A newborn can bring a whirlwind of joy and excitement to your life. The giggles and coos can quickly fill any room, but with a new baby comes great responsibility. You are now responsible for keeping this tiny human being alive and healthy. They depend on you for their every need. It can be daunting, to say the least.
During the initial years, your newborn’s immunity is still under development. As a result, bacteria that are harmless to adults may cause severe infections in babies.
Plus, the undivided attention of family and friends who want to touch and kiss the new baby can inadvertently expose them to harmful germs.
So, how do you protect your newborn from all the germs and bacteria in the world? Let’s take a look. You may already know a few of these tips, but reinforcement does not harm.
1. Look for Signs of Birth Injuries
During the delivery process, it’s essential to monitor the baby for any signs of birth injuries. These can include nerve damage, skull fractures, and broken bones. Any of these injuries can be incredibly dangerous for a newborn and require immediate medical attention.
Medical negligence is at the frontier of compensation claims in the US. So, if you have been affected by medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The Birth Injury Justice Center can help you get the compensation you deserve.
2. Check Baby’s Temperature
A newborn’s temperature should be checked soon after birth and then regularly for the first few weeks. Your baby may develop a fever if they’re immunized, are teething, or have an infection. A rectal temperature above 100.4 F or a skin temperature of more than 99 F warrants a call to the pediatrician. The doctor will prescribe the appropriate course of treatment, which may include over-the-counter medication or a lukewarm bath.
3. Clean the Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord stump will fall off within a week or two after birth. Until then, it’s essential to keep the area clean and dry. Gently clean the stump’s base with mild soap and water when you change your baby’s diaper. The cord should be allowed to air-dry before putting on a new diaper. If an infection develops, you may notice redness, swelling, or discharge from the area. The pediatrician will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.
4. Give Baby Plenty of Tummy Time
Tummy time is essential for helping your baby develop the strength to lift their head, roll over, and sit up. Tummy time also prevents flat spots from developing on the back of your baby’s head.
Try to work in at least a few minutes of tummy time several times a day, even if your baby doesn’t seem to like it at first. Place a towel under their chest, and prop them up on their elbows. As they get stronger, they’ll be able to stay in this position for longer.
5. Be Wary of the Sun
Do you know that your baby’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s? It can burn easily, so keeping your newborn out of direct sunlight is essential. If you must be in the sun, dress your baby in loose-fitting clothing that covers its arms and legs. A brimmed hat will protect the exposed skin on their face, neck, and head. Applying sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30 is also a good idea. However, only pick one that’s suitable for babies. These are free of harmful additives.
6. Keep Baby’s Face Clean
Babies tend to drool a lot, and all that saliva can lead to irritation and rashes around the mouth. Gently clean your baby’s face after feedings with a cotton ball soaked in warm water. You must also politely decline any kisses on the face, no matter how much anyone insists. Serious illnesses like herpes and meningitis are passed on through saliva.
7. Groom Baby’s Nails
You’ll notice that your baby’s nails grow quickly. If you don’t trim them, your baby might scratch its delicate face. Use small baby scissors or clippers to trim your baby’s nails once or twice a week. If you’re worried about cutting too close, you can file them with an emery board. The best time to trim or file your baby’s nails is when they’re sleeping since they’re less likely to wiggle around.
8. Try to Breastfeed
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child. It’s easier on your baby’s stomach, helps them bond with you, and provides them with essential nutrients. It’s also been shown to boost a baby’s immunity, which can help protect them from illnesses. If your supply is low, incorporate foods that boost production. Semolina porridge, carrots, and dark leafy greens are all excellent options. You can also extract milk using a pump if you need to be away from your baby for extended periods.
9. Stay on Top of Their Vaccination Schedule
Vaccinations are the best way to protect your baby from harmful diseases. They’re typically given starting at two months old and continuing until your child is six. The CDC has a recommended schedule that you can follow. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.
You must not miss the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), polio, rotavirus, and pneumococcal vaccines.
10. Make Sure the Home is Safe
Now that you have a little one, it’s time to do a walkthrough of your home to identify potential dangers. Crawl around and look for things within reach that may pose a choking hazard. Install stop plugs in all your electrical outlets and keep cords and wires out of sight. Get rid of any rugs or carpets that could cause your baby to trip, and ensure all your furniture is securely anchored to the wall.
If you have a staircase, install gates at the top and bottom. You should keep all dangerous chemicals, cleaning supplies, and medications out of reach.
As a new parent, worrying about your baby’s health and safety is natural. However, by following the tips above, you can help ensure that your little one stays healthy and happy. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. They are your best source of authentic information and support.
While you’re on your feet, taking care of your fragile little bundle of joy, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Rest when you can, and seek help when you need it.