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Posted on Dec 6, 2013 |

What parents of newborns ought to know

What parents of newborns ought to know

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After a long preparation and wait, you finally become proud parents of your little bundle of joy but it can get overwhelming at times when you don’t know what to do. At trying times like these, you often wish to seek help and advice from someone more experienced at it. Dr Zinal Unadkat, a leading paediatrician, neonatologist and lactation consultant answers some basic doubts that every new parent has.

Parents are usually sleep-deprived for the first few months after the baby is born. What are the coping strategies you recommend for this?

Parenthood is a new milestone in one’s life. There is a huge difference in talking about it and experiencing it firsthand. The most important preparation is to train the mind. Hence the antenatal preparation — taming the mind about changes in lifestyle, one’s priorities and schedule. Mothers should try and get adequate rest when the baby is asleep — all babies sleep at least once a day continuously for three to four hours.

Keep help to sort the kitchen and other household chores so that the mother isn’t stressed with other responsibilities. The most important advice is to give a lot of skin-to-skin contact as it calms and soothes down the baby and reduces irritability and crying. Lastly, look at the bundle of joy and see all your stress vanish.

A newborn is very prone to infections. How can the caretakers avoid these to some extent?

Babies identify the bacteria which mothers harbour and her heartbeat as normal. So let the mother do maximum handling of the baby. Keep visitors to a minimum during the first few days to avoid external infection When someone comes from outside make sure they use hand sanitiser before they touch the baby. Keep the environment where the baby is as clean as you can — vacuum clean the room, clean the floors, make sure the carpets are dust-free, wash the curtains and keep pets away.

Keep the temperature of the room constant as bacteria get a chance to grow when there is a fluctuation of temperature. Change baby diapers frequently even if they aren’t stained. Use mild disinfectant to clean baby’s rugs, bed sheets and clothes.