Here is one thing that every parent has to look forward to: you will fall in love with your newborn. It will be love at first sight. Some other things you can definitely look forward to are late night feedings, crying and lots of diapers.
What are some other little unknown elements about having a newborn?
- His head may look a little squished at the beginning. After all, think of the journey she just went through. You may not even notice until you look back at newborn pictures but it’s nothing to worry about.
- Cooing and smiling won’t happen immediately! In fact, infants are often expressionless except when crying. And don’t worry, they may look in pain when crying, but they’re probably just fine. At about the 6 weeks point, you may start getting more responses that make you feel your love is returned.
- The umbilical cord will stay on for up to two weeks! Don’t be afraid of it but be gentle. A little blood is okay especially since it may get caught on diaper or clothing. Giving the baby a sponge bath (not fully submerged in water) for the first two weeks will also help the cord fall off quicker. Also, it is no longer recommended to clean the stump with alcohol. Just keep it clean and dry.
- Your new baby will need to eat every two to three hours and if you’re nursing, it’s hard to know if he is getting enough milk. Keep an eye on her weight. Come by our office and see the lactation consultant or to a breastfeeding support group to weigh your child as often as you need. Remember, a newborn loses 5 to 8 percent of her birthweight within the first week but should gain it back by the second. You can also get an idea if he is eating enough by keeping an eye on his wet and dirty diapers.
- Your baby’s skin will be as soft as a baby’s bottom at first but it probably won’t stay that way! Little pink bumps, diaper rashes, and even baby acne may make an appearance. You don’t have to do anything about dry skin (it typically peels and flakes off), but if you’re so inclined, reach for a hypoallergenic baby lotion that is fragrance-free.
- You do not have to be confined to your house. Depending on the time of year, i.e. cold and flu season, it may be recommended to keep the baby in for a while but try to lead a normal life. Keep baby out of the sun, and avoid sick people and crowded enclosed spaces. Teach older siblings to touch baby’s feet instead of her hands and face to help prevent the spread of infection. Older children may even enjoy telling guests: “Don’t touch the baby without washing your hands.”
Newborn babies sleep a lot. Those first three months babies needs to eat every two to three hours, so you’re not getting much sleep either. Most infants can sleep for six to eight hours by 3 months of age. In the meantime, try to get baby on a day and night schedule: during the day, don’t let him snooze more than three hours without waking him to feed; at night let him sleep as long as he wants once he’s regained the weight he lost at birth.
Being a new parent is hard those first few months! You are overwhelmed with love but also just plain overwhelmed. You can email CMCNewbornNurse@gmail.com at any time with your non-urgent questions. We will get back to you within 24 hours! And don’t forget about our support groups and other classes and resources. You can find more info online: cmc-pa.com/events.