Babies: the Pleasure and Pain

baby newborn sleeping on parents hands, kid and family concept

No matter how many good parenting guides have been read, a new mother and father will always feel they have no idea about how to look after their recently delivered baby. Babies tend to cry, eat, and sleep. They are wonderful bundles of joy, but sometimes difficult to cope with in the early stages. Imagine if they could transfer all that noisy energy to walking and running: injuries would beckon at every step. For parents, bumps, scratches, cuts, bruises, and broken bones are rarely on the agenda with their babies, and amen to that! However, there are other medical concerns for all parents of their newly born child.

Babies and respiratory infection

A leading cause of admissions to hospitals of those under one-year old is infection of the respiratory system. This occurs after accidental falls, either while being carried or out of bed. Baby walkers also have a bad reputation when it comes to causing falls (they’re even banned in Canada).

Babies and SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS is devastating to parents and families. Also known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI), this can occur at any time, though most commonly when asleep. The Kids Safe Sleeping campaign has helped to reduce the number of SIDS deaths by more than three quarters in Australia, but it is no less catastrophic. There is no rhyme or reason, nor enough compassion to give to the victims of SIDS. The Kids Safe Sleeping campaign does make six positive recommendations which seem to have helped prevent many SIDS cases:

  • The baby should sleep on its back from birth
  • The baby’s head and face should remain uncovered
  • Make the home a smoke free environment (including no smoking during pregnancy)
  • Ensure the sleeping environment is safe
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as an adult for the first six to twelve months of their life
  • Breastfeed

Know what to do for choking babies

Moving a baby from liquids to solids is a tough time, and many parents worry about the risk of choking and allergic reactions. So long as you know the signs and what to do, you’ll be fine.

In the end, you’ll have a terrific toddler

Bringing a baby into the world and looking after him or her for those first few months is the biggest responsibility anyone can take on. The dangers are reduced by making sure you are prepared, and realising that most of what happens (for example a baby’s gagging) is natural. Be wary of things that happen which are out of the ordinary, and grow with your new baby. It’s a wonderful experience.

Finally, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a must have skill. If your baby has a life threatening condition, it will usually be the breathing which gives way before the heart. Make sure you’re prepared to give CPR by taking a CPR course.

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