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Caring for a Baby (Grades 11-12)

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Caring for a Baby

Caring for a Newborn

Caring for a newborn is no easy task. Just like you take college courses to prepare for your career, you should take a course to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Many hospitals offer newborn care classes for new parents. These classes cover everything from deciding whether to breastfeed or bottle feed to planning for expenses such as diapers and healthcare. However, even a class can't prepare you for the reality of having a baby rely on you 24/7.

After you have a baby, take advantage of your time in the hospital. Ask the nurses to help guide you through basic tasks such as feeding the baby, dressing the baby, and changing the baby's diapers. This will help you transition from the hospital to home more easily. Also be sure to get plenty of rest after delivery while you have the nurses there to help. Once the baby is home with you, there isn't likely to be the same level of help you had in the hospital.

One of the first things you'll learn is that you have to handle your newborn carefully. A newborn's neck muscles are not fully developed, so you must be sure to always support the baby's neck. You must also ensure that your newborn is always in the proper position to allow her to breathe correctly. This includes whether you're holding your newborn or placing her down to rest. Newborns cannot move blankets or turn themselves to get proper oxygen levels.

Other things you must learn to do with your newborn include:
Proper feeding and burping techniques
How to change a diaper and prevent diaper rash and infections

- Proper bathing techniques and how to clean the umbilical cord
- Dressing your baby so he/she is not too hot or too cold
- Swaddling your baby properly for sleeping and comfort
- Clearing your baby's nasal passages with a bulb syringe
- Learning how to soothe your baby when he/she cries
- Recognizing signs of distress

The hospital you deliver at may offer a service where a home health worker or nurse comes by to check on the baby a few times a week. This may be helpful as new parents learn the ropes. Mothers who choose to breastfeed may also benefit from consultations with a lactation consultant.You will also set up a visit with your baby's pediatrician for regular well-checks and vaccines to prevent the baby from getting serious illnesses.

Even if you think you have all of the information you need, remember that babies often have their own agenda. You may do everything right and still not be able to calm your baby, get your baby to take a bottle, or be able to sleep for more than a couple hours a night. Pay attention to your own mental health and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. However, you must also remember that you are your baby's main caretaker and you cannot just pass the baby off to someone else whenever you have a problem. IT may take a lot of long days and sleepless nights to figure out what works for your newborn.
1. 
Nurses can help you with basic baby care practices while in the hospital.
  1. True
  2. False
2. 
A newborn care class prepares you for all aspects of having a newborn.
  1. True
  2. False
3. 
Your baby will sleep in long stretches right after he/she is born.
  1. True
  2. False
4. 
Newborns do everything parents tell them to do.
  1. True
  2. False
5. 
A home health care worker or home nurse can provide support after the birth of a baby.
  1. True
  2. False
6. 
Regular doctor visits for a newborn are suggested, not required.
  1. True
  2. False
7. 
If a blanket fall on a baby's face, the baby can move to get the blanket off.
  1. True
  2. False
8. 
Proper diaper changing techniques help prevent diaper rash and other infections.
  1. True
  2. False
9. 
You can hire someone to take care of your baby whenever he/she cries.
  1. True
  2. False
10. 
Caring for a newborn requires a lot of hard work.
  1. True
  2. False
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