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Care of normal new born infant

Birth weight

What is the average weight of the new born

The weight of a new born baby varies. It depends upon many factors like socio-economic status of the mother, diet during pregnancy, weight and height of the mother father. Usually a baby should be more than 2.5 kg of weight during the birth.

Is it important to know the birth weight of the baby?

Thereafter whenever you take the child for immunization or consult a doctor you must record the birth weight. This helps you to know whether you child is growing adequately. A child usually becomes double its birth weight by the age of five months and triple by one year. This means if he/she is 2.5kg at birth then he/she will he 5 kg by five months and 7.5 kg by one year. The children who gain less weight are malnourished

 

Care of cord/ eyes

What care should be taken of the umbilical cord

The umbilical cord should be kept dry without applying anything on it. It usually separates by the fifth to the ninth day after birth. It tends to separate early if kept dry.

Can I apply Kajal to the eyes of my baby?

Do not apply anything to the eyes of a baby as it can cause infecti

 

Sleep

Is it normal for new born babies to sleep for most of the time?

Because the nervous system of the newborn baby is still maturing, he/she sleeps for long hours. By 4-6 weeks of age many infants are on a cycle of waking for 4 hours and sleeping for 4 hours. Lethargy and lack of interest in feeds in a baby, who was alert and active previously, may be a sign of a serious medical condition. This baby needs to be shown to the doctor

My baby does not sleep throughout night. Is it a cause of worry?

Many new parents panic when their baby won't sleep according to a set pattern. A baby will sleep when she wants to. Babies worry mainly about three things, she's hungry, she's thirsty or she's uncomfortable (dirty nappy, too hot, too cold...). If these are OK, baby will have a sound sleep.
Tips for you baby having sound sleep:

  1. Allow her to go to sleep in her cot. This will make sure she associates her cot with sleeping.
  2. Don't use too many covers so she gets too hot.
  3. Develop a bedtime ritual like warm bath, a bedtime story, a cuddle
  4. Let her have her favourite toy
  5. Try not to take her out of her cot unless it‘s necessary.
  6. Don't put your baby down on her tummy Don't make going to bed a punishment for
  7. Never threaten any child with "monsters" Don't tell them "the monsters will come unless you go to sleep" It will frighten them and of course they won't sleep

 

Hygiene

When should a new-born baby be given a bath?

The first bath of a baby should be delayed beyond 24 hours of birth. Blood and other maternal secretions can be gently wiped off the baby using a clean and warm towel. The baby should then be kept with the mother and both mother and baby should be covered with a warm and dry cloth. Giving a bath soon after birth carries a risk of causing hypothermia (low body temperature) to the newborn. Some babies, especially those born prematurely, are covered with a white, sticky material called vernix. This material protects the baby from getting hypothermia (cold). Therefore, it should not be removed forci

What precautions should be taken while giving bath to a new-born baby/ young infant?

It is important to make sure that a baby does-not develop hypothermia during bathing. The room where the bath is given should be warm and free of air-currents and warm. The water for bathing should also be warmed. This is especially important during winters. Check the temperature of water to avoid using too hot/cold water. Keep the infants fresh clothes ready before giving a bath so that he can be quickly covered and dressed afterwards. The mother can then breastfeed the baby or keep him close to her body so that baby can get additional warmth from her body. These precautions are even more important for low birth weight babies. For them, bathing can be delayed for several days. During this time they can be cleaned by sponging using a clean towel and warm water.

 

Other concerns of new borns

What kinds of clothes are suitable for a baby?

A baby should be dressed in soft cotton clothes with minimum frills, buttons or ornamental add-ons which can scratch the tender skin of the newborn infant. The nappies should be made of thick, soft and absorbent material and changed promptly when soiled to avoid development of nappy rash. Use of plastic nappy should be avoided

What should be done to prevent hypothermia in newborn babies?

During winter months temperature of babies may become low (also known Hypothermia). Premature or low birth weight babies are at a higher risk of developing hypothermia. This is a dangerous condition, which could be prevented by proper and adequate clothing and holding the baby close to the mother‘s body so that her warmth helps in keeping the baby warm. It is important to keep the head and feet covered since a lot of heat can be lost through these areas.

