Once the shock, relief, and exhaustion of delivery have worn off a bit, you will probably find that caring for your new baby is a lot of work; wonderful, but still work.
Early feelings of parents are of mixed emotions:
They are happy, a bit scared, it takes time for the feeling of being mom /dad to sink in. Most first-time parents are scared of holding on to the baby in their lap, just relax, Babies are not frail and enjoy your baby. Babies thrive on touch, so early contact and bonding are important. Lots of mothers are working these days, due to financial necessity and demanding careers and it puts huge pressure on them. But as a mother, you should remember that’s it’s the quality time you spend with your child that will matter.
All of your baby`s senses are working:
- Touch, motion: baby calms done when holding, swaddling, and rocking movement
- Smell: they prefer the smell of their mother`s body.
- Hearing: Baby prefers speech that is slow and musical- the way parents seem to naturally talk to them.
- Vision: baby can see at birth, but are they are nearsighted. And their eyes are very sensitive, so they tend to keep them closed in normal light but open them when lights go down.
Every baby has its personality. Some are calm, others are more excitable. Some are regular in their eating, sleeping, and bowel habits: others are more erratic. Some can handle lots of stimulation: others need a quieter environment.
Breastfeeding is the best possible option for a baby; on-demand feeding, day and night. Sucking is the important pleasurable activity of a baby along with getting nourishment for growth. Baby sometimes makes sucking movement while in sleep also, it`s absolutely fine and does not mean that baby is necessarily hungry.
Bowel movement (potty):
The Baby`s bowel pattern is very variable. At birth, the baby passes black to dark greenish motion (also called meconium) which changes to normal yellow color by day 3 to 4 of life. Baby can pass semi-loose motions, 10 to 12 times per day during 1st few weeks of life (also called transition stool). After around 4 to 6 weeks; the pattern of motion again changes. You will realize that the same baby during his/her 1st year of life will have very variable motions; sometimes loose watery 8 to 10 times per day and sometimes well-formed stool after 4 to 5 days even. So the whole range is normal, and for all practical purposes forget about stool, if your baby is sucking well on the breast and passing urine more than 10 times per day.
Many times baby cry during or just before passing motion or urine: this is mostly normal and does not warrant any cause of concern.
On average baby can sleep from 12 to 18 hours. Practically speaking in the initial few months, the baby wakes up when hungry, passed urine or motion, and goes to sleep again. Mostly awake at night and sleeping in the day. Baby does not have orientation regarding day or night, they are least bothered when the sun is going to rise. The main reason why your newborn baby is giving you sleepless nights for 1st few months; is when the child was inside mother`s womb, she was surrounded by water (amniotic fluid), so when mother was doing her routine activity during the day, that fluid used to move and give rocking movement to the baby; whereas when in night mother lie down to sleep, that water becomes still and the baby wakes up. Every baby has a different sleeping pattern (just like adults), so it`s best not to compare your child with anyone else.
Baby has virtually all the emotions which we have; they feel sad, happy, angry, frustrated, they want your attention, but they have only one way of communicating with you and that is crying. If the baby cries the moment you put her to bed but calms down in your arms or your lap; then in all probability baby is fine. Because if the baby is seriously hungry, no matter what you do, she will not stop crying unless feeding is given.
Tips for comforting a crying baby
- Offer a feeding.
- Change the diaper (look for urine and motion, whether the baby is wet).
- Hold, swaddle and rock the baby (NEVER SHAKE the baby). Sometimes baby just wants to be in your arms and seeking your attention.
- Change the noise level of surroundings i.e. if a quiet room can play some music.
- Darken the room and reduce stimulation.
- Just take the child to an open area for fresh air i.e. balcony or a walk.
- If baby still does not calm down and crying, better take the child in your car for a drive (most of the kids of this generation love the long drive); but if still baby is crying, change the direction of your car and drive to the hospital and meet pediatrician/child specialist in a hospital.
- Most important thing is to try to relax, it happens with absolutely every parent once in a while that baby gives you a sleepless night.
Other issues regarding the baby`s health will be dealt with over the next few articles. For any queries feel free to contact us.
Stay healthy and happy
Regads Dr. Rahul Varma