Handling our little bundle of joy

Cecilia Katasi

Holding a newborn baby is one of the greatest joy to the parents. It brings so much delight, a total new feeling of tenderness, love and a sense of fulfilment and yet at the same time, there is a feeling of anxiety about how to take care of our newborn baby. So here are some tips for parents on how to take care of their newborn baby. 


•    Demand feed, usually every 1 ½ - 3 hours around the clock. Be flexible. 

•    The mother should be relaxed and in a comfortable position while breastfeeding.

•    Check to make sure the baby's cheeks are full and not hollow and that most of the areola is in his or her mouth. Signs of poor attachment is baby’s mouth only in nipple and not in areola. 

•    Frequency: 8 – 12 times in 24 hours. 

•    Duration: 10 – 15 minutes of swallowing at each breast each feeding.

•    Sore nipples: check latch, vary positions; air dry; shorter, more frequent nursing 

•    Breast engorgement: Warm baths or fomentation, breastmilk expression, more frequent breastfeeding.

•    Breastfeed exclusively for six months.

Seek medical advice for the following:

•    Redness discharge or foul odour from umbilical cord.

•    Poor feeding, weak sucking, no interest in feeding.

•    Yellowish colouring of the skin (jaundice) involving palm and sole. 

•    Very irritable or excessive sleepiness. 

•    Baby’s eye is fixed at one point and there is a sudden and quick unusual movement.

•    Cold to touch when compared with baby’s body temperature. Baby’s feet are extremely cold. Warm body temperature. An axillary temperature of less than 97.4⁰F or greater than 100⁰F.

•    Fast breathing when the baby’s breath is more than 60 breathes per minute. 

Happy Parenting to all. 

• Perry, S. E., Hockenberry, M. J., Cashion, M. C., Alden, K. R., Olshansky, E., &Lowdermilk, D. L. (2022). Maternal child nursing care-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

• https://www.who.int>teams>essential –newborn-care.

The writer is doing M.Sc. Nursing in Child Health Nursing, CIHSR Dimapur, Nagaland