First 100 days of a child - Some doubts cleared
The day when a child is born - is the most important day of one's life, which brings joy and a lot of happiness. Yet, numerous doubts also accompany them. Now, families are atomic and parents can't find suitable persons or elders in the family to clear their doubts. First 100 days are really crucial and when first child is arriving to a family, parents' worries also increase and their minds fill with thousands of doubts - Is our baby healthy? Does he has appropriate weight? Why he cries frequently? Is he hungry? Even silly questions may cause big tensions to parents. In this article, I am trying to clear some of the commonly asked questions.
How can we know that our child is healthy? What is his suitable weight at the time of birth?
If a baby is normal and healthy he will cry once born. His hands and legs will move actively and will slowly open his eyes. Within 5 minutes, his colour turns pink. Then he will breathe normal and lay calm. Normal weight of a newborn ranges between 2.5 kg and 4.5 kg. Boys normally have more weight than girls. His height ranges from 45 cm to 55 cm. His head circumference ranges between 32 cm and 38 cm. Overweight children may be born if mother is diabetic during pregnancy.
What are those abnormal symptoms that may occur in a new born?
Soon after delivery if the child doesn't cry or breath properly then there may be any problem. Sometimes colour of the kid may not change to pink soon after birth. Skin colour may be blue. The child may have heart or respiratory problems. During pregnancy, due to some block in the umbilical cord, the foetus may not get proper blood circulation. Such kids are born with more pale while born. Some infants may have fewer movements soon after birth. For these 3 cases, the child need intense care and should be given cardiopulmonary resuscitation by an experienced doctor.
When should the infant be fed first? Does it differ if a child is born normal or through caesarean?
If a child is born normal, he should be fed soon after delivery. 2 hours soon after the birth, normally child stays calm. So, it is the best time to feed him. Caesarian mothers may not be able to use this quiet alert time. So try to feed such kids as soon as mother becomes stable.
Is it possible to detect problems of a new born infant?
Normally a pediatric doctor checks the baby the same day he is born and detects if he has any defects or problems that time itself.
When will a healthy baby cries first? If he is seen pale what should be done?
A baby will cry within seconds he is born. Along with it, he intakes his first breath. If he has some respiratory problems he will be seen pale. If seen so, he should be given artificial respiration as soon as possible.
If mother doesn't have enough breast milk to feed her child what to do? How often should a child be given milk?
99% mothers do have sufficient milk to feed her child during the first 3 days. Since the amount is low, some may assume that it may not be sufficient for the kid. From third day itself yellow milk turns white due to breast nipple stimulation by the child and also amount of breast milk increases gradually. Milk should be given to the child in 3 hours interval and should be given from half hour to 45 minutes. If feeding mother doesn't drink sufficient water, amount of breast milk may decrease. She should include at least 3 litre liquid food in her diet daily. She can drink 350 ml water each time she feeds the child. Also her healthy diet should include 3000 calories. She should continue iron and calcium tablets also. Even then problems persists, she should consult a doctor.
What is the sleeping procedure of a new born infant?
During first weeks, he may be awake for just 2 hours daily. Gradually it decreases and when he reaches 3 months age he will sleep 16 hours maximum daily.
Some babies may appear slight yellowish at the time of birth. Why is it so? What should be done in this case?
Normally all kids will have a yellowish colour (Bilirubin) on the third day of his birth. From sixth day onwards it begins to disappear slowly. After one month, his skin will become normal. Before birth, a child has excess amount of red blood cells in his body. After birth, those excess cells will break down giving bilirubin as end product which is yellow in colour. Liver removes bilirubin content from blood. Due to some reasons, about 5% of children have excess bilirubin content in their blood which may damage their brain. In the third day itself doctors will check bilirubin content of the kid for avoiding further problems. Phototherapy may be needed for kids having this problem.
Can new born baby identify his mother?
They can see things placed within one yard distance. So babies will examine the persons near him. One can't say if a new born can identify his mother. But before 2 months itself, he starts smiling at his mother. Kids love female voices most. They also enjoy soft music. Perhaps it may be because he begins to hear heart beats of mother at her womb itself.
When should we bath our kid first? What are the important things to be noted?
