TIDBITS ON NEW BORN CARE…
1. SKIN CARE PRODUCTS.
Creams and lotions should be used with care because of possible skin irritations and allergic reactions. Powders are unnecessary, except prickly heat powders which can be used to prevent or treat skin rash from excessive sweating. Avoid using powder around the face as the baby can inhale it into the lungs. It is more advisable to opt for natural oils and butters (olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, etc). Zinc oxide creams (such as Sudocream®) can be used instead of mentholated powders.
2. CARE OF THE UMBILICAL CORD.
The umbilical cord stump falls off on its own around the 7th day of life. You don’t have to do anything to make it fall. Yes! You read that right. The stump, having been clamped at the time of delivery, is no longer supplied with blood, so it goes atretic and “dies”. All you need to do is clean the skin around the umbilicus to avoid soiling with water, urine, sweat and poop. You can wipe with plain water or alcohol swabs and keep the area warm and covered. There is no need to apply heat before or after the stump falls. Look out for flag signs (such as bleeding, pus discharge, swelling, fever, irritability, etc) and see a doctor if any.
Your baby does not need any drug whatsoever, unless prescribed by the doctor. Allaah has prepared breastmilk so perfectly that it contains EVERYTHING the baby needs until 6 months. Most parents find this very difficult to believe. They go ahead and give vitamin drops, antibiotics, paracetamol, anti spasmodic and even herbal mixtures. Again, all these are NOT NECESSARY, in fact, they are tantamount to drug abuse. Let the baby breastfeed adequately, and she will be fine!
I have to reiterate this point because many parents still don’t believe that a baby can survive without water for the first 6 months! Even if the weather is hot as hell, the baby doesn’t need water; he needs BREASTMILK! The World Health Organization recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Water and liquid diets can be introduced slowly, from 4-6 months. Besides, breastmilk contains approx. 90% water. So, why the hassle?!
5. EXERCISES AND MASSAGE.
Babies need to exercise just like adults. But we should avoid over-enthusiastic exercises and massage. Do not shake the baby vigorously. This can cause brain and spinal injuries. Do not bend the joints beyond the point of maximum extension. Handle the bones with care to avoid fractures. A healthy baby moves all the limbs by reflex, so you don’t need to put him through too much stress!