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Instructions for Taking Care of Newborns

Yan QIN, Neonatologist, Pediatric Health Care

Newborns

The arrival of newborn babies is unusually happy for every family, and the family is also careful. What are the common problems in everyday life for these lovely little babies and how to deal with them, today we will come to a simple explanation.

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First, we see how newborns are categorized:

By gestational age

* Term infants ≥ 37~< 42 weeks

* Preterm infants < 37 weeks

*Postterm infants>42 weeks

By birth weight                               

* Normal infants between 2,500-3,999 g

* Low birth weight infants < 2,500 g

* Macrosomia 4,000g and above

Newborns tend to have wrinkled and coarse skin, and even peel.

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What is it that demands attention to care for newborns?

Maintaining constant body temperature

✔  The preferable indoor temperature for infants is 22 to 24℃ (24—26 ℃ for preterm infants)

✔ A normal body temperature ranges from 36 to 37.3 ℃ (under the arm)

✔    In case the body temperature exceeds 37.5 ℃, measures shall be taken promptly.

✔  The preferable indoor relative humidity for infants is 50-60%.

Feeding Mode

✴ Breast Feeding:Breastmilk has avariety of nutrients required for baby development. The proportion of nutrientsis moderate and beneficial to absorption; breast milk has the immune substancethat other formulacan’t provide;breast milkrarely causes allergies.

✴ Formula Feeding: When breast feeding is not available, the newborn will be fed with formula.

✴ Mixed Feeding : When breastfeeding is not enough,formula then serves as a supplement. It’s recommended that certain amount of formula  should be fed after each breastfeed  in case that the breastmilk secretion decrease.

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Any water for newborns?

Infants less than 6 months old, whether breastfeeding or botle feeding, need no additional water.Such symptoms as fever, heavy perspiration, constipation, dark yellow urine and so on may necessitate additional water.How to protect infants against infection?

✅ Room air should kept fresh and windows opened regularly.

✅ Minimizing the number of people in the baby’s bedroom. Any access to the baby’s bedroom by any patient should be denied.

✅ Hands should be washed carefully before touching and taking care of newborns.

✅ Keep baby’s skin clean

✅ Diapers should be changed frequently. The hip should be cleaned in time after the stool .

✅ Bathe baby constantly, especially keep skin of the armpit,inguinal fold,elbow and thigh folds clean and dry. Use non-irritating soap and absorb water with a towel after bath, instead of a violet wiping.

✅ Clothes should be soft, loose and changed on daily.

✅ Keep the umbilical part clean. Before the umbilicus heals, it is an important portal for the bacteria to invade the body of the newborn.

If you do not payattention to the cleaning of the umbilical part, the bacteria invades the umbilicus, causes localinflammation, and it can be complicated with peritonitis and sepsis.

✅ Clean theumbilicalpart with cotton sticks dipped with 75%alcohol every day until it heals.

*In case of purulent secretion from the umbilicus or red and swollen skin around the umbilicus ,see the doctor in time

How to deal with milk regurgitation?

A neonatal stomach is horizontal, with the cardia loose and the pylorus tight, thus making milk regurgitation easy. As is known to all, milk regurgitation is nothing fussy. The following tips may help prevent milk regurgitation.

1.A correct feeding posture requires a mother to sit on a chair or a bed with , her left elbow lift up to 45°. Then, the baby’s head should be put in the left elbow bend to hold her baby in arms and let the baby to suck.

2.For breast feeding, the baby keeps the nipple well in its mouth; and for formula feeding, ensure the nipple is filled completely with milk.

3.After feeding, hold the baby uprightly and pat gently on its back until air inside the stomach is expelled. Lay it down on the right side.