There is no greater joy than holding your newborn baby in your hands. As a mother, it is important to know how to take care of your new born in those first few weeks when your baby is the most vulnerable.
Bringing Baby Home
Bringing baby home is so exciting. The day you have been waiting for so long for is finally here! You will need an infant car seat to leave the hospital so have your partner install the car seat before you get discharged. It is helpful to either have someone drop off dinner for you the next few days or plan to order out. You need your rest and do not need to be on your feet cooking. Take things slow when you get home. It is ok if the house is not perfect and all your errands do not get completed. You will never get this time back so enjoy it. Make sure you have all the essential baby items at home when your baby arrives.
Feeding your newborn baby
New babies eat (or rather drink) a lot. If you are nursing it is best to let baby drink as much as possible to bulk up your milk supply. The first few days the baby drinks colostrum, a milky white substance chock full of important nutrients. Your milk will let down soon. It will feel like a mild tingle in your breasts. You should buy breast pads to keep the milk from leaking onto your clothes. Babies generally will want about 2-3 ounces every few hours. Your baby may want more and your baby may want less. As long as your baby is gaining weight there is nothing to worry about.
Changing a baby
Changing a baby may seem pretty daunting if you have not done it before. If your baby poops, it is best to change them immediately. If not, it is good to change them every few hours unless they are asleep. There is an old adage “Never wake a sleeping baby!” Use a baby wipe even when the baby has just urinated. Be sure to wipe from front to back with a baby girl to keep any backside bacteria from getting in her front side. When the baby poops make sure to wipe in all the crevices. Babies have lots of fat rolls and crevices! Use diaper cream only if needed because delicate skin needs to breathe.
Bathing a newborn
Until the baby’s umbilical cord falls off you do not want to submerge your baby’s body in water. You can take a warm washcloth and wash your baby and the baby’s head with baby wash. Then rinse carefully with warm water. When they are naked it is a perfect time to have skin time. Babies thrive with touch and skin to skin contact is imperative to your baby’s health. Both mom and dad should have skin to skin contact with their sweet baby.
It may be hard to sleep with a baby around. Sleep when you can. When baby is a little older you can work on a sleep schedule. Experts say not to sleep with your baby but I feel that it is a personal choice and can make life a lot easier. Just be sure not to sleep with your baby if you had any alcohol or take medication that could affect your waking up in any way. When your baby is in his/her bed they should sleep on their back or side. Do not put stuffed animals or pillows in the crib. All they need is a blanket. They can always wear a warmer sleeper if needed.