Parents, especially new ones, often worry that their baby is abnormal in some way. Babies are very different from older kids, and dealing with them so closely, especially for the first time, can be very scary. Over time, you and your baby will certainly become more comfortable with each other. In the meantime, we would like to reassure you about some common parental concerns.
Hiccups and sneezing
Babies commonly hiccup or sneeze frequently. Neither indicates any problem or illness. Feeding the baby a little water will frequently get rid of the hiccups (not more than a couple of ounces though — too much plain water can actually hurt small babies).
Babies’ stools are very different from older kids’ and can be quite variable. Usually they are yellow or brown or green and a bit runny or mushy. It is common for newborns to pass stools almost every time they are fed (especially breastfed babies), but some babies only go once a day. This is fine as long as the baby doest not cry when he passes the stool and it looks normal.
Note that many babies get a little red in the face and harden their tummy when they are passing a stool: this is completely normal.
Skin and rashes
Babies’s skin is very sensitive and prone to all sorts of little rashes in the first weeks after birth. Many babies peel all over the first week; some get little pimples on their face because of the effects of leftover maternal hormones in their system. Usually no special care is required. It is best to use soap, shampoo, and clothes detergent especially designed for sensitive baby skin, and follow usage guidelines.
Daddy smokes around baby ?
We would also like to remind you not to smoke around the baby because second-hand smoking can make the baby more likely to get sick with ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma. Also, babies exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to have crib death (aka Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS).
The other way to reduce your baby’s risk for SIDS is by lying him or her on his back or side. Sleeping on the stomach is the highest risk position for SIDS, although no one really knows why.
Baby on the road !
Please don’t forget to ALWAYS buckle your baby into the car seat when you go out in the car.
Holding your baby in your lap offers her or him no protection at all against crazy Guam drivers. Besides, it’s the Law !
Get some rest !
Be sure to get some rest too. While this is an exciting time for the family, it can also be very stressful and tiring. Of course, all the relatives want to see the new baby, but try to set limits so that you can get a chance to rest and recover. And forget about cleaning the house !
There are many good books available at local bookstores.