I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in those first few weeks at home with my newborn. Overwhelming, unconditional love, the intensity of emotion was more than I expected. But as intimidating as the whole journey seemed, instinct kicked in. And being a parent quickly became the most natural thing in the world. Of course, I was tired from labor and delivery. But somehow, that didn’t matter. As new parents, we were 100% focused on taking care of our new baby. Obviously, I tried to rest when my daughter rested, to eat well, and be smart about visitors. I got some great advice from more experienced moms, and I learned a lot every day as our baby started growing, changing, and discovering her new world. I thought I’d pass along some of the tips that were most helpful to me by sharing some simple, straightforward, practical advice. I’d not held a newborn in a while, and I was surprised how unsteady she was at first. I had to fully support her head and neck until she developed the strength to hold it up by herself.
I found that just cradling her head in the bend of my arm or with my hand worked as a comfortable position. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, just remember that this will be a big part of the time you spend together in the first few months. I found I was feeding every couple of hours around the clock. Using a support pillow and trying to take time to mentally relax when feeding really helped. I mainly breast fed, and although it was harder than I thought, we got the hang of it pretty quickly. Getting the position right and finding a comfortable latch was tough.
But after just a few feeds, we seemed to figure things out. But we also bottle fed. Bottle feeding gave me a chance to share this special time with dad and her grandparents, as they were able to take over feeding from time to time. The first poo was also a surprise. It was thick, dark greenish, almost black, and tar-like. It’s called meconium. It fills the intestines before birth, and usually expels in the past 24 to 48 hours after the baby arrives. It was sticky and tough to clean. Gentle baby wipes definitely helped. Once it cleared her system, things were more normal. Her poo slowly became softer, lighter in color, and more watery. So don’t be alarmed. This is all quite normal. As a rule of thumb, plan on changing nappies after every sleep and after every feed, in addition to when they are wet or have pooed.
I found that if I kept a wet nappy on her for too long, her skin was more likely to get irritated. Changing her regularly and high quality nappies like these kept her dry and protected her delicate skin. Pampers’ new baby nappies have a handy blue line that appears when she is wet, letting us both know that she might need to be changed. The umbilical cord just fell off by itself after a couple of weeks, but before it did, we kept it dry mainly by keeping the nappy from covering it. Our doctor recommended we swab it with alcohol every few days to clean it. Be sure to check with your doctor to get their recommendation. If the cord becomes smelly, oozing, or mushy, you should see your doctor right away. There was one other big surprise those first few weeks– how much she slept. She slept a lot, but it was more like two to four hour naps, and then wake up to eat, which I learned is perfectly normal.
My other children did the same thing. As babies sleep, their minds work on things they’ve done that day. There’s so much brain and physical development happening while they sleep. Now, I look forward to our happy mornings together and realize just how important a well-rested, uninterrupted night’s sleep can be. This is just a bit of what I’ve learned about those incredible first few weeks with a newborn. It can seem like a lot, but don’t worry. The love and care you give them is just what they need. You’ll find your own rhythm and routine in no time. Visit Pampers’ YouTube channel for more parenting tips..
As found on Youtube