Parenting in New Year 2024: Top 7 newborn care tips every parent should know | Health - Hindustan Times
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Parenting in New Year 2024: Top 7 newborn care essentials every parent should know

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Dec 26, 2023 05:15 PM IST

Parenting prep: A checklist of 7 baby essentials for newborn care in the New Year 2024

As you caress your new-born baby in New Year 2024 and enjoy and cherish the growing moments, you may have that twinge of anxiety “How do I cope with this responsibility and how shall I care for my baby? Sweat not as we got a pediatrician on board to sort your parenting woes about caring for a newborn with some essentials of baby care.

Parenting in New Year 2024: Top 7 newborn care essentials every parent should know (Photo by Manuel Schinner on Unsplash)
Parenting in New Year 2024: Top 7 newborn care essentials every parent should know (Photo by Manuel Schinner on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Prakash Vaidya, Consultant-Paediatrics at Fortis Hospital in Mulund, suggested:

  1. Breast feeding is the first essential that every new-born deserves and every mom should aspire to provide. Exclusively breastfed babies are blessed with advantages that are life-long. Too often, I hear the refrain, “Doctor I underwent a C- Section, so I could not breast feed my baby in the first few days”. It is of crucial importance that the baby gets to latch on to the mother’s breast as early as possible. In fact, once the baby is delivered by C section, and their cry is heard, it is time for bonding! Today, we make every attempt to give the mother the privilege of holding her baby, even trying to latch them to the breast, right on the operation table itself, even as the abdominal closure is happening. This promotes early bonding and breast feeding too.
  2. Initial problems in feeding, and latching difficulties are common with first time mothers. But these can be resolved with patience, and the right help. Often, mothers start feeding the baby top milk (formula) by spoon, but soon switch to bottle feeding. This is a real no-no, as the baby soon gets used to bottle feeds and tends to reject the breast. So, avoid bottle feeds and please do seek the help of a Lactation Consultant at the earliest.
  3. Care of the umbilical cord and keeping it clean and dry: this is an essential that every parent must learn. Cleaning the cord with spirit, or its equivalent is the best method.
  4. The next essential is doing basic screening tests to ensure that your baby is free of problems that may handicap them in future. These tests are easily available and are the standard of care - preferably within the first week of life. A hearing screen (OAE test) and TSH (Thyroid levels) are two of the most important screening tests that every new-born needs to undergo.
  5. Another essential is protecting the baby from preventable diseases. Every new-born must receive three vaccines - BCG, Hepatitis B and OPV within the first 24 hours of birth, but if delayed, immunise anyway.
  6. Avoiding harmful rearing practices, is another essential, though these may be enshrined in cultural beliefs. Among these are use of oil in the ears or nose, exposing the baby to smoke, giving “ghuti”, etc.
  7. Understanding the new-born’s non-verbal communication is an essential that parents must learn, so they can care appropriately for their needs. Do practice these seven essentials and bless your baby with a great start in life!
  • Early bonding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Avoiding bottle feeds
  • Cord care
  • Screening tests
  • Immunisation
  • Avoiding harmful practices

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