A baby’s arrival is a time of joy in any household, no matter whether if it’s the first baby or the fifth. New parents, however, may not really know what to expect from their brand-new bundle of joy. Even those who have been parents before could get surprised by something different in their younger babies.
There’s really nothing to be afraid of when it comes to taking care of babies, but a little knowledge can mentally prepare you for the tougher parts. It’s not good for a new mother to worry about her infant child in any way, so we’re here to let you know just what to expect:
Absolutely newborn babies may not be picture-perfect. In fact, they would probably give you a shock when you first see them. During a natural birth, the baby’s head could get really out of whack. The bones in that area are soft, and birth could even result in a sort of cone-shaped head.
There may also be a coating of lanugo or fine hair on the baby’s body. The face could be puffy, the eyes shut and gooey. But don’t worry, the cuteness would soon be apparent once they’re washed, swaddled, and patted into place!
You may start with your baby talk right away, but those adorable baby chuckles and smiles are more than a month off. For the first six weeks, you can expect a lot of crying, wailing, and a general drain on your energy.
However, you can rest assured in the fact that all your efforts won’t go to waste. The baby is growing and developing their attachment to you. Soon, you’d be greeted with a smile and laugh at the slightest prompt.
Some part of the umbilical cord stays on the baby and would only fall off when it’s good and ready. Until then, you have to take care that it doesn’t get infected or pulled about.
The best way to get a cord to fall off is to let it dry out. Naturally, this eliminates tub baths. Hence, sponge baths would be best for your baby until they’re cord-free.
The baby’s head is known for having a soft spot right in the center. This eases the delivery but can cause some parents to become terrified of mishandling the baby. You may be afraid to comb or brush a baby’s hair because of this.
However, it is absolutely fine to comb the hair around the soft spot, and even touch the spot itself. You may feel some pulsating, but that’s just the blood vessels.
New parents may worry themselves about whether they’re feeding their little one enough food, or maybe too much of it. This worry can become even deeper if the mother is nursing. To be sure, weigh the baby regularly.
Its fine for the weight to dip a little during the first week, but it should come back after that. Around half a dozen wet diapers and a couple of stools per day are considered normal.
The baby soft skin may be the usual idiom, but newborns tend to have dry skin in the very beginning, they’ve just been taken out of a lot of water, so you can expect a lot of drying up and wrinkled skin.
There’s no need here to apply any sort of lotion or oil. You may also notice some baby acne, tiny bumps, rashes, and even pimples. You’d just have to wait those out and take pictures when everything is still smooth.
Taking a newborn out of the house may seem like an invitation to germs, but that’s not necessarily true. Simply bundle up the little one against the weather and run your errands as you normally would. Avoid direct sun and contagious diseases, as well as enclosed and crowded areas.
You should expect your newborn to keep squalling—it’s a sign of health and their only way of communication so far. The baby would cry if it feels hungry, too cold, too hot, or too uncomfortable. You can try any combination of fulfilling these needs until it calms down. In fact, some parents may even be able to differentiate a hungry cry from a tired cry.
Babies tend to cry at very regular intervals, especially the extremely young ones. You may not even need to set an alarm for getting up in the middle of the night. The wails and the baby monitor would make sure you’re up and at ‘em!
Newborn babies have just gone through a sort of trauma, so they need a lot of sleep to recover and generally get the growth process started, however, you should expect them to sleep through the night.
You can expect your tiny tot to cry for food every two or three hours, so be mentally prepared to wake up and give them what they want. Hopefully, though, both you and the baby would be getting 6-8 hours of sleep after a grueling three months. Until then, it’s best not to let them sleep for more than three hours during the day or they could keep you up all night!
Ending on a serious note, every parent should understand that a child is a separate entity from them. Just like we can feel instant love for a child that’s not biologically ours, we may also feel a distance from a baby we just gave birth to. Mothers should especially prepare themselves for post-partum depression after having gone through labor and childbirth.
Taking care of a newborn can be very tough and hard on the nerves. So give yourself a break, and don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself.
When we first become parents, that’s probably the first time we see an actual new baby. Movies and TV show don’t really get to show us the real deal. Hence, there may be some things that worry us, but really shouldn’t.
Both the mother and father should be aware of the surprises that could come with each baby. This way, they would have an informed experience and know just what to do when the time comes.
You can read more about newborn’s care and tips on our blog.
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