You have delivered your precious little gem of a baby and are over the moon with joy. You can not compare the feeling and joy of parenthood to anything else. At the same time, you are now responsible for the life of the newborn. You are required to take care of him as best you can. Here are a few things to remember while taking care of your newborn:
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1. It is normal for your baby to cry a lot
The only way your baby can communicate with you is by crying. When the baby needs a feed or needs to be changed, he will cry. If the baby is cold or wants to be held in your arms, he will cry. Initially, you may not be able to tell what the baby wants but in time you will become quite an expert at knowing what he wants. You might feel overwhelmed or stressed out due to the baby’s constant crying. It’s a tough time especially for the mom but the good news is that this stage does not last forever.
2. Initially, your baby might look a little funny
The baby’s head might appear to be a little smushed due to the rough journey the baby had through the birth canal. The baby could have a lot of light and fine hair all over its body which is called the lanugo. Additionally, the baby’s face might be a little puffy and his eyes will mostly be shut and slightly gooey. All these symptoms are the side effects of the baby having spent nine months in the womb. Do not worry about the fact that your baby looks a little funny because very soon, perhaps by the end of the first week, the baby will resemble the cute and adorable baby you imagined.
3. Newborn babies sleep a lot
It is normal for newborn babies to sleep a lot but they do not sleep for long stretches. The mother might be getting very little sleep too because she has to wake up to feed the baby almost every two to three hours. Try to schedule the baby’s sleep by waking him up for a feed after every three hours during the day but allowing him to sleep at a stretch during the night. This might help the mother get some sleep too. It gets better after the baby turns three months because after this age the baby tends to sleep for longer spells. The baby would now be sleeping for six to eight hours at a stretch.
4. It is okay to touch the soft spot of the baby’s head
The soft spot also known as the fontanel seems to be a very fragile area on the baby’s head and you might initially be afraid to touch it. But it is okay to touch it and even to comb the baby’s hair in that region. For the initial few months after the baby’s birth, it is advisable to keep the baby’s head well supported preferably with a rice pillow.
5. It is normal for the baby to have dry skin
Right after birth, the baby is very smooth and soft but after a few days, the skin gets dry. This is because the baby was soaked in amniotic fluid for nine months, and then hit dry air. It is nothing to worry about; the skin will get dry and flaky and fall off. If you really want to do something about it just get a fragrance free baby lotion and apply it on your baby’s skin to keep it moisturized. Other changes in the baby’s skin that are normal are diaper rashes, baby acne and little pink bumps. Don’t fret over it. Just make sure to wash the baby well every time you change the diaper and apply generous amounts of baby lotion to prevent rashes.
6. No coo’s and smiles till at least 6 weeks
Initially, parenthood might seem very tough with little rewards as your child doesn’t respond much to your efforts of trying to make him talk in gibberish. But do know that your child is comforted by your touch and your efforts at nursing and feeding him. By the time the baby is six weeks old he will start making cooing sounds and will also smile and laugh quite often.
7. Taking care of the umbilical cord
Initially, after the baby’s birth give him only sponge baths as it is advisable to keep the skin dry until the umbilical cord falls off. There could be slight bleeding when the umbilical cord comes off and it is nothing to panic about.
8. Starting Tub Baths
For the first few weeks only give your baby sponge baths. After that try to start giving him baths in a tub, However, if he gets upset and starts crying switch back to sponge baths and then try again after a week or two.
9. Do take your baby out but be careful
Just because you have a newborn it does not mean that you cannot go out. But avoid going out in the sun and going to places where sick people are likely to be. Avoid closed crowded places such as the mall. Cover up your baby properly and always request people to wash their hands before they play with the baby.
These were just a few things to remember after having given birth to your a newborn, bringing up a child may not be easy and requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, it is a very rewarding experience as you see your own child grow in front of your eyes. Very soon your child will be crawling and then will be walking around. Before you know it, it will be time for him to go to school. Every stage of parenthood has its own challenges and you may often feel very overwhelmed but remember that parenthood is a very special experience and that you are lucky to be able to hold your own child and bring him up in this world.