Congratulations! Your wait is finally over and you are holding your bundle of joy. You have just on boarded yourself on a new journey where being nervous is but natural because your new born has not come with a manual. The promise of bringing up your child in a safe, happy and healthy environment is definitely a winner over this nervousness. While being a parent rewards you with something called “Instincts”, it is always good to have some sort of guidelines handy about “how to take care of your baby in the first 3 months”.
Let’s begin with the most essential ones:
- Holding your new born: Every mother and baby will have a mutual comfort level when it comes to holding a new born. Whatever be your choice of comfort:
- Make sure you give support to the neck and head of your new born with one hand and not let the head fall back.
- Always keep your new born close to the warmth of your body. They feel safe and secure.
2. Safety when travelling: Now that you are all excited to take your new born home, it is very important to keep the safety aspect of travel in mind.
- Using a car seat for the baby should be your first choice at least till the baby is an year old
- Alternatively, the mother can wrap the new born and hold her safely with both the hands close to her body, and sit on the back seat wearing the seat belt.
3. Vaccinations: Babies are born with an immature immune system. Building your baby’s immunity and protecting her from harsh diseases is of utmost importance and the process begins immediately after birth.
- Make sure your hospital gives you a vaccination schedule which you need to follow diligently without fail.
- Make sure you understand the protocols of administering a vaccination well enough with your doctor on every visit.
4. Health and Hygiene: New born babies are born with low immunity. It is important to ensure that the environment around them is clean and germ free. Maintaining hygiene should now be an on-going practice for your child.
- Make sure all the things that belong to baby are clean, washed and sterilized
- Make sure you keep germs and sickness at bay and a hand wash protocol is followed before holding your baby.
- Avoid too many hands holding baby. This makes her susceptible to infections and also makes her feel insecure.
5. Feeding and Burping: Babies are made to latch to their mother’s breast even before cutting their umbilical cord so that they can latch better and suck the Colostrum, the first breast milk discharge that is full of nutrition. While some mothers decide to breastfeed exclusively, others go for a combination of formula and breast milk. Whatever you choose:
- It is important to maintain all the hygiene protocols including sterilization, if you are feeding your baby with bottle.
- If you are expressing milk using a machine, make sure you are sterilizing the accessories and bottles after every use
- It is important the mother keeps her breast area clean and watch for pus or blood before feeding the baby
- Always make sure you burp the baby after every feeding session. You can rest your baby with support on your shoulder and pat gently on her back for burp.
- Most importantly, make sure you are only feeding breast milk or formula milk for the first three months to your baby. Always discuss with your pediatrician before you start solids but only after three months.
6. Sleeping patterns: New babies generally sleep for as long as 14-18 hours. A small activity like bathing can get them tired. The sleeping patterns change slowly over a period of time.
- Make sure you let your baby sleep well in a peaceful environment
- Make sure she is dressed and wrapped as suitable. Do not overdress or under dress your baby
- Make sure you put your baby to sleep in a safe and protective place without any pillows or obstructions around.
- Always check on your baby every now and then to ensure her posture and position.
- Some babies are advised to keep a round pillow below their head to fix the shape of the head. Make sure you get the right size and shape for your baby.
7. Bathing and Diapering: Babies in the first three months have more frequent pees and poops. It is important to use the right size diaper and keep the area clean and rash free.
- Watch for the frequency of pees and poops and report any abnormality observed to the doctor
- Paediatrician recommended hypoallergenic baby rash cream should be used when changing diapers.
- Diapers should be changed at more frequent intervals to begin with and adjust the frequency as the baby grows
Massaging and Bathing is another important aspect for a baby’s growth and development. This should begin from day one and should be done regularly.
- Paediatrician recommended hypoallergenic baby care products should be used for massaging and bathing the baby.
- Temperature of the bathing water should be as per the weather conditions. Always check the water before bathing your baby.
- Gently pat dry your baby’s skin since it is very fragile. Also ensure that baby products are not applied on their private areas.
8. Observe More: First three months can be called the settlement period for both mother and baby. As much as you are learning parenting, your baby is learning to adapt to an environment outside womb.
- Make sure
you observe your baby close enough to understand her expressions and needs
- Try deciphering the tunes of her cries to understand the need. Instincts come handy here
- Holding her close to you gives her a sense of security. Do this more often in the first three months.
- Be Alert and attentive to react in time for anything that seems different or alarming about your baby
- As the baby nears her third month, she will be more awake and alert. Most of the babies by now also hold up their head well. Make sure you give her a regular tummy time and let her explore her motor skills in a safe environment.
9.Don’t be experimental: It takes a while to understand your baby’s health. Make sure you do not try too many things on your baby in the first three months.
- Always go
by your paediatrician’s advice when it comes to giving medicines and clarifying
- Trust your instincts on less complex issues
10. It takes a village: Birth of a baby is exhaustive and challenging for both Baby and Mother.
- It is very important that the entire family especially the father pitches in wherever possible and supports the mother and baby
- This helps the baby bond well with father and gives mother some breather to rest and recover.
First three months after birth is the most crucial period for both mother and child. It is a happy adjustment from both the ends. Taking all the mandatory precautions and care for first three months is of utmost importance. So pull up those socks and enjoy the journey of parenthood. Happy Parenting!