Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Baby and You


Throughout your baby's stay in your womb during pregnancy, she has been receiving
nourishment through the placenta that is connected to your uterus. The placenta is connected
to baby's stomach. After baby is born, the cord is cut and clamped, leaving a stump that
is about 2-3cm long. The stump will change colour from yellowish green to brown to black,
and will eventually drop off in about two weeks after birth. Here are some tips in caring
for your baby's umbilical stump:

      Keep the stump clean. Parents were once told to clean the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. However, researchers now suggest that it is better to let the stump dry off on its own. If the stump becomes dirty or sticky, gently wash with water and dry with a soft piece of cloth or by fanning it with a piece of paper.

      Keep the stump dry. Expose the stump to air to help dry it out, and fold baby's diaper below the stump. In warm weather, let baby wear just a diaper and a shirt to speed up the drying process. Avoid bodysuit or romper styled outfits until the stump falls off.

Avoid tub baths (immersing baby in water) until after the stump falls off. In the meantime, baby can be given sponge baths, or wiped down with a wet soft towel.

      Contact your doctor if baby develops an infection. Signs of infection include fever, the navel area becomes red or swollen, continues to bleed, or oozes yellowish pus.

A crying newborn is something all new parents dread, and yet, is inevitable. A crying baby is trying to tell you something, and it is a parent's task to figure out why baby is crying, and what you can do about it. In time, you will learn to distinguish your baby's crying patterns, which will in turn reduce the need for crying. If your newborn is crying, she is probably trying to say:

      I'M hungry. This would be the most common reason why your baby cries. Keep in mind that a newborn's stomach is very small and cannot hold much, thus making them hungry frequently. This is especially so if you are breastfeeding, as breastmilk is more easily digestible compared to formula, thus causing baby to want to be fed more frequently. Respond to early signs of hunger, as some babies may get frantic when hunger strikes.

            I'm wet. Most babies feel uncomfortable with a soiled diaper, and hence the bawling out. Some babies however, may not be too bothered with a soiled diaper, but prolonged contact with urine and poop may cause skin irritation and this will inevitably lead to a crying baby.

      I'm tired. One may assume that babies automatically fall asleep when they are tired. This is not the case. Many babies don't fall asleep easily - Some may also find it difficult adjusting to bright lights and sounds. Try to eliminate any existing stimulation and babywear your little one, as they may find it soothing.

      I'm feeling hot or cold. Take care not to overdress your newborn, especially in tropical weather. If baby is in an air-conditioned room, ensure that she is suitably dressed. The general rule of thumb is that babies need one more layer of clothing than adults to be comfortable.

      I want to be held. A new world outside the womb can be overwhelming for a newborn. Cuddling and physical contact can comfort your baby. Swaddling and baby wearing can help recreate comforts of the womb.

      I don't feel so well. Sometimes a newborn may cry because they are not feeling well physically. During the first few months, colic may be the main culprit. A colicky baby may cry long and loud, and clench her fists or arch her back when crying.
      As upsetting as it may sound, it is said that almost nothing works for colic, and babies will outgrow it in time. Different mothers have different methods which they say work for their colicky babies, among them:
                # Burp your baby after every feed to avoid painful wind.
                # Expose baby to repetitive movement or motion such as rocking motions,
                    swinging, pushing in a pram or even car rides.
                # Massaging baby's tummy to help release wind and poop.

                # If baby is bottle-fed, try switching teats or bottle to an anti-colic one.

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