Your Baby & Toddler - - [Newborn Guide] -

a good nappy is bag easy and

com­fort­able carry around to

while jug­gling all the other

ne­ces­si­ties of moth­er­hood

, yet big enough to fit all of your

baby’s sup­plies – nap­pies,

bum cream, ex­tra

clothes, a few toys in­side your baby’s ear, as there is no need to, and you run the risk of dam­ag­ing the baby’s eardrum.

Us­ing an­other fresh piece of cot­ton wool or end of the face­cloth, wipe your baby’s neck creases, hands and be­tween their fin­gers. Very of­ten, lit­tle threads from blan­kets and clothes can col­lect be­tween fin­gers, so make sure those are wiped and clean.

As for the tail part, clean your baby’s bot­tom and gen­i­tals just as you would dur­ing a nappy change. You may find it eas­ier to use baby wipes for this part, but make sure they are not per­fumed and that they do not con­tain any al­co­hol. Ap­ply a good bar­rier cream as you nor­mally would be­fore putting on baby’s nappy.

Once your baby is clean, you may want to rub in a mois­tur­is­ing lo­tion if his skin is dry, but this is not es­sen­tial. Wrap the towel around him and pat his skin dry, but don’t for­get the most im­por­tant part as you lift him up while wrapped in the towel – a big cud­dle!

chang­ing nap­pies

Your new­born will need a nappy change at ev­ery feed and maybe even more fre­quently. Dis­pos­able nap­pies are ex­cel­lent at ab­sorb­ing the urine away from the sen­si­tive skin of the bum area, but you do still need to take care and clean the area well at each nappy change.

Pre­pare the nappy change area by hav­ing two nap­pies on hand (there is a chance you will need to use two nap­pies if your baby wees in the mid­dle of a nappy change).

Use wa­ter that has been boiled and al­lowed to cool down and cot­ton wool swabs for the first few weeks and then change to a gen­tle nappy wipe if your baby does not de­velop nappy rash in the first few months.

Wipe the nappy area well, as per the top and tail­ing in­struc­tions.

Use a sim­ple bum cream to help pro­tect the skin in the nappy area from ir­ri­ta­tion.

Rash Res­cue

Nappy rash hap­pens and it will prob­a­bly strike your house at some point. Meg Faure, au­thor of the Sense se­ries books and founder of Baby Sense, who re­cently launched her new on­line par­ent­ing com­mu­nity on www.meg­, has some help­ful ad­vice. “Nappy rash is dis­con­cert­ing be­cause of­ten it ap­pears out of nowhere af­ter a nig­gly pe­riod, and mom or dad then blame them­selves for caus­ing it or not re­spond­ing sooner,” she says. “The im­por­tant thing with nappy rash is not to al­low the wet acidic urine or stools to be left on the nappy area for too long, so regular nappy changes are es­sen­tial if your baby is prone to rashes. Try to have a pe­riod of time each day when the nappy is off al­to­gether and the bum area can dry out com­pletely – par­ents can even dust the area with corn­starch to help it dry out well. When you change your baby’s nap­pies do not use store bought wipes, if they have a sen­si­tive skin – rather use wet cot­ton wool to clean the area well.

“If your baby is prone to rashes you need to find a cream that works for him. Use tried and tested oint­ments as a treat­ment if your baby’s nappy rash is bad. If a nappy rash per­sists or is very red and an­gry and ac­com­pa­nied by lit­tle le­sions, you will need to check with your doc­tor if it is due to thrush, which will not go away with­out an an­ti­fun­gal cream.”

cord care

It usu­ally takes about ten days for your baby’s um­bil­i­cal cord stump to dry up and fall off, but in the mean­time it re­quires a bit of tak­ing care of.

Keep it clean At ev­ery nappy change and af­ter each bath (or prefer­ably, top and tail) lift the cord up and, us­ing sur­gi­cal spir­its and cot­ton wool or sur­gi­cal al­co­hol swabs, clean around the cord and at the stump.

Keep it dry Ex­pose the stump to air when­ever pos­si­ble; if it’s warm, dress your baby in a nappy and T-shirt to im­prove air cir­cu­la­tion around the stump. Fold the top of your baby’s nappy down in the front so that it doesn’t rub against his stump, and so that it’s ex­posed to air and not urine.

treat in­fec­tion early If your baby has a fever, or you no­tice swelling around your baby’s belly but­ton, or if the stump bleeds or oozes pus, then con­tact your baby’s doc­tor.

let the stump fall by it­self Don’t tug on your baby’s cord stump, even if it’s hang­ing by a thread. It will fall off nat­u­rally, and when it does his lit­tle navel may ooze and bleed a bit. Con­tinue clean­ing the area as you did the stump and look out for signs of in­fec­tion.

breast­feed­ing tips

As nat­u­ral as it is to breast­feed your baby, it takes a bit of work to get it right. Take the time to get the ba­sics right. To help you find your feet, here are Meg’s top five breast­feed­ing tips: 1 Pre­pare for breast­feed­ing ahead of your baby’s birth by hav­ing one ses­sion with a lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant who can show you the ba­sics or ask a sea­soned mom who is breast­feed­ing to show you how she feeds. Within an hour of birth, latch your baby onto the breast. Use the help of the midwives, nurses or

a lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant to help you get the latch right. 2 Breast­feed on de­mand for the first six weeks, un­til your milk sup­ply is es­tab­lished. This does not mean of­fer­ing a feed ev­ery time your baby squawks but when your baby is cry­ing around a feed time, feed. 3 Drink loads of liq­uids such as wa­ter (or even Jun­gle Juice), eat well and sleep at least once in the day when your baby sleeps – this helps your body pro­duce milk. 4 Have re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions – breast­feed­ing takes time and com­mit­ment, it is some­times sore, and it is not an easy task, but it is worth tak­ing the time to get it right. 5 And fi­nally, if you can’t or don’t breast­feed, don’t feel guilty – par­ent­ing is about far more than just the way you feed your baby.

