Taking care of newborns is challenging for a parent. Infants are vulnerable to every kind of illness, ranging from minor colds and flu to major ones like sepsis. The immune systems of newborns are not strong enough to fight off infections. Thus, all the responsibility of caring for and protecting children falls on the parents. Consequently, as a parent, you are likely to become overwhelmed by your baby's health and safety concerns.
However, you can overcome this fear and anxiety by preparing beforehand. Listed below are a few tips to ensure you are geared up to keep your baby safe and healthy.
Don't overlook the signs of birth injuries
Birth injuries occur at the time of birth mainly because of medical negligence. Symptoms of some injuries become evident during the first few days after the birth, while others take months or years to become apparent. For example, cerebral palsy, a disorder caused by a birth injury, leads to symptoms like excessive drooling, low heart rate, etc., and develops during the first two years of life. Parents of children with this disorder can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit and get financial compensation to cover the medical expenses for treatment.
As a new parent, it is crucial to pay close attention to your baby and seek medical or legal help whenever you notice any signs of an anomaly.
Use medicines with prescription
It is natural for new mothers to get worried when their child catches a cold. Sometimes, they may lose track of how often they give medication leading to an overdose. This careless mistake may harm your baby more than the illness.
So, ensure you use only the medication prescribed by the doctor as overdosing is not safe for infants. Secondly, try to keep track of the dosage, especially acetaminophen, which causes overdose easily. These little safe habits will ensure your baby remains safe and healthy.
Try to avoid germs
Babies' immune system is not fully developed, making them more prone to even mild infections. Their immune system needs time and nutrition to grow strong. Thus, it is up to you to keep them away from germs. The least you can do is sterilize the baby products, sanitize your house thoroughly, wash baby clothes separately with less detergent, etc. Also, teach basic hygiene to the older children and encourage visitors to wash their hands before holding the baby.
Most importantly, beware of fevers reaching 100.4 or higher as they require immediate medical care. Also, check your baby's body for any non-blanching rashes that don't disappear with pressure.
Avoid going out too often
Haven't eaten a savory meal outside with friends for a long time? You may be tempted to go out more often after giving birth. However, prioritize what's good for your baby. Crowded places like restaurants may expose your child to various bacteria and viruses that could harm your baby. For example, a virus known as RSV is found roaming around outside to hunt down older children. It doesn't affect older children but may be life-threatening for your little one. So, it is better to avoid such places till your baby becomes a toddler.
Going out for a brisk walk on a sunny day for some fresh air is fine. Still, going out too often may expose your baby to health risks regardless of the weather condition.
Buy new travel safety gear
When traveling with your newborn, ensure your baby seat or crib is in good condition and attached properly to avoid unwanted accidents. Refrain from using the old hand-me-down car cribs and buy new ones to ensure quality and safety. They may save you some money but might put your baby in danger.
Also, it is crucial to learn some basics for installing the car seat the correct way. For example, all children ride rear-facing unless they are two years old or more, and you must rate the seat according to a child's weight and height. Also, you need to fix the seat tightly so that it moves only an inch back and forth or side-to-side, not more than that.
Follow the vaccination schedule
Vaccines contain dead or weakened disease organisms that aid the body in producing antibodies when the infection hits the child. Vaccines don't protect against the common cold or flu, but they make your children immune to more severe diseases like polio.
You can keep up with the vaccination schedule by keeping a manual record. Infants receive only the vaccination for hepatitis B at the time of birth and the rest over four years. You can learn more about vaccination schedules from your pediatrician or online resources.
Aside from getting your baby vaccinated, it's also important that you bring your baby to a dental expert as soon as the first tooth erupted. If you check out this dentist in Rockefeller Center, they'll tell you that this usually happens around the 5th and 7th month.
Prefer breastfeeding over formula milk
Breastfeeding works wonders for your baby's health. Mother's milk is loaded with fats, proteins, antioxidants, enzymes, and other nutritional components, and it is an ideal source of nutrition for infants. Moreover, it transfers antibodies from the mother to the baby, thus strengthening their immune system against various infections and viruses. Furthermore, it protects the baby from ear infections, diarrhea, allergies, asthma, diabetes, and more. Thus, it is beneficial to breastfeed the baby for the first six months.
Whether you are parenting a baby for the first time or have been parents for some years, caring for newborns and protecting them is always overwhelming. Infants, unlike older children, need more attention, care, safety, and protection. Thus, infants are dependent on their parents to fight the germs, infections, and illnesses and make it successfully into childhood. Thus, adhere to a few helpful tips to play your part successfully. These include timely vaccination, avoiding germs, crowds, overdosage of medicines, looking for birth injuries, etc. Adhering to these tips can make your initial years into parenthood easier.