Those endless nine months have come and gone, and now mom, dad, or both get to finally take their beautiful bright-eyed babe home. This is when the total realization of parenthood kicks in and parents start to see that from now on, it's just them and their baby. It may start to hit them just how much work raising a baby is going to be. The sleepless nights, the strenuous days, the overbearing precautions that need to be taken in order to keep the newborn safe and healthy, at all costs.
With newborns, parents must be extra cautious because of their baby's tiny, frail body. One wrong move, or something as simple as the parents not supporting the head and neck properly, and the baby could suffer permanent damage to those areas, or worse. Newborn babies also need special care when being cleaned to make sure that they are being cared for properly.
Things like the umbilical cord need additional care, which some first-time parents might not even think about until the nurses are reviewing aftercare procedures. If not cared for right, they can become infected and then that turns into a whole new mess that would have been completely avoidable with appropriate cleaning and care.
A newborn’s parents are sometimes in for more than they bargained for when it comes to keeping their little one clean. Mistakes can happen when caring for a new baby, but they could be dangerous and cause the baby to either get hurt or become ill. All parents, especially new parents, should pay close attention to the correct ways of cleaning and care for their new baby to avoid these mistakes and to keep their baby as safe as possible.
15 The Umbilical Cord Isn't Cared For
Proper care of a newborn's umbilical cord is very important. If new parents don't care for the umbilical cord, and surrounding area, the right way, it could become dangerous for the baby's health, and at times even fatal. It takes about a week or two for the baby's umbilical cord ţo dry up and fall off on its own.
Parents can sometimes make quite a few mistakes when caring for their baby's cord. They should never submerge a baby in a sink or bathing tub until the cord has fallen off to avoid infection and irritation. Instead, parents should give their baby a sponge bath.
Parents should try to keep the umbilical cord stump dry and allow it to have lots of air. When changing the baby's diaper, it's best to fold down the front of the diaper to keep the stump from becoming irritated and doing this also helps give it some room to breathe.
14 Giving The Baby Too Many Baths
Babies, especially newborn’s, have very sensitive skin. Their skin is about five times more sensitive than an adult's. All newborns should not be getting a regular baby bath until after their umbilical cord falls off and until after, for baby boys, their circumcision is healed. The healing process takes a week or two, so for the time being, babies need to have sponge baths.
Once they are okay to start taking a regular baby bath, parents only need to bathe their new baby two to three times a week until they are at the age where they are starting to crawl and getting much dirtier. Bathing a baby too much could agitate and irritate their silky-smooth skin. Parents don’t want to dry out their baby's skin by using too much product either. Sometimes less really is more when it comes to cleaning and caring for a new baby.
13 Leaving The Head And Hair Wet
Babies have adorable little heads that can get cold very easily, especially after bathing and the lack of hair on the baby's head. It's important to dry a baby head and hair promptly after they bathe. This is because babies lose a majority of their body heat through the top of their tiny heads. Not drying a baby’s head fully, according to old wives’ tales, has been linked to cradle cap. A factor of cradle cap can be yeast, which can grow on surfaces of the body where water has been that has not been allowed the proper time to dry.
Another old wives’ tale is that going outside with a wet head can cause a person to become more vulnerable to getting sick. While this has not been proven, it something that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is always better to dry a baby’s head than allowing it to stay wet.
12 The Gums Are Never Cleaned
Some parents can sometimes forget that they should clean their baby’s gums even well before their teeth come in. The mouth is filled with tons of bacteria. Even for newborn babies who only drink milk or formula. Formula contains much more sugar than breastmilk, so moms who have babies that will not be breastfeeding should remember that it is even more important to brush a baby’s gums. The sugary type substances can continue to decay in the mouth for up to 20 minutes after each episode. Moms and dads should always remember to rub off excess food in the baby’s mouths. This will help protect the baby from getting diseases in or on their gums.
11 Hot Or Cold? Parents Need To Pay Attention
New parents can make the mistake of not regulating the water temperature correctly for their newborn baby. Babies don't come with instruction manuals, and while almost everything can be looked up online, it's hard to know which sites to trust and which sites offer bogus information.
When parents are bathing their little one, the water temperature should be around 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Babies, especially newborn's, have very sensitive skin and can either burn or get cold much easier than an older child or toddler.
To ensure that the baby does not get burnt, parents should make sure that their water heater does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Parents should also always check the water temperature themselves before exposing the baby to the water.
10 Not Paying Attention To The Legs And Feet
Not all parents know this, especially first-time parents, but they should try massaging their baby’s tiny legs and feet after bath time to help with circulation throughout their lower extremities. Some studies have been done that show that regular massage can help with multiple things with premature babies such as the growth of healthy bones. Parents don’t have to massage their baby’s legs daily to reap the benefits. Even just once or twice a week is considered good enough.
There are different types of massages that parents can use on their baby to help strengthen the baby’s muscles throughout their tiny body. Massaging the legs and feet to promote with strength, can be very beneficial, especially as they get older and start to crawl and walk.
9 Washing A Circumcised Baby
Many parents, especially first-time parents, don’t know that when a baby boy has a circumcision that the newborn should not be placed in a baby bath, sink, or anything else until at least a week or two after he was circumcised. The area should stay clean and dry to help reduce the risk of the baby developing an infection. The area should just be cleaned with an unscented soap and warm water with a cloth and left to air dry. Parents should not even be cleaning the area with a baby wipe until the circumcision is healed.
