When a child is born, the parents, first of all the mother, encounter a great number of problems and questions; how and what should they do? In this article we will try to touch upon the most frequent questions and answer them.
Breast feeding is vitally important for the child’s health, as a mother’s milk contains all the substances that are necessary for growth and development of a baby. Until the baby is six months old they should be fed only by their mother’s milk, and only after six months should supplementary feeding be introduced. The baby should be fed with mother’s milk upon its request, but after some time the baby will set its own feeding intervals. By the time the baby is three months old, the number of feedings will be around six to seven per twenty-four hours, and after five months it can be five per twenty-four hours. The baby should be weighed regularly to check that it is getting enough breast milk for normal growth and development. If the weight of the baby grows by less than six hundred grams per month during the first six months from its birth, you should consult a pediatrician.
If the mother does not produce enough breast milk, the baby must receive additional feeding. At the moment, there are several variants of baby formulas that are maximally close to mother’s milk in composition. If the baby formula you have chosen suits your baby, you should not change it during your child’s first year. Full cream cow milk can be introduced only when the baby is nine to twelve months old.
The baby must be offered water between the feedings, in the one (to one and a half) hour after the meal, especially during hot periods of the year. If the baby is in need of additional liquid, it will drink more. If there is no need, the baby will refuse. Water is especially necessary for children who receive artificial feeding. The baby may also be given herbal teas as an additional drink but only if it has no allergic reaction to the tea.
During the proces of colonization of the intestinal tract by microbial population and formation of enzyme system, seventy percent of babies have colic, pains in intestinal tract which are connected to the excessive gas generation. Colic usually stops after the first three to four months from the birth of the child. To ease the condition of the baby, you may roll it, massage its stomach, press its legs to the stomach. To prevent colic, you should put the baby on its stomach more often, hold the baby vertically after each feeding for ten to fifteen minutes, and exclude products that cause gas generation from the mother’s diet.
Hygienic procedures should be the start of every morning. Gently clean the baby’s face with a cotton wool tampon wetted with boiled water. The eyes should be cleaned in the same way, from the outer to inner corner. The nose should be cleaned (if necessary). The nose should be cleaned with salt solutes, that gently clean and wet nasal mucosa and small cotton wool binders wetted by sterile vegetable oil. When cleaning the ears, only the visible part of the ear should be cleaned (if it is dirty) but not less than two times per week. You should always use special cotton buds with stoppers.
Care of the umbilical wound
The remains of umbilical cord, as a rule, falls away during the period from 3rd-4th to 14th-15th day since birth. A small umbilical wound remains in its place. This wound usually heals by the 21st day. Keep the wound clean and dry, and watch for signs of inflammation, as the umbilical wound is the “gate” for different infections. You should clean the umbilical wound with antiseptic solute two times a day.
Care of inguinal folds
Care of inguinal folds requires particular attention. Poor hygiene may cause diaper dermatitis. After each bowel movement the baby should be cleaned with running water, and then any skin creases should be wetted and powdered with baby talc. When you are outside, you should use wet baby wipes. If you notice reddening of inguinal folds, you should consult a pediatrician. Before each feeding, you should take the diaper off to give air the baby, this has a positive impact on this area of the skin on the child.
Bathing the baby is an important hygienic procedure that has a general positive impact on a child’s health. The baby should be bathed for five to ten minutes every day. The temperature of the water should be 37°С. Put a napkin on the bottom of the bath so that the child does not slide. You must support the baby’s head to avoid ingress of water into the ears during bathing. Use baby soap or baby shampoo twice a week.
Psychological and emotional contact
Psychological and emotional contact with the mother is very important for the child, especially during the first year of its life. The mother’s warmth and tender touches will guarantee calmness and correct psychological development of the child. Take the baby in your arms more often, talk to the baby, sing songs etc. Do gymnastics during the time the diaper is removed, before each feeding, and then give the baby a relaxing massage.
The baby cries quite often during the first three months of its life. You should not worry about this. A healthy two week old baby cries for about two hours a day on average. When a baby is six weeks old it cries for about three hours a day, and when the baby is three months old it cries for one hour a day. If the baby starts crying, you should check if it needs something to eat or drink and check the diaper is clean. If everything appears fine, just caress the baby and hold it in your arms.
The American Medical Center (AMC) health care is provided around the clock. If parents have a question or a non-standard situation, you can solve it any time with a pediatric center over the phone or the doctor will come to your home, and if necessary – to the clinic. We have several types of annual programs for children’s services, with which you have the opportunity to do the necessary tests, get expert advice (orthopedist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, urologist, surgeon, etc.), as well as consult with the chosen doctor 24 hours a day.