New parents, here are answers to some FAQs concerning your newborn

by:

LifeStyle

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When you become a parent for the first time, you usually have a lot of questions about the health and well-being of your baby — it is only natural. Most people do not know where to begin, or may sometimes feel that their questions are irrelevant.

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Dr Atul Palwe, consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Lullanagar, Pune, says mostly there are questions about nutrition, bathing, sleep, health problems, or even diaper rash. “A majority of new parents get confused and struggle to understand the cues given by their babies,” he says.

The doctor answers some frequently-asked questions here.

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For how long I should breastfeed the baby?

This is a common question. Ideally, mothers will have to breastfeed their babies exclusively for  6 months. After that, start with complimentary food, and breastfeeding can continue till 2 years. Do not stop breastfeeding abruptly.

Is there a specific time when the umbilical cord falls?

After birth, the umbilical cord may turn brown, black, or grey, and it might feel somewhat damp. Try to keep that area clean and dry so that the normal healing process can take place. The umbilical cord will fall off within two weeks of birth. You can speak with an expert who can guide you.

How will the baby get sound sleep at night?

It is okay if the baby wakes up multiple times during the night; they may require feeds. As they gain weight, they will naturally go longer between feedings. The babies will wake up at least during the first 3 months. To encourage more sleep at night, bathe them, rock them, read, play quiet music, and feed them shortly before bed.

Is the baby eating enough?

You need to continue feeding the baby when they want and avoid when they express their stomach is full. Do not go overboard thinking the baby is not getting enough nutrition. Babies know when they need food and when they don’t. Signs they aren’t getting enough to eat are less urine and more lethargy. Routine weight-checking will give you a good idea.

Should I bathe my baby every day?

No need to bathe till the umbilical cord falls off. It is okay to bathe your baby two or three times in any given week. Use a soap or a moisturiser after consulting with your doctor. Make sure the products are not loaded with chemicals or fragrances.

How to avoid a diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a common problem. Changing diapers from time to time will help. Try to wipe the baby’s bottom with warm water during diaper change. It can be helpful to expose the bottom to fresh air. If a rash appears, opt for a good moisturiser or ointment to manage redness and irritation.

How to strengthen the bond with the baby?

Parents can touch, cuddle, rock, and hold the child with love and care. Respond immediately when they cry, so that they feel safe and secure. Parents should try kangaroo care to enhance the bond.

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