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 of first time parents are scared of holding on to baby in their lap, just relax, Babies are not frail and enjoy your baby. Babies thrive on touch, so early contact and bonding is 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 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 near sighted. 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 his own personality. Some are calm, other 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.
Breast feeding is best possible option for baby; on demand feeding, day and night. Sucking is important pleasurable activity of baby along with getting nourishment for growth. Baby sometimes make sucking movement while in sleep also, it`s absolutely fine and does not mean that baby is necessarily hungry.
Bowel movement (potty):
Baby`s bowel pattern is very variable. At birth 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; pattern of motion again change. You will realize that same baby during his/her 1st year of life will have very variable motions; some time loose watery 8 to 10 times per day and sometimes well formed stool after 4 to 5 days even. So whole range is normal, and for all practical purpose forget about stool, if your baby is sucking well on 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 do not warrant any cause of concern.
On an average baby can sleep from 12 to 18 hours. Practically speaking in initial few months, baby wakes up when hungry, passed urine or motion and goes to sleep again. Mostly awake in night and sleeping in day. Baby do not have orientation regarding day or night, they are least bothered when sun is going to rise. The main reason why your newborn baby is giving you sleepless nights for 1st few months; is when child was inside mother`s womb, she was surrounded by water (amniotic fluid), so when mother was doing her routine activity during day, that fluid used to move and give rocking movement to baby; whereas when in night mother lie down to sleep, that water become still and baby wakes up. Every baby has 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 in your lap; then in all probability baby is fine. Because if 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 baby is wet).
- Hold, swaddle and rock the baby (NEVER SHAKE the baby). Sometime baby just want to be in your arms and seeking your attention.
- Change the noise level of surrounding i.e. if quiet room can play some music.
- Darken the room and reduce stimulation.
- Just take the child to open area for fresh air i.e. balcony or for a walk.
- If baby still does not calm done 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 hospital and meet pediatrician/ child specialist in hospital.
- Most important thing is to try to relax, it happens with absolutely every parents once in a while that baby give you sleepless night.
Other issues of regarding baby`s health will be dealt over next few articles. For any queries feel free to contact us.
Stay healthy and happy
DR. Rahul Varma