With the arrival of your munchkin, you are overwhelmed and filled with joy and gratitude! It’s love, at first sight, the moment you lay your eyes on your baby! How can such a tiny being bring out so much love? From now on, your world will revolve around this bundle of happiness. The past few hours must have been a blur of recovery while adjusting to your new life as parents. While you fondly gaze at your delicate yet adorable pumpkin, tons of questions regarding the baby’s well-being must be running through your mind.
Is my baby healthy?
What tests are supposed to be performed?
Which vaccination shots should be administered?
What precautions should be taken to maintain good hygiene around the baby?
What should you expect right after your munchkin’s birth?
Immediately after birth, your baby boo will be cleaned thoroughly along with the umbilical cord stump. The munchkin’s first check-up will either happen in the nursery or at your side. It will include:
-Measuring little one’s weight, length, and head circumference.
-Checking baby’s temperature.
-Measuring little one’s breathing and heart rate.
-Watching little one’s skin color and activities.
-Administering eye drops or ointment to prevent eye infections.
-Giving Vitamin K vaccination to prevent the possibility of bleeding.
It is very normal for your pumpkin to get rashes, blotches, or tiny white spots after birth. Don’t panic Mumma! These will clear up over the first few days or weeks. Your pediatrician will examine the munchkin within the first 12–24 hours of birth and make sure that the rashes or spots are normal.
Almost all the hospitals and birthing centers will guide you on feeding, bathing, and other important aspects of newborn care. Feel free to ask any doubts or questions you have in your mind about your munchkin. As a new mother, it’s normal to have tons of doubt! A sample of the baby’s blood (usually done by piercing your baby’s foot) will be tested for some diseases. No need to worry! It’s important to diagnose these at birth so that treatment can begin right away.
What are the tests for newborn babies:
Right after your baby’s birth, an Apgar score will be calculated to assess your baby’s health. This routine test will tell us about your tiny tot’s responsiveness and vital signs. The following five factors are checked: heart rate, breathing rate, skin color, activity and muscle tone, and grimace reflex response.
Babies get a score of 0–2 in each category, and all five results are combined to get the Apgar score.
This quick and easy test is carried out mainly to see if the baby needs help breathing. A score of 7–10 is generally considered normal. If your baby gets this score, no further actions are needed.
After this test, the medical staff will dry your tiny tot and wrap him/ her in a blanket. Before you know it, your baby is in your arms for you to cuddle!
Baby’s first clinic visit:
Your visits to the doctor’s clinic in the first 2 months will depend on your baby boo’s health status. Most infants are examined at 1 month and 2 months of age as a part of routine check-ups.
You will have to take your munchkin for routine examination at the doctor’s clinic within 3-5 days of birth. During the first clinic visit, your doctor will check your tiny -tot in a few ways.
Your doctor will:
-Measure baby’s weight, length, and head circumference
-Check your newborn’s vision, hearing, and reflexes
-Perform a complete physical examination
-Ask about your baby’s feeding and sleeping pattern
-Guide you about what you can expect in the coming month
The doctor might also discuss the results of the screening tests performed right after the munchkin’s birth if they’re ready. To understand better, you should jot down all the instructions about special baby care and ask your questions or concerns without any hesitation. Always maintain a medical record of your baby that includes information about growth, immunizations medicines, and any problems or illnesses.
Contacting your pediatrician:
You should contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your munchkin’s health. These problems can be common during the first month:
-Baby boo’s one or both tear ducts can get blocked causing eye problems. But there is no need to worry at all! Normally the ducts open on their own by the baby’s first birthday. Call your doctor if you suspect an eye infection.
-If your tiny tot is running a fever with a (rectal temperature above 100.4°F or 38°C), contact your doctor right away.
-Sometimes, a runny nose can make it difficult for the baby to breathe well, especially during feeding. You need not panic though! You can help and ease your tiny tot’s discomfort by using a rubber bulb aspirator to gently suction mucus from the nose. It is always recommended to call your doctor if you notice any concern about your baby’s breathing.
It is very normal for your little one to have loose poop or to spit up after feedings. But extremely loose and watery stools and forceful vomiting can be a sign of concern. Call your doctor if your baby:
-Shows signs of dehydration – fewer wet diapers, a dry mouth, and being sluggish or drowsy
-Is crying and is irritated
What precautions should be taken while handling your munchkin?
It is absolutely normal to be happy and scared at the same time. Being a first-time mum, your munchkin’s fragility can be intimidating. Newborn babies are delicate and hence should be handled with utmost care. Here are a few basics to remember while handling your baby:
-Always wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby: Your cute tiny being doesn’t have a strong immune system yet. Hence the chances of the baby getting infected are high. All you have to do is, make sure that everyone who touches or plays with your baby has clean hands.
-Support your baby’s head and neck: It is important to cradle the munchkin’s head when carrying it and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
-Never ever shake your newborn: It is strongly recommended to NOT shake infants while playing or in frustration. Your tiny tot’s organs and bones are very delicate. Shaking can cause bleeding and complications in the brain. To wake your baby, or make it giggle, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
-Try limiting rough activity: Make sure that your baby mush is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat. Avoid any activity that could be too rough or bouncy.
Your newborn is yet not ready for rough play: Do not engage your newborn in rough activities such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air. Munchkin is too small for all such activities as of yet.
Vaccinations for babies below 1 month:
Your tiny tot is born with some natural immunity against infectious diseases. And that is because your infection-preventing antibodies are passed on to the baby through the umbilical cord. But this immunity is temporary.
Calm down! Over the period of time, your munchkin will develop his/ her own immunity against many infectious diseases. For example, your baby will receive antibodies and enzymes present in the breast milk which will provide protection against a few infections and even some allergic conditions.
The medical faculty at the hospital or the birthing center will make sure that your tiny tot gets his/ her first shot of the hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth. In some babies, it is administered early (if their mother carries the hepatitis B virus in her blood) while other little ones might need to wait for a little longer (if they were born early and had a low birth weight). Your pumpkin will get more vaccines in the coming months based on a standard immunization schedule provided by the hospital.
Making home environment safer
Look! As soon as your tiny being entered the house, you can feel the happy and positive vibes around you! But understandably, you must be exhausted and worried. How can I make my baby comfortable? What can I do for the best health of my munchkin? To keep your delicate pumpkin healthy and happy, it is important to ensure a safe environment in your house.
-Do not allow anyone to smoke in the house.
-Always keep your munchkin warm.
-Ensure that your baby gets sound sleep. Here are a few tips to help your baby sleep well:
-Place your munchkin on their back while they sleep, including
naps and night-time.
-Try using a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet.
-Remove all soft objects, such as pillows or loose bedding from
the sleeping area.