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HEIDI’S PARENTING TIPS

heidiAs a new parent, you would like to give your baby all the joy and care in this world. This starts with baby’s nursing needs. You can spend as much as you can afford in arranging all the essential nursing equipment. But the single most important thing on your mind when choosing things for your baby is your baby’s safety. Among all the different products available in the market, it is still possible to come across products that do not conform to essential safety standards. Therefore, careful research and guidance are necessary before making your purchase decision. It is always advisable to consult your pediatrician or health nurse and gather the right information before making your purchases. Please check with your family doctor or paediatrician for all related details.

Common newborn ailments

The first few weeks after birth are always an anxious period for new parents. Every little sneeze, cough or cry is alarming. Most of these are normal reactions and have a simple explanation or can be easily treated.

- Different complexion problems
– Nappy rash
– Ingrown nails
– Reaction to milk (lactose intolerance)
– Allergies
– And many more!
Always consult a medical professional for any concerns.

When to call a doctor? – New parents always wonder whether a problem is serious enough to call the doctor. If in doubt, always speak to your doctor and seek medical attention if you observe any of the following symptoms:
o Breathing difficulties
o Contortions or convulsions
o Persistent crying
o Unexplained lumps or bruises
o Vomiting, diarrhea, high temperature, etc.

Immunization – This is a simple and effective way of protecting your baby against a vast range of diseases. Medical professionals have concluded that the risks of such diseases are far greater than the risk of adverse reaction to immunization, however it is always important to consult your paediatrician or family doctor and be fully aware of the immunizations recommended for your baby and possible reactions. Your doctor will let you know the schedule for immunizations and also give you a record book to maintain a log of completed immunizations along with the next dates for the outstanding doses. Recommended immunizations vary from country to country, please check with your family doctor or paediatrician for all related details.

Feeding

Proper feeding and sufficient nutrition is something that is essential for your baby to thrive, be well nourished and to develop mentally as well as physically.

Milk is the only food that baby needs until around 6 months of age. It is not necessary to introduce baby to solid foods at a very early period, and you should always do it gradually to allow baby to adapt. You may consider introducing solids as a means of reducing milk intake or to help longer gaps between breastfeeding, but this may also depend on baby’s acceptance. The best time to start with solid food is when baby shows an interest in foods consumed by adults or older children around the household. The following guidelines should help you plan baby’s diet:

 

Age (mths) Recommended Nutrition Suitable Food Serving Temperature
1-6 Breast-milk - -
Infant formula Pediatricians advice Less than 37ºC

6+ Breast-milk - -
Infant formula Pediatrians advice Less than 37ºC
Some solids Cereal, Banana, Apple, Potato, Jelly, Yoghurt, Pumpkin, Cheese, etc. Room temp

9+ Breast-milk - -
Infant formula Pediatrians advice -Less than 37ºC
More solids Bread, Porridge, Meat, Lentils, Fruit, Vegetables, Egg, Berries, Beans, etc. Warm

12+ Mostly solids Cereal, Nuts, Rice
Biscuits, Bread, Fruit,
Vegetables, Beans, etc.
Cool/Warm
With Breast-milk - -
And/or Infant
Formula
Pediatricians advice Less than 37ºC

What you will need to start:
– Baby bottles & nipples (teats) from 0 – 36 months
– Something to mash or blend food from 3+ months
– Travel Cup (with spout lid) from 3+ months
– Sipper Cup (with straw) from 6+ months
– Snack Pots from 3+ months
– Plate / Bowl / Cutlery from 9+ months

Sleeping

Different babies have varying sleeping habits or needs. Outward signs that baby is tired are the best indication that baby needs to sleep. It is advisable to establish baby’s feed-time/playtime/sleep-time pattern. This may be difficult when baby is very young, playtime will be non-existent. However, as baby grows older a routine will develop good habits while playtime increases.

Age
(Months)
Sleeping
Time
(Hours)
Sessions Time
Between
(Hours)
Playtime
Suggestions
1-6 15-16 3-4 1-2 Face recognition, music,
songs & sounds, etc.

6-12 10-14 2-3 3-4 Rattles, balls, teething rings,
toys, rolling, books, etc.

12+ 10-12 1-2 5+ Toys, puzzles, storybooks,
ambulation, garden, sandpit,
etc.

