The birth of a newborn is an exciting and joyous time for new parents. However, it can also be a time of anxiety and uncertainty, particularly when it comes to the health of your little one. Newborns are especially vulnerable to illness, infections, and health complications, so you must be extra careful about their health status.
As a parent, you play a vital role in promoting your baby’s health and well-being. Thankfully, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure they grow up healthy and strong. From regular check-ups to safe sleep practices and knowing the signs of potential health issues, you can give your newborn a healthy start.
This article will explore five essential tips for keeping your newborn healthy. Without further ado, let us get straight to the topic.
- Be aware of the signs of birth injuries
Unfortunately, birth injuries can occur during childbirth and can devastate you and your baby. Not only can they deprive your little one of living a normal life, but they also become a continuous source of stress for you.
Although most birth injuries have a lasting impact, some can resolve on their own. One of them is cephalohematoma. But now you must be wondering what is cephalohematoma in newborn babies and if your baby has it, right?
Cephalohematoma is a birth injury that occurs due to trauma to the newborn’s head during childbirth. Consequently, bleeding occurs between the skull and the outer layer of the newborn’s skin on the scalp. While it doesn’t require interference, the doctors must carefully monitor and cater to skull irregularities and other health problems if necessary.
By being aware of the signs of birth injuries, you can advocate for your baby and ensure that they receive prompt medical attention. You can also pursue a birth injury lawsuit against those who are responsible and hold them accountable. Not to mention seeking compensation for any medical expenses that you may have incurred.
- Practice good hygiene
Practicing good hygiene is crucial, especially during the first six to eight months of your newborn baby. Ideally, you must follow all recommended guidelines, such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with people outside your household. If you or anyone in your household is sick, you must take extra precautions to prevent your baby from getting infected.
Moreover, you must keep your baby clean and maintain their personal hygiene. Bathing your baby regularly, wiping their face and hands after feeding, and cleaning their genital area during diaper changes can help prevent skin irritations and infections. Avoid using scented wipes or soaps, which can irritate your newborn’s delicate skin.
If your baby develops a rash or skin irritation, talk to your pediatrician. They can advise you on the best way to care for their skin and recommend any necessary treatments. By practicing good hygiene, you can help keep your newborn healthy while preventing the spread of illnesses.
- Attend regular check-ups
Attending regular check-ups with your baby’s pediatrician is essential to ensure your little one is healthy and developing appropriately. Regular check-ups typically occur at two weeks, one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and 12 months of age. However, your pediatrician may adjust the schedule depending on your baby’s needs.
During these visits, the pediatrician will assess your newborn’s overall health, growth, and development. They will perform a physical examination to measure their weight, length, and head circumference, as well as check their reflexes, hearing, vision, and other vital signs. Your pediatrician will also monitor your baby’s developmental milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. In case you have any queries regarding your baby’s development, they will also address them promptly.
Remember, regular check-ups are an excellent opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your baby’s health or behavior. You can talk about topics such as feeding, sleeping, safety, and general baby care. Besides, your pediatrician can also guide you about immunizations, growth and nutrition, and other age-appropriate health concerns.
- Monitor your baby’s temperature
Monitoring your baby’s temperature is a critical aspect of keeping them healthy. Newborns are susceptible to contagions and ailments, and a fever can be a sign that something is wrong. The normal temperature range for a newborn is between 97°F and 100.4°F, and any temperature above this range could indicate an infection or other underlying health issue.
To monitor your baby’s temperature, you can use a digital thermometer, which is safe and easy to use. You can measure your baby’s temperature in several ways, including rectally, orally, or under the arm. Be mindful that rectal thermometry is the most accurate and preferred method for newborns.
When using a digital thermometer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Avoid using a glass thermometer, which can break and pose a hazard to your baby. Also, if your baby has a high temperature along with other signs of illness such as lethargy, poor feeding, or irritability, seek medical attention immediately.
- Follow safe sleep practices
Following safe sleep practices are crucial for your baby’s health and safety and can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS refers to the unexpected expiry of a newborn aging less than a year and is usually associated with sleep. While the exact cause of SIDS is still unknown, following safe sleep practices can help reduce the risk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you should train your baby to snooze on their back, as this is proven to be the safest position for sleep. This reduces the risk of this disease by as much as 50 percent. Likewise, you must also ensure that your baby’s sleep surface is firm, flat, and free of soft objects such as pillows, loose blankets, and toys that can increase the risk of suffocation.
Moreover, doctors don’t recommend bed-sharing with your baby, as it increases the chances of suffocation. Instead, using a separate crib or bassinet in the same room as you for a minimum of the first six months of your child’s life is advisable.
Overall, there are multiple ways through which you can help keep your newborn happy and healthy. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can protect your baby from serious illnesses and injuries. In case your baby exhibits abnormal signs or behavior, visit a pediatrician right away and receive adequate expert guidance and medical treatment.