is therefore essential that you keep your child in the shade until you can protect him from the negative effects of the sun.
Everything about diapers
Probably, before returning home, you have already decided whether you will use disposable diapers or cloth diapers. No matter which one you use, your little one will dirty the diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week.
Before changing the baby’s diaper, make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips. This way, you will not have to leave the baby without attention to the changer. You will need the following:
• a clean diaper
• bras (if you use cloth diapers)
• ointment for the diaper area
• Baby wipes (or a container with hot water and a cloth or cotton wool)
After each belly movement or if the diaper is wet, place your baby on his back and remove the dirty diaper. Use water, cotton wool, and a cloth or wipes to gently clean the baby’s genital area. When removing a child’s diaper, do so with caution, because exposure to the air can make you urinate. When cleaning a girl’s genital area, clean it from front to back to avoid a urinary tract infection. To prevent or cure a rash, apply ointment. Always remember to wash your hands after changing a diaper.
Diaper rash is a common concern. In general, the dermatitis is a red, lumpy rash, and disappears in a few days with warm baths, a little cream and some time without the diaper. Most rashes occur because the baby’s skin is sensitive and irritated with wet or dirty diapers.
To prevent or cure diaper rash, practice the following tips:
• Change your baby’s diaper frequently and as soon as possible, after you move your belly.
• Gently clean the area with mild soap and water (wipes can sometimes cause irritation). Then apply a very thick layer of diaper rash cream. It is convenient to use creams with zinc oxide because they form a barrier against moisture.
• If you use cloth diapers, wash them with fragrance-free detergent and no pigments.
• Let the baby be without a diaper for a while of the day. This gives the skin the opportunity to ventilate.
If the diaper rash continues for more than three days or seems to be getting worse, call the doctor. It may be due to an infection with a fungus that requires prescription medication. Create effective bonds and reassure the baby
The creation of emotional ties is probably one of the most pleasing parts of baby care and occurs at the moment of greatest sensitivity during the first hours and days after childbirth when the parents establish a deep connection with the baby.
Physical closeness can foster an emotional connection.
For babies, attachment promotes emotional growth, which affects their development in other areas, such as physical growth. Another way to create bonding is to “fall in love” with the baby. Children develop well when they have a father or another adult in their life who loves them unconditionally.
Start creating bonding by cradling your baby and gently caressing him. Both you and your partner can take advantage of the possibility of skin-to-skin contact while cradling or feeding the baby.
Babies, especially premature babies and those with medical conditions, may respond to baby massage. Some types of massage can improve the bonding and help the growth and development of the baby. There are many books and videos about baby massage; Ask your doctor to recommend some. However, care must be taken because babies are not as strong as adults; therefore, it is important to massage them gently.
Babies usually adore the sounds of the voice, when they speak to them, sing to them, babble them or coo them. Probably, your baby also likes to listen to music. Rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your baby’s hearing. If your child is upset, try to sing, recite a poem or children’s song, or read aloud while gently cradling him in a chair.
Some babies are more sensitive than others to touch, light or sounds and may be frightened or easily cried, sleep less than expected or turn their faces when someone speaks to them or sings to them. If this happens with your baby, reduce the noise and lights to a minimum or moderate level.
Another technique to soothe babies, which is very useful for some babies during the first few weeks, I Fajardo (wrap it in a blanket so that it fits tight). Every new parent should learn to do it. To properly “wrap” babies, it is necessary to keep the arms close to the body and allow some movement of the legs.
Fajar the baby not only serves to keep him warm but seems to give newborns a sense of security and comfort. Fajar the baby can also serve to reduce the startle reflex, which can awaken the baby.
This is the way to fasten a baby:
• Extend the blanket, with a slightly bent corner.
• Place the baby on his back on the blanket with his head above the bent corner.
• Wrap the left corner over the baby’s body and tuck it under the baby’s back, just below the right arm.
• Bring the bottom corner up on the baby’s feet and bend it to the head. If the blanket is too close to the baby’s face, fold it down. Be sure not to wrap too tightly around the hip. The hips and knees should be slightly flexed and out. If you wrap the baby too tight, you can increase the chances of hip dysplasia.
• Wrap the right corner around the baby and place it under the back, on the left side. Leave only the neck and head exposed. To make sure your baby is not tightly wrapped, see if you can reach between your baby’s blanket and chest, which will allow you to breathe without a problem. However, you must make sure that the blanket is not too loose to prevent it from developing.
