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New parents face many problems and issues that they are expected to understand and act on immediately. Unfortunately, newborns do not come with an instruction book so here are a few topics that every parent should know about.

Bathing your baby

Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, only give her sponge baths. A cotton ball or cotton swab dampened with alcohol can help to dry the umbilical stump or follow your pediatrician’s directions. After the stump falls off, you can give her a bath in a sink or shallow tub. Make sure water is warm, not hot.

Caesarian delivery

A caesarian, or C-section, is usually performed to make delivery safer for you or your baby and are becoming more common today. C-sections can be done for many different reasons including stalled labor, complicated labor, or problems with the baby that may make delivery difficult. If you are considering this option, the most important rule to follow is no exercise for up to 6 weeks following the procedure.

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Many doctors agree that there may be some benefit to circumcision, but it may not be absolutely necessary. It may help to lower the risk of urinary tract infections and eliminates just about any chance of penile cancer. Circumcision should only be performed by trained professionals and the procedure does not cause any psychological problems with the child.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

In the US today, government reports show that over 2,000 babies die if SIDS every year. Although the cause of SIDS has not been definitely defined, more and more deaths are being attributed to accidental suffocation. The following things seem to have some correlation with SIDS:

Minority children are affected by it more often than non-minorities

Male babies are more likely to die from SIDS than females

Prematurity makes it more likely

Babies of single mothers are more at risk

Babies of one or more smokers have higher rates if SIDS

Some people say that sleeping with your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS, but the American Academy of Pediatrics disagree as many deaths occur due to a parent rolling over onto the child.

Most pediatricians recommend babies to sleep on their backs, not stomachs decrease the SIDS risk. The reason is widely debated between health experts. If you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician.

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