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Routine Child Care...Continued
Umbilical cord and Umbilicus : Clean the child's umbilicus / umbilical cord with soap and water while bathing and dry it well after bath. Do not apply boric powder orany other medicinal powder / cream abdomen with a cloth. Some babies may have intermittent balloon like swelling of the umbilicus, especially when child strains and disappears when the child sleeps. This is called an umbilical herniaand in a majority of children this will disappear by the second birthday. Do not tie a coin or any other object over the hernia. A persistently wet umbilicus many days after falling of the umbilical cord requires medical opinion.

Disinfectant : There is no need to add any disinfectant to child's bathing water or for washing child's clothes.

Powder and Oil : The use of talcum powder and oil for the child is not necessary. While applying talcum powder, care should be taken that it does not enter into child's nose / ears/ eyes, as this can cause allergy, cough and wheezing. Minimal necessary quantity of talcum powder should be used, Ordinary coconut oil is good for massage. However oil massage can cause a skin rash, especially in hot weather.

Eyes : The use of kajal(Kohl) is dangerous. Some types contain lead and can cause lead poisoning. The kajal particles may cause blockage of the duct connecting the eyes and nose, causing persistent watering of eyes. Do not eye drops routinely. If there is discharge or watering from the eye, consult your doctor.

Smoke : Do not burn coal / wood or any other smoke producing substance to give heat fomentation to the child or the mother. The baby may suffer from cough and cold due to smoke. For the mother nonleaking hot water bags / electric devices can be used for the same.

Hands and Legs : Till 3-4 months of age the child is unable to straighten its limbs. Therefore do not try to stretch the hands and legs forcibly while wrapping the baby or otherwise.

Typing of Thread : Do not tie a thread around the child's neck, waist or wrist. If desired, tie the thread around the arms or ankles.

Clothes : A baby should be clothed in simple cotton material. Baby should neither be overwrapped, nor underclothed. Former may cause fever and latter can cause hypothermia(low body temperature).

Nappies and nappy rash : Nappies can be prepared at home from a cotton cloth(Contact any MSG Leader to learn this). These are cheap and perhaps as good as readymade nappies available in the market. Changing the nappy as soon as it gets well will prevent nappy rash.

Previous Page | Quick guide to Routine Infant Care


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Disclaimer: All material provided at Breastfeedingindia.org is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.