It is obvious to be concerned about newborn baby care as lots of new parents are unprepared for that. So take it easy and with few baby care guidelines, you can make yourself and your baby happy and safe.
There are lots of things that come into your mind about how to take care of your newborn. Here are some of the most immediate things to be done as soon as your baby is born.
After giving birth your newborn needs everyday care which includes Umbilical care, baby skincare, genital care, and baby bath.
Umbilical cord care Tips at home
During pregnancy, when the baby is in the womb, the umbilical cord works as a lifeline to your baby. When the baby is born it does not have any function.
After cutting the cord the stump of the umbilical cord remains in your baby’s naval so do not try to remove the stump it will eventually dry out and fall off by itself.
1. wash your hands before starting
After removing the cord clamp it is crucial to take care of the umbilical cord at home. it is important to prevent infection and the risk of hemorrhage to the baby.
Before you start do not forget to wash your hands to prevent germs transfer and infection.
2. Use normal tap water
As per your doctor’s home-care instructions, clean the umbilical cord with normal tap water around the base of the cord. when it gets wet with urine or baby’s poop clean it carefully. You can use the cleanser if needed.
3. Avoid diaper touching the cord
Make sure the diaper should not cover the baby’s cord because a soiled diaper can cause infection and slow down the drying of the cord. Check your baby’s skin when you change the diaper every time for any sign of infection.
Keep the diaper folded and away from the stamp. While cleaning the cord clean it with a cotton swab soak and rinsed in soap warm water and dry it with a clean cloth.
4. Look for any sign of infection
Look carefully for any oozing, pus, any smell, discharge, redness, or any swelling around the baby’s umbilical cord. If you notice any of the symptoms immediately call your pediatrician.
Keep the cord area clean, dry, and open to the air and loosely covered with soft clothing. If the area is wet you can clean it with absorbent sterile gauze.
5. let the cord dry naturally
The umbilical cord starts to dry out on the second or third day of birth. The separation of cord from the skin depends on the various things; such as type of birth and type of cord care you doing.
You may see little drops of blood when cord separates after 10 to 14 days. It is important to keep the cord dry and clean until it falls off naturally.
In the old days, usually, people used alcohol to clean the umbilical cord. but nowadays, it is not recommended because when the umbilical cord allowed drying naturally, it will fall off sooner.
6. Avoid using any powder, oil or lotion on the cord
Do not use any of the baby lotion, powder, or any fragrance oil around the umbilical area because it can cause irritation and infection. Notify your pediatrician if you see any unusual fresh bleeding on the cord.
Baby Bath at Home
Bathing your baby provides a wonderful opportunity for you to interact with your newborn.
With a nice and cozy baby bath, you clean your baby’s skin completely, which is an important consideration and you can observe your baby condition.
You can cuddle and talk with your baby and notice him/her smiling. You can pick a time for a bath that is easy especially when your baby is awake and before feeding.
If you are nervous about how you going to hold your little baby in hands because the baby is so small, so don’t worry be confident in your baby’s care.
Tips for the baby bath at home
1. Daily bath not necessary
During the first week give your baby a sponge bath with warm water and soft cloth so your baby’s stump can dry.
Avoid giving baths very frequently to your newborn. Every other day is often enough. Daily cleansing of the babyface is sufficient and you can clean baby after a wet diaper.
2. Avoid bath just after feeding
You can give bath to baby any time of the day but do not bath immediately after feeding because it can cause regurgitation in babies and when your baby is sleeping.
3. Perfect room temperature
Remember to prevent the heat lose from the baby by maintaining the appropriate room temperature that should be 24degree C (75 degrees F)
Use a comfortable baby bathtub that is easily available in the market. If you are using tub then fill only 3 to 4 inches of water and check the temperature of the water.
The temperature should not exceed 37 degrees C. you can check the temperature of water by putting it on your inner wrist.
4. Do not expose baby unnecessarily
While giving bath expose your baby’s body part at a time and dry after bath quickly. Get ready with all the baby’s clothing and supplies before removing the baby’s clothes.
When you are giving a sponge bath to the baby then undress baby and wrap in a towel and uncover the head. Do not expose the baby unnecessarily.
5. Avoid harsh soap
Use a baby cleanser with normal pH and free from any preservatives. Use only unscented mild soap.
6. Never leave your baby alone
Make sure that you don’t leave your baby alone or in the bathtub, not even a second. If you have to go somewhere take your baby with you or you should put it back to the baby crib.
7. Prefer to sponge bath during the initial days
Give a tub bath to your baby after the umbilical cord drops off by itself without any bleeding or infection. Until that you can give only a sponge bath or cleaning.
Bathing your baby three days a week is enough as the baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and can be dry and frequent bathing can make baby skin dry.
8. Use lukewarm water
Make sure the water is tepid and not very cold and hot. Because it can burn baby skin and make the baby uncomfortable. Don’t wash your baby’s hair every day twice or thrice a week is enough. Use only mild soap and shampoo.
