One of the most amazing periods in life is the arrival of a newborn. While this moment usually brings joy, for a first-time mother, it may bring confusion. It leaves you wondering about what you should expect and how you should handle it. There are a lot of things which newborns usually come with. To help quiet some of your thoughts and fears, outlined below are the top five things that you should know about newborns.
1. Newborns Poop A lot
It’s normal for a newborn to poop multiple times daily. Breastfed newborns usually have up to eight bowel movements per day. They literally poop after every breastfeeding session. As the milk fills up the stomach, the baby’s intestinal tract gets quickly stimulated and this prompts the body to release waste. The regular bowel movements will occur for a couple of weeks. However, moms should know that a baby who is breastfed will end up with more bowel movements than those who are fed formula. The pooping frequency will slow down from the third or fourth week and they’ll start to pass fewer bowel movements.
2. A Dry, Peeling Skin is Normal
Initially, babies usually have a soft, silky skin but this changes after a few days. Generally, most people including new moms and caregivers expect the newborn’s skin to be smooth and flawless. In fact, most new parents usually express concern when they notice that their babies have dry skin that’s peeling. There’s no need for concern because this is normal. Note that these babies normally spend 9 months soaked in amniotic fluid. After birth, their skin gets exposed to air which causes it to dry. In order for them to adapt to the new environment, the exfoliation process has to occur for a new layer of skin to grow.
3. They Sleep A lot
The first three months or so after you welcome your baby, they are going to spend more time asleep than being awake. However, they will sleep in for some minutes only before they wake up. A newborn needs to eat after every 2-3 hours hence they’ll be sleeping in small bits. It’s common for them to wake up, feed & go back to sleep. Their sleep pattern is also irregular. This is because their body is still not accustomed to the usual rhythms and schedules of a normal day.
4. Newborns Cry A lot
This is because crying is the only way they can communicate. Be prepared to hear ear-piercing wails at random times. Although this type of communication can be annoying or tiring, rest assured that it will reduce with time. Common causes of cries include:
- Hunger- the baby is hungry and they’ll stop crying at the onset of being fed.
- Dirt diaper- the stool or urine is irritating their skin, causing a burning sensation or pain.
- Temperatures –a cold or hot temperature will make the baby uncomfortable and they’ll end up crying.
- Clothing – if the clothing is too tight, the newborn will end up feeling uncomfortable. Dress your baby in loose-fitting clothes that are comfortable.
- Sleep –they need to be comforted and put to sleep.
5. They Don’t Need to Bathe Everyday
It’s not advisable to wash a newborn every day especially if they still have a stump of the umbilical cord. If you want to clean them, simply use cotton wool or a sponge to wipe them. During this period, give them a bath a maximum of three times a week. Bathing them daily will cause their skin to become dry or result in irritation. Once the umbilical cord comes out, you can then switch to four or five times a week.
The feeling of having a newborn is usually amazing, especially to new moms. You want to bond with your little one but you might actually end up feeling lonely, stressed, and tired. Note that the first days are usually hard for every mom. But time usually goes quickly and soon you’ll have a toddler crawling all over your house. Once you know all these things, motherhood becomes easier and you will actually love the whole experience. Remember that every experience that you have with your baby isn’t guaranteed. So soak in every moment. Cuddle them, feel their smell, and enjoy everything.