 

What is the normal stool pattern of babies?

Breast-fed babies pass frequent semi-loose yellow sticky stools. The frequency is very variable. Many babies pass up to 7-8 stools per day, usually soon after feeding. This is normal and should not be confused with diarrhoea. Other babies may pass stools only once every three days. This is also normal.

 

Which vaccines are given to a new born infant?

Vaccines are very important for babies. Vaccines prevent them in getting many infectious diseases. The first vaccines which can be administered to a new born baby are oral polio vaccine, also called OPV which is given orally; vaccine for TB, also called BCG vaccine and vaccine for hepatitis B. BCG and hepatitis vaccines are given through injection. These vaccines can be given as early as on the day of the birth of the baby.

 

How can I give massage to my new born baby?

Massaging your baby is beneficial on many levels including relaxing your baby, helping to reduce crying while improving the immune system, and strengthening the growing bond between you and her. For the massage you will need cream or baby oil, a soft mat or blanket and two towel

  • Step 1:It is best to practice when your baby is calm and at least a half an hour after eating. It is important that the room temperature is warm. A good time is right after the bath since the baby is already undressed and the room is warm. It is also important to have everything set up ahead of time so that you can focus on your baby. Lay a towel over a soft mat or blanket and place the cream or oil within easy reach. Dry your baby thoroughly if just bathed, and lay them down on the towel face up. Place a little cream or oil in your hands and warm it by rubbing the hands together
  • Step 2:Using the pads of your fingers and extremely light pressure, begin making light strokes on the forehead, starting at the brow line and going up to the top of the head. Talking, singing, and other verbal communication will stimulate your baby's mind and reinforce the developing bonds between you and her. Continue with strokes from the bridge of the nose along the cheekbones towards the ears, and then do circles around the mouth. You will then trace the jaw line back from the chin and arrive at the back of the head and neck where you can make gentle strokes down to the shoulders.
  • Step 3:Begin making smooth strokes from the shoulder down to the hands, letting your baby grasps your fingers as they slide off. Next hold the arm between the thumb and index finger and gently glide down the arm, using caution at the arm pit and elbow as these are sensitive area
  • Step 4:Now bring your fingers to the centre of the baby's chest and make smooth movements from the centre out towards the shoulders, starting just below the collar bones and slowly moving down until you reach the stomach. Repeat this several times and finish with some circular strokes over the entire belly, always moving in a clockwise direction.
  • Step 5:Move down to the legs and make gentle strokes from the thigh to the ankle, and then take the leg between the fingers of both hands and lightly roll the leg back and forth as you move down. Repeat this several times on each leg. Now take both legs and gently press them against the belly, flexing the hips and knees. Stretch the legs out and then repeat several times. Gently lay down one leg and begin lightly squeezing each of the toes, then massage the soles of the foot down to the heel. Return to the toes and repeat, then continue with the other foot.
  • Step 6:Carefully roll your baby onto his or her stomach. Starting at the head, make long general strokes down the neck, the back, over the legs and down to the feet. Alternate hands and repeat. Starting near the neck, start massaging the shoulders and upper back with your fingertips, and then continue making circular movements over the rest of the back. Now with one hand, place a finger on either side of the back bone lightly wiggle back and forth as your hand moves down. Repeat this several times. Move the hands down to the legs and make smooth downward strokes to the heels, being especially gentle behind the knee. Step 7:Once more make full body strokes starting at the top of the head towards the feet. After two or three times let the hands float off.

 

How often a baby urinates?

Newborns generally urinate up to 10 times per day. Urine typically ranges in colour from clear to pale yellow, and has little or no odor. As the baby grows older, she will urinate less frequently, but in larger amounts. An odor of ammonia may become more apparent in the urine.

 

Is bleeding from vagina common in new born babies?

Within the few weeks immediately following birth, some newborn girls will experience a small amount of bleeding from the vagina. This is entirely normal and occurs as the level of the mother's hormones in the baby's system gradually decreases. This type of vaginal bleeding usually lasts less than a day and is not painful. No special evaluation or treatment is needed

 

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