What you need to prepare for sleeping times:
– Look for signs of tiredness (yawning, rubbing eyes, crying, etc.)
– Change nappy
– Darken baby’s room
– Buy clothing suitable for sleeping
– Ensure quiet environment
– Make sure that early sleep is not interrupted
– Play soft music

Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
– Breastfeeding often
– Encourage sleeping on the back
– Ensure that baby cannot be completely covered by blankets
– Ensure smoke-free environment
– Remove quilts, pillows, cushions, toys, etc. from baby’s bed
– Encourage use of soothers / pacifiers which studies have shown reduces the risk of SIDS

Teething & Soothing

Babies experience different degrees of discomfort when they are getting their teeth, caused by teeth breaking out through the gum. The front bottom teeth are the first to show followed by the front top teeth. Usually, babies have 4 – 6 teeth showing by the time they are 12 months old.

Signs that baby is teething are usually:
– Redness around the jaw / cheek area
– Redness and / or swelling around the gums
– Increased salivation
– Tendency to bite on toys, clothes, furniture, etc.

WARNING: Pacifiers, soothers or teethers should always be checked carefully before each use – particularly when baby is teething. Never attach ribbons or cords and tie pacifiers, soothers or teethers around baby’s neck as this presents a very high risk of strangulation.

It is recommended to seek medical advice for any teething symptoms that you are worried about.

Safety

Your home is supposed to be the safest environment for baby and it is your duty to ensure that it is so. Having said that, many accidents do occur in and around the house. Babies older than 12 months are the most at risk of accidents around the house because this is the age at which they can start exploring their surroundings unassisted. You should consider childproofing the environments in and around your home by the time baby learns to toddle or walk.

Although there is a wide range of potential hazards in a baby’s immediate environment, here are some things that you should look out for:

Poisoning is one of the leading causes of children requiring medical attention. Accidental poisoning occurs mostly because of improper storage of things around the house.
o Store medicines out of reach of children
o Do not leave medicine feeders around unattended children
o Check the dosage and do not exceed recommended doses when giving medicine to baby
o Never administer medicines without consulting a doctor

Choking occurs when foreign objects enter the trachea instead of the esophagus. Usually such objects can be expelled by reflex strong coughing action. However, sometimes a child may not be able to expel objects by natural reflex. In this case, call an ambulance and the following may be considered while waiting for professional medical help to arrive:
o Encourage baby to cough.
o Hit firmly between shoulders with the heel of your hand (only when child is not coughing).
o Check to see if object is dislodged and baby is breathing properly.

Drowning is also one of the leading causes of child deaths. Children from 12 – 36 months are at the most risk of drowning because of the newly acquired mobility and they do not understand the hazards. A child can even drown in just 5cm of water so every small puddle of water is a potential hazard. Being always present and vigilant when baby is in the vicinity of water is very critical. Look out for:
o Swimming pools
o Wading pools
o Bath tubs / Spas
o Beach, rivers, dams, ponds, creeks and unfenced water in rural environment
o Toilets, buckets
WARNING: Never leave baby unattended in the bath without competent adult supervision.

Shopping for baby

Baby shops are full of articles that entice new parents. It’s very important that you do your homework before making purchases so that you are happy with your selection and sure that you will be able to use your purchases for a while. Here are some suggested baby essentials that you would need to buy depending on the age needs of your baby.

Clothing
o Summer & winter hat
o Mittens
o Socks
o Bodysuits
o Sleeping suits
o Bootees
o Jacket

Bedding
o Waterproof sheets
o Bed sheets
o Wraps
o Blankets

Equipment
o Pram or stroller
o Car seat
o Cot
o Bath tub
o Potty or trainer seat
o High chair

Nursing & feeding
o Feeding bottles
o Nipples or teats
o Soothers or pacifiers
o Cutlery & plates / bowls
o Snack pots
o Breast pump
o Travel bottles, cups & straw bottles

Other
o Nappies
o Wet wipes
o Soft tissue (dry)
o Cotton buds

DISCLAIMER!
All content within this website is provided for general information reference and educational use only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor, or any other health care professional. Neither Heidi Schlumpf, nor the owners of this website, nor their associates are responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by any user based on the content of the information presented on this website. Information published on the website is believed to be accurate based on the best judgment of the authors. However, it should be accepted that health advice may change rapidly and some information on the website may become out of date or inaccurate over time. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or any other healthcare body. These statements and the products shown or mentioned on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your paediatrician before using any of the products mentioned on this website. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this website. Always consult a qualified medical professional if you’re in any way concerned about your baby’s health.

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