Bathing your baby

  • Babies can drown in less than an inch of water and in less than 60 seconds. Never leave your infant alone or walk away from your baby even for a moment.
  • Make sure the temperature of the water is comfortable (slightly above room temperature).
  • Don’t put your baby in the tub while the water is still running. The temperature could change rapidly and make conditions unsafe.
  • Use only baby soaps and baby shampoos. Avoid bath oils and bubble baths.
  • Your baby does not need a bath in the tub until the umbilical cord has fallen off. A sponge bath in the first few days is good enough. If your baby has been circumcised, wait until the wound has healed.
  • A portable bathtub is ideal for your baby until he has grown out of it.
  • Always hold your baby gently but firmly, avoiding sudden movements.
  • Make sure that you have everything that you may need before you start.

How to bathe your Baby

  • Place the bathtub on a table top or counter at a convenient height. Keep everything you may need handy.
  • Fill about 2 inches of water in the tub and check the water temperature to make sure that it’s pleasantly warm.
  • Gently slide the baby into the tub, feet first, supporting the neck and head with one arm and the bottom with the other hand.
  • Keep your baby’s head and neck supported at all times. With your other hand use cotton swabs to clean your baby’s eyes without any soap. Start at the inside corner of the eye and wipe outward. Then gently wash the rest of the face without soap. Make sure you clean behind the ears.
  • Use a face cloth to wet your baby’s hair from front to back. Apply a pea-sized amount of shampoo and work up lather. Use the face cloth to squeeze out water on your baby’s head while being careful not to get soap into your baby’s eyes.
  • Wash the front of the body, making sure to get into those creases and folds. Lean your baby forward to do the same on your baby’s back. Lean your baby back again and clean the legs, feet and in between the toes. Lastly clean the genitals (for baby girls, always clean from front to back).Lift your baby out of the tub the same way you put him in.
  • If necessary, you can do a second round with plain water to remove all remnants of the soap.

    Bath time is now done and you can dry your baby and get him dressed.

What is a fever?

Normal body temperature is 98.6°F,but children and infants can have a slightly higher normal temperature. Temperature over 100°F (37.8°C) represents fever. A fever is considered a ‘high fever’ when the temperature is above 104°F (40°C). Remember: Fever is beneficial to your child. It helps fight infections.

How should you measure your baby’s temperature?

There are 4 ways you can measure the temperature of your baby

  • Mercury thermometer: Keep the thermometer snugly in your baby’s underarm for 1 minute, after wiping the area with a dry cloth.
  • DO NOT add 1°F to the reading
  • Fever Strip: Wipe the forehead of your baby with a dry cloth and apply the strip.
  • Ear Thermometer: Place snugly in the ear and depress activation button for 1 second.

What causes a fever?

Fever can be the result of too much clothing, overexertion or dehydration. It can also be a sign of infection or a reaction to certain immunizations.

Many high fevers are caused by infections that are not serious .If your child is alert and active and playing— don’t worry.

Is there any permanent damage when a child runs a very high fever and has convulsions?

* Febrile convulsions are common.2 % to 4 % of all children have one or more episodes by the age of seven.
* They are not associated with damage to the nervous system.
* Children ‘outgrow’ febrile convulsions by the age of 5 – 7 years.

What should you do when your child has a fever?
  • Encourage your child to drink extra fluids like coconut water, apple juice, weak tea with sugar, etc. Body fluids are lost during fevers because of sweating.
  • Clothing should be kept to a minimum because most heat is lost through the skin. Do not bundle up your child.
  • Medication: Give the correct dosage for your child’s age. Repeated dosages of the drugs may be necessary. Discuss the medication with your child’s pediatrician in advance during a visit to his clinic.
  • Sponging : Sponge immediately in heat stroke, febrile convulsions and fever over 105°F.
  • Sponging can help if fever is very high in spite of medications.
  • Sponge your child with lukewarm water. Do not use ice/ ice water for sponging.
  • Sit your child in 2 inches of water and keep wetting the skin surface. If your child shivers, stop sponging temporarily.
When should you call your doctor?
  • Fever present more than 48 hours.
  • Fever over 104°F (40° C) which does not subside or returns after medication.
  • Fever plus earache or other localized pain ( i.e. abdomen ).
  • Fever plus urinary symptoms (such as pain with urination or lack of urination).
  • Fever plus persistent vomiting or diarrhea, especially in an infant.
  • Fever plus stiff neck.
  • If your child appears to be extremely sick, is upset and inconsolable, cries when touched or moved or is difficult to wake up the child.
  • Fever in an infant less than 3 months of age.
  • When in doubt about whether to call, go ahead and call.

Breastfeeding in public

  • Wear clothing that allows easy access to your breasts with as little exposure as possible.
  • Feed your baby half an hour before his scheduled time. Don’t wait until he is crying in hunger. Screaming babies attract attention.
  • Try to face a wall or corner while feeding. You can also use a blanket, shawl or magazine to shield you from view.
  • If people are passing by, look up and smile. This will draw attention away from your breasts.
  • Look around if there are any garment stores. You can always request the staff to use the trial room.
  • In departmental stores, malls or offices, tell the person in charge that you’re looking for a place to feed your baby. Most people will move mountains to accommodate you.
  • Practice feeding your baby in front of a mirror. Once you realize that you’ve perfected feeding without exposure, you will be more comfortable in public.

Successful breastfeeding

  • Nursing should begin as early as possible, preferably within an hour after delivery, when your baby is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even before the mother starts producing milk, her breasts contain colostrum, a yellowish liquid that is rich in antibodies and good for your baby.
  • While feeding, always sit with your back well supported.
  • You may feel thirsty when feeding, so keep something to drink handy.
  • Try to relax when feeding as your baby can sense it and will settle for a feed easily.
  • The baby’s mouth should be wide open with the nipple in the mouth as far inside as possible. This will minimize soreness of the mother’s nipple. A nurse or any other experienced person can help her find a comfortable nursing position.
  • Always bring your baby to the breast and not the breast to the baby.
  • Offer the nipple to your baby. Don’t stuff it in your baby’s mouth.
  • Feed your baby on demand and not on any strict time schedule. Remember, if your baby is hungry, he will surely let you know.
  • Breast fed babies generally take feeds more often. This is because breast milk is digested more easily. The more your baby suckles the breast, the more milk you will produce.
  • Never pull the nipple away from the baby’s mouth to break the suction. Slip a finger between the jaws for the purpose.
  • Alternate the breasts for feeds so that both the breasts are stimulated equally.
  • Breast fed babies do not need formula supplements or water. These can decrease their appetite and consequently decrease your milk supply.
  • If your breasts are engorged, hard and uncomfortable you can keep a warm towel on your breasts for 10 minutes before feeding.
  • Air-dry your nipples after breastfeeding your baby. It will prevent the nipples from cracking, which can lead to infection.
  • Symptoms of an infection in the breast include fever and painful lumps and redness in the breast. If this happens, see your doctor.
  • If expressing milk, it is best to do so in between feeds so that there is enough milk in your breasts for your baby’s regular feeds.
  • Many mothers feel thirsty when feeding their baby so keep a glass of water handy.
  • When your baby is feeding from one breast, it is common for the other breast to start leaking. Keep a clean hand towel ready.
  • Nursing mothers need a balanced diet that includes at least an extra 500 calories a day along with 7 to 8 glasses of fluids. Make sure you eat right and plenty so that you can produce plenty of good milk.

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