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What to Expect in the First Weeks After Bringing Home a Baby

What's Causing Your Baby to Wake Up Early and What You Can Do to Help

You handled pregnancy like a pro, designed a beautiful nursery, and delivered your baby with dignity. The real—and most enjoyable—part begins now: witnessing your baby’s first few weeks of existence. As new parents, knowing some basic baby guidelines and developmental stages will help you succeed in your child-rearing endeavours. What was the most enjoyable aspect of the trip? It’s just getting started.

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Heads Up

When holding your infant, keep in mind that his head and neck are the most vulnerable parts of his body. Fontanelles are two soft patches on the back and top of the head when the skull hasn’t fully fused in newborns. According to the National Institutes of Health, the back fontanelle closes in two months and the top fontanelle closes in 19 months.

Feeding

You should feed your baby about 12 times a day, or eight times a day, if you’re breast-feeding. Breast-fed babies should eat every two to three hours in general, but keep in mind that some infants feed more frequently during the day, according to Karp. Wait a week or two after breast-feeding to confirm that nursing is going well before moving to a bottle with pumped breast milk.

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Bathing

Bathtime is a great way to unwind and comfort your baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should bathe children less than one year no more than three times per week since soap can dry up a baby’s sensitive skin. Your kid will be OK with three washes per week as long as you keep their bottoms clean during diaper changes and moisturise with hypoallergenic lotion after each bath. Parents should sponge-bathe their infants until the umbilical cord stumps dry up, according to the academy.

The Umbilical Stump and Other Parts

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the umbilical chord usually dries out and falls off by the age of eight weeks. By folding your baby’s diaper below the chord, you can keep the stump dry as it heals. If your baby boy been circumcised, the tip of his penis may be red or have a yellow secretion for a week after the procedure. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cleaning the penis and changing the bandages after each diaper change, as well as applying petroleum jelly to avoid inflammation.

Poo

Meconium is an odourless black substance found in your baby’s first few faeces. Bacteria will enter the intestines after feeding begins, and your baby will have her first bowel movements. The meconium in her stool will subsequently turn to green, yellow, or brown faeces. Contact your doctor if her faeces are white or red, as this could indicate liver disease or blood in the stool, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Sleeping

According to Karp, newborns sleep an average of 14 hours every day. Swaddling your baby is a great approach to help him sleep; just make sure his arms are tucked in tightly and his hips can bend, he advises. Always keep an eye on your kid to make sure he or she isn’t overheating.

Crying

Check your baby’s diaper and change it if required, or rock or feed her when she screams. But, if none of those work, Karp believes there are other options. Swaddling, holding her on the side or stomach, making shushing sounds, providing a swinging or rhythmic motion, and sucking at the breast are the Five S’s he’s come up with to remember them. “The worst position for relaxing a newborn is lying on the back,” Karp adds. When it’s time for bed, however, make sure she’s on her back.

First Sights and Sounds

Dr. Sara Lappe of the Cleveland Clinic says that babies can hear from birth and that startling at sudden loud noises is a healthy sign of adequate hearing development. Your baby’s vision will be fuzzy in the first few days of life, but she will rapidly learn to focus on objects within an arm’s reach. Hues are difficult to distinguish in the first month, therefore have toys with contrasting colours. Red will be the first hue she sees, and it will happen within a few months, according to Lappe.

Nails

Because your baby’s fingernails grow much faster than yours, cut them at least once or twice a week to avoid self-scratching. Because infants move so much, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests doing it when he’s sleeping. Use special scissors, clippers, and emery boards, and be careful not to cut too near or your baby’s fingers will be cut. Toenails develop slower than fingernails, so they don’t require as much maintenance, according to the academy.

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Cradle Cap

A scaly red abrasion on your newborn’s scalp, neck, behind her ears, and in her armpits may appear. Cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a common rash. It’s a build-up of excess skin that’s similar to dandruff but more greasy, and it’s not contagious. Lappe recommends washing the scalp with a soft-bristle toothbrush and massaging it with olive oil. Your paediatrician may also recommend specific shampoos in some circumstances, she adds. The rash will eventually go away.

Take Rest

Expect a lot of stress, aggravated by a lack of sleep, to accompany the delights of new parenting. Remember that you are not alone, and don’t be afraid to seek help from friends, family, or the community. New moms and dads can benefit from social groups to help them stay sane. When you’re under a lot of stress, take a step back and relax. If possible, go for a walk with your partner or a helper, or simply take five minutes to breathe.

FAQ

  1. What is the hardest week with a newborn?

    Most parents find the first six to eight weeks with a new infant to be the most difficult, and while many of the issues in these early weeks of motherhood are not openly discussed (if at all), there are a number of common obstacles you may face at this time.

  2. What are the first few weeks like with a newborn?

    In the first week of life, feeding and sleeping are important.
    Your newborn will sleep for the majority of the time, just waking up to feed every few hours. Sleeping through the night is not possible for newborns. Because they have small stomachs, they must be awakened and fed frequently. Most infants feed every 2-4 hours, for a total of 8-12 feeding in a 24-hour period.

  3. How do I survive my first week home with a baby?

    8 tips to help you get through the newborn stage
    Slideshow mode is available. So, what’s next?
    The shift between siblings is seamless.
    Seek advice from a car seat expert.
    In your room, place your baby’s crib.
    Expect to be fed at all hours of the day and night.
    If nursing is causing you pain, get medical assistance.
    Keep track of diaper changes and feedings.
    Keep the stump of the umbilical cord clean and dry.

  4. How often should you bathe a newborn?

    How often should I give my baby a bath? It’s not necessary to bathe your newborn every day. Until your infant becomes more mobile, three times a week may suffice. Bathing your kid too frequently can cause the skin on his or her body to become dry.

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