Everything is ready and prepped from nursery to your hospital bag – you have done it all. But, there are some things which even What to Expect.. doesn’t tell you. Here are some of those newborn facts that you need to know before you bring your baby home.
There might not be an ‘instant’ connection:
The instant mom connection and mom instinct might not be so clear or come as magically always. It could take some time for both the mom and the baby to connect to each other. Sure, there will be that endless amount of love in you, kind of love that you have never felt before, love filling a hole in your heart you never thought you had. But, when it comes to the mom instinct, which somehow tells you what your baby needs might take time. It will come but not so quickly as you thought it would.
Your thoughts would include a lot of POOP:
You would always be concerned of whether the amount, color, texture etc. of your baby’s poop is healthy or not. And not just about the poop, the pee too. It’s true that poop and pee count does matter when it comes to the health of your baby. But, new moms worry about it way more than required and that’s natural and okay. No one’s judging you here. Becoming a little poop-obsessed is nothing but normal.
Generally, a baby passes poop 3 times a day. If your baby has not passed meconium yet, her first poop would be black and sticky. Then the poop would be a little greenish before changing to mustard yellow and a little runny. Poop’s color also matters and can be a newborn red flag.
(Also read: 5 Breastfeeding Red Flags You Should Never Ignore)
You might think they are always Cold:
Most mothers would cover their newborns with multiple layers of clothes thinking they are always cold. It’s true that baby’s body is not yet developed to stabilize its temperature so you have to take extra care. But,
layering baby with a lot of clothes will warm her more than she needs to and make her irritated.
So, put on as many clothes on the baby as many as you have on you – maybe one extra. Or buy this GroEgg thermometer to find out if the room temperature is cold or warm for your baby.
Newborns sleep for 16-18 hours a day:
Newborn babies sleep a lot. It is the best time to rest as a mother.
Newborn babies take around 3-4 naps a day.
This goes down when they are 3-4 months old. By this time, your baby will have a more predictable sleep routine. She will mostly take 2 naps around the day, one in the morning and other sometime in the afternoon. And this will go on till they are around a year old or more. But, it will come down to one before they are 2. So, you have more time to rest while your baby is a newborn. You actually do need a lot of rest because postpartum recovery speeds up when you sleep as much as you can.
You would need outfit changes too:
Babies spit up a lot. Sometimes, at the most unexpected times. Plus changing nappies from time to time would make you feel like taking a bath at least twice a day. Moms need to change their clothes too. Babies generally go through 3-4 changes in outfits throughout the day. So, buy a bunch of maternity clothes and get prepared to do a lot of laundries.
There will be endless advice:
Pregnancy was not the only time when people would flood you with unwanted and unasked advice. Parenting would be full of it too. Especially the start when people would be all like ‘oh! You are new at this, you definitely need some advice’. Don’t worry about the never-ending to-do list people hand you over with. Just go with what you think is perfect for you and your little munchkin. You, of all people, know the best!
You will break down multiple times:
Whether it’s when your baby catches a cold, not sleeping properly or endlessly crying. All eyes would be on you always. Not to forget the hormonal changes that could kick in baby blues easily. It’s okay to break down and take it all out, that might be the only way to take out all the frustration. If you have any signs of PPD like not feeling bonded to the baby, extreme sadness for no apparent reason, do consult a therapist.
There is endless guilt:
Mom Guilt will strain you completely. One of the main reasons would be social media where those little square blocks might throw you into a fit of comparison. But, they are for inspiration and sharing. Every mom has her own stumbles down the road of parenting. And you will have yours. So, even though mom guilt can be something that can strike you hard, just practice self-gratitude and we promise everything would be okay.
Baby Cries might not ‘mean’ something always:
Colic can start after the baby is already 2-3 weeks old.
Baby colic is defined as when the baby is crying for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks in a month.
These episodes of crying for no apparent reason and in an otherwise healthy baby is when the baby is colicky. The causes of colic are still not yet known. With various reasons such as differences in the digestive system, development of another one of their skills like starting to see colors, lactose intolerance etc. been cited from time to time.
Sure, some cries do mean something. Like knees curled up tight means some digestive stress, rubbing her eyes means sleepy etc.
You do need extra help for bathing:
Newborns are much slippier than you think. Their new baby skin will slide on your hands very easily. Not to forget there are more chances of this happening when you are giving them a bath.
If you are alone while bathing your baby, do it in parts.
First, keep one hand on your baby’s bottom and other on the back of the head. Before applying soap on upper and lower body parts including the bottom. Start with the bottom, do the legs first including the bum. Wash it off. Then, do the stomach and the back. And at last, do the head and the face. This way, not the whole body is slippery and your hands won’t slip off that easily. Make sure one of your hands is always soap free.
In the first few weeks (newborn months), giving your baby a bath 2-3 times a week is enough. Their skin lacks enough moisture and bathing excessively can dry it, so don’t overdo it.