Essentials Baby Care
ESSENTIALS BABY CARE
Practicing good hygiene care is essential to keep your baby happy, healthy and comfortable. Baby's hygiene care includes care for baby's nose, ears and nails as sebum or dirt can build up on these parts. Initially, you may feel nervous on practicing hygiene care on your baby but gradually, with more practice, you will be comfortable as you get better at it. Hygiene care also offers you opportunities to bon and communicate with your baby.
Tips for Practising Basic Baby Care
- Care for your baby's nose, ears, nails, etc at your own convenient time or whenever you notice a need for it
- It is recommended to do it after giving your baby a bath as baby's nose and the inside of his ears will be moist and the dirt can easily be removed
- Assessing and practicing hygiene care in brightly-lit place
- You should examine your baby's nose, ears or nails first and the determine on the procedures and products to use
- Use products that are meant for infant or babies as they have the added safety design for babies as compared to the adult version
- When cleaning, do not use too much strength. Do it gently and calmly as baby may get cranky when your baby senses your anxiety
- Do not be too excessive in caring for baby's nose, ears, nails, etc as babies do not stay still for a long period. Do little by little and as often as possible. You may do each body part separately on different occasions, not all at one go
- If your baby keeps moving and makes it difficult for you to do it, don't insist but instead do it while your baby is sleeping
- Store all related hygiene products such as baby nail clippers / scissors, baby tweezers, cotton buds, baby oil, etc at on place for easy accessibility and convenience
Day-to-Day Care for Your Baby
When cleaning baby's face, you should also clean baby eyes with clean cloth to remove any discharge as babies are also susceptible to bacterial eye infections.
Firstly, soak cloth in lukewarm water and wring it dry. Let the cloth cover your finger then use it to gently wipe the baby's eyes, moving from inner to outer corner. Repeat for the other eye with a new, clean portion of the cloth.
Use cotton swabs to remove the dirt. A tiny bit of baby oil whill help make the cleaning process even easier. The best time to clean his ears is when his skin is still damp right after a bath.
There is a lot of mucous trapped inside that tiny little nose. However, you have to exercise caution when cleaning as the delicate membranes may be damaged if cleaning gets too deep in. Use a narrow cotton swab for babies or tweezers with rounded tips to remove only the mucous you can see. If your baby does not like having his nose clean, then do it when he is sleeping.
Fingernails and Toenails
Baby's nails grow quickly and should be trimmed once a week. If not trimmed properly, baby's long fingernails may scratch his face. Firstly, hold a baby's finger securely between your thumb and finger and with the other hand, start trimming around te baby's fingernail. For toenail, lift the toe up with your thumb to safely trim the nail. It is highly recommended to cut the fingernails while baby is sleeping.
Many parents are nervous about changing diapers while the umbilical cord is still attached. Your baby's umbilical cord will fall off naturally, so bear with it for a few days. You should make sure that the umbilical cord does not rub against his diapers. You may want to consider disposable diapers that have the area around the bellybutton cut out or simply fasten the waisband slightly loose and fold it downwards. Once the umbilical cord has fallen off, it is important that you continue cleaning the bellybutton using cotton swab with alcohol for a while and expose it to air as often as possible.
It is very important to frequently change your baby's diaper in order to protect his soft bottom. Changing diapers also offers you an opportunity to communicate with your baby. In addition, your baby's stool and urine are indicators of his helth, so do check them carefully during diaper changing.
Babies' Urine Changes As They Grow
Babies usually urinate very frequently during the early years of life. They have a small bladder capacity and their nervous system's ability to control urination has not yet been developed. Therefore, Newborn babies urinate approximately 15 to 20 times a day. As they grow, the frequency of urination gradually decreases as they are able to store urine. Although it varies from baby to baby, the frequency decreases to approximately 10 times a day when they reach the age of one. The number of days they don't urincate through the night also increases.
Normal Urine Colour: Light Yellow
The colour of your baby's urine may become darker during seasons such as summer; however you have nothing to worry about if your baby is in a good mood and has a good appetite.
Abnormal Urine: Consult a paediatrician if any of the following applies to your baby
- Pink urine
- Pus on diapers
- Crying with pain when urinating
- A significant decreases in the amount and frequency of urination
Babies' stool changes as they grow
Babies have greenish black stool (meconium) in the first few days after birth. After that, the color of stool changes to yellow or brown. Babies usually have a high movement frequency and soft stool during in the first few months. Sometimes they have a bowel movement every time they drink breast milk. As they grow, the frequency decreases as the amount of contained in the stool decreases. When the weaning process begins, the color and odor of baby's stool will become closer to that of an adult.
Normal Stool Colour: Yellow / Brown / Green
- Green - Due to changes as a result of the oxidation of bile contained in stool. This is a condition encountered in infants particularly during the first few months, but it is nothing to worry about
- White Particles in Stool - These are components of milk solidified in the digestive and absorptive process. This is nothing to worry about
- Undigested food in stool - This is food high in fiber that has come out without being digested, and is nothing to worry about. As baby's digestive function develops, this problem will naturally disappear
Diaper rash is a common infection that can cause a baby's skin in the diaper area to become red. It is caused when baby's damo bottom is rubbed against diaper or when baby's skin is irritated by urine or stool. It is important to prevent diaper rash.
Keep the following in mind
- Frequently change diapers to keep your baby's bottom clean and dry
- Grntly clean by using baby wipes, etc., whenever you change diapers
- Dry your baby's bottom well after wiping each time
- Give your baby a bath to wash her bottom. If he cannot have a bath, at least wash his bottom
- Rinse cloth diapers well and dry them in the sun. If your has baby rash, pay particular attention to keeping his bottom clean. If the symptoms persist or worsen, your baby may have candida skin infection, which causes symptoms similar to diaper rash. Consult a paediatrication or dermatologist.
What to do when your baby has constipation?
Even if your baby does not have a bowel movement every day, if he is in a good mood and his stools are smooth, you have nothing to worry about.
When baby has consitipation, he will be in a bad mood and will lose his appetite, which may lead to severe constipation. You may try the following to help baby have a smooth bowel bowel movement when he is constipated.
- Try to frequently replace liquids by giving your baby warm water
- Feed your baby high-fiber weaning foods as dietary fiber absorbs liquid in the intestine and softens stool while increasing the volume
- Massage your baby's tummy in a clockwise motion to stimulate bowel movements
- Stimulate your baby's anus - Apply some baby oil to the tip of a cotton bud and insert 1cm into baby's anus while moving it slightly in a circule motion to stimulate bowel movements
- For severe or prolonged constipation, consult your pediatrician
Diarrhea is the condition where food and liquid consumed come out as loose stool without being absorbed in the intestine.
If your baby only has loose stool, it is not diarrhea. Babies may have loose stool when they start to consume fruit juice or foods they have never tried before in the weaning process.
Even if your baby has a touch of diarrhea, if he is in a good mood and has a good appetite, you can wait and see how things go. Consult with a pediatrician if your baby has symptoms of vomiting or becomes limp.
What to do when your baby has diarrhea?
- Give your baby breast milk as usual
- Frequently change diapers. During diaper change, wipe clean baby's bottom thoroughly or wash your baby's bottom clean whenever it permits
- Prevent dehydration by frequently replacing liquids by giving your baby worm water. For babies more than 6 months, you may give other drinks such as coarse tea or ion drinks
- Do not force the weaning process. If you baby has an appetite, give him easy-to-digest foods such as rice cereal
- For severe or prolonged diarrhea, consulty your pediatrician