To turn newbie fathers into doting daddies here are 10 things they must know.
More Food: A newborn often requires more food than what you’d like to believe. Some infants let out that hungry cry barely an hour and half after the last feed. In this situation, a new dad naturally tends to be skeptical of over-feeding the baby. But rest assured, the baby demands only as much as it can accommodate. So, make sure you’re not keeping the baby under-fed.
Health Insurance: If you and your spouse are covered by a health insurance scheme, make sure you add your newborn to the policy immediately after birth. It saves a huge amount of money, if God forbid, your child, falls ill and needs hospitalisation.
Colic: Quite a large percentage of infants experience the problem of colic. Colic can be a bit of a mystery. It refers to a condition where a baby cries almost non-stop for over three hours a day for a sustained period. The problem can start within a week or two after birth and usually wears out in a couple of months. Tummy problems and acidity are speculated to be the cause of this condition. When colic is at its peak, it requires tons and tons of patience for a new dad to see through this phase. Be patient and tell yourself it’s just a passing phase.
Periodic Breathing: Most infants experience periodic breathing in their sleep from time to time. Periodic breathing is a normal variation of breathing. It occurs when the infant has pauses in breathing for no more than 10 seconds at a time followed by a series of rapid, shallow breaths. It’s absolutely normal, and do don’t be scared if this occurs.
Avoid over-heating: Many Indian parents tend to be over protective and tend to over-dress the baby, especially when there’s a change of season. Babies are most comfortable at the normal room temperature that adults are comfortable in. Over layering only adds to their woes, making them crotchety and if it happens over a sustained period, they might fall sick.
Murmurs: Around 20% of infants carry a murmur in their heartbeat, which any competent paediatrician can decipher in a routine check-up. In a small percentage of these cases, the murmur might indicate CHD (Coronary Heart Disease). While there’s no need to panic, if the murmur persists over a few weeks, it’s advisable to carry out 2D Echo Test to rule out an anomaly. Rest assured, in most cases, the 2D Echo Tests will put your worries to rest.
Separation Anxiety: Around their eight month, babies start experiencing separation anxiety for the first time. This might result in disturbed sleep at times. At other times, they might seem cranky if you are away from them for longer than usual. Remember to chat with them and bid goodbye every time you step out of the house.
Vaccination: The more, the merrier. Certain vaccines such as those meant for rota-virus, chicken pox and influenza are not mandatory in India. However, vaccines are always good as they enhance your kids’ protection. Unless there are proven reports of the side effects of a given vaccine, go for all of them without worrying about the expense.
Babies’ Sense Tension: Infants are more observant and sensitive than what you might think. Every time, parents have a fight, infants can sense the tension. In homes where the parents are constantly quarreling, it affects the infants emotionally and in some cases, affects their behavioural development. Therefore, next time when you fight with your spouse, make sure you do it away from your infant child.
Don’t Panic: Remember that no child has grown up without his share of illnesses, falls and injuries. So learn to chill. Tell yourself all is well and it’s part and parcel of growing up.