Infant care in the first month
Mother and child spend first few days of the baby’s life with getting to know each-other: they develop their daily routine and discover new things every day. The importance of regular medical examination is high during this period, as besides crying, the baby is not capable of giving you any other sign that he is feeling unwell or uncomfortable.
The baby’s development
Never forget to provide support for the baby’s back when you pick him up, because his back muscles will not be strong enough to hold him upright on their own for months. The same applies to his head: always support it with your hand, do not let it waggle from side to side.
Newborns are short-sighted; the furthest they can see is approximately 25 centimeters. They are mostly interested in human faces and colorful, moving and contrasted objects. Also, during the first month, they will start to make eye contact more and more often. They spend the majority of their day either by sleeping or by maintaining quiet and active watchfulness. You should talk to your baby all the time, and only put him into the crib when you want him to go to sleep. When he is awake, he should spend his time elsewhere, preferably in a playpen. You can make him lay on his stomach, because this will incite him to try lifting his head, strengthening his neck and back muscles.
At this stage, the infant has only one means of communication: crying. However, mothers learn to tell the reason of the baby’s cries based on intensity and pitch in a week or two.
As of yet, the baby’s most important sensory organ is his skin: it is very sensitive to cold, warmth, wind, wetness, and most of all, touch. Body contact is everything for him: he has to feel the touch and warmth of his mother’s body.
After being born, his previous weight slightly decreases (maximum by 10% compared to his birth weight) but he should make up for it by the end of the second week.
The baby’s health
The first vaccination the infant gets is BCG (against tuberculosis), and it is usually administered during your hospital stay, but no later than the sixth week of his life. The raised scar the vaccination leaves is continuously monitored by the pediatrician.
Dr. Rose Obstetrics provides you with a pediatrician’s visit in your home when the baby is one week old. During this occasion the specialist examines the baby throughout and does the necessary screening tests to rule out the presence of any developmental disorder. He also measures the child’s weight, body length, head and chest circumference and gives recommendations concerning medication and vitamin supplements if necessary, nourishment, umbilical cord stump and skin care.
The second visit should be scheduled for the time the baby turns one month old. The examination consists of a throughout physical check-up, measuring weight, body length, head and chest circumference and a developmental neurologic screening. The specialist also informs you about the necessary compulsory and recommended vaccinations and gives advice on nourishment and putting the baby to sleep if needed. On this occasion, the baby’s psychomotor skills, mental development and sensory skills (sight, hearing) are also examined. The pediatrician also checks for cryptorchidism in boys and vaginal openness in girls.