It the infant is healthy, you can bath him the first day itself. Use boiled and cooled water and baby soap. Bath him daily once. Foldings in him body should be thoroughly cleaned. Also, remove full moisture from foldings. Remove moisture from navel and apply a little spirit with cotton. You can use baby lotion soon after his bath.
How weight of an infant increases day by day?
At first week, all kids lose 10% of their weight, but regains that lost weight the second week. In the first month, weight increases by 20-40 gm daily. In the next month, weight increases by 15-20 gm daily. Between 4th and 5th month the kid attains double the birth weight. When he turns 1 year old, he should have weight between 9 and 10 kg.
How can we know that the baby is getting enough milk?
It can be known by the way the child is having milk, also by checking his weight. If he takes milk producing a small sound, he is getting milk. Some kids won't prefer to drink milk and they will soon fall to sleep once he starts drinking. Never encourage your baby to do this.
How are the symptoms of navel infection? How can it be avoided?
Navel of new born kids should always be kept dry. Soon after his bath remove moisture from navel and apply a little spirit with cotton. No need to use antibiotic lotions or powder. If navel is infected, smell and water flowing from navel are its first symptoms. If the baby has got fever and red colour appears around his navel consult a doctor.
How soap, oil and powder should be used?
There is no need to use oil before his naval completely heals and umbilical stump leaves his navel. Only a moisturizing lotion is needed after bath. Use a soap and clean his foldings carefully. Actually baby powder is harmful to baby's respiration. Kindly avoid them if possible.
How to clean your baby after passing stool or urine?
Clean your baby using fresh water and a small cotton cloth. If you want to clean him after urine passing, a wet cloth is necessary. Otherwise you may use baby wipes. Clean baby's genital pores and surrounding area thoroughly. Otherwise urinary infection may occur. Also, wash mother's hands with soap soon after she cleans her baby.
Are baby lotions really necessary? How can they be used?
Skin of new born infants is generally dry. His external coating may also shed within some days. Moisturizing lotions prevents baby's skin from becoming dry. Use them soon after this bath.
How diapers are used?
Diapers are of two types - cloth diaper and disposable diaper. Both are good if used properly. If you are using cloth diaper, remove it as soon as it gets wet. Otherwise baby rashes may occur due to bacterial fungus. You should change cloth diapers at least 10 times a day. Each time before using a new one, clean the baby and use vaseline. Cloth diaper should be washed well using boiled water and soap and dry well in sun light before using it for the second time. Disposable diaper is more convenient, but more expensive. If you are using it at night, no need to change it till morning since it will absorb moisture. 4-5 diapers may be needed the whole day. But use vaseline every time. Otherwise rashes may occur.
If your kid doesn't have suitable weight what to do?
If he doesn't have 2.5 kg at the time of his birth, it means he didn't get enough nutrients within mother's womb. If such kids don't have health problems, weight can be regained by giving food supplements known as breast milk fortifies along with feeding milk. Such kids can't retain much temperature inside their skin surface. Hence use cap, socks and mints. Allow them to sleep well. Even then proper weight not attained, consult your doctor each week. Vaccination should be done at correct time itself since such underweight kids are more prone to diseases.
How to remove rashes of new born?
Rashes may be many types. Sometimes they may occur within 2-3 days of his birth. It will automatically go after one week. Some babies may have pustular melanosis at the time of his birth itself. Some kids many have perennial rashes, which occurs if those parts are not kept hygienic. If diapers are used more frequently, perennial rashes occurs. Candida fungus may also causes baby rashes if baby is not kept hygienic. Most rashes can be identified by doctor only. So consult a pediatric as soon as rashes occur.
If bottle milk is to be given, what are the important things to be noted?
Due to some reasons, a baby may not get his mother's milk. If so, use bottle milk. Now infant formula milk is available in market. Ask doctor before buying a particular brand. First boil the water well and cool it. Then add the appropriate quantity of milk powder and feed the baby. While preparing it, follow the correct measures of milk powder. Otherwise, it may lose several nutritional factors. Also, one should maintain good hygiene while preparing and giving milk to the infant. Sterilize the bottle and utensils each time before using them. Also, feeding bottle should be placed inside the mouth correctly. Otherwise he will swallow more gas.
