The initial days of a child’s birth are crucial for their survival and well-being. Their journey to the new world is full of challenges, as it is not perfect and secure like the mother’s womb. They’re so delicate and unarmed that even minor temperature variations can undermine their health. Since their immunity is also at its lowest, they’re prone to various allergens, germs, and pathogens in the atmosphere. And so they need some time to adjust and integrate into the hostile environment.
Parents should be extra careful to observe signs and symptoms of their child’s discomfort and illnesses. If they have any underlying inborn health issues, complications start to surface in the first month of their birth. Sometimes, birth-related injuries do not manifest right after birth and show symptoms gradually. Hence, parents should stay connected to a healthcare provider and keep them updated about their child’s health. Once infants pass this crucial phase, they’re more likely to adapt to new surroundings and grow healthy. But until then, parents should not compromise on their safety and health.
The following sections discuss some tips to nurse and observe infants and ensure their well-being in the first month of their birth.
Observe warning symptoms and signs
Since newborns cannot tell when they experience stress or discomfort except by crying, your only hope is keen observation. Their actions and habits can tell a lot about their well-being and sickness. If you refer to this Cerebral Palsy Guide, you will understand how inborn and birth injuries and illnesses represent in infants. Infants with neonatal conditions like cerebral palsy have stiff muscles and joints and abnormal muscle movement. They also have an irregular sleeping pattern with fewer hours of sleep than a healthy infant, which is 12 to 17 hours.
Signs of other health issues may represent differently. For instance, newborns’ discomforting cries have a different pattern than a hunger cry. Babies crying with a static pitch and tone are most likely hungry. But if their cries have a distinct style of lows and highs, they may be under stress or discomfort. Their feeding and pooping patterns are another indication to observe and understand their healthcare issues. If you notice any warning symptoms and irregularity, consult with a pediatrician.
Infants do not have a developed immunity right after birth. Their defensive system takes time to understand the outside environment and adapt accordingly. They need an external shield against pathogens and germs until their system matures. For this reason, you must ensure the cleanliness of your home, clothes, and surrounding. They can acquire exposure from mothers, so do not touch your child without proper sanitation.
Follow a hygiene ritual every day. Do not breastfeed your child without washing your hands, clothes, and breast. If you use feeding supplies, ensure they’re clean and covered before and after use. In addition, keep your exposure to the outdoors minimum during the first month of delivery. Small dust particles can irritate your child’s respiratory tract and complicate their breathing. Your child needs nursing in a safe and controlled environment until they mature and acquire adaptability.
Follow through with all scheduled appointments
Follow-up appointments are inevitable to help infants pass through critical days after birth. Agreeably, you cannot tell if they have hidden health issues or how pediatric illnesses manifest. Hence, doctors’ close monitoring, observation, and early intervention minimize your child’s risks. Doctors conduct examinations and prescribe tests to diagnose hidden health issues. First-month appointments are crucial for essential screenings and tests for newborns.
A series of extensive healthcare check-ups involve measurements for their height, weight, and head circumstances to plot a growth chart. Doctors also examine their aptitude, intelligence, response, focus, reflexes, and eye movement to triggers, sounds, light, and objects. Infants also undergo a series of immunization shots to prevent communicable and preventable diseases in the first 30 days of their birth and afterward.
Maintain a controlled sun exposure
Sun exposure is essential for every living being to function and thrive well. Sun exposure helps convert your fat into vitamin D. It is also crucial for mental well-being. Otherwise, vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of gloominess and depression. Sun exposure is equally beneficial and necessary for newborns. Sunlight exposure prevents neonatal jaundice and helps newborns recover from it. However, newborns have sensitive skin. Direct sunlight can harm them with sunburn.
Harmful ultraviolet radiation can also trigger an unhealthy chain reaction in infants’ bodies and increase their likelihood of developing malignancy later in life. So, until they are old enough to use sunscreen, avoid their exposure to direct sunlight. You can proceed with protective photo therapy if your child has neonatal jaundice, as it is safer than unprotected and unfiltered sunlight. As for the daily dose of vitamin D, take them out early in the morning with a protective cover.
Prevent skin infections and diaper rash
Since babies have sensitive and delicate skin, your child is prone to diaper rash, allergies, and skin infections. Damp clothes, bedding, and diapers can irritate their skin and progress to rashes. Rashes can further worsen into skin infections if you leave them untreated. And it is a painful experience at such a young age. Thus, ensure their hygiene thoroughly. Infant hygiene is not a complex and undoable procedure, and you do not need the assistance of a dermatologist. It is simple. Keep them clean and change their diapers and clothes frequently. Keep their skin dry and use baby skin-friendly wipes to clean if they have diaper rashes and skin irritation. You should also consult their pediatrician for medications if their rashes do not heal or progress.
In addition, some baby products can also trigger an allergic reaction and lead to rashes and infections. So, choose baby clothes, diapers, shampoos, soaps, oil, powder, and moisturizers wisely. Read the product description and look for allergens before purchasing.
Newborns go through several ups and downs during the early days of their birth. They’re vulnerable and defenseless in the new environment until they adopt. Thus, they need uninterrupted attention, care, and observation. Your care and nursing can minimize their risk of falling ill and recovering from birth-related injuries. But if you are careless, their birth-related injuries can also progress and worsen. And they can succumb to minor injuries and health issues with weaker immunity, negligence, and delayed expert treatment.