Infant. An infant is also known as a newborn or baby. A child is considered an infant until the age of one. Many young people think taking care of an infant is an easy job. Many things go into caring for infants. Nutrition, hygiene, and comfort are the big points that can affect the baby’s first year if they are done in a poorly manner. Nutrition is an important factor for a newborn. The first six months of life are the time of significant growth and development. At births, infants do not have a fully developed immune or nervous system or even a brain. Caregivers and infants must first gain a feeding relationship.
A feeding relationship is a relationship between the infant and caregiver during eating occasions in which the caregiver responds to an infant’s feeding cues, uses appropriate feeding practices, and offer good nutrition. A newborn gains its nutrition through milk. There are two big types of milk, breast, and formula. Breast milk is the golden standard for nourishing infants. The type of fat found in breast milk is with no trouble absorbed by the baby, this is well-matched to encourage brain and vision expansion. Iron in breast milk is rapidly absorbed and contains enzymes that help in the captivation of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Keeping infants from getting sick is one of the biggest benefits that breast milk provides. Colostrum is the first milk produced by the mother; it is rich in antibodies and other components to keep the infant health. Besides breastfeeding, there is also formula-fed infants. Some babies obtain their nutrition through a formula, which is a factory-made product used as a substitute for breast milk. Like breast milk, the formula is intended to meet the nutrient needs of an infant until six months of age.
There is a variety of formulas. Modified Cow’s Milk-Based Formula is the most commonly used. It has been transformed to provide less protein, more fat, and carbohydrates in a consumed form. Soy-Based Formulas endured products which were developed in the 1960’s for infants who were lactose intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk. Hypoallergenic Formulas have the protein that has been broken down into smaller pieces, making it easier to absorb and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This formula was made for infants who have a gastrointestinal or liver disease that result in issues with absorption. Other formulas such as Premature Formulas, broad for the support to increase nutrition needs of premature infants. There is also forms of formula. Ready-to-feed formula is the most expensive form and requires no preparation. Canned concentrated is a formula that requires water to be added. Powdered formula is the least expensive form and requires a powder to be mixed with water. From birth to five months, infants drink breast or formula milk. Five to six months, infants eat infant cereal, pureed vegetables, meats, and fruits. From six to nine months, infants remain introduced to a variety of healthy foods of appropriate texture such as meats, cereals, vegetables, fruits, eggs and fish, beans, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt, rice, and noodles. Around nine to twelve months, infants begin to master chewing and take more of a role in self-feeding. This age is the introduction of finger foods. From milk to finger foods, nutrition is an important key factor for infants.
Hygiene is another factor that is important for infants. Newborn babies should not be placed in water until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Infants should only bath once or twice a week. Bathing a baby more than this can cause dry skin. When cleaning the eyes, use plain water and wipe them with two different cotton balls. From the corner near the nose to the outer corner. Clean only the surface of the eyes, ears, and nose. Wash all the creases, folds, and the rest of the baby. When cleaning a baby’s genitals use a soft cloth and warm water. Shampoo and rinse the hair and then pat the hair down dry and softly brush it. Oil or lotions may cause a rash; do not use them. When changing diapers, remove all the stool and urine with baby wipes. Fan the diaper area until it is dry and then apply a clean new diaper. If redness occurs, clean the area gently and dry it thoroughly and then add a thick layer of diaper rash cream to the red area before diapering. A newborn’s diaper should be changed roughly five to eight times per day. Pampers Swaddlers will be the first diaper to be on the baby’s bottom. This is what hygiene should be for newborns.
Comfort. Crying is a natural form of language for babies to communicate their needs. Newborns do not know the term but know the feeling of comfort. Touch is a baby’s most advanced sense at birth so holding, stroking and cuddling an infant is key to helping it feel safe and secure. Research has shown that babies who are touched and held more hassle less, sleep better, and have tougher immune systems. Skin-to-skin contact was found to enhance the wiring of the brain in premature babies. Most importantly, each parent or family member will comfort the baby when crying.
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