How to Take Care of a Baby
During Its First Year After Birth
Raising a baby is no mean feat. It's a full-time responsibility for the parents of the child. The first year of a baby's life can be both exciting and overwhelming. So much is going to change in a matter of days, weeks, and months, that there will be little time for you to reflect on how well you are doing.
New parents, especially, have their hands full with the arrival of the newborn and can’t wait to cherish every memory of the baby in their lives. While babies may develop in different ways, the tips discussed in this guide will help you navigate the evolution in you as well as your baby with a lot more calm than usual.
How do you reconcile your life with the fact of becoming a parent to a newborn? It will seem that everything around you changed overnight. During the first week, you will get to familiarize yourself with the baby, as you adjust and adapt to the baby’s needs. The baby will disrupt your set schedule, and will keep you awake at odd hours.
If, unfortunately, there was any medical negligence during the delivery process, the baby might start going through the fallout from the negligence and start to develop a disorder at this stage. The child might experience any number of birth injuries that can then lead to lifelong disorders—the most common of which is cerebral palsy.
Therefore, if your baby starts showing any symptoms for cerebral palsy during this stage, you should contact a cerebral palsy lawyer, after you’re done consulting with a doctor about the baby’s condition. The cerebral palsy lawsuit, if announced in your favor, will then help you get compensated for the injury and risks sustained to your newborn, and you can go ahead and pursue the right treatment for the baby’s health.
In its first week, the baby will sleep a lot, which will mean lots of recovery time for you after the delivery. Follow the safe sleep guidelines for your baby, so that you can identify the baby’s reflexes that can startle you at first. You can also learn about the baby’s irregular breathing patterns, especially when it’s sleeping.
In this week, your focus will be on ensuring that your baby is well fed, learning how to supply your baby with breast milk, and getting help with common breastfeeding issues, such as latch issues, swelling, sore nipples, or choosing a formula for your baby.
As your baby loses a few ounces during the first week, you will start to decipher its hunger signals more accurately by differentiating between the sounds of its crying.
Your baby could be ready for a bath after the umbilical cord falls off. And with cluster feeding and bunch feeding, they will experience a growth spurt in a short time.
As well as managing any physical concerns that may arise between the first and second weeks, such as dealing with mastitis, the "baby blues" and how to deal with an incorrect latch, week two is a good time to address any other physical concerns that may arise.
Be wary of the symptoms of colic that may begin to show in the baby at week three after birth. Although babies cry a lot, you should still be prepared when they start crying incessantly and should know what to do in such a situation.
Approximately three weeks after your baby is born, you can start introducing regular tummy time to help them build the muscles of the neck, so they can hold it upright.
If your infant suffers from skin conditions, like cradle cap or acne, consider extending the bath times, using a gentle, baby-safe detergent, and avoiding heavy creams and lotions.
In week four, you might see your baby having rashes from wearing the diapers all the time. Find out which cream is best for diaper rashes and learn about its safe application precautions for babies. Also, in this week, you can lay off breastfeeding for a night or two if you feel like it, and pump and store milk in the freezer for baby’s feeding time.
In addition to the routine vaccinations, your infant may also receive the second dose of the hepatitis B vaccine during its 4-week or 1-month well-check appointment. Speak to your doctor about how you can minimize your baby's chances of SIDS.
At the 2-month check-up, your baby will receive some important vaccinations. Regardless of the weather, as your baby grows, starts to move more freely, and spends time in a daycare, it will be exposed to more harmful pathogens.
Apart from that, if you are taking your baby in your car, you need to make special arrangements, like special baby seat, for it. Also, don’t leave your baby alone in a car unattended. Approximately, fifty babies die every year because they are left inside vehicles. You can use The Child Minder System to reduce the chances of leaving your child inside a car.
The good news for you is that your infant will start having a full-night’s sleep. Also, their evening irritability may also subside. The color of your baby's stool will change as they grow, so learn how to determine what each color means.
Play will be increasingly enjoyable for your baby, so encourage it by being a hands-on parent whenever you can. Tell your child all about your activities during the day, pick out various toys, and get down on the floor with them.
Is your baby too young to go to daycare? There are several conditions to watch out for, including fevers, a constant cough, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, or contagious illnesses, like the whooping cough.
You can learn to naturally bring down a baby's fever by learning the strategies of dealing with baby illnesses. You should not give aspirin to your baby because it can cause Reye's syndrome.
After suffering through many sleepless nights, you've reached the halfway point of your baby's first year. See if your baby is ready to have some solid food this month or try to make your baby food and feed them.
When is the best time to introduce your baby to screens? It's okay to put on an educational show, snuggle for movie night, or just enjoy a cartoon to take a break from the parenting routine, but it's important to remember that your baby shouldn’t be exposed to prolonged screen times.
In this month, you should ask whether your baby’s weight is normal for its age and development stage? When you find out your baby's average length and weight, keep in mind that babies develop at different rates, and many factors influence their growth.
Do you still use pacifiers? Throughout your baby's early years, your baby may have been able to self-soothe by sucking on a pacifier, or your baby may have reduced its risk of dying from SIDS by using it all day. However, it may be time for you to start thinking about weaning your baby off the pacifier.
A 10-month-old baby is a busy little bee. The more they move, the more likely they are to get into trouble, including putting, well, everything into their mouths, and sticking fingers into places and things that might hurt them.
Your newborn’s first birthday is fast approaching. A year together is a milestone that definitely deserves a celebration, regardless of whether you go all-out with a Pinterest-worthy event or go low-key at home.
The Bottom line
It is not easy to raise a child. Stepping into parenthood can be an exciting, tiring, and an overwhelming journey at the same time. However, enjoying and appreciating every step is the key to successfully raising a child.