The first week after getting back home with your baby can be overwhelming in a wonderful way. You spend all your time in getting to know her – the way she sleeps with her tiny little lips apart, the way she opens her eyes and mouth in wonder, while she’s awake, and how she seems to cry out to you for pretty much everything. There are a few things that can seem confusing and scary for new moms. But don’t worry, it will all seem easy as the time goes by.
Here is a guide to simplify the process of getting to know your baby:
1. Constant breastfeeding
During their first few weeks, babies will have some growth spurts.This iwill cause them to increase their appetite and take naps more frequently. Be ready to feed your baby every now and then. Make sure to burp your baby every 3-5 minutes while nursing them. After feeding your baby, hold him/her in an upright position for a while to allow the milk to get digested. This way, the nutrients will get distributed throughout his/her body. Be prepared for spit ups and keep some baby wipes, dry tissues and towels handy.
2. Weight loss and gain in the first week
Your baby will lose some weight right after birth. You may notice this when you compare the weight of the baby when he/she is just born to his/her weight a day after birth. This, along with the fact that they have tiny baby tummies, is the reason they have to be fed so often. After the third day, you will observe an increase in your baby’s appetite, and hence, an increase in his/her weight.
3. Their sleeping pattern
Your baby is going to sleep for 16-20 hours per day. This will not be at a continuous stretch, but spaced out naps, which could last for one to four hours each. It is a good idea to take naps while your baby naps. This way, you can both catch up on some much-needed rest.
4. Sponge baths ONLY
For the first few weeks post birth, give your baby only sponge baths. You should clean his/her face and bottom everyday to prevent infections. A full sponge bath would be required only once or twice a week. Using a sponge is best, especially during your baby’s first few weeks, as you do not want the umbilical cord getting wet. It should dry up and fall off by the third or fourth week.
5. Rainbow poo
Your baby’s poo is going to arrive in all kinds of colours – ranging from black to brown to green to yellow. Your baby is not going to have solid motion for quite some time. This is all normal and you don’t have to call your doctor, unless your baby is having red or colourless stools.
6. Swaddle your before putting him/her to sleep
Swaddle your baby to ensure they don’t wriggle around or struggle while sleeping. This is because their own movements may cause disturbances in their sleep. Cover their hands and legs and wrap them tight. Make them sleep with their face up to avoid any difficulty in breathing.
7. Noisy environment
It is not necessary to keep the environment too quiet, as they may get used to this and later in life, they won’t be able to fall asleep unless everything is quiet. So, keep the noise level to a normal amount, as it is alright for babies to adapt to some noise while sleeping.
Indeed, the first few weeks can be a real struggle. However, the reward is something worth waiting for – that beautiful smile on your baby’s face as he/she looks into your eyes.