Babies are generally interesting, but it may be hard to take care of them when you don’t know much about them. New-borns, for one, are very delicate and require extreme care. Here are a few things you should know about them so that you can take care of them without worrying too much or ignoring important aspects:
You may be in for a little surprise if you expect your baby to come out looking like the ones you see in the image page on Google when you search ‘baby’.
First of all, his body will probably be covered in little fine hairs called lanugo. These, however, usually fall off soon enough.
Second, his head may be a little squashed. The baby’s skull and other bones are usually very soft during birth, so you can imagine what the pressure from all the pushing through a narrow birth canal will do to his head.
The baby’s eyes may also be tightly shut and ooze some little goo. All these are features that were necessary for survival in the womb environment.
It is definitely not going to be jovial.
Babies will not smile or show any sign of happiness until they are about six weeks old. Until then, you will be working full time to please a boss baby who will insist on being held and rocked through most of the time he will be awake.
THE UMBILICAL CORD
The doctors will only cut off the larger part, and a little length will still remain attached to the baby. You may find it hard to clean your baby with that still there. The good news is, newborns, don’t get that dirty, so you don’t have to put them in a tub and scrub them clean very often. In fact, it is advised that you try as much as you can to keep the cord dry; it falls off faster that way. You can sponge clean the baby till then and if it bleeds a little, do not be worried. It is absolutely normal.
THE SOFT SPOT
The baby has an open part in his skull called a fontanel that makes his brain and other vital internal organs vulnerable. This part allows the baby to manoeuvre out of the birth canal during labour.
Owing to this sensitivity, mothers are often afraid of touching the soft spot in fear that something may go wrong. While this fear is partly justified, it would be good to know that a little handling is not harmful. For instance, you can brush your baby’s hair lightly there without harming them.
The baby’s weight is the best indicator of how well they are feeding. Usually, they lose a small percentage of their birth weight in their first week but gain it back quickly.
Conclusively, you will need to understand how your baby works so that you can give them the best care possible. Only remember that new-borns are delicate and will need to be kept away from any rough handling for a while before they become hardy.