Bond­ing with your Baby

Each mom’s ex­pe­ri­ence of bond­ing (an­other word for con­nect­ing with your baby) is dif­fer­ent. Some moms fall in love with their ba­bies in utero, long be­fore birth. Other moms ex­pe­ri­ence anx­i­ety as the birth date ap­proaches, not know­ing for sure if they will love their baby and then ex­pe­ri­ence love at first sight on the day their baby is born. An­other very nor­mal ap­proach is to feel some­what in­tim­i­dated by your baby and not very con­nected to this new life for a while af­ter birth. This can cre­ate anx­i­ety as you start to worry if that “nat­u­ral” ma­ter­nal in­stinct will ever kick in. Don’t worry, you will fall in love, some­times it just takes time. It is a re­searched fact that skin to skin con­tact in the first few days af­ter your baby is born re­leases won­der­ful “feel good” and love hor­mones, as well as as­sist­ing in the estab­lish­ment of breast­feed­ing. Touch is a lan­guage that ba­bies un­der­stand. Stroking, nuz­zling, mas­sag­ing, cud­dling, and nap­ping to­gether – th­ese are the ways you and your part­ner can com­mu­ni­cate your love for your child and de­velop that spe­cial bond with him.

Keep­ing Baby healthy

Your new­born’s im­mune sys­tem is not yet fully de­vel­oped and so it needs to be pro­tected for a while. You can do this with th­ese tips:

Al­ways wash your hands af­ter each nappy change and af­ter top and tail­ing.

Al­ways wash your hands be­fore pre­par­ing any feeds.

Ster­ilise your baby’s dummy and any­thing that goes near his mouth un­til he is six months old. You can do this us­ing a mi­crowave steriliser, or ster­il­is­ing so­lu­tion or tablets in wa­ter.

on Sleep­ing

The thing you’ll miss the most, day­dream about and laugh ma­ni­a­cally over the thought of dur­ing your baby’s first one hun­dred days will be sleep. Sleep is the one prize that all new par­ents seek out, but it’s most of­ten the one tro­phy that can’t be claimed.

A well es­tab­lished rou­tine can and will save your san­ity, once set down prop­erly and well es­tab­lished. But this is not go­ing to work with a new­born. So, at least for the first few weeks, fol­low your baby’s cues as he gets used to the world out­side the womb. Re­mem­ber that he will be wak­ing up of­ten for a feed.

New­born ba­bies sleep a lot, and the amount a baby sleeps dur­ing a typ­i­cal day will de­crease as they grow. Our big­gest tip of all – and we’re sure you’ve heard this one be­fore, though it’s the truth – is sleep when the baby sleeps. Even if you don’t man­age an ac­tual nap, use the time your baby sleeps to re­lax and build up some en­ergy re­serves. Don’t fret about clean­ing the house or en­ter­tain­ing vis­i­tors – it can all wait! Dur­ing the day, and es­pe­cially in the evening, keep an eye out for signs that your baby is sleepy. It’s very com­mon for tired ba­bies to rub their eyes, pull at their ear, yawn or even be­come qui­eter than usual. Tired ba­bies are gen­er­ally cranky too, so they may protest when stim­u­lated or star­tle in re­sponse to noise, even per­haps cry­ing and moan­ing af­ter­wards. As soon as you see any of th­ese signs, cud­dle up with your child and take him to his cot to sleep. Pretty soon, you’ll be­come adept at know­ing when your child is most likely to be tired – new­born and young ba­bies usu­ally work on a three to four hour cy­cle, so it’ll be­come su­per easy to gauge when your baby will need a nap dur­ing the day.

It’s quite com­mon for new­born ba­bies to swap their day and night sleep­ing pat­terns around. You’ll know this is hap­pen­ing when your baby is sleep­ing much more dur­ing the day and seems more alert at night, wak­ing up a lot for feeds. To cor­rect this, en­cour­age your baby to feed more fre­quently dur­ing the day by wak­ing him up for a feed ev­ery three to four hours, and try to stretch the time be­tween feeds at night. Keep the night feeds calm and quiet, as any stim­u­la­tion will just wake baby up.

From about two months in, make sure you do the same thing ev­ery night as this will sig­nal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. Bath and dress him in py­ja­mas, sing a lul­laby, feed and rock him if you would like to – it’s at this age that you’ll es­tab­lish a rou­tine and “sys­tem” for bed­time so what­ever you do now, know that you’ll be do­ing it later on too.

Th­ese first hun­dred days of your child’s life can be a tum­ble of learn­ing, sur­prises and ad­just­ments, so above all re­mem­ber that you have cre­ated a life. Love this time with your baby, even when you’re so sleep de­prived you think you can’t func­tion. Be­fore you know it, it’ll be over.

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