Baby Care

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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 small.
  • 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 you�ll 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, don�t 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 baby’s eardrum.
  • In boys the foreskin of the penis doesn’t need pulling back to wash beneath it until it retracts easily. Similarly, the vulva shouldn’t 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 habits.

A happy, relaxed, loving mother gets the most pleasure from her baby and he from her.

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