Sister Alex Tips

Tips on bringing a new baby home

1.     Allow for quiet family nesting time so that you all get to know each other

2.     Try to minimise visitors and disruptions where ever possible

3.     Delegate as much as possible so that you can focus on your baby

4.     Babies sense of smell is well developed, so avoid perfumes where possible

5.     Skin to skin contact is important for bonding as well as a good immune system boost

6.     New babies do not need to bathed regularly. Being exposed is often traumatic as they are immature and very sensitive. Babies skins are sensitive as well, so don’t be alarmed by rashes and redness

7.     Remember the “fourth trimester” which means birth to 3 months. Using womb like experiences will help to calm a crying baby

8.     Stock up beforehand on easy nutrious meals and snacks as well as baby essentials like spare clothes and nappies

9.     Babies need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours initially. Breastfed babies can feed every hour or three hours straight or cluster feed

10.  Babies have immature digestion, so burbs and gas will rule your life for 12 weeks

11.  Babies need to sleep regularly and will hopefully go back to sleep after being awake for 60 to 90 minutes

12.  Babies need to be weighed during their first week after discharge, so book a clinic appointment. It takes an average of two weeks to get back to birth weight

13.  Babies need to be registered at the Department of Home Affairs in their first month, so make contact with the local branch. Some hospitals offer this registration service. Also check your baby has been registered with your medical insurer if you have one

14.  The first 6 weeks have little pattern or routine, so be patient as some days are calm and others are chaotic

15.  Growth spurts happen at 3 and 6 weeks, so expect the unexpected

16.  Allow for breathing space. Cabin fever can be overwhelming at times

17.  Tears and feeling overwhelmed during this time is normal. It is an adjustment and requires patience and time

18.  Like everything in life, this too shall pass


Immunisation is a globally accepted way of preventing disease

In South Africa, vaccines are not compulsory, requiring parent’s consent, but are highly advisable. As a developing country with a mixed social demographic, disease prevention is of critical importance.

Parents often ask “why immunise?” There are three crucial points to that question:

1.  Simply put, vaccines stimulate an immune system response and therefore immune memory, by administering a non infectious, harmless fragment of a virus or bacteria into an immature immune system via injection.

2.  We develop immunity through either passive or active routes. Babies receive immunity through the placenta and breast milk. We also develop immunity either through having the disease or through exposure to a disease.

3. Disease outbreaks are controlled through “herd immunity”. This is of critical importance in a country like South Africa where many children have poor immune systems due to HIV and poor socio economic backgrounds. By immunising healthy children, grandparents, adults and pregnant women are protected, disease transmission is reduced and vulnerable children who can’t be immunised are protected too.

NOTE: Kids Clinic is accredited with the Department of Health to supply state vaccines

 For the government schedule, please see below. These are offered free of charge at State clinics and at some accredited private clinics

For the private schedule, which include vaccines not supplied by the state but only at private

clinics, please see below

  • Contact Kids Clinic

    11 Rottingdean Road
    Camps Bay, Cape Town

    Tel: 021 438 0020
    Cell: 082 806 3121

    Unfortunately, no medically related questions can be answered by email.

    Photographs by Anthea Kirkman

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