Begin by washing the baby’s face first just with water, not with soap. Rinse and make skin dry to prevent heat loss. Do not use a blow dryer for your infant.
Put your hand under your baby’s shoulder and lift it and clean the neck, chin, and skinfolds. In last clean the groin area. Rinse and dry the skin properly and cover the baby with cozy clothes.
Tips for Newborn Skincare
1. Consider baby skin is very sensitive
The baby’s skin is very delicate and tender. Wash your hands properly before you start cleaning the baby. Newborn skincare is the same as doing baby baths. You should clean it with water.
2. Stay away from fragrance based baby products
Avoid using creams, lotions, powders, and ointments on the baby’s skin. Use only odor-free and non-alcohol based lotions if your baby’s skin is extremely dry during the first 2-3 weeks of birth. But you must ask for suggestions on baby skincare products from your health care provider.
3. Don’t wash baby clothes with others
Wash your baby’s clothes separately with gentle detergent and make sure clothes should be rinsed twice properly with water.
4. Use tender hands-on baby’s skin
Be gentle on your baby’s skin while cleaning. If any stool particles stick to the baby skin. Just soak the area, clean it, and pat drying than rubbing.
5. Avoid color based soap or shampoo
Use mild soap without any color for your newborn because chemicals in the perfume and color based soap can cause rashes on your baby’s sensitive skin.
6. Protect baby from direct sunlight
Keep your baby away from direct sunlight. it can cause sunburn on the baby’s skin and can cause sun allergies and leave baby dehydrated.
7. Special care during summer
Harsh rashes on baby’s skin are common in warm weather, which usually appears on the baby’s skin folds and creases due to sweating. Take care of that and take your health care provider’s advice if need to use any cream or ointment for that.
8. Good baby eye care
Your baby’s eyes are very sensitive. Within an hour of your baby born the doctors put some eye drops into your newborn’s eyes to prevent any infection. You should daily wipe the eyes with a damp cloth.
9. Do not cut baby nails immediately after birth
Your baby’s skin and body are very sensitive, so remember do not cut fingernails and toenails just after the baby is born. The nails grow after some time so you can cut them after a few days.
The nails need to grow out far enough from the skin so do not cut the skin accidentally. Apply freely fitted gloves over the child’s hands if needed, so that baby should not scratch himself or herself.
However, it may interfere in the baby’s activities such as sucking thumb or finger. You can remove mitts intermittently.
When you see the nails grow enough to cut, and then only you can trim them carefully with manicure seizures and clippers. It should be cut in a straight line from one edge to another. Make sure nails are not with sharp edges.
The best time to cut nails, when your baby is sleeping. Because the baby makes a lot of movements when they awake like waving their arms and kicking legs. Cut nails carefully and keep them short.
Baby genital care
1. Always use clean tap water
Make sure you clean your baby’s genital area daily with clean water after he/she urinate or poop. Dry the skin properly before applying another baby diaper.
For the girl baby, clean the genitalia by separating the labia layer and clean from pubic zone to butt. Do not harshly wipe the genital area. Pat it gently.
2. Say no to talcum powder
Avoid using any powder or scented powder or cream on the genital of the baby. It may contain harsh chemicals and can cause infection.
3. Special care in circumcised baby
For an uncircumcised baby boy, clean the area only with warm water and gentle soap with the instructions of your child health care provider. You can give a sponge bath until the circumcision incision dry.
4. Open the diaper for fresh air
Keep your baby’s buttocks uncovered to air for a few minutes. It will help to dry up the diaper rashes and prevent further irritation and redness due to the moisture and also stop the bacterial growth.
5. Protect baby skin from rashes
For baby rashes, you can use zinc oxide-based baby ointments to protect baby skin from moisture and rashes.
1. Start immediately soon after birth
You can start breastfeeding your baby within one or two hours of birth. The first milk called colostrum is very important for the baby. The initial milk is yellowish in color, thick and full of nutrients for the baby.
2. Great to build immunity in newborn
It is crucial to feed your baby for the first 6 months as breast milk contains antibodies and essential nutrients, which protect your baby from cold, infection, and stomach bugs.
3. Avoid giving any external fluid
Do not give water or any drink and food if your baby is on exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age. Try to continue exclusive breast-feed until your baby turns six months old and after six months.
4. Develops a mother-baby bonding
You can start semi-solid food and baby food along with the exclusive breastfeeding until one year of age. Moreover, breastfeeding is perfect for you because this will enhance the mother-baby bonding and you feel more attached and close to your baby. It also provides warmth, comfort, and affection to your newborn.
In the nutshell – Every newborn is special and as care. Baby’s skin is very sensitive so it needs extreme skincare at home after birth. Every new mother with their newborn needs special care and support from family as well in the care.
All the given care tips may help new mums in taking care of their cute babies. If you need extra care and any guide instruction about your baby care you can talk to your health care provider.
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I am experienced health professional (B.Sc. Nursing, P.GD Nursing). I am passionate to provide valuable information about Maternal and child Health. My goal is to provide the right and trustworthy information about pregnancy and baby care.