Let’s face it – caring for newborns is no easy feat. The minute you step out of the hospital, it will be chaotic and overwhelming. Yes, newborns bring plenty of love and excitement, but they are also exhausting and challenging.
To manage your stress and fatigue, you need to prepare yourself well in advance. From burping your baby to soothing your little one in colic pain, all the way to understanding their poop, below are some ways that will help you get through the first few months upon the arrival of your precious newborn with more ease.
- You need to wash your hands often: You must know that newborns don’t have a strong immune system at the start and that’s why they are often at risk for any kind of infection. So, wash or sanitize your hands every time you want to hold your baby.
- You must support your baby’s head and neck: Newborns are extremely fragile and that’s why you need to cradle their head whenever you carry them upright or when you lay them down.
- Must secure your baby in the carrier, stroller, or car seat: Remember, you need to buckle up your baby securely and limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy.
All about feeding
We all know, newborns, eat A LOT, sleep, poop and repeat. That’s why nature provided you and your baby with the best feeding equipment. However, from sore nipples to latching issues, nursing is almost guaranteed to be harder than you expected at the beginning.
Set your baby’s feeding schedule: It is very important to feed the baby on time. Remember, newborns need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. So, set a schedule to nurse your baby 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Ease your pain
Engorged breasts or blocked ducts are extremely painful in the start if your baby is not latching properly. So, a heating pad or a warm, wet washcloth works well to help the milk flow. However, if your breasts are sore after nursing, try a cold pack for soothing.
Resolve breastfeeding issues
If you’re having problems establishing a good latch or getting your baby to breastfeed, you need to talk to a certified lactation consultant and address the issues that are causing the problem in the first place. Here are some of the reasons you may experience breastfeeding a newborn.
- Poor or insufficient latch
- Premature baby
- You don’t have a sufficient milk supply
- Your nipples are flat or inverted
- The baby has a birth injury or disability
- There was a delay in breastmilk production
Any of the above situations can be upsetting. However, you need to be patient and ask for help if you need it. Talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant for assistance and support.
A diaper is another important thing to monitor in the early days of your newborn because they tell you a lot about their health.
- Meconium: It’s the first stool of your baby that they pass after their first bowel movement within a few hours of birth. Meconium is a thick, green, tar-like substance stored in the baby’s intestines during your pregnancy. To get it off easily from your baby’s bottom, you can use diaper cream or petroleum jelly during diaper changes.
- Wet diapers: In the early days, your little one will typically have 1-2 wet diapers for each day of life. However, once the breast milk comes in, you can expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. Wet diapers also assure you that your newborn is consuming the required milk and isn’t dehydrated.
- Poopy diapers: The number of your newborn poopy diaper during the first weeks of life depends on whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. Babies who breastfeed usually have several bowel movements each day while newborns who consume formula have fewer. If you alternate both, you’ll see a lot of changes to your newborn’s stool consistency.
If your baby has colic, prepare yourself for the endless crying. There’s no specific definition of colic because it is not a disease or diagnosis. Colic is known to be a combination of baffling behaviors. Doctors follow the “rules of three” for diagnosing colic in babies. Your baby’s crying:
- Totals at least three hours a day
- Occurs at least three days a week
- Persists for at least three weeks in a row
Colic is extremely overwhelming and frustrating for parents because it can be hard to care for babies who don’t stop crying. However, try to remain patient and follow the Five S’s to soothe your baby i.e. swaddling, shushing, swinging, sucking, and side- or stomach lying.
Always remember, becoming a parent is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Yes! It’s exciting, but it can also be exhausting and unsettling especially in the early days of your little one’s arrival. So, if you are feeling down and have trouble coping with the transition, ask your partner for help or reach out to other family members or friends.
The above article is brought to you by 28DayMum! Share the above information with your BFF, who had just become a new mum.
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