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Strict NO NO in newborn care...

Your bundle of joy is finally in your hands. Coupled with the joy is lots of confusion about what has to be done and what not. There is lots of advice pouring in from grandmas, relatives, home maids, malishwala etc and these dilemmas confuse the new mom.

You may choose to follow a few things even if you don't personally feel it's true and that's fine. But a few practices can harm your baby. So we have come up with this article on things which are strictly not to be experimented on a newborn baby. NO Prelacteal feeds- galthuti, janam ghuti, honey, water, milk etc. A healthy baby has a store of calories, even early drops of colostrum are sufficient for a baby. These prelacteal feeds delay breastfeeding and can sometimes cause intestinal infections. Anything except mother's milk should be given only on doctor's advice. No mixing up of bottle feeding and breast feeding This creates nipple confusion and baby will not suck breast easily. So if formula feed is advised by the doctor temporarily, feeding with katori spoon is best. NO outside water to the baby for first 6 months. Exclusive breast feeding for first 6 months is advised by WHO. It's in the best interest of baby. No water is required even in summer. Vitamin D drops for 1 year and Iron at 5 months should be given. NO full bathing till cord falls Babies can be given only warm water sponge bath till cord falls. They lose heat very quickly so bathing should be with warm water and in warm room. If weather is cold giving bath twice a week with sponging on other days is fine. NO covering babies face in bed and no loose toys Baby should be placed on firm mattress with no lose covering, only a light sheet or blanket to cover the baby, better tucked under the elbows. Not to cover baby's face. No loose toys or pillows on baby's bed. This should be done to prevent sudden infant death syndrome NO applying kajal to baby's eyes Kajal is harmful. It contains lead which may be absorbed from eyes and cause anemia, growth retardation, low IQ, eye infections, eye injury. NO leaving baby unattended Do not leave a newborn unattended on changing table or near edge of bed. Even a newborn may surprise you by rolling. Do not leave your baby unattended while bathing even for one minute. Babies can drown even in few inches of water. NO exposure to passive smoking No smoking in same room as baby's. Even people who have smoked should come near the baby after 10 minutes if necessary. NO carelessness while clipping baby's nails It should be done properly by pushing the finger back from nail and firmly holding hand. Or u can clip a finger. No special cleaning of penis foreskin No special cleaning or putting oil in boys penis foreskin required. It may not be pulled back till 3-4 years, not to be done forcefully. Just cleaning with plain water is enough. NO putting oil in ears and nose Putting oil in nostrils and ears can cause chemical pneumonia and should be avoided. Nasal Saline drops are safe for blocked nose. NO excessive use of talcum powder It is harmful to the baby, may cause allergies and lung infection. If needed it can be used in diaper area but creams are better. NO sick relatives should meet the baby. Relatives with cold and cough can meet the baby later. Everybody should wash hands properly before touching the baby. Relatives meeting time and number should be limited.

Disclaimer - these are the views of a qualified doctor and author. These are general suggestions and do not replace actual check up by a doctor. Any resemblance to anybody is coincidental.

Author information - Dr Harita N Kothia, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Mumbai

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