Newborn Baby Care Immediately after Birth - Important Steps to Follow
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
If you've just had a baby, you're probably feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. As if this wasn't enough, there are a lot of things that need to be done right after birth. But don't worry! We've put together a list of important steps you need to follow immediately after giving birth.
Basic care of the newborn
You have a new baby. Congratulations! The first few days are going to be full of excitement and wonder, but also much work. You will have many tasks to accomplish, such as keeping the baby warm, dry and fed. Here's how:
Keep your new bundle of joy warm by swaddling them in clean blankets or using a snuggle sack (a wearable blanket). If you're breastfeeding, try feeding them while bundled up in an arm sling that helps keep their body temperature even.
Make sure they stay dry by changing their diaper often so they don't get chafed on their bottom or thighs from sitting in dampness for too long without being changed. After every feeding is a good time to change out of wet clothes into something dry! Drainage tubes may come with some diapers if needed because occasionally babies urinate too much after being fed which can lead to dehydration unless properly cared for throughout each day until it passes naturally again."
Baby's first bath
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after touching your baby.
Use only mild, fragrance-free soap to bathe your baby for the first week or two of life. If a washcloth is used to cleanse the baby's skin, make sure it is washed in hot water between uses and kept away from other items that babies may put in their mouths (such as pacifiers).
Warm water is best for newborns; do not use hot water when washing your newborn's body or any part of her head (ears included). Hot water can cause burns!
Do not use bubble baths or other products that contain harsh chemicals unless recommended by a doctor because they may irritate the infant's tender skin or eyes if accidentally splashed into them during bath time activities such as splashing playfully about with parents/caretakers nearby
The umbilical cord is an important lifeline for your newborn. It supplies oxygen and nutrients to your baby through the placenta (the organ that attaches the uterus to the umbilical cord). The placenta also removes carbon dioxide and other waste products from your baby's blood, keeping her safe from harm throughout pregnancy.
The umbilical cord contains two arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood from mom to baby, and one vein that carries deoxygenated blood from baby back to mom.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from a male's penis. The procedure is performed on babies and children, usually before they are old enough to understand what is happening. Circumcision is a religious and cultural practice that has been carried out for centuries.
In newborns, circumcision can be done at any time within the first six months of life as long as it has been done before the baby leaves with his parents.
Feeding your baby
Feeding your baby is one of the most important things you can do as a new parent. In fact, it's so important that many states have laws requiring hospitals to provide breastfeeding education classes, and for doctors and nurses to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest option for your baby. Breast milk is easily digested, contains all the nutrients she needs in proper balance, and helps protect her from infections and allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age (when solids can be added), with continued breastfeeding along with solid foods until at least 12 months old—and ideally for up to 2 years!
If you're not able to breastfeed or don't want to breastfeed, there are other options: bottle feeding formula (which comes in powdered form) or ready-to-use liquid formulas; both types come in different varieties depending on your baby's age and stage of development.
If you’re concerned that your baby is jaundiced, talk to your doctor.
What is jaundice?
Jaundice is a condition in which an excess of bilirubin—the yellow-orange pigment produced during red blood cell breakdown—accumulates in the body and causes a yellowing of the skin, eyes, and whites of the eyes. This build up can be cause by problems with how quickly or efficiently newborns get rid of bilirubin (a natural byproduct of hemoglobin metabolism). Jaundice may also appear because an infant has an increased amount of red blood cells or because their liver isn’t functioning normally yet (your liver breaks down this substance). Jaundice usually disappears by 3 months old; however, some babies still have it when they are 6 months old or older. In rare cases, jaundice may not go away even after several years!
When should I call my doctor about my newborn's jaundice?
If you notice any signs of jaundice within one week after birth. If there is no improvement after two weeks from birth and if there is no apparent reason for it other than being born at term with normal Apgar scores (an assessment done at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth) then it's important that someone monitors your child closely until the cause has been determined and treatment started if needed..
Dressing your baby
Dress your baby in a diaper and wrap him or her in a blanket.
Put on a hat to keep his or her head warm.
Put on socks or booties if you live in a cold climate. If your newborn has trouble moving his or her toes, use mittens instead.
Dress your baby in an outfit that will keep him or her warm as well as allow room for growth (but not too much room).
Make sure the outfit is made of soft fabrics that won’t chafe your baby. You may want to use clothing with snaps or velcro closures if you have difficulty dressing your newborn in the middle of winter.
The soft spot (fontanel) on your baby's head
The soft spot (fontanel) on your baby's head is called the fontanel. The fontanel is located on the top of your baby's head and will be flat until about six months of age. It's made of bone, not skin, which helps give your newborn baby room to grow during birth and as their skull bones continue to fuse together over time. If you run your finger over an infant’s skull you will feel these soft spots pulsating with their heartbeat under each side of his or her head – this is normal!
In addition to the soft spots, your baby's skull bones have not yet fused together. This means that there will be some space between the bones and their brain is still protected by fluid.
How to swaddle a baby
The best swaddle for newborn is a lightweight blanket or muslin that’s large enough to tuck around the baby and leave room for their hands to move. The fabric should be soft, breathable, and stretchy so it can accommodate their growing limbs. A traditional swaddle will also secure their arms in place so they can’t wiggle out—a feature that makes this type especially useful during those first few weeks when your baby might still be waking up in the middle of the night.
Another form of swaddling keeps one arm free from being trapped under his body. This style allows him to sleep more comfortably as well as move his hand if he needs something like a pacifier or bottle (which means you won't have to wake up every time he does). Some people prefer this option because it allows them greater freedom when caring for their little one at night than other types do; others dislike it due to concerns about not being able to control their child's movements if necessary.
If your little one prefers being held rather than lying down flat on her back all night long—and if she doesn't roll over much yet—then you should consider using another style instead. Ones designed specifically with this purpose in mind include quilts made from soft flannel fabrics stitched together tightly enough where no loose threads poke through; velcro tabs along with Velcro strips sewn onto both ends provide extra security against escape attempts without restricting movement too much either way (but may get caught on things like cribs occasionally).
Caring for your baby's skin
Bathe your baby frequently (at least once a day) but don't overdo it; babies have sensitive skin and frequent baths can dry it out. Also avoid harsh soaps or shampoos that may irritate the baby's skin.
Use a soft washcloth and mild soap or lotion when bathing your baby, switching to an unscented shampoo as soon as possible if they have cradle cap (dandruff caused by buildup of oil on scalp). Be sure to rinse thoroughly after each bath session so that no traces of soap are left on their body or hair (this will keep them from getting any rashes).
After every bath session, pat the baby dry gently with a soft towel before putting on fresh diapers—a good rule is "dry before diaper."
Never use soap on a baby's face or in their eyes, and be sure to rinse off all traces of soap before feeding them. If you notice any irritation from the soap that you're using, discontinue it immediately and try another brand instead.
The first hours of a newborn's life is the most important time for their health and development. It's also the most exciting and emotional moment for new parents. For this reason, it's important that both mother and baby get off on the right foot with a healthy start.
There are many things to take care of immediately after birth including checking for bleeding in the mother, making sure baby is breathing correctly, keeping warm temperatures in your home, making sure no one touches mom or baby except immediate family members (to avoid infections), etc. There are some steps you can take during this time period that will help ensure everything goes smoothly so everyone stays healthy!
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