Welcoming a new arrival into the family is an exciting task. Here are some simple things to remember from the doctors at Bangkok Hospital Siriroj Children’s Clinic to make sure your baby stays happy and healthy.
1. Make sure that your infant has all of the essential vaccines. In this day and age, there is simply no excuse for not vaccinating your children. Many serious childhood illnesses, including diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, Hib, and measles can all be prevented by vaccines. Because infants are so vulnerable and have weaker immune systems than adults, some of these diseases can be fatal for a baby under three months old. Although some parents, especially in the United States, have been opting out of vaccines in recent years, this is a dangerous practice that should not be followed. All major vaccines have been studied and tested extensively and any claims that they lead to autism or other health conditions have been categorically proven to be false. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines your baby needs and be sure to administer them at the correct time. Waiting could put the life and health of your child at risk.
2. Know when to take your infant to the emergency room. Although not every burst of tears from a newborn is cause for alarm, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of trouble so that you can act accordingly. If your baby is running a high fever, appears to have difficulty moving their head, has an irregular pulse, appears to be having difficulty breathing, or will not stop crying for no apparent reason, be prepared to intervene and rush to the hospital.
3. Breastfeeding can make a big difference. Study after study has shown that breastfeeding offers a myriad of benefits, some of which we are only beginning to understand. In addition to providing a balanced mix of crucial nutrients, it may strengthen a child’s immune system later in life, among other things. If you are medically able to breastfeed, doing so will be an enormous boon for your baby.
4. Remember to take care of yourself. The first few months of a newborn’s life can be extremely stressful for parents. The lack of sleep and the feeling of being on high-alert 24/7, combined with the postpartum depression experienced by many new mothers often make this a trying time. Check in with friends, family and any other support systems and remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed.