Caring for an infant Essay

Submitted By Rebekah-LaRosa
Words: 3213
Pages: 13

Summary This research paper discusses how to care for an infant. Caring for an infant can be a challenge for new mothers. In this paper, we will discuss breastfeeding, bottle feeding, infant sleep patterns, infant skin care, umbilical cord care, circumcision care, bathing an infant, colic, a diaper guide, and poopy diapers. These are all topics that are researched by new mothers seeking more information on how to care for an infant. Breastfeeding is strongly recommended and has been proven to improve an infant’s immune system (Benaroch, 2013). Some women cannot breastfeed, but infants can get all of their calories and nutrients from baby formula (Healthwise Staff, 2011). Babies may feed about every two hours to three hours, and can sleep from ten to eighteen hours a day (Bhargava, 2013). To prevent a baby's skin from irritation, wash clothes, bedding, and blankets using a fragrance and dye-free detergent (Benaroch, 2013). The umbilical cord usually falls off and heals in about one to two weeks as long as it’s kept clean and dry (Healthwise Staff, 2013). If you have a boy, and chose to circumcise him, the circumcision site should heal in about a week (Healthwise Staff, 2011). For the first few weeks of an infant’s life, he/she will only need a sponge bath two to three times a week Benaroch, 2012). Newborns cry often for the first three months and can cry for up to two hours per day. Colic is different from normal crying and usually at the same time of day or at night. On average, a newborn will go through about ten to twelve diapers a day. Keeping your baby's skin dry can help prevent diaper rash (Bhargava, 2013). Babies who are breastfed have more frequent and thinner stools than that of a formula fed baby (Zamosky, 2013). How can new mothers prepare to care for a newborn? By reading and researching information, new mothers can learn the basics so that when the time comes, they will feel comfortable in properly caring for an infant.

Introduction Being a new mother is one of the most rewarding parts of life. It can also be a very difficult time, especially for those who are not prepared to care for an infant. Moms still seek out information regarding infant care, even if they’ve attended childcare classes. Advice topics that are often sought out by new mothers include breastfeeding/bottle feeding, infant sleep patterns, umbilical cord care, fussy infants, diaper rash, and bathing an infant (Sink, 2009, p. 30). We will cover these important topics and many more throughout this paper. How do you know if you are ready to care for a newborn? There is only so much research you can do before your child is born. It is important for new mothers to know how to properly care for an infant. Having at least a basic idea of how to care for an infant will make you feel more confident when the time comes. And when the time comes, just get in there and practice what you’ve learned.

Kayla Johnson (2013, p. 17), a Registered Nurse in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit, says that the relationship between an infant and mother has a significant impact on maternal mental health and an infant’s well-being. A year after birth, it was observed that mothers who bonded with their infant within two hours after birth, were more sensitive and content compared to those who were separated from their baby (p. 19). Many Neonatal Intensive Care Units have adopted the Kangaroo Mother Care technique, which is when the infant is placed directly on the skin of the mother’s chest. This technique has been proven to improve the infant's overall well-being (p. 20). It is imperative that healthcare providers educate the awareness of the significance of early maternal-infant bonding and how it positively will improve the life of a child (p. 22).
In the Midwest region of the United States, at two healthcare systems, a study was conducted indicating that despite attending prenatal classes, receiving child and postpartum care