Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Basic Care

Most healthy babies at this age simply need attention in feeding and changing, and frequent cuddling and caressing in order to thrive. Regular well-baby visits are (and will continue to be) essential for getting immunisations and monitoring your child’s growth and development, as well as allowing you to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.

 

Feeding
Babies have different feeding styles, from sleepy and slow to active and voracious. By now, you will hopefully have begun to tune in to your baby’s personal style. Baby may experience another growth spurt between 6 and 8 weeks resulting in a greater need for breast milk or an increase in formula volume. Baby may also only need to be fed every 3 to 4 hours during the day and possibly stretch to 5 hours in the night. If your baby seems persistently hungry after what you think are adequate feeds, seek advice from your clinic nurse or paediatrician.

It is not generally recommended to start solid foods until somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age, both for nutritional reasons, and because babies typically don’t have the motor skills required to control their tongues and swallowing properly until that age.

 

Urine and bowel movements

Young babies normally urinate 6-10 times a day, a sign that they are drinking enough and their kidneys are functioning well. In addition to urine, it is important to pay attention to a baby’s bowel movements. Baby’s intestines can now hold more and absorb a greater amount of nutrients from milk, so the stools will tend to be less frequent than at birth, sometimes only 2 or 3 times a day. They might be of greater volume and of a firmer consistency. Constipation or going many days without a bowel movement does not usually occur in the first few months of life, and should be discussed with the clinic nurse.

 

Change in crying habits

Crying is a fact of life for babies and new parents. While many parents worry that their baby’s increased crying is indicative of colic, this disconcerting but otherwise relatively harmless condition tends to already have made itself known in the first month of life. For babies who just seem to cry more than they did as newborns, it is entirely normal and actually expected that a baby will increase the amount of time he cries each day by a full hour or 2 by the time he reaches 6 weeks of age. After that, the time usually decreases to about an hour a day by 3 months of age. And even for babies who do have colic, the condition usually resolves itself by 3 or 4 months of age, often disappearing as quickly as it started.
 
Sleep
Even for babies who are good sleepers, most will still require a night time feeding (or 2) for the first 3 to 5 months. That said, this is a good time to start teaching your baby the difference between night time and daytime feedings. You can do so by simply leaving the lights out at night and sticking more to the business at hand, whereas daytime can include having the lights on, rocking, singing, and playing in addition to offering breast or bottle.

From 6 to 8 weeks, almost all babies begin to sleep more at night and less during the daytime. Still, they differ greatly in the ages at which they begin to sleep all the way through the night. Part of this variation has to do with temperament, but household patterns also have an effect. At first your baby’s sleep patterns will be closely linked to feeding times, and he will tend to fall asleep readily after feeding and burping. Later, as the baby spends longer periods alert and awake, fatigue, rather than a feeling of being well fed, will lead to sleep. Be aware that he may also cry and fuss, fighting sleep.


By 3 months of age, babies sleep an average of 15 hours during any 24-hour day (down from 15
½ at 1 month), and start to fall into the more familiar napping pattern of 3 naps a day and a longer stretch at night.


As you help your baby to develop good sleep habits, remember that healthy babies should be put to sleep on their backs, not on their bellies, to help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).