Bringing Baby Home
Bringing Baby Home: The first early weeks!
Whether you’ve had a long or short stay in the hospital, Bringing Baby Home is a significant occasion and one you’ve probably been excitedly awaiting from the moment you KNEW you are pregnant! It can also be a little overwhelming and one of the most vigilant drives you’ll ever take is the one bringing your baby home with you. New-born look and feel delicate, and they represent a new world of pure uncertainty for the family.
So here is what you need to know to make your transition to parenthood easier:
Bringing Baby Home, Firstly relax.
You’ve probably heard that all a newborn baby does is eat, poop, cry, and sleep. Sounds simple, right? It may become simple, but chances are it won’t seem that way at first. Knowing what to expect from your newborn will make your first days home together -a little less overwhelming.
Your baby depends on you for adequate nutrition: breast or bottled milk provides all a newborn needs. Yes, breast milk is best because it contains all the nutrients in just the right amount for your baby’s needs, however, your baby will thrive even if you choose to bottlefeed because sometimes with best intention to breastfeed, it may not go as planned and baby needs to be fed. Because their stomachs are so tiny, newborns need to eat small amounts – about 1 to 3 ounces – frequently. Some want to breastfeed or have a bottle every two to three hours, while others will be hungry even more often. While some babies announce their hunger with strong cries, others will give more subtle cues such as sucking on their hands, smacking their lips, or rooting, which is when a baby purses her lips and turns her head toward the breast or bottle. Feed your baby in response to baby’s cues -on demand.
Newborn burps, hiccups, and spit-ups:
Some newborns need to be burped frequently, while others burp on their own and need very little assistance from you. If your baby is fussy or uncomfortable during or after a feeding, that’s a cue to burp her.
You can also try burping your baby when you switch breasts, after every 2 or 3 ounces, every 10 to 15 minutes of feeding, or when your baby’s finished eating. After a day or two of feedings, you’ll find a pattern that works for your little one.
No need to bang your baby’s back hard – a gentle circular motion or soft pats will bring up the bubbles. There are several burping positions to try, including holding your baby with her head resting on your shoulder, sitting her upright on your lap with the fingers of one hand supporting her chest and chin, or laying your baby tummy-down across your lap.
Don’t be alarmed by hiccups or spit-up. Hiccups are normal for new babies and don’t cause them discomfort. Likewise, spitting up during and after feedings – in small amounts or what may seem like the entire feeding – is pretty normal.
If your baby’s spitting-up seems excessive or is accompanied by her arching her back or crying, it could be reflux disease, which requires treatment. Seek medical advice.
Newborn pee and poop:
A breastfed newborn will have at least five wet diapers a day. A formula-fed baby may have even more than that – up to ten per day.
There’s a large range for what’s a “normal” number of bowel movements, too. Breastfed babies tend to poop more than formula-fed ones since formula takes a bit longer to digest. But every baby is different, some breastfed babies bowel movement vary widely, going as seldom as once every day or more days to as often as once per feeding. Formula-fed babies typically poop a few times a day, but it can range from one poop every other day to several poops per day.
You’ll want to keep track of your baby’s pee and poop schedule, as the doctor may ask about her urine and bowel movements at the first checkup.
The very first bowel movements – usually occurring during the first day or two, often when you’re still at the hospital – are called meconium. These first poops have a black, almost tar-like consistency. The ones that follow won’t look much like grown-up poop, either. Be prepared for greenish, light brown, or seedy, mustard-yellow poops from a breastfed baby. A formula-fed baby’s poop tends to be pastier and vary in color. Call the doc if your baby’s stool contains whitish mucus or streaks or flecks of red, which can indicate a problem. (Red is a sign of blood in the stool.)
Normal poop consistency also ranges from very soft to watery, with breastfed babies having looser poop. This can easily be confused with diarrhea. Basically you want to keep an eye out for a change from your baby’s usual pattern or consistency – which is admittedly hard when your baby is first creating a pattern. When in doubt, check with your doctor.