In the first few months, it is common to experience anxiety about managing your baby’s needs around the clock – including feeding, diaper changes, baths, etc.
BreastfeedingThe World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months before introducing solid foods together with breast milk. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and child and provides various health benefits:
- Offers essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients for baby’s development
- More easily digested than formula milk, leading to lower risk of stomach problems (e.g. constipation and diarrhoea)
- Contains antibodies to improve immunity and reduce infection risk
- Allows the womb to contract faster and reduces blood loss after childbirth
- Decreases risk of developing breast, ovarian and womb cancers, as well as heart disease and osteoporosis
- Burns calories and helps to shed pregnancy weight
Handling Your NewbornAt this stage, it is important to handle your baby with care as his or her neck muscles and head control is still weak before the age of 6 months.
- Ensure your baby’s head and neck are supported when cradling him, carrying him upright and laying him down
- Do not shake your newborn, bounce him on your knee or throw him in the air
- When placing your baby in a carrier, stroller or car seat, always make sure he is positioned correctly and the seat belts are properly fastened
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- Keep the water in the baby bath tub shallow
- Make sure the water temperature is warm
- Pour in the required amount of hypoallergenic baby bath liquid
- Undress your baby and wrap him in a towel
- Clean the eyes first, then the face using a moist cotton ball
- Tuck him under your arm, using the same hand to support the head
- Wash and then dry his hair to prevent him from catching a chill
- Remove the towel and gently place baby into the water, constantly supporting the head, neck and shoulders
- Use a napkin to gently wash under the armpits, then turn baby over to wash his bottom and genitals
- Lift baby out of the tub, wrap him in a dry towel and dry thoroughly
Common Infant ConditionsAt this stage, your infant may experience some of these common problems and medical conditions. Some of these are natural processes which occur as your infant’s immune system develops. Consult a paediatrician on how to best manage these conditions.
Immunisations play an important role in keeping your child protected against various infectious diseases. Starting from birth, it is important to provide vaccines at specific intervals to effectively build the immune system and protect against certain serious illnesses.
Common immunisations include:
- Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)
- 6-in-1 (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertusiss, Poliomyelitis, Haemophilus, Influenza Type B, Hepatitis B)
- Prevenar 13™ (Pneumococcal diseases)
- MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella & Varicella/Chickenpox)
- Hepatitis A
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)