The birth of a baby always implies stress and a lot of new information. With time, you will learn how to cope with your unique baby, and now we’ll show you how not to worry about trifles during the most exciting first month of your baby’s life.
Even if you have read all the books about babies you could find during pregnancy, you will come back home after delivery and feel as if an alien suddenly settled in your apartment. Today, few people deal with babies until they give birth to their own. The main thing is to remember that the difficulties are temporary, and you will soon learn to understand the baby a little better. Rest when you can, watch your diet and allow yourself to treat this strange creature as a normal, strong and healthy human with very little life experience. Do not get nervous over trifles!
Newborn babies do not look like babies on greeting cards
Having suffered their way through the birth canal, the babies can be swollen, bruised and red-eyed; skinny, with long thin arms and legs; with red flaky skin, pimples and black silky hair on the ears. Do not worry: in a few months, the baby will get better and gain some fat; excess hair will fall out. By three months of age, most babies finally look like those splendid infant photos. However, some of them are cute immediately after birth, so be ready for anything.
Newborn babies sleep a lot
During the first 2-3 weeks of its life, a baby spends 16-20 hours sleeping. It will wake up to be fed, to get a clean diaper and to try to understand what is happening around. You may be surprised as you get ready for the sleepless nights with a baby. Use this opportunity to recover from childbirth and sleep yourself! By the third week, many babies start suffering from colicky pains, which cannot be fully treated, and that’s when all the fun starts.
Infants produce some sounds all the time
They sneeze, wheeze, squeak, swarm. The most common cause of sneezing is dry air in the apartment, which causes the drying of nasal mucus. Such a baby can become a tyrant because the nasal passages are narrow and winding. Nasal breathing is essential for eating and sleeping, and the baby reports about this problem by means of the only method available during this period – crying. To help the baby, use humidifiers and saline solution for the nose, which can be found at any pharmacy.
Hiccups is rarely caused by hypothermia
The most obvious cause of hiccups in newborns is the air getting into the stomach while feeding or overeating. A full stomach puts pressure on the diaphragm, which irritates the nerve endings, sending the brain an impulse and immediately getting a response back. The diaphragm begins to contract frequently, while the lungs begin to gulp air, producing a specific sound. You can hold the baby vertically to let the air come out. The baby is not suffering from hiccups, though sometimes it lasts for a long time and prevents it from falling asleep.
It is not necessary to bathe your newborn baby
In the neonatal period, bathing is complicated by the umbilical wound, which is not recommended to be wetted. Here you can find a way out and bathe the baby in a small bath with boiled water, or wash the diaper area with running water or wipe it with a damp cloth until the umbilical wound is healed. Then you will enjoy complete freedom and will be able to bathe the baby as much as you want.
Newborn babies can swim
A sight of a baby swimming in a bathtub can completely ruin your ideas about the baby’s readiness to face the outside world. It’s really impressive. Unfortunately, the umbilical wound complicates the child’s familiarity with water. After 3-5 weeks, it will still be able to swim, even though later this ability will be lost without exercise. If you take the trouble to teach your baby swim freely in an inflatable ring, it will be possible to use a larger bath, sit by and enjoy watching this process. However, it is strictly forbidden to leave a baby unattended in the bathtub irrespective of using the inflatable ring or not.
Breast milk is exactly like it should be
Even if you eat poorly and irregularly, the baby will get all the necessary trace elements from breast milk. The resources of your body are enough to compensate for the shortcomings of your diet during the first 2-3 months. Calcium is required for the baby, but it is you who will choose its source: from your teeth or the cottage cheese you eat.
Sterile cleanliness around the newborn baby is not needed
Of course, you should wash your hands with soap and water and possibly restrict you baby’s communication with sneezing relatives. Nevertheless, everyday boiling, sterilizing, and bleach-cleaning is too much. The baby’s body has to learn to cope with basic household bacteria by itself.
Do not lick your baby’s pacifier
It can be simply rinsed, wiped with a damp cloth or dipped into boiling water, if you are afraid of germs. But could anyone really think that their saliva is able to neutralize something besides the visible dust? If you are absolutely sure about your and your partner’s dental health, do not smoke and drink plenty of liquids – let it be, lick it (although we are still against it!).
Do not attempt to make breast milk fatter
You do not need to drink cream instead of milk during lactation. Most of the calories are likely to settle on your hips, and the baby will find it more difficult to suck such milk; it will be much more difficult to digest as well. During the first month, the baby should gain only 600 grams. Despite the fact that we are traditionally proud of well-fed babies, you will have more difficulty carrying the baby, and the whole physical activity will become a more challenging task for the baby itself.
Children are born with a certain set of reflexes
In total, there are about 75 of them, and it is not necessary to know them all, but the following ones are pretty funny:
- The sucking reflex. The child begins to suck rhythmically any object that happens to be in its mouth: your nose, your chin, a collarbone, a knee. Hungry babies are insistent and unfastidious.
- The embracing reflex. At a sudden noise, such as clapping your hands loud near the baby, it first unfolds its arms, opening the fists, and then embraces itself.
- The reflex of support, straightening and automatic walk. If taken under the armpits, the child is looking for support, straightens the body and stands on its feet, with the legs half-bent. If it is slightly tilted forward, it makes stepping movements on the surface.
- Babinski reflex. If you touch the outer edge of the baby’s sole with the tip of your finger and move it in the direction from the heel to the toes, the toes will straighten as a fan.
- The grasping reflex (the monkey’s reflex). Putting some pressure on the palm of a newborn baby, you will notice that it grasps and firmly holds the object enclosed in the hand. A child can even be raised above the supporting surface in such a way.
Healthy skin does not need any cream
If your child has no irritation, the complex algorithm of changing diapers (removing, washing the baby’s bottom, drying, sprinkling with powder, spreading some cream, putting on a new diaper) can and should be simplified. Indeed, it is only necessary to rinse the bottom or wipe it with a damp cloth and dry. If there is some irritation, there can be many reasons: too much clothing, which makes the baby sweat, too much baby oil that clogs the pores and prevents the diapers from rapid absorption of secretions, a poor-quality diaper, or some errors in the mother’s diet. The easiest way to soothe slight irritation is to leave the baby with a naked bottom as often as possible. If the baby’s skin under the armpits and the diaper is noticeably redder than the rest of the body, the problem is overheating. There is no need to give up diapers, it is better to reduce the temperature in the apartment or put on less clothing.
Baby’s poo is very different from that of adults
You just need to admit this fact. As long as the baby is eating, growing and sleeping (i.e. doing everything that a newborn baby should do), the contents of the diaper can be anything – any color and consistency. If you are breastfeeding, there may be no poo for 2-4 days, which is also the norm: breast milk is absorbed completely. The mother’s words “I do not like his/her poo” are a treat for the manufacturers of probiotics.
There are no identical babies
Comparing your baby with someone else is not the best thing to do. Compare it with the standards of its age, and this would be quite enough. A child is born with a character, which is usually similar to that of its relatives. Maybe, you will finally be able to look at yourself from aside. Relax and enjoy it.