When the baby goes to the bathroom, the area should be cleaned the same as with bathing; with an unscented soap and warm water. Babies should not be receiving baths until after the circumcision is healed and the umbilical cord falls off, which is generally within a week or two after the baby is born.
8 Not Using Enough Baby Wipes
Part of cleaning the baby and making sure he or she stays healthy is making sure that mom or dad is cleaning their bottom during every diaper change and bath. Even if that baby only went number one, baby wipes should be used to ensure that the little one doesn't get a diaper rash.
Diaper rashes can get red and irritating to baby's soft skin, making them feel cranky and agitated. But who wouldn't feel cranky when their bottom hurts? If left untreated, diaper rashes can also get infected, which means the newborn would need medical attention.
Leaving the baby with a clean bottom every time will keep them happy and all smiles. Parents are also advised against using baby powder now, due to the tiny particles that float around in the air during use, and has been linked to respiratory problems.
7 Diapers Can Stop The Baby's Blood Flow
Diaper changing can seem very harmless like there are no hidden dangers in using them, right? They can become dangerous to the baby if they are put on too tight. It could cut off circulation to the baby's lower extremities. Or in other words, it could stop blood flow to the baby's legs and feet.
This could cause some serious harm to the baby's health. Noticing that the diaper is on too tight would be obvious because his or her legs would start to change colors. Plus, the baby would most likely become very fussy and cranky.
If parents start to notice their baby's legs stay to turn colors, red or a bluish shade, they should immediately loosen their baby's diaper and see if that helps.
6 Not Clipping The Nails Properly
Parents should be careful how and when they are clipping their little one’s nails. Parents should wait until the newborn is about five to six weeks old before they use a nail clipper. Before the newborn is five weeks old, their nails are more transparent and closer to the skin.
When babies are this old, there is a good chance that they will scratch their sensitive faces. Moms and, or, dads could use a baby sized emery board to file the baby’s nails down until they are old enough to be clipped.
If a parent feels the slightest bit uncomfortable doing anything to the baby’s nails, they could also use the onesies with the flaps on the end of the sleeves to cover the baby’s hands so that they cannot scratch their face instead.
5 Using Cloth Diapers Without Knowing The Risks
Cloth diapers are not used as much as they used to be, but some parents still insist on using them to save money and to be greener, instead of going to the store and constantly buying disposable diapers. Cloth diapers have been shown to cause more diaper rashes in babies and can irritate the skin and cause more issues than its counterpart; the throwaway diaper. This is because more moisture gets stuck inside the cloth fabric instead of an absorbable pad.
Cloth diapers need to be changed more often because of this reason. It's the equivalent to an adult wetting themselves in their clothing. They wouldn't want to hang around with a wet bum, so why subject a baby to those conditions?
4 Using Too Much Of Everything
Using too much product on a baby such as shampoos, baby body wash, soaps, or any other chemicals on a newborn can create some major skin problems for the baby. More and more babies are developing eczema and other skin conditions compared to past generations. This could be because a baby’s skin is much more sensitive than an adult's. It is at least five times more sensitive.
Even shampoos and soaps that are designed specifically for babies can cause their skin to dry out and become irritated if too much product is being used, or if the newborn is getting bathed more than they should. Newborns, or babies in general, only need to be bathed about 2-3 times a week until they are at the age where they start to crawl and get much dirtier from all the moving around that they are doing.
3 Dangerously Cleaning The Ears
Moms and dads have had to endure the gross things that come out of their baby, and have to learn to tolerate it much more than someone without kids. One thing that a lot of new parents forget about doing, or that they are doing it wrong, is cleaning out their newborn’s ears.
The parents of itty bitty newborn babies should know the only completely safe way to clean a baby’s ears is to clean the outside of the ear and avoid putting anything inside the baby’s ear. It is very easy to cause damage to the inside if the parents try sticking anything in there.
If parents would use something like a regular Q-tip, there is always the possibility of rupturing the baby’s eardrum causing them to go deaf either partially or completely. They do make Q-tips that have a thicker end of them to keep them from going into the ear canal and causing damage.
2 Not Changing Fast Enough
Babies go to the bathroom, a lot. They can urinate up to 20 times a day according to some studies. There is no need to change a baby’s diaper every single time they tinkle. That would be a bit of an overkill. However, parents should be changing their baby’s diaper roughly every two to three hours unless they have a bowel movement. When babies go number two, their diaper should be getting changed every time. Leaving a baby in a dirty diaper too long can really irritate baby’s sensitive skin and bottom.
Infrequent diaper changes can lead to the baby getting a diaper rash, which could make the baby much more cranky and irritable the usual. If diaper rashes go untreated, parents run the risk of their baby getting an infection, and no parent wants to see their little one suffer from a sore bottom.
1 Leaving The Baby Alone
The most dangerous thing a parent could do with the newborn baby would be to leave them unattended in a bathtub. More so, leaving the baby unattended around any form of water is very unsafe. Babies die every day from accidental drownings. No parents want to ever go through the loss of a child, that is why it is imperative that parents never leave their little one unattended near water.
It only takes a few seconds for the water to become deadly for a baby. Even an inch of water could turn deadly. Parents need to make sure that they have everything they need for bath time in the room with them before they even begin to bathe their precious new baby. It is always better to play it safe than sorry when it comes to a child’s well-being, and ensuring that a baby, or even a toddler, is never left by themselves is the safest thing a parent could do.
Sources: whattoexpect.com, americanpregnancy.org, more.com, parents.com, johnsonsbaby.com, dailymail.co.uk, livestrong.com