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To re(newed) parenthood – care of the newborn

Wow, this week’s focus area takes me way back to a decade ago.
The positive pregnancy test is now a fleeting memory, you have endured the thrills and woes of pregnancy. (seeing the ultrasound heartbeat is possibly the most magical moment of it all and nausea, fatigue and morning sickness in the first quarter for some of us the worst of it). God has been good you have gone through labour and delivered a baby. -Your own flesh and blood!!!

From my experience, what shocked me at first was how fragile and helpless a new born human baby looked and as we left the hospital gates, the kind hearted nurses and doctors behind, to begin the parenting journey I was humbled on how much our son depended on us for ultimate survival and care.

Almost ten years since that memory- it is a decade now and whom I now have as a child is a feisty inquisitive boy child, who sometimes drives me up the wall, yet my greatest treasure and inspiration in this whole wide world; The Champ.

Let us refresh ourselves on the care and a nurture of a new born, shall we?
Care of the new born and baby revolve around love, nurture, security, good health and development milestones of the new born.

As a parent of a new born you will be keen about the following:

  • Feeding of the baby although in the ideal situation it is six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Extra help that you may need in the nurture and care of a new born.
  • A good paediatrician and or well baby clinic.
  • Clothing and swaddling blankets of the new born.
  • Diapers
  • Bath time products
  • Bedtime
  • Moving the baby around

Regular paediatric and Well Baby Clinic Visits
For the first year anticipate regular Well Baby Clinic to ensure that your baby is developing well and that is on track with baby vaccinations.

Getting Help
Do not shy away from getting help if feeling overwhelmed as the parents of a new born. This help may also come handy in the last trimester of pregnancy when an expectant mom is really tired. If you feel you need a nanny, a few months before your baby is born begin recruiting for one.

Do not put off family and friends who might be willing to help at this time. Grandmothers particularly may want to chip in as life begins with the new baby. However, during these times of Covid-19 it is wise to create some boundaries on the eager number of friends and family who wish to visit and welcome the new born.

Handling a new born
New borns are really fragile beings with low immunity, when holding them make sure your hands are clean either by washing or sanitising them.
Give them neck and head support.
Never shake a new born.
When moving around with them on a stroller or car seat make sure that they are fastened securely.
Do not attempt to play rough with a new born. Because of their fragile nature one cannot throw them in the air for example.
Instead, newborns thrive on gentleness, a lot of touch – skin to skin sensations with their parents. For the first few months having them swaddled in soft textured blankets makes them feel loved and secure.

Feeding a new born
If the mother’s milk is sufficient, for the first six months exclusive breastfeeding is advocated for to boost the baby’s growth and immunity. If this is not possible then it must be augmented by baby formula and cow’s milk. Ensure that one has a breast pump to express milk., a fridge and storage containers to store the expressed milk, milk feeding bottles, bottle brushes to clean the bottles. As the baby continues to grow ensure that it has sufficient feeding items such as bowls and spoons for feeding time.

Sleep time.
Young babies normally sleep in a baby cot that has rails to protect them from falling from the bed. There is a wide array of blankets and sheets that are particularly made for babies. Babies normally sleep on their back for maximum ventilation. Ensure that the baby is not so tightly swaddled in blankets that they can accidently suffocate. Baby friendly chimes can also be put in the baby’s bedroom to sooth them to sleep. Also ensure that the baby cot is covered with a net to keep off dangerous insects such as mosquitoes.

Bath time
There is a wide array of bath and body products for babies available in the market today. These include baby friendly soaps, lotions and oils. At the early months a baby needs full body support during bath time. Some cotton wool and/or swabs can be used to clean sensitive areas like around the eyes, nostrils and ears. Apart from the liquid provided by the hospital and advice given by health care professionals , the umbilical area should not be cleaned by any thing else until the umbilical cord naturally falls off.

Clothes
Again the baby’s clothes should be made of comfortable, easy to wear and care for clothes. Popular baby clothing items include onesies, vests, tops, bottoms, sweaters, mittens, hats, socks, booties, swaddles. These clothes should be washed separately from those of mainstream family members.

Diapers
There are two options available these days – cloth or disposable diapers.
Babies should have frequent diaper changes to ensure their good health.

Play time.
Simple toys like rattles suffice at this point in time. A baby can be kept in a safe play pen to relax.

Can you think of anything in the care of a new born that we may have left out?

‘Wacha niKwambie’
March 2021 – To re(New)ed parenthood
© Kwambie Nyambane,

PS
On this month a new born joined our family tree. Happy Heavenly 39th birthday to my darling brother Joash Agwata Nyambanne.