How to properly care for a baby

My elderly relatives insisted that I put on a hat for my newborn son even in an apartment at +27 ℃.

And when the baby was three months old, they offered to give him juice to drink. I did not do this: according to the recommendations of pediatricians, for the first six months, it is enough for a child to receive only breast milk.

In this article I will talk about popular myths about living with a baby and what documented medicine says about them.

Myth # 1

Complementary foods should be introduced as early as possible

In the USSR it was customary to start complementary foods with juices, as they were believed to be a source of vitamins. They were introduced into the baby’s diet 3-4 months. About the same aged, began to give porridge, mainly semolina.

After the porridge they put berry jelly, puree, boiled carrots, chopped meat, that is, everything that was from the food. They tried to bring the child to the common table as soon as possible so that the woman could work normally.

In fact. It is recommended to introduce complementary foods with 4-6 months. Until then, the baby should be breastfed or formula fed. Other foods will be dangerous: the child still has few digestive enzymes and a weak immune system, so allergic reactions and absorption problems are possible.

Complementary foods start with the mashed food and gradually become lumps. In different countries, the first product given to a child to try is different. In Russia, these are traditionally vegetable purees and cereals.

On the packages of modern juice makers, there is often a 4+ mark, which means “you can give it for four months”. But the WHO classifies juices as sources of free sugars, which are best limited to children’s diets. Juices also lack fiber, which is essential for a healthy diet. It is more useful to give the child fruit puree.

The juice is ideally introduced in the diet since the child is one year old. It is desirable from this age and up to 6 years the daily dose should not be exceeded 120-180 ml. At the same time, the juice should not replace a full meal, but be part of it.

Smaller juice packs are 0.2 liters, which is more than the recommended amount for children aged 1 to 6 years

Myth # 2

If you often carry a child in your arms, it will hurt

Some believe that if the baby gets up often, then he will get used to it and will constantly demand “handles”, manipulating his parents with the help of crying.

Carrying a baby in your arms is also beneficial for parents: due to As a result, they produce more oxytocin in their body – thanks to it, adults improve their mood and it also becomes easier for them to recognize what this or that behavior of the baby signals.

Also, touching the skin with the skin of the child and the parents helps to create a reliable attachment between them. In addition, even in cases where adults initially have a difficult attitude towards the baby: for example, children are at risk of insecure attachment teenage mothers.

It can be difficult for parents to understand why the child is crying, – due to It may seem to adults that he is manipulating and wants to always be in the hands. In fact, there are many reasons for the baby to cry: the baby may feel uncomfortable with the clothes, wet with a diaper, very hot, insufficient oscillating movements that he was accustomed to in the womb, just lonely. It may take time for me to figure it out.

Myth # 3

The child will be able to calm down on his own if he is left alone

It is helpful to let a baby cry on his own: this way he will learn to calm down and not grow up too capricious. The American pediatrician Benjamin Spock described this idea in his book The Child and Care for Him, which was published in 1946.

Spock’s advice was actively used by our grandmothers, so they still advise getting used to sleeping like this: put the baby to bed, say it ‘s time to go to bed, turn off the light and leave the room, even if the baby is crying.

Crying is the baby’s only opportunity to communicate pain, hunger and other ailments. If parents ignore the baby’s crying, they may not notice a major problem for the child: for example, feeling unwell, something that requires a doctor’s attention.

Ignorance is also harmful in the long run: early life experiences affect a baby’s mental health and ability to build relationships in the future. Thus, according to the attachment theory of the English psychiatrist John Bowlby, maternal care allows the child to better adapt to the world around him and the constant separation from the mother threatens with behavioral disorders in adulthood.

If the family does not form a secure attachment between the child and the parents, the baby will find it more difficult to experience stress and it will take longer for him to calm down. This is because the child does not understand what to expect from the parent: it can be a source of comfort and fear. This prevents the child from developing an effective coping strategy.

Myth # 4

The baby should wear a hat at all times.

