Preparing for newborn baby care is exciting and a little confusing. There are scores of baby care products screaming for attention. But what are the things you can be prepared with for the first weeks of bringing baby home?
Should one use cloth diapers or disposable diapers? Well, use what suits your family best because both have their plus points and negatives too. Immaterial of your choice ensure you have sufficient stocks. Babies a week old can urinate six to seven times a day and pass stools four to five times a day. Keep a diaper bucket with a lid handy to dispose of the diapers. Prepare a baby-change bag with a change of clothes, diapers, baby cream, wipes, liners and a zip-lock bag for dirty diapers.
Breastfeeding is strongly recommended. Baby formula can also be used. You will need a bottle sterilizer, a few bottles, bottle brush, nipples, a few hand-towels, sufficient stock of formula, and a breast pump. The best thumb rule is to keep the crib area and place the crib near your bed and free of toys, blankets, or pillows. Use a tiny but firm mattress. Ensure stock of crib sheets and crib liners.
Bathing a newborn should ideally start after the umbilical cord area heals. This could take up to 2 weeks. Till such time, stick to sponge bathing baby and keeping the diaper area clean. Keep the following on hand for baby’s bath routine. A shallow tub, baby shampoo, soap, baby oil and baby lotion. A few soft towels, mugs and lots of cotton are assets. Never submerge the cord area in water until it is completely healed and the stump falls off. Any redness and pain in the cord area or yellowish oozing from the navel should alert you of an infection needing the doctor’s attention.
A few basics in the medicine cabinet are always safe. A digital thermometer rather than forehead thermometer is recommended for babies younger than a year. A safety nail-scissors, disinfectant, anti-bacterial baby-lotion, a humidifier, diaper cream, and other basic things like a first-aid kit should be always on hand. Infants should never have over-the-counter medicines. Always use what the doctor prescribes and in the right dosage. Call the doctor if the baby has a fever, is acting sick or when you are unsure. Better be cautious than sorry!
Having got the baby’s essentials together, remember to have a good physiotherapist help you recover from postpartum blues and the extra kilos you put on in pregnancy. Physiotherapy is also helpful to learn how to exercise baby. Just in case you don’t have sufficient help, speak to your doctor and physiotherapist regarding home-care services to help bathe and exercise baby.
Preparedness is a myth. Be ready for surprises as both you and the baby bond. It is important that you also have sufficient attention. Enjoy these precious moments and welcome the little-one whole-heartedly with a smile and baby-talk. You and baby can learn together!