Welcome to parenthood. Holding your baby in your arms is a beautiful feeling. Your bundle of joy is going to demand a lot of your time and energy in the days to come. Babies grow fast and each phase is enjoyable. Read on for some pointers that will make parenting more pleasurable for you.

Breast feeding
The best thing you can do for your baby is to breast feed it. Breast feeding has unique benefits for you and your baby, even if you nurse for a short time. Breast-fed babies have fewer and less severe illnesses. Breast milk positively affects infants’ brain development, behaviour, and visual acuity. Breast-fed infants seem more likely to regulate their food intake appropriately and are therefore less likely to develop obesity. Breast feeding is also a special bonding exercise between you and your baby. It also gives your baby a great sense of security.

Handling a crying baby 
Babies communicate their discomfort by crying. Infants may cry because they are hungry, wet, gassy, tired, or need to suck. As you get to know your little one, you will begin to instinctively understand why the baby is crying or even anticipate their needs. Babies often get cranky around their sleep time; try rocking your baby to sleep. Try placing your baby over your shoulder and gently rubbing or patting your baby`s back, it will give you baby relief from gas. Your baby could be plain bored. Amuse it with a game of peak-a-boo or read a story with enthusiasm. You can also try going for a walk, holding the baby against your chest to hear the soothing sound of your heartbeat. Some babies like to be placed in a swing or taken for a ride in the car or stroller. Others are calmed by a warm bath.

Diaper tips
Change your baby’s diaper after every bowel movement and whenever the diapers are wet. When hanging your baby’s diaper, be sure to clean the area completely. Do not use powders or ointments. Removing them from the skin will actually remove the first layer of skin, which protects your baby from bacteria. This could eventually result in diaper rash.

Seek medical help
Do not ignore it, if your baby is becoming uncomfortable, loosing appetite or crying inconsolably, meet your doctor. Babies with a nasal congestion may lose appetite and become irritable as they can’t sleep comfortably. Vomiting and diarrhea are signals of digestive issues and in some cases ear infections. Your sick baby needs plenty of love, care and sleep.

Immunization schedule
Here is a quick look at your baby’s immunization schedule;

Immunization schedule
Here is a quick look at your baby’s immunization schedule;

Vaccine For protection against  Administering schedule
BCG Tuberculosis   4 - 6 weeks
OPV Polio    2 weeks/ 6 weeks/12 weeks/ 6-12 months/ 18 months/ 4-5 years
DPT  Diphtheria, whooping cough and Tetanus  6 weeks/ 12 weeks/ 18 weeks
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B  6 weeks/ 12 weeks/ 14 weeks/ 18 weeks/ 24 weeks
MMR  Measles, mumps and rubella  15-18 months
Typhoid Typhoid 2 years
Chicken pox Chicken pox Optional

Word of caution

Don’t leave babies unattended on a high surface. Babies can squirm, wiggle, and even turn over, getting themselves into dangerous situations. Pay close attention to ensure that your baby’s toys and stuffed animals do not include loose buttons or other small pieces that your baby could swallow. Keep your child away from balloons, older infants and toddlers can bite balloons and choke on the broken pieces. Pillows, blankets, and soft, hairy stuffed animals can interfere with breathing and even suffocate your baby.

Newborns look so delicate, it’s normal to feel nervous when you first start caring for one. Relax — babies are not quite as fragile as you think. As you and your baby develop your own special relationship, you will start to feel more comfortable together.

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