I remember when I first brought my newborn baby boy home. It was so special having him finally with me in the flesh. He was soooooo cute 🙂 What a blessing! I was only blessed with one, so that child was spoiled to the brim!
When we bring our little ones home it’s so exciting. But no matter how well you’ve prepared, you’re bound to be surprised as you learn about your new baby — and your new life together.
Below I have provided some basic questions and answers to help prepare you on what you can expect during your baby’s first week at home. In time you and the baby will get the hang of co-habitating together as you learn each other’s languages 😉
1. How can I help my baby bond with me?
Bonding with your baby is one of the great joys of parenthood, but it doesn’t always happen immediately. At the same time that you are recovering from birthing your baby, your newborn is also adapting to the being in a new world. So don’t dispair the bumpiness. Here’s what you can do to help the bonding process:
- Spend time skin-to-skin. Both you and your partner should hold your infant close to your chest while feeding or just cuddling or even cheek to cheek. I used to touch my son on his back lightly while he slept; when he would fret, it helped to calm him down and gave him security that I was always there.
- Talk to your baby all the time. Make the same noises he makes, sing, read to him…they absolutely love to hear your voice. It is familiar :-).
- Look in your baby’s eyes and smile. Each time you do, your baby will look into your eyes and you will connect. They will mimic everything you do.
2. How much will my newborn sleep?
This is the most your child will ever sleep. At first they will sleep almost nonstop. Eat, poop and sleep. That’s the pattern 🙂 While you child sleeps is also a good time for you to sleep also (after you have prepared for them to wake up by getting formula and diapers ready). Suffice it to say that your infant will sleep as much as 16 hours a day. However, the time is split into short increments (only one to two hours at a time). Usually by the time they reach 6 months, they can manage to sleep at least 6 hours a night.
Later, if your baby, is having trouble sleeping through the night, you may like to try these helpful tips:
- If he’s fussy, wait a minute or two to see if he quiets himself down, if not place your hand in the center of his back. He should fall right asleep.
- Do things normally during the day, trying not to be too quiet. This way your baby will be used to everyday noises and can sleep through them without being disturbed.
- You can also try to keep him up as long as possible during the day with stimulating activities between his naps. This will help tucker him out so that he is ready for bed after a warm bath.
3. How often will my baby nurse or take a bottle, and how can I be sure she’s getting enough?
Your infant should nurse every two to three hours. The tell tell signs that they are getting enough to eat is when:
- She spends 10 to 15 minutes at each breast or she drinks two to three ounces of formula at each feeding.
- She has six or more wet diapers and two or more dirty diapers every 24 hours.
- After losing a little weight the first week, your baby starts to gain weight the second week. If you are concerned about your baby’s weight, check with your pediatrician.
4. How often should I bathe my newborn?
Babies generally do not get very dirty. For this reason, three baths a week or fewer should suffice for your newborn. Any more can dry out his skin. In between baths you can clean your baby with a gentle baby wipe or wash cloth.
5. How should I care for my baby’s belly button?
Newborn baby’s umbilical cords should be kept clean and dry by using peroxide or a little alcohol until it falls off. Usually within a week or so.
- Give your baby sponge baths and don’t submerse the cord in water.
- Fold diapers below the cord to keep urine from soaking it.
Call the doctor if your baby cries when you touch the cord. She may have an infection. Redness at the base and foul-smelling, yellow liquid are also signs of infection.
6. How should I care for my baby’s circumcision?
Your son’s penis will be quite red for a few days. This should disappear within about a week. If it gets worse or you are worried, call your doctor.
- Keep your baby’s penis clean, especially after a dirty diaper. Use just water, or a mild cleanser and water, as needed.
- Dab a little petroleum jelly on the tip to keep it from sticking to the diaper.
7. How can I keep my baby safe?
Always put your baby down to sleep on her back or side to minimize the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also suggests that you:
- Empty her sleeping area. No pillows, crib bumpers, toys, or soft bedding like a blanket.
- Sleep in the same room as your infant — but not in the same bed.
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Avoid devices sold to prevent SIDS, such as sleep positioners. Some can raise a baby’s risk for SIDS or suffocation.
- Don’t overdress your child; you want to prevent overheating.
- Take your baby for her shots (immunizations) on time, following CDC guidelines.
- Follow the doctor’s orders on when to bring in your baby. Call right away if you have any concerns.
This is one of many wonderful experiences you will have with your child. Always remember to be present in the moment because your child will only be a child for a short while…and remember to photograph, photograph and photograph, take it from a mom who knows! 😉 xoxo’s ~ D