Learning about newborn baby care after birth is very important, especially if it is the first week. From bringing newborn home from hospital to making sure your baby is well, your first week as a parent sure is busy!
In this section:
Your first week with your little one is full of perplexing feelings of happiness, anxiety, exhaustion, love and unexpected guests and phone calls. But for your newborn, this week comes with even more surprises. His sudden transition from a dark, peaceful and cozy womb to a loud and bright open space must not provide a very soothing feeling. He may exhibit sudden movements and jerks while his muscles develop and adjust to the new environment.
The umbilical cord stump is something your newborn comes home with, and its shedding off is one of the newborn milestones that are achieved in the 1st month. If you are a first-time mommy or daddy, you may find this little stump a little bit irritating and uncomfortable for your baby. You need to take special care of it before it sheds off (hopefully before the arrival of 3rd week). Read here on how to deal with the Umbilical Cord Stump.
If your newborn exhibits difficulty in breathing due to a stuffy nose, do not worry. It is because his respiratory system might be adjusting to the surroundings. You may notice that the stuffy sound increases when the baby is sleeping. This is quite normal, however, if you have a feeling that this difficulty in breathing is causing problems to the baby, call your doctor and provide him the details. It is also common for new parents to worry a lot, and that too, for no real reason. So relax, you are worried because your love your baby!
Newborn babies are clean - they do not need daily washing. In the first week, you can bathe your newborn using a sponge (referred to as sponge-bath). Once the umbilical stump dries and falls off, you can then go for a regular bath.
The first week is also very important in establishing your baby’s breastfeeding routine. Successful breastfeeding is one of the most important newborn milestones that the mother and baby achieve as a team. By the end of this week, you and your baby will still be getting the hang of it. Don’t hesitate to try different breastfeeding positions, one of them is definitely the perfect one for you – so explore it! If you feel breastfeeding is a very difficult task, don’t give up, you will soon be accustomed to it. Keep on reminding yourself about the benefits of breastfeeding - it will keep you motivated.
Don't forget to devour all the knowledge from our Breastfeeding section. It will help you with your breastfeeding problems, tips and tricks. No doubt, breast milk is the healthiest diet for your newborn. If you have a preemie, make sure you read our article on how to breastfeed a premature baby.
If you feel your little one is not getting enough breast milk, there are some signs that could help you with the answer. If your baby is getting fed after every 2-3 hours or eight times a day, then it is sufficient. Also, notice that for a well-fed baby, the color of potty turns yellowish on the fourth day. If everything is going well according to the newborn milestones, you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
Also, it is common for new moms to go through anxiety or post-natal depression. Baby blues are normal provided they go away after few weeks, otherwise, they turn into depression that needs to be seriously treated. Check out our highly read article on Postpartum Depression. Talk to your doctor if the anxiety prevails. Our Baby Jokes and Parent Humor section may give you a couple of chuckles for sure!
If you have decided to bottle-feed your newborn baby, learn more about the benefits of breast-feeding and always make a decision after knowing the facts about bottle feeding versus breastfeeding. Talk to your midwife if there is any concern.
However, if bottle-feeding is your ultimate choice, make sure you use an infant formula-milk that is according to your baby's age and weight. If you gave birth to a premature baby, there are special formula milk for preemies available in the market. Also, you need to carefully follow the methods of bottle sterilization.
Are you in favor of co-sleeping with your baby? If you are on the fence, read our article on the pros and cons of co-sleeping to help you make your decision.
It is also natural for you to remain sleepless in the first few weeks. It takes time for the newborn as well as the parents to develop a sleeping habit that they both agree upon - just like many other newborn milestones. Don’t panic, and remember, you will soon have a proper sleep routine, this phase won’t last for too long. Our highly informative section on Baby Sleep lets your baby and you make a sleeping routine, and sleep!
If your baby cries a lot at night, make sure you check if he has a full tummy, is comfortable (he is wearing dry diaper which is not too tightly worn), it’s not too noisy around and he does not feel too cold. If still, your little one is crying, it might be due to colic. In this case, don’t worry, it’s a phase that you do not have any control on, it will pass – eventually :)
If this is your second or third baby, you may find some resistance from your older child (or children). Read our all time favorite article on How to Help the Older Child Adjust with the New Baby.
A week full of guests, gifts and shopping - you must be getting a lot of phone calls, emails, SMSes, and even...*ding dong*...surprise visits and guests! Many will bring gifts for the new baby and mother (or father as well, if the dad gets lucky!).
If you didn’t know the gender of your baby by the time of birth, the first week would most likely be the ultimate shopping week. But don't forget to keep on tracking the newborn milestones. There is nothing more rewarding than to see your baby grow and achieve all the newborn milestones! I'm sure you will agree:)
If you haven't done it yet, and now want to speed up the process of making your baby's nursery his/her ultimate nest, here is an amazing section on decorating your newborn's nursery room.