Babies are totally dependent on us to look
after them. During the first year the baby relies on his mother to feed him, move him from
place to place, keep him at the right temperature, keep him clean, talk to him, give him
interesting things to look at and to do and most important of all, love him.
Well-cared-for babies grow up to have fewer problems later, and a well-cared-for child is
in turn likely to look after his or her own children well.
- The right FOOD will help a child thrive and so parents
should try to learn a little about nutrition which food he should have and which
are unnecessary and even possibly harmful. Here it is important not to be impressed by any
advice that comes your way.
- Experts have agreed that breast MILK is the best milk for
babies and a mother owes it to herself and her baby to learn how to breast-feed
successfully. Babies are happier if fed on an unrestricted basis as often and for
as long as they like. Because they cry less if fed like this, life is easier for their
mothers, and unrestricted BREAST FEEDING soon becomes a way of life.
Weaning (introducing other foods) can be started at
four to six months but there is no need to stop breast feeding until you or your baby want
to. A baby cannot choose his own food, so he relies on his parents to choose the right
things for him.
- In our climate babies can easily get cold if they are not
dressed up and if exposed to vagaries of pollution & temperature changes. It's all too
easy to over cloth a baby, and difficult to judge how warm he is if you're dashing around
doing the housework. Temperature is more critical if the baby is very young, premature or
- If a baby is ill and feverish, it is sensible to keep him
relatively cool rather than smother him with blankets and extra clothes.
- Babies need bathing every day, in addition it is important
to keep their skin clean in the nappy area and in the folds under their arms, round their
necks and behind their ears. Both bathing and topping and tailing (washing
their faces and nappy areas) are good ways of keeping them clean and fresh. The water used
should be warm (test it with your elbow) and the soap non-stinging.
- Now youíll say Oh God! Not again safety! And that too in the
bathroom! But as the old adage goes, better safe than sorry. So a
few hints from growingwell team, all our experiences.
Newborns can drown amazingly fast, even in half a bucket of water.
Never leave your baby alone in the bathroom even for a second, for
answering that doorbell or the insistent telephone ring.
Carry your baby into the bathroom, only after you have switched off
the geyser and checked the temperature of the water with your elbow.
Ensure that the floor is not slippery when you carry your baby in.
Be careful while applying soap or oil. In case soap enters the mouth
or eyes, donít panic. Call your doctor and seek guidance.
- Babies are likely to get several different types of spots,
which seldom need treatment. Milia are little, whitish, pin-sized spots
on the face, and go of their own accord. Many babies develop spotty faces in the first few
weeks of life. These spots almost always subside and usually no cause is found. Nappy Rash is
a common problem, and many babies also suffer from Cradle Cap.
- Nails need cutting carefully because of the sudden movements
babies often make. Use small scissors with blunt-ended blades.
- Cotton wool buds can be used if absolutely necessary to
clean ONLY the outer ears and the nostrils; NOT to be pushed in deeper, however, it is
easy to hurt the baby if he moves, so you should hold him very firm while doing this.
Never poke anything up the ear canal, as a sudden movement may make you damage or even
break the babys eardrum.
- In boys the foreskin of the penis doesnt need pulling
back to wash beneath it until it retracts easily. Similarly, the vulva shouldnt be
scrupulously washed but any large amount of matter gently wiped away.
- We expect babies to SLEEP on their own in our mod world, but
you may feel that it is kinder and more natural to let them sleep near you or in a sling
during the day, and near you or even in your bed at night. People often worry about the
correct position for their baby to sleep in. The best way is probably the way the child
sleeps best, but if putting him to sleep on his tummy or side gives you peace of mind, do
it this way. A pillow is unnecessary for a baby until he is at least a year old, but a
pillow placed under the mattress is quite all right.
- Equipment and toys for a baby must be safe. Toys needn't
cost lots of money. A six-month-old baby is just as happy with a few brightly coloured
plastic bowls and spoons as he is with `proper` toys.
- Caring for a baby means giving him interesting things to do,
look at and listen to besides feeding, washing and putting him to bed. He will be much
happier watching you in the kitchen than left alone in his cot.
Well-cared for babies are also much-loved babies. It is
never wrong to pick up a crying baby and cuddle him and it certainly won't lead to bad
A happy, relaxed, loving mother gets the most pleasure from
her baby and he from her.