As a new parent, there are many challenges that you may face, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here is some vital information that can help you navigate your first few weeks and months with your newborn.
Bathing your baby can be a daunting task, but it is an important one. Until your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off, which usually happens within one to two weeks after birth, you should only give your baby sponge baths. You can use a damp cotton ball or swab with alcohol to help dry the stump or follow your pediatrician’s directions. After the stump falls off, you can give your baby a bath in a sink or shallow tub.
If you need to have a caesarian delivery, don’t worry. This procedure is performed to ensure safer delivery for you or your baby. It can be necessary for various reasons, including complicated labor, stalled labor, or problems with the baby that may make delivery difficult. Whether you deliver vaginally or via a caesarian section, you are still a mother with a beautiful new blessing.
Circumcision is a personal decision that you will need to make. While some doctors believe it has many benefits, it is unnecessary. It may help to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and eliminate the chance of penile cancer, but it is not a requirement. It is important to make an informed decision after discussing it with your pediatrician.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death, is a devastating tragedy that occurs in seemingly healthy infants. While its cause is not definitively known, several correlations have been made. Research has found that female babies are less likely to die from SIDS than male babies, and the risk is greater with premature birth.
Minority children are also more likely to be affected than non-minority children, and infants born to young, single mothers are at higher risk. Smoking in the home is a significant risk factor, too.
While some people believe that sleeping with their baby is okay, the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees. According to the academy, there is a greater risk of SIDS in babies who sleep with another person. Your baby should sleep alone in a cradle or crib either next to or near an adult.
You should avoid putting pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or anything that might put your baby at risk in their bed. Most pediatricians recommend that babies sleep on their backs to decrease the risk of SIDS, although the reasons behind this are still debated.
Remember, there are no dumb questions when it comes to the health and safety of your child. If you have concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician. They are there to help you and your baby.