Nappy rashes? Constant crying? Tangled umbilical cord? How in the world are you going to hold that head? Both fragile and tough, bodies of babies require a keen eye and a special touch. Here are a couple of tips and tricks to keep your newborn in tiptop shape.
Newborns may have blotches and rashes in most of their body areas, but these disappear after a few weeks. Little white, pimple-like bumps on the face, often across the bridge of the nose, called millia, are also common. These are caused by immature sweat glands, and these often subside in around four to six weeks.
Stork bites often appear, too. These are red marks on the forehead, upper lip, nape, or the back of the skull; these marks also eventually disappear.
The head is one of the most fragile parts of your baby’s body. A newborn’s skull isn’t fully formed yet. It will have soft parts called fontanelles, where the bones haven’t fully fused yet. These can be found at the top and the back of the head, and will close over the next two years. Be careful with these parts even though a thick layer of skin already protects them.
An occasional problem that develops in newborns is cradle cap, characterized by red splotches or dry patches of skin on the scalp. It can be remedied by rubbing the patches lightly with baby oil and rinsing with water.
When bathing your baby, refrain from using strong scented soaps during the first few months. Clean the eyes by gently running a damp cloth from the inner corner of the eye to the outer part. When you begin tub-bathing your baby, make sure to cup your hand over the forehead to prevent baby soap from going into his eyes.
Don’t worry if your baby’s eyes wander around during the first few months. It’s perfectly normal for a baby to look a bit cross-eyed during the first couple of weeks. He is just starting to learn how to control his eye muscles.
Click here to read on how to look after your newborn baby's mouth and neck, as well as bonding emotionally through cuddling.