If you have recently welcomed a newborn into your life, you would be aware of the mixed feelings of glee and guardianship that take over. On the one hand, you feel blessed to receive the gift of a child, while on the other hand, you are overly concerned with the safety, security, and well-being of your little one and want to make sure that they do not face even the smallest of harm under your care.
When it comes to a newborn’s health, ensuring no harm becomes very difficult as issues may arise way before the baby has even left the hospital room. Often genetic health issues pass down from parents to their newborns. Other times, birth injuries can occur where healthcare professionals or medical practitioners have been negligent during the complicated pregnancy, labor, and delivery of a baby. A birth injury can be defined as physical harm caused to the baby during childbirth as a result of medical errors. There are many types of birth injuries, ranging from mild to severe. Many of these injuries may heal without treatment. However, in some cases, your child may require immediate and proper treatment to live a normal life. However, some serious birth injuries have no cure, and your child may have a disability for the rest of their life. According to childbirthinjuries.com, if your child experiences an injury due to the negligence of a medical practitioner, you can file a medical malpractice claim. You may be eligible for financial compensation if your child was affected by malpractice and can claim a huge payout for a child under the age of one month.
Even if you have brought a healthy and happy baby home that has not suffered any genetic health issues or birth injuries, it is important to understand that children are fragile and have weak immune systems, making them susceptible to injuries and illnesses.
Hence, here are six steps you can take to ensure your newborn’s optimal health and well-being after bringing them home.
Vaccinations provide immunity from certain diseases, making them necessary for your child and the adults around them. While your child’s vaccinations are scheduled at the time of birth and carried out at efficient intervals, you must keep up with your child’s vaccination schedules. You should also note that the side effects of vaccinations are mild and temporary. Hence, they should not be used as an excuse to take the risk of deliberately delaying vaccination for your newborn.
Feed them through Breastfeeding or Formula
While breastfeeding is considered the ideal option to feed a newborn up to 6 months, baby milk formulas may be used where breastfeeding is impossible. A healthy child does not need cereal, water, juice, or other fluids. Most newborns need 8 to 12 feedings in a day, meaning 1 feeding every 2-3 hours. A hungry newborn will show cues such as sucking on their thumb, lip smacking, or outright crying to be direct about their hunger. Once the baby is full, it will stop suckling and turn away. Make sure that you do not overfeed or underfeed your child, and most importantly, make sure to use feeding time as a time to bond with them.
Keep Germs Out
Cleaning and sanitizing your newborn’s surroundings are crucial to ensure they do not catch diseases, especially if your newborn has reached the crawling stage. Surface cleaners, sanitization sprays, and wet wipes shall be your best friend in this task. Make sure you keep all surfaces, especially the floors, clean and germ-proof. Do not share your newborn’s toys or items with others, and try to keep your newborn away from unnecessary objects and visitors from the outdoors. However, not all germ exposure is bad. It helps build a stronger immune system, so do not completely isolate your child from all outdoor exposure. Discern between which exposure is important for their development and which is harmful.
Promote Good Hygiene in Others
It is important that whoever is around your child, whether family members, friends, or other kids of any age, ensures good hygiene. You cannot risk your child getting sick due to the lack of basic hygiene, such as washing hands, covering one’s mount when sneezing or coughing, and disposing of used materials. So, ensure that whenever a new visitor wants to hold your adorable baby, they are not introducing them to germs and bacteria. Furthermore, if someone uses a hand sanitizer to clean their hands before holding your baby, make sure that the sanitizer does not contain harmful levels of alcohol and has safe ingredients instead.
Baby Proof Your House
Internal health injuries are not the only harm your child could endure, as hazardous spaces and objects pose an even greater risk. These can be sharp corners, pointy objects, heights, obstructions in your child’s crawling/ walking path, tiny ingestible objects, stairs, or electric sockets. To make sure your child can roam and play around safely in their home, use baby-proofing items such as corner guards, locks, childproof sockets and switches, doorknob covers, and stairgates. Make your home a safe environment for your little one.
Dress Them Appropriately
Balance is key here. You must ensure that your child is warm but not to the point where they are covered in layers and sweaty, as this may make them both uncomfortable and dehydrated. Within the first 10-20 days, clothing items such as kimonos or dresses that tie on the side or can be wrapped around your baby are recommended. It is also recommended that your baby wear a hat, as these are ideal for providing warmth without overheating your child’s body with layers and making them uncomfortable. After the first 20 days, clothe them with attires that make diaper change easier, such as leg warmers, onesies, and gowns.
Bringing a newborn into this world can go from a daunting experience to a journey full of love and joy if you can ensure their health and safety are not compromised. While you cannot do much except start treatment or medication for a genetic health issue, you can receive compensation for a birth injury by seeking legal help.
After this, you may follow the baby steps outlined in this article and tweak them according to what feels right to you and your little one to make their developing years the most fruitful of their life. Most importantly, enjoy these initial years of parenthood as they are the most rewarding time of your life that you will reminisce about when your baby is all grown up!