Which is the best posture for feeding the baby? Can a new born be given breast milk by lying in bed?
Sit in a chair having good back support and put your feet in a small stool before feeding your baby. If mother is tired, she can feed her child lying in bed. During first days she may need help of others to keep a comfortable position to feed her child. After feeding, place your child on your shoulders and get rid of the gas by patting his back gently to make him burp.
If child feels difficult to intake milk what to do?
Some kids may find a little difficult to intake milk soon after birth. Gradually he learns to have it through practice. If so, feed him with mother's milk by taking it separately with the help of a spoon or give him alternative milk. Never use bottle during first days. If so he will feel it easy to drink bottle milk and never try to intake mother's milk later.
While cleaning his clothes what things are to be noted?
Use soap or mild detergent to clean his clothes and blankets and dry them in sunlight. If possible, iron them before use. You can also use fabric softens after cleaning soap content thoroughly. While cleaning cloth diapers, wash it well before using soap and do the same procedures as above.
While baby is sleeping, what things are to be taken care of?
Till he becomes 3 or 4 months, best posture is laying straight. He can also sleep turning to any side. Otherwise, he may have problems while taking breath. Fan should never come just above him. Wrap him with thin cotton cloth. You can put socks also.
Babies often cry without any reason. What to do?
Try to find its reason as soon as possible. Hunger, nappy rash, gas trouble, getting wet in urine are some of the common reasons. Some babies may even cry if he feels cold or while passing stool. If baby has got fungal infection in mouth or ear infection due to cold, he may cry. If you can't find reason consult doctor immediately.
Should we give water to infants? Do they feel thirsty?
There is no need of water in the first 1-2 months. If it is summer you can give him water using a small spoon. Never mix sugar or glucose in water.
If baby doesn't pass stool?
New born kids may pass stool more than 2-3 times during his first days. Some kids may show difficulty. After leaving hospital, if he is not passing stool for 2-3 days, consult a doctor. If baby is not showing any discomforts even after 3 days in this manner, there is no need to worry. But if he cries or vomits, consult a doctor.
What about mother's sleep and rest?
Since she has to feed baby frequently, she may not get sufficient sleep. Also, she will be tired. So sleep or rest whenever your child sleeps.
Mothers take ayurveda medicines after her delivery. Does it affect the baby as she is feeding him?
A small content of intake medicines is seen in her milk too. So avoid unnecessary medicines. But she should intake a healthy diet.
How to make your baby sleep? How to get rid of the gas?
Most babies sleep at the time of feeding itself. So, never allow him to sleep before he fills his stomach by simple patting. Place him on your shoulders and get rid of the gas by patting his back gently to make him burp.
What is the importance of breast milk?
It's a complete food and gift of god. For the first 5-6 months of the baby, no other food is needed except breast milk. It is of course the most pure food a baby can get, that also at suitable temperature. Those kids who intake breast milk only have rare chances of getting stomach ache. They also get low allergy problems. Breast milk can reduce auto immune diseases like diabetics considerably.
Which is the best posture to take a new born?
Give good support to his head, neck and back bone while taking him till he is about 6 months old. You can put him on shoulders too, but with proper support to head, neck and back bone.
While buying dress for babies, what things should be noted?
Buy clothes that suite the place and climate, also the size of the baby. Buy light weight cotton clothes. If it is winter season prefer thick woolen clothes. Clothes should never be too tight and could be removed easily.
How to buy a suitable cradle?
Cradle should be spacious and baby should be able to lie inside it comfortably. Bed should have good shape and strong surface. Its sides should have suitable height which prevents your baby from falling outside. Cradles are also available with net. It is better to use such cradles rather than using mosquito mats to avoid mosquitoes and small insects.
If a baby vomits frequently what to do?
During first week and month, it is a common tendency of baby to vomit. It occurs because muscles between stomach and pharynx are not strengthened yet. So, no treatment is necessary. Gradually this tendency is reduced as this muscle strengthens.
In this article I have covered some of the common doubts of a parent. Hoping it will help you and relieve you from much of the tensions and enjoy parenting.
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