Traditional Practices to be avoided?

  • Bathing the baby at birth, as this can lead to baby becoming very cold.
  • Application of ash, mud, cow dung, turmeric, kumkum on umbilical cord.
  • Giving water to breast-feed babies.
  • Giving pre-lacteal feeds such as honey, janam ghuthi.
  • Discarding colostrum (1st milk).  (Colostrum has anti infective properties so should not be discarded).
  • Application of kajal in eyes as it can lead to conjunctivitis and other eye problems.
  • Use of pacifier/dummy nipple.
  • Avoid foods such as pulses, vegetables, and legumes during lactation.
  • Use of castor oil for constipation and diarrhea.
  • Installation of oil into ears.
  • Blowing into ears of your baby after a bath.

How do I maintain my baby’s body temperature?

Baby bath should not be given at birth and has to be delayed till next day till temperature has stabilized. You should nurse your baby in close proximity so that your baby gains heat from you. You can also provide your baby with caps, socks and mittens.

Can I massage my baby? How is it useful?

Yes, body massage is useful. Your baby would enjoy massage, cry less and sleep better. It improves your baby’s circulation and tone of muscles. It gives comfort to your baby and strengthens your bonding. The massage should be done by gentle pressure and should be smooth. You must interact and talk to your baby while doing so. It would be fun both for you and your child

How do I bath my baby?

The room should be warm. The baby should be held over forearm or thighs. Bathe him from neck first and then proceeding downwards. Head constitutes a large surface area and should be washed last and dried first. Eyes should be cleaned by using water soaked swab, one for each eye. Bottom should be washed in the end to avoid contamination of healthy areas of skin. Then you should dry with a soft towel to prevent damage to delicate skin of your baby. During winter months, the baby should preferably be sponged rather than bath, to avoid the risk of becoming cold. You can also try using a baby tub when you bathe your baby. Always check the temperature with your hand before bathing the body. You should use around 5 to 8 cm of warm water in a tub. Be sure to hold your baby securely.

  • Use one of your hands to support baby’s head and slowly guide your baby into the tub.
  • Later wrap your arm under baby’s back. You can grasp your baby under the armpit and clean the baby.
  • Use any mild un-medicated soap.

When can I start oil massage to my baby?

Oil massage should be postponed till baby is 4-6 weeks. You should also test the oil you intend to use by putting a small patch on your baby’s skin. Wait for half an hour to see if there is any abnormal reaction before you start massaging him.

How do I massage my baby?

Lay your baby without clothes on his back.  Begin the massage by first stroking down both sides of your baby’s body using a gentle action. Start from his shoulders and gradually proceed down.

Smile and talk to your baby while you massage him. This will improve your bonding.

Continue to massage on both sides of your baby’s body over his arms, chest, thighs and legs. Later massage his feet. You can continue these strokes for a minute. With the same movements you can massage his back too.

Massage his chest once again and gradually come down to his legs and feet again.

Once you have finished, you can turn baby to the other side and massage on the other side of body.

How do I take care of umbilical cord of my baby?

Your baby will have a cord strip about 1-2cm long, with a plastic clamp attached. Within 24hours the cord begins to shrivel up and turn dark. The cord usually falls off after 5-6 days, but it may take longer if it is dry or shriveled or infected. When you are changing the nappy fold the top below the cord. Keep the cord dry till it falls off.  Later you can apply anti-septic wipes to prevent infection. Do not try to pull off the cord, even if it is half loose.

How should I take care of my baby’s eye?

Eyes should be cleaned daily with sterile cotton swabs soaked in water. Use one swab for each eye. Wipe his/her eyelids from the inner cover to outwards. Application of Kajal is not recommended because it can lead to eye infection.

My baby is crying excessively. What can be the cause?

The most common cause is hunger. They can even cry due to unpleasant sensation of full bladder before passing urine.

It could also be because of discomfort, or soiling by urine and stools or painful evacuation of hard stools.

Sometimes a loud noise or sudden movement can trigger crying, as babies are sensitive.

They can cry because of lack of contact. So simply picking up the child can relieve crying.

You should also think of insect’s bites when your baby is crying. Evening colic is also an important cause.

The spells of crying can get relieved by feeding, changing the soiled napkins or rocking the babies.


How would I recognize diaper rash and how would it occur?

There would be red areas in the nappy area with or without blisters and are painful. This occurs because of prolonged contact with stools or urine as they contain chemicals, which irritate the skin.

How can I prevent my child from getting diaper rash?

Change his nappy frequently to prevent prolonged contact of skin with urine. If he develops urine rash, then the best way to treat is to leave your baby open without nappies. If you are not able to do this then change diapers frequently, or have several sessions of nappy free play every day. You can also apply a thin layer of barrier cream over your baby’s bottom.

We are socially connected