• Do not wrap babies after two months of age. At that age, some babies can turn around when they are wrapped and this can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Basics of the bathroom
You should give your baby a sponge bath until the following happens:
• the umbilical cord falls and the umbilicus is cured completely (1 to 4 weeks)
• Circumcision is cured (1 to 2 weeks)
During the first year, a bath is sufficient between two and three times a week. The most frequent baths can cause dry skin.
Have these items ready before you bathe your baby:
• a clean and soft cloth
• soft soap and shampoo for babies, that do not have any fragrance
• a soft brush to stimulate the baby’s scalp
• towels or blankets
• a clean diaper
• clean clothes
Sponge baths for a sponge bath, look for a flat, safe surface (such as a changing table, a floor, or a countertop) in a warm room. Fill a sink, if there is one nearby or a container with warm water (not hot). Uncover the baby and wrap it in a towel.
Clean the baby’s eyes with a cloth (or a clean cotton ball) soaked in water, starting with one eye and wiping it from the inner corner to the outer corner. Use one clean end of the cloth or other cotton swabs to wash the other eye. Wipe the nose and ears of the baby with a damp cloth. Then, moisten the cloth again with a little soap,
Next, with baby shampoo, lather and gently wash the baby’s head. Then rinse it. With soap and a damp cloth, gently wash the rest of the body, paying special attention to the folds that form under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the genital area. Once you have cleaned these areas, make sure they are thoroughly dry. Then, put the diaper on and dress the baby.
Baths in a bathtub. When your baby is ready for a bath in a bathtub, the first baths should be brief and gentle. If the baby gets upset, sponge again for one or two weeks. Then try again to bathe him in a bathtub.
In addition to the elements mentioned above, you will also need the following:
• a baby tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm water (not hot!). To test the water temperature, submerge the inside of the elbow or wrist in the water. The baby bathtubs are made of plastic and can be placed inside the bathtub; The size is better for babies and makes bathing easier.
Uncover the baby and then place it immediately in the water, in a warm room, to avoid getting cold. Make sure that the water in the tub is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep and that no more water is entering the tub. Use one hand to hold the baby’s head and the other to guide the baby’s feet first into the water. Talk softly and slowly place the baby in the tub until the water reaches the breast.
Use a cloth to wash your face and hair. Gently massage the baby’s scalp with the tips of your fingers or with a soft baby brush, even in the area of the fontanelles (soft areas) on the top of the head. When you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby’s head, place a hand on your forehead so that the soap goes to your sides and does not get in your baby’s eyes. Gently wash the rest of the baby’s body with water and a small amount of soap.
Throughout the bathroom, regularly pour water on the baby’s body so it is not cold. After the bath, wrap the baby immediately with a towel and be sure to cover the head. Baby hooded towels are ideal for keeping a newly bathed baby warm.
Never leave the baby alone while bathing. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take it with you.
Basics of sleep
As a new parent, you may be surprised to learn that newborns, who seem to need it every minute of the day, actually sleep approximately 16 hours or more.
Newborns usually sleep for periods of 2 to 4 hours. Do not expect yours to sleep through the night. The digestive system of babies is so small that they need to be fed every few hours and it is necessary to wake them up if they have not received food for 4 hours (or more frequently if the doctor is concerned about weight gain).
When can you expect the baby to sleep through the night? Many babies sleep all night (between 6 and 8 hours) at three months of age, but if yours does not, you do not have to worry. Like adults, babies must develop their own patterns and sleep cycles. Therefore, if the newborn gains weight and is healthy, do not despair if you do not sleep all night at 3 months of age.
It is important to always put the baby on his back to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Other safety practices for sleep include the following: do not use blankets, quilts, sheepskins, stuffed animals or pillows in the crib or bassinet (these items can choke the baby) and share the room (but not the bed) with parents during the first six to twelve months.
Also, be sure to change the position of the baby’s head from one night to the next (first to the right and then to the left) to prevent the development of a flat area on one side of the head.
Many newborns have day and night “exchanged”. They are usually more awake and alert during the night and more sleepy during the day. One way to help them is to minimize stimulation during the night. Maintain soft lighting, for example using a night table. Leave the games and chats with the baby for the day. When your baby wakes up during the day, try to keep him awake a while longer by talking and playing.
Although it is likely that dealing with a newborn will cause anxiety, in a few weeks you will develop a routine and be an expert. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your doctor to recommend resources that can help you and your baby grow together.