Baby care: Common questions answered
- By Team TDO
- What causes jaundice in newly born baby?
Healthy babies develop jaundice due to excess of bilirubin (a chemical formed due to breakdown of old red blood cells) in the blood. The baby’s liver can't breakdown excess bilirubin formed due to additional blood cells to carry the extra oxygen. This does not harm the baby unless it is very severe.
- When will the umbilical (navel) stump dry and fall off?
The stump dries up, turns black and falls off between 5-15 days, leaving a small wound, which takes a few days to heal.
- My baby has a dry skin. Can I use baby lotion?
Newborn babies have dry skin which becomes smooth after a couple of sponge baths. The skin becomes dry as the baby is no longer surrounded by water as it was in the mother’s womb. No special lotions are needed, but the mom can still use it if it feels good to her to massage her baby with lotion.
- Can I give gripe water to my baby to relieve gas?
Gripe water is an older remedy that warms up the stomach and helps release air bubbles. Talk to your doctor before giving gripe water or any home medication to the baby.
- How should one clean the baby’s genitals?
Avoid hot bath and bubble bath. It can irritate the genitals. Usemoist cloth to wipe the area. Do not use soap around the genital area. Pat the area dry with very smooth absorbent cloth. Do not rub. Do not apply any oil or cream to the genital area.
- Does the baby's complexion change after birth?
The baby's complexion is decided by his genes. Most babies are born with lighter skin and even look pinkish due to blood vessels that can be seen through thin skin. Mostly this is taken as its original color, but the skin darkens and colour changes over the first few weeks as melanin forms rapidly.
- My baby has long nails. Can I trim them?
Do not trim the nails this early. It is delicate, goes below skin and might bleed. Use mittens, or socks on the hands and cut them later on when they become a little hard with baby scissors. Cut them once a week or less frequently as they grow.
- How do massages help the baby grow?
Massages help the baby relax, calm down, sleep better, cry less, and stimulates brain development; it helps to develop rapid bonding between you and your baby, thus helping healthy growth of the baby.
- When can the baby be taken out in public?
Newborns can take average temperatures, cold or hot, well when they are dressed appropriately. Do not spend more time outside in extremely cold or hot weather. Avoid huge crowds at least till the baby is 2 months old.
- Does using disposable nappy for boys affect their fertility in future?
It is difficult to say. Heat can affect the sperm count in adults. But there is no confirmed evidence showing that wearing nappies as a baby can lead to infertility in adulthood. Use cotton nappies if concerned.
- When does a baby get its first tooth?
First tooth appears around the sixth month. But a tiny white cap may appear in the front, usually at the bottom, between three months to one year.
- When can I introduce solid foods?
Take advice from a childcare specialist. Solid food is not given before 4-6 months of age to most of the babies. Even at four months, the baby is not ready for solid food. The nutritional requirements are fulfilled with breast milk. After six months, the baby needs solid food to get proteins, iron and more calories.
- Are walkers and jumpers good to stimulate the baby to learn walking quickly?
They do not allow the baby to move around and explore the things. A baby learns to move quickly when on floor on his belly than when he is placed on a high chair or walker.
- When will the baby grasp objects in hands?
A baby can instinctively grasp objects right from birth. Give her your finger and she will hold it with her tiny hand. By three months of age,she will start picking up the things. By one year,she will be able to pick and hold things in their hands properly.