Give only breast milk, or, if it is not possible for any reason, formula for the first 5 or, better, 6 months of life.
Do not follow schedules, but breastfeed “on request”, that is when the newborn is hungry. The signs are: she starts to get nervous or cry, she puts her hands to mouth, sucks.
In the same way, the meal is over when the child is full, she has eaten enough. The baby relaxes and turns his head away.
The number of feedings varies, but they are usually between 8 and 12 a day.
If the baby pauses while feeding, or at the end, you can hold it upright for a few minutes to burp.
If more than 4 hours have passed since the last meal, it is advisable to wake up and feed the baby. To awaken your newborn, take it in your arms, rock it and change the diaper.
Give to the baby Vitamin D, about 400 units a day.
To know if the baby is eating enough, it is useful to check the number of wet diapers. They should be at least 5 a day.
Hold the baby in a way that you can look at each other, and hold the bottle with your other hand. Do not prop the bottle.
Avoid microwave heating, but use a bottle warmer.
The baby should eat about 60-90 ml of milk every 2-3 hours. The quantity depends a lot on weight growth, and may vary for each newborn.
Use non-perfumed baby soaps and lotion, to clean baby’s skin.
It is advisable to bath the baby when he’s calm and relaxed. Do not put too much water in the bathtub, only a few centimeters are enough.
Check the water temperature with the elbow or wrist.
Change the diaper often.
At any change, if possible, leave the area uncovered for about ten minutes to allow the skin to breathe, before putting a new diaper. This reduces the frequency of irritations.
Do not use talc or powders.
Organize and plan the day, to find time for you, even with your partner.
Get to know the facilities or support organizations for new parents in your city or region. You may need it for advice or if you encounter any difficulty.
Consider the older brother or sister. And think how they can participate or help, even in small things, in the care of the newborn (for example, they can hold their hands when changing diapers, etc.). But never leave the newborn alone with brothers and sisters.
For parents caring for a newborn is sometime heavy. Get organized and tell relatives and friends how they can help (cooking, shopping, etc.).
Try to rest when your baby sleeps.
It’s normal for mom, and sometimes even for dad, to have a feeling of sadness. If this concern lasts more than a week, or if you feel depressed, overwhelmed, talk to your doctor.
Take the baby in your arms often during the day, with cuddles and massages
When awake, put your baby on his tummy, lying down with you. This strengthens the muscles of the arms and the neck.
Calm the baby cry.
It is normal for a newborn to cry often, even for hours, around the first month of life. Especially towards evening.
In fact at this age the so-called colic begins.
To calm the baby, take it in your arms, while massaging his tummy.
Never shake the baby. This is very dangerous. He could have a cerebral hemorrhage.
If you cannot calm his crying and you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, put the baby in his crib and call someone to help you.
Talk with your baby
Talk often to your baby, looking into his or her eyes (in the first 1-2 months the newborn see your face if it is at a distance of 20-30 cm).
To protect your child in a car, always place it on a suitable and safe seat. Even for short distances, never keep it in your arms. Put the seat rear facing and in the central part of the back seat.
Always use an anti-abandonment system in the seat.
Never leave the child alone in the car, even for a few minutes.
Never smoke in the house and, if you do it outside, change your clothes when you come back.
To avoid the risk of burns, never drink a hot drink, such as tea or coffee, while holding your baby.
Avoid necklaces, because if the baby turns or moves, these could get stuck and cause choking.
How to measure fever.
The most accurate way to measure a baby’s fever is to take rectal temperature with a digital thermometer.
Up to 6 months of age, it is best not to use an ear thermometer.
The contactless thermometers are not very reliable.
What temperature is fever?
The newborn has fever if the rectal temperature is equal or greater than 38 °C (100.4 °F). If a baby younger than 2 months have a fever, he may have a serious infection and you must contact your pediatrician or family doctor.
Prepare for emergency.
Prepare a list with emergency telephone numbers, including poison control centers.
Register for a pediatric first aid course, which is organized periodically by the Red Cross.
Wash your hands often and ask family members to do the same, before touching or picking up the baby.
Avoid contact with people with an infectious disease, even if they have a simple cold.
Avoid sun exposure.
To reduce the risk of SIDS, always put the child to sleep on his back, day and night.
You can offer a pacifier before going to sleep, if the baby wants it.
Use a crib or a bed with bars, with no drop-side rail. The slats must be close together to prevent the head or other parts of the baby’s body from getting stuck, if he or she moves during sleep. The distance between slats must not exceed 6 cm.
The crib must meet current safety standards. You can find more information on the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. (mettere link)
To cover the newborn, you can wrap it, or use only a sleep suit, or place a sheet and a cover over it, which must be well tucked up.
Do not leave toys, or soft objects such as bumpers, pillows or quilts in the crib or bed. There is a risk of suffocation if the baby moves.
Keep the baby to sleep in your room, but not in your bed.
The temperature of the room where the baby is sleeping should be kept between 18 and 20 degrees. Not fewer than 16 degrees and no more than 22 degrees.
Check the baby’s development
The one-month-old baby normally has these abilities.
If his is placed on his back, he moves legs and arms in a symmetrical and harmonious way.
When placed in a sitting position, he can control his head for a few seconds.
If you approach your face, he fixes your face and follow your eyes.
The child starts to smile while he looks at you.