New Parent Information

Madeline Dabbert

Newborn Appearance

Many newborn babies are thought to be born with perfect soft skin, a perfectly rounded head, and maybe even some hair. This misconception of newborn babies is wrong, and this frightens parents if their baby doesn't look "perfect". Babies are born with dark red to a purple skin color, when they have oxygen flowing through them it will turn red. They might have moulding, the elongation of a babies head, caused by the babies head being quished and moved through the mother's cervix. Moulding should go away, and the baby should have a normal head shape after the first week of a it's life. Babies can also be born with vernix on their skin, a white, greasy, cheese like substance that protects the babie's skin. Babies can be born with lanugo, protective hair on the body, or baby acne that can be red or white. Newborns can also be born with swollen genitals or breasts, and rashes from a blue-purple color to a salmon color. These are all characteristics of what a newborn could look like, and parents should not be frightened if their baby has these characteristics. If these things get worse or do not go away after some time, contact the babie's physician.

Infant Bonding

Parents bonding with their baby makes the baby feel safe and loved. Bonding is a very important step to ensure a good relationship between parents and baby. There are many different ways to bond with a baby, and some of them just come naturally. Like responding to a baby when they are crying is a way to bond, and it's natural because parents want their baby to be happy. Ways to bond also include talking, playing, singing, and reading to them, just interacting with them forms a relationship. Other forms of bonding include changing bathing, bed time, and just touching them are ways to bond. Bonding comes naturally usually, and is not difficult if parents are spending quality time with their baby.

Guidelines for Appropriate Toys for Infants

Toys for infants must be...

- Produced of durable materials

- Has rounded edges

- Painted with non-toxic substances

- Colorful

- Has cords 12 inches or less

- Has tightly constructed parts

- Is age appropriate

Examples: rattle, baby walker, teething ring, stuffed animal, and plastic play drum

Pros and Cons for Breast and Bottle Feeding

Breast Feeding:

Pros- mom loses weight, baby gets the best nutrition, reduces chances of breast cancer, helps build a bond between mom and baby, helps relief stress and pain, it is free, helps baby build immunities, sanitary, reduces respiratory ailments, and mother's uterus returns to normal size faster.

Cons- mom has to be with the baby constantly to feed it, socially unacceptable, time consuming, baby could not be getting enough food, others will not be able to help feed the baby, side effects, painful, child could become overly attached, mother's medication could be hazardous, jealousy from older siblings, mother's breast become enlarged, and father is unable to help.

Bottle Feeding:

Pros- mom does not have to be with the baby constantly to feed it, avoids attachment, easier to do in public, has nutritional values, no pumping, father can participate, returning to work is easier, and reduces strain.

Cons- baby does not get the best nutrition, baby can get thrush, have to keep bottles sanitary, very expensive, the formula has to be mixed correctly.

When Certain Foods should be Introduced

Newborns at birth should be fed milk everyday for at least a year. Starting at 2-4 weeks parents may add orange juice or vitamin C supplements to there meal. At 4 weeks fluoridated water can be added. At 3 months babies should be starting to have cereals, which provide iron and B vitamins, to their milk. At 3-4 months babies may have mashed hard-cooked egg yolks, which provides protein and iron. At 4 months babies may be introduced to puréed fruits and vegetables, that provide vitamins, along with their milk. At 6 months babies may have puréed meats, which provide protein and iron. At 7 months they can have breads and pastas that have been torn up. Beyond 7 months they can have strained and chopped adult food that they are able to chew. Babies should have either breast milk or baby formula with every meal till they are at least one.

Signs of a Healthy Child

Sings include...

- Sound sleeping

- Eating without much coaxing

- Gaining steadily in height and weight over the months

- Teeth are in good condition

- Few aches and pains

- Enjoys both individual and group play

- Alert, active, cheerful, and interested in the surroundings

SIDS Prevention and Crib Safety

SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year of age. Normally babies who are placed Ina crib on their stomach or sides when they go to sleep, are at high risk of SIDS.

Here are some steps to prevent SIDS:

- Use a firm, fitted sleep surface

- Do not use pillows or blankets in the sleeping area

- Keep soft objects and loose things away

- Do not cover the babie's head

- Always place the baby on their back to sleep

- Dress baby in a onesie to sleep, with no blankets

- Baby sleep area is next to the parent's

- Do not smoke around a baby

- Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, couch or chair

- Use a fitted sheet

- Provide baby vaccines

- Give baby a dry pacifier, not attached to a string

- Do not let the baby get too hot or cold