Instruction Manual For First-Time Parents

The arrival of a child although it is a reason of immense happiness for the new parents, without a doubt also supposes a significant change in the life of the pair.

In the middle of the process of adaptation, little favored by hormonal changes and lack of rest, thousands of doubts arise that may even make us question our ability to take on the new responsibility.

It is at this point that many miss a manual of instructions, something that can help them in this beginning of their new condition; difficult in any case, but with a little knowledge and a little common sense can do that everything can easily return to normal.

1. Feeding

As for the feeding of the newborn, it must be said that, to this day, breast milk continues to be the ideal feeding of the healthy infant during the first 6 months of life. Its advantages fundamentally in the immunological aspect make it inimitable.

The success of breastfeeding lies in the conviction of the mother to want to breastfeed, together with a correct knowledge of the technique. In this link you can find the recommendations of the AEP on breastfeeding.

Skin contact with precocious mother-newborn skin favors the onset of breastfeeding.

The breast milk is continually evolving and changing, adapting to the needs of each child throughout breastfeeding and maintains some basic differences from cow’s milk that is which we started to prepare infant formulas.

The milk formulas emerge as an alternative when breastfeeding is not possible. Its objective is to approach the “gold standard”, the mother’s milk, not only copying its components but trying to reproduce a similar functionality, measurable by its effects on the infant.

The composition of the formulas has been modified as the nutritional needs of the infant have been known.

In case of having to resort to artificial breastfeeding, it is necessary to take into account that not all milk is the same and that it is important the correct preparation of the bottle using as much water as possible with a low salt content , suitable for feeding childish.

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2. The dream

The newborn sleeps from 16 to 18 hours a day, although it is very variable and does not have an established rhythm. You must learn how to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and for this you can help by keeping you through the day with the light and the normal noise of the house and at night with silence and darkness. It can be helpful to keep you in different spaces of the house during the day and at night.

It is recommended to put him to sleep on his back on a firm mattress, without a pillow and without excess clothing or heat. The head should be changed regularly to avoid deformity. You must learn to fall asleep alone.

3. Hygiene

Hygiene of the newborn is an important aspect. The bath should be daily, even if the umbilical cord has not been dropped, with a mild soap, better without a sponge and the ideal water temperature should be 36º. This also helps them to establish a daily routine.

If the skin is very dry it may be useful to pour oil into the bath water.

The cleaning of the genitals is important. In girls it must be from the vulva backwards and in children it is not necessary to force the foreskin. Phimosis is physiological in the newborn.

The cleaning of the navel should be careful, especially in the early days, when it has not yet fallen, trying to keep it dry. Wash with soap and water and apply chlorhexidine solutions once a day.

The nose and eyes will be gently cleansed with saline if they have secretions.

From the 15 days of life can be cut the nails, with a round scissors. Previously they can be shortened if they have very long, to avoid that they erode the face.

It is also important to wash the hands of the adult before handling the newborn, taking special care with the visits of adults or children who may have acute processes (colds …).

4. The weight

During the first days children lose weight with respect to birth <10% and from then on they begin to gain at a rate of about 150g / week, during the first 3 months of life.

5. Crying

A special form of crying consists of colic of the infant; Are intestinal discomfort due to multiple causes that appear in the 2-3 week of life and disappear around 3 months of age, usually in the afternoon.

The crying for colic of the baby is something benign, do not despair. You can relieve it by balancing it, putting it close to rhythmic sounds (washing machine, TV), walking in your arms, car. You must be calm to instill tranquility. There are no effective medications. Make sure there is no other reason for crying (consult your specialist).

6. The gases

The belching is necessary to remove the large amount of air the baby swallows with taking; Can be made easier by holding the baby in his arms, with his head resting on his shoulder and patting his back; Also if you sit on your skirt with your back straight; Or if you put it face down on your skirt giving soft taps on the back. If you still do not get it, place it on your right side.

It is frequent that after the taking and coinciding with the belch the baby throws a small amount of milk: it is the regurgitation: it leaves slowly, to puffs, without force. If it is very striking or you have doubts consult your pediatrician.

7. Stools

The first bowel movements performed by the newborn, meconium, are black sticky and odorless (like tar); are eliminated in the first 24 hours of life and can continue for some more days; then they are passed to yellow, usually lumpy and variable consistency stools (more compact with a bottle). Watch for whitish stools in the first month of life. The number is very variable (1-8 / day) and although breastfeeding children usually do 1 bowel movement after the shots is not always the case and does not imply that there is any problem.

The child may have a yellow color the first days of life: jaundice; Watch for it not to increase; you can expose it to indirect sunlight through glass in hours that do not get too hot; if it lasts more than 15 days or is accompanied by white stools, see.

8.The walk

If the weather allows it is adequate on a daily basis, avoiding direct exposure to the sun and protecting the newborn with a suitable photo-protector.

9. Hiccup

It is very frequent in the RN, do not be scared: it can last a while; it can be alleviated by changing the child in position, placing him on the back or patting him softly on his back.

10. The affection

Remember that from birth, the child needs the affection of his parents, caresses and words of affection, to foster psycho- neurological maturation.

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