14 Jan Care for newborn baby: Few basics to remember
It is important to maintain hygiene in the diaper area, trying to change it frequently and wash the area.
The arrival of a newborn raises parents, in many cases, numerous doubts in the care and management of the baby. With patience, affection, and the right information we can give our baby all the care it deserves.
Main newborn care
The Umbilical Cord.
Generally, the umbilical cord is detached between 3 and 12 days of the life of the newborn. We must wash it with soap and water, at least once a day (coinciding with the bath). Once it is dry, we will cover the cord with a sterile gauze to which we will add 70º alcohol. This gauze will be changed whenever necessary; If urine or feces is stained, we will repeat the entire cleaning process. Once the umbilical cord is detached, we will continue to treat the umbilical scar in the same way until the gauze appears completely clean; generally, this occurs within four to five days. For the care of the umbilical cord, Antibiotic powders or iodinated antiseptics should not be used (the latter due to the risk of inducing hypothyroidism).
Bandages or girdles that surround the abdomen should not be worn. It is important to monitor the appearance and odor of the umbilical cord. If you notice redness, discharge, or a bad smell, you should consult your pediatrician.
The newborn should be bathed daily. The water will have a temperature around 36º C and a soap with an acid pH of those that exist in the market specially prepared for babies will be used. We will take special care in cleaning the folds. It is important to maintain hygiene in the diaper area, trying to change the diaper frequently and wash the area to avoid prolonged contact of the child’s skin with urine or feces. A protective ointment can be used after washing.
Clothing should be comfortable and loose to allow the baby to move freely. It should be made of cotton; wool can be irritating. The newborn, especially in the first days, tend to get cold easily, so his clothes must adapt to the ambient temperature, but avoid being overcoated.
When the nails are long they can be cut or filed to prevent the child from scratching. They should be cut with suitable scissors (round tip) very carefully. The cut must be straight to avoid the ingrown toenail. We will take advantage of the moment when the child is calm and we will hold the fingers well to avoid any damage.
The child’s room should be quiet and it is recommended that it be well lit with natural light. The room should be ventilated every day. The temperature should be around 20ºC.
It must have a firm mattress, without pillows or toys inside it. An exaggerated coat is not advised, nor is it advisable to cover your head during sleep. Babies should sleep in the same room as their parents until the age of 6 months; this favors breastfeeding and care during sleep. Your sleeping posture should be on your back (numerous studies have associated sleeping on your stomach with sudden infant death syndrome).
Walks and Sun Exposure
It is convenient to take the child out for a walk after seven to ten days if the weather permits. Exposure to the sun is important because it prevents rickets from intervening in the production of vitamin D. In the summer we must avoid the central hours of the day and direct exposure to the sun.