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Care for Babies

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By Naomi Lloyd In this chapter I will be describing the care routines for babies between 0-1 year, specifically I will be looking at birth, one month, three months, six months and one year. I will also be focusing on the physical care of the baby, the development of relationships between the baby and the parents and also stimulating learning. Birth When your baby is born the midwife will carry out some health checks to make sure they are perfectly healthy. The most commonly known test is the Apgar score; this is a method of evaluating the health of a newborn baby by checking five vital signs (Meggitt. C 1999). The Apgar score is assessed at one and five minuets after birth. Source www.sweethaven02.com/ObsNewborn/922les8_img_3.jpg If the baby scores between 0-2 they have sever asphyxia, which is impaired or impeded breathing (Webster's New World Medical Dictionary) and they need resuscitation, 3-4 means the baby has moderate asphyxia and needs treatment such as an oxygen mask to help them breathe, between 5-7 the baby has mild asphyxia and may require treatment, between 8-9 the baby is in good condition and 10 means they are in the best possible condition. Most babies score nine, losing one point for having blue extremities (hands and feet). Shortly after this the midwife will weigh your baby measure their head circumference, this is considered very important as the growth of the head reflex's the growth of the brain and therefore could indicate a brain abnormality. Your baby's length may also be measured, however many hospitals have abandoned this practise, as it is difficult to measure accurately. Yet the average length of a full term baby is about fifty centimetres. These measurements will later be recorded in the developmental charts in your baby's Personal Child Health Record, which the health visitor will give you when they come to see you. Another test carried out is the Guthrie or more commonly known as the heel prick test. ...read more.


As your baby is close enough to focus on the toys and the bright colours and sound and when they are older they will be able to reach out and touch them. Choose toys that are brightly coloured and have lots of different textures, when buying toys check to see if they have a CE or lion mark, which means they are of good quality and have met the toy safety regulations. One Month Physical Care During the first few months your baby will grow very quickly. At one month old your baby is growing one to one an a half inches a month in length. Your baby should also be gaining two to three ounces a day in weight. These will be measured by your health visitor and recorded in your child's Personal Child Health Record. At this age your baby will not be able to stay wake for much longer than a couple of hours, if you wait much longer to put your baby down, then they could become overtired and will fine it very difficult to settle. Check for signs that your baby is tried such as dark circles around their eyes. Your baby will only sleep between two to three hours at a time, however at this age you can begin to teach them the difference between day and night. During the day keep the house bright and well lit; don't worry about noises such as the telephone or the television and when your baby is awake play with them as much as possible. However at night when you are feeding your baby, keep the lights and the noise down and try not to play with them. This will help them learn that night time is for sleeping. At this age your baby needs feeding every two to three hours and they will let you know when they are hungry for example they will make sucking noises, open their mouth and they will start crying. ...read more.


Encourage you baby to brush their teeth twice a day by letting them try and do it for themselves. Avoid giving your baby fruit juice especially before they go to bed as the sugar will rot their teeth. Relationships The bond you have developed with your baby has given them physical and emotional security and the confidence to explore the world around them. This security will help them to form relationships with other children and will help their development in all areas. Your baby is likely to grow up happy, confident and have a clear sense of self. Stimulating learning At twelve months your baby will probably be able to walk on their own, with their feet wide apart and their arms up to maintain their balance. They are likely to fall down a lot and they can stand up on their own without having to pull themselves up using furniture. All of these are gross motor skills; their fine motor skills have also developed. Your baby can build a tower with a few bricks, they can hols a crayon and shows a preference for one hand. They can also turn several pages of a book at once. Their cognitive and language skills are also developing. Your baby is learning new things by trial and error. Your baby may have produced their first words. They understand their daily routine and will follow simple instructions. Socially your baby is likely to play alone for long periods of time and will show definite likes and dislikes when it comes to meal and bedtimes. In order to stimulate development provide your baby with push and pull toys such as brick trucks, ensure that everything has been baby proofed, there are no sharp corners cover plug sockets with child resistant covers. Read to them, talk constantly and sing nursery rhymes. Encourage them to feed themselves and promote a feeling of self-worth by giving them their own cup, spoon, toothbrush etc. Also encourage them to join in and help with chores around the house e.g. duster. ...read more.

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