Four Baby Care Snippets Every Parent Should Know
New parents face many problems and issues that they are expected to understand and deal with immediately. Unfortunately, new-borns do not come with an instruction book so here are a few topics that you may need to know about.
New parents face many problems and issues that they are expected to understand and deal with immediately.
Bathing your baby: Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off one to two weeks after their birth, only give them sponge baths. A cotton ball or cotton swab dampened with alcohol can help to dry the umbilical stump or follow your paediatrician's directions. After the stump falls off, you can give him a bath in a sink or shallow tub.
Circumcision does not cause long-term emotional problems for your child.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a frightening fear for most mothers.
SIDS is often referred to as crib death, and is the sudden death of an infant who stops breathing. It is rare, affecting less than 2 in 1000 infants in the US, but the fear of it plagues all new mothers.
Many studies have been done regarding SIDS. Although the cause of SIDS has not been definitely defined, there are some correlations that have been made between SIDS and the following things:
Male babies are more likely to die from SIDS than females
Prematurity makes it more likely
Minority children are affected by it more often than non-minorities
More children of young, single mothers die from it
Children who live in a home with one or more smokers are more likely to be affected
Some people say that sleeping with your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS, but the American Academy of Pediatrics disagree with this statement and go on to say that there is a greater risk of SIDS in babies who co-sleep.
Back sleeping is what most paediatricians recommend for babies to decrease the SIDS risk.
The reason for this is widely debated between health experts. If you have concerns, talk to your paediatrician.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is rare, affecting less than 2 in 1000 infants in the US, but the fear of it plagues all new mothers.
Who needs to be worried?
SIDS was once thought of as random, striking healthy babies, which made it all the more frightening. But, in reality, there are some things that can indicate that a baby is at a higher risk for SIDS. The first is any baby that has previously had an episode where he has turned blue or had to have breathing revived.
Premature or low birthweight babies are more susceptible. In addition, mothers who have had poor prenatal care or smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have a child with SIDS. Children with diagnosed heart or lung conditions are also at risk, and boys are more susceptible than girls.
So, what do I do?
First and foremost, take care of yourself during pregnancy and don’t smoke. Have regular prenatal doctor’s visits, and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Secondly, put your newborn to sleep on his back, or his side. There does seem to be a connection between SIDS and babies who sleep on their stomachs, particularly if they sleep on a soft mattress. Don’t put unnecessary items, even blankets in the crib with the baby, and don’t let him get overheated. Learn infant CPR – so you are prepared in the event you need to resuscitate your child.
What if my baby has had an episode?
If your child has an episode – stops breathing or turns blue, notify your doctor immediately, even though you were able to revive him. Your doctor will want to run tests, and, if he fears that the baby is likely to have another episode (though 95% do not) he might suggest a monitor for the baby. These monitors will alert you in the event the baby stops breathing, but are only used in high risk situations. The monitors are quite cumbersome, and tend to have lots of false alarms, making Moms even crazier.
When Can I Stop Worrying?
The threat of SIDS is over once your child reaches his first birthday, and declines dramatically once he is six months old. In fact, most SIDS deaths happen between the ages of two and four months.
Take some precautions, but unless your baby has an elevated risk, remember that SIDS is actually rare, and is not something to obsess over.