Care of the Newborn

Having Cut the umbilical chord and made sure that the knot has been correctly tied, one should attend to the infant’s eves by washing them in water containing b6ric acid and inserting two drops of fresh silver nitrate lotion.

In India, once the newborn child has been washed, it is rubbed with oil and dried in a soft towel. The abdominal region and navel should be cleansed with alcohol or other disinfectant. A sterile dressing should be applied to the navel before one surrounds the child’s abdomen with an elastic bandage. Its clothes should be light and loose, and should not be so tight so as to constrict or restrain its free movement. The baby’s cradle should be comfortably equipped with a tiny mattress. The head should rest in a position which allows him to breathe normally and correctly and to eliminate mucus the mouth should be wiped off with a clean cloth.

It is good for the child to lie on his back, but after meals he should be placed on his side. To enable him to exert the muscles of the back and neck, He can from time to time be placed on the stomach.

It is vital to ensure that the hot water bags warming his cradle are firmly closed and do not contain boiling water, and that the baby’s room is properly ventilated.

The infant should be washed with each change of swaddling clothes, and once the navel wound has closed, he, or she should be given a bath every day.

The-Newborn Child’s Diet

The best nourishment the baby can be given is his mother’s milk. It provides him with all the things he needs in order to grow and immunizes him against certain illnesses. The mother’s milk is not only easily digested, but is always at the correct temperature. The mortality rate for breast-fed infants is lower than the rate for bottle-fed babies. On a psychological level, the child feels more secure. The intimate relationship established between child and mother is indeed vital to his future balance and happiness. As for the mother, she feels protective and tender towards her newborn infant when she sees the pleasure and joy lie takes in being fed at her breast.

Some women are reluctant to breast-feed their child because it may possibly take too long. They should not forget, however, that preparing a baby’s bottle is also a time-consuming process. Others fear that their breasts will become misshapen. They need have no qualms, however, for breast-feeding will not distort or harm the breasts-quite the contrary, it is an excellent remedy for breasts distended by pregnancy. The father should encourage the mother to breast-feed their child.

According to Ayurveda, another excellent substance is honey. In India, a tiny quantity is gently applied to the newborn’s tongue. Later on., the daily amount can be increased to one teaspoon a day, given in two separate doses. Until the fourth month, however, the child should only be fed with milk.

As of the fifth month, the baby should gradually be weaned onto other easily assimilated foods, i.e. thin soups, stewed fruit, curd, purees and fruit juices. Nor should one forget to give him small but sufficient quantities of water to drink.

It is imperative to avoid over feeding the child: Mothers should make sure that his diet does not contain too much sugar or fatty food. A plump child is never healthy, and has a low resistance to disease.

Later on, care must be taken to ensure that the youngster does not eat too many sweets or drink too many sugary beverages.

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