Relatives often teach a child to dress in a hat, even if the baby is at home: it is assumed that the child is colder than an adult. Another argument is that without a cap increases the risk of a child getting meningitis.

In fact. The younger the child, the more imperfect his thermoregulation. The main heat leaves the newborn through the head due to its large surface – the lid helps reduce heat loss. However, according to the same why a baby can not only freeze but also overheat: studies show that It is better to dress the child warmer than to put on a hat to protect the baby from the cold.

Myth # 5

The diaper must be tight

The tradition of tight nappies comes from the distant past. Even in Russia, babies were squeezed so that the cloth formed a cross on the chest – an amulet against evil spirits. In the USSR, the tradition was preserved: it was believed that if the diaper was not tight, the child would often wake up and his feet would later become a wheel.

In fact. Swaddling is really useful. Collected babies wake up less, sleep more and calm down faster. Nursing also reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

However, freshening up can cause heatstroke: the diaper is an extra layer of clothing and the newborn’s body is not yet able to quickly remove excess heat due to heavy sweating.

To reduce the risk of diarrhea, keep the temperature in the room where the baby sleeps not too high – about +20 ℃ and do not put an extra layer of clothes on the baby: that is, over the naked body the baby should have either a diaper or a t-shirt.

At the same time, the shovel should not be tight: this disrupts the normal mobility of the chest, which makes it difficult to ventilate the lungs and increases the risk of pneumonia.

A tightly squeezed baby is more difficult to breastfeed. It is more difficult for him to open his mouth wide and turn his head, which makes it difficult to feed. Free napping is more helpful: it does not tighten the child’s limbs and can move them freely.

How to tighten a newborn: video instructions

You can squeeze a baby until it learns to roll, that is, up to about two months. Otherwise, napping, on the other hand, can increase the risk of developing SIDS: if the cramped baby rolls over on its stomach, it will be difficult for it to return to a safe position on its back.

Myth # 6

The baby should be bathed in water with the addition of potassium permanganate

For up to three months, to heal a umbilical wound, it is recommended to add potassium permanganate solution or string decoction to the bath water. Otherwise, there is a risk of infection.

It is best to bathe in water with a temperature of +38 ° C without the addition of disinfectants, shampoo and bath foam. The use of herbal teas is also not recommended: they can cause allergies.

You can add a solution of potassium permanganate on a doctor’s recommendation, for example, with dermatitis. But it is necessary to achieve complete dissolution of the crystals – otherwise there is a risk of causing chemical burns.

During pregnancy, I was advised to buy potassium permanganate and a thermometer to measure the water temperature. I did not even turn on the potassium permanganate and used the thermometer only for the first few days after leaving the hospital. Then she started measuring the temperature of the water with her elbow

Myth # 7

Newborn Vellus hair should be wrapped in bread

It used to be believed that fluffy hair was prickly pear and therefore the baby should get rid of it as soon as possible.

Usually the hair was wrapped in bread crumbs or dough, removed with honey, rubbed with breast milk. Another option is to steam the child well in the bathroom or even in the bathroom. Young mothers are advised to do so now.

In fact. Lanugo is fine, soft, colorless hair that forms in the uterus. They maintain the original lubrication that protects the skin from water loss and plays an important role in thermoregulation.

Gradually, these first hairs are replaced by blisters on the face and forearms and by ordinary hairs on the scalp, armpits and genitals. The body will do it on its own.parents do not need to make any extra effort. Sometimes lanugo persists for the first few weeks of life and this is normal.

Myth # 8

When the child is one year old, he should be cut bald.

This myth is known from ancient Russia. In those days, infant mortality was high, and if a child lived up to a year, they cut it off, conducting an initiation ceremony into the family. The tradition was preserved after the adoption of Christianity and has survived to this day. It is believed that if a child shaves bald in a year, the hair will be thicker in the future.

Shaving does not affect the structure of the hair in any way, but leaves the ends blunt: due to During the regeneration, it may seem that the hair has become thicker, but in reality there is no change.

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