As new parents, we are sure it’s pretty exciting and yet challenging to handle your bundle of joy. Knowing how to take care of your little one can be insightful. Read on to know more.
Every year in the week between 15 and 21st November, India celebrates the Newborn Care Week. Why is this week necessary? It’s because the first 28 days of your newborn’s life (neonatal phase) are very vulnerable – the neonatal phase has the highest child mortality rate. Similarly, this stage also sets the foundation for your child’s health. The care and effort you put into the baby’s health at this stage will decide how strong he/she will be as an adult.
That is why throughout the newborn care week, efforts are made to educate parents on how to look after their infants. Read on to know the major challenges to a baby’s health and what you can do to avoid them.
Neonatal health problems
Why is your little one so vulnerable? It’s because a baby’s immunity has not developed yet. The following health complications can strike your child in the first 28 days-
- Neonatal infections
- Respiratory distress
- Lung damage from mechanical ventilation
- A collapsed lung
- Rapid breathing
Symptoms to look for in your Newborn
Although every newborn is different and has different needs, there are a few common symptoms in newborns, which if diagnosed early, could be life-saving. Let us take a look at some of the health symptoms which can be manifested in newborns.
- Excessive crying- Crying is natural among newborns. It is their way of expressing their needs to you. However, excessive crying can be due to some underlying disease or even discomfort. Therefore, it is essential to not dismiss your baby’s cries as they can be their cry for help.
- Irritability- Does your newborn’s face turn red due to hours and hours of crying? Does your baby cry at the slightest change in the environment? This could be due to colic pain, earache, bacterial infections or even a soiled diaper. It is important to learn to read your newborn’s cues to have a healthy and happy baby.
- Unusual skin rashes or redness- Skin redness, rashes in unusual places could be a symptom of certain diseases among newborns. While diaper rashes and rashes due to heat are common, it is imperative to look out for unusual rash characteristics to keep several illnesses at bay.
Tips to take care of your Newborn
What is the best way to protect your little one? It is by being aware of the common health problems your child may have. If you are aware of them, then you will be able to recognize them and take action at the right time.
Caring for your newborn starts with ensuring that as soon as the baby is born, he/she is given a complete health check. Doctors should also administer the birth shots of certain immunization vaccines like BCG, Hepatitis B, etc.
What else can you do for your baby? You can follow these child-care tips
- Is the baby cold? Ensure that you keep the baby warm. You can use a soft cotton cloth to cover the baby.
- Please do not feed the baby cow or goat milk. A child needs to be breastfed to develop a strong immunity. Breastfeeding can protect the child against allergies, cough and cold, bronchial problems, etc. In later life, a child who has been breastfed will have fewer chances of getting cancer, diabetes or obesity.
- Remember to feed the baby every 2 or 3 hours. If your newborn seems uninterested in food, then this is a cause of concern.
- Always wash up your hands before you handle the newborn. Germs and bacteria reside on the skin of your hands. Your child’s immunity is not strong enough to fight them off.
- Like long nails? Trim them before you handle the baby. A baby’s skin is soft and fragile. Your nails could graze the skin and cause infection.
- Make sure your baby wears a clean diaper.
- Always bathe and clean your baby in warm water.
- Use child-friendly soap and shampoo.
Parents need to be made more aware of what they can do to promote their child’s well-being. And the newborn care week makes it an important step in keeping your little one fit and healthy.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.