IN THIS ARTICLE
- Newborns come with new experiences.
- The more the time passes by, the better you get at motherhood.
- Cherish each moment with your little one the best you can.
The more experience you get being a mother, the more things you get to know about your newborn. There have been things that I had absolutely no idea about, but I only got to know when I experienced them first hand. So based on the things I realized, I have come up with a list of things you should know about your newborns.
The first time I looked at my little heartbeat, I wondered why she looked, well, so weird. Her head had a cone shape, almost pointy at the crown, her eyes and face were all puffed up and she had a lot of hair on her back and arms. My baby did not really look the way I had imagined her to be. But it got better.
Now the reason why her head was cone shaped is that when a baby is pushing through the birth canal, her head changes its position so as to easily manage her way out. A baby’s head is the softest during birth. I also noticed that after a day’s time, it looked so much better than right after birth. As for the puffy face and eyes, it was obvious because a baby spends so much time in the womb; they do get puffed up in all the fluid. And the hair also disappeared pretty soon.
In my last article, ‘First week in the life of a newborn’, I wrote about umbilical cord. And I cannot stress the fact enough that it is extremely important to let it dry. It took a month’s time for my baby’s stump to come off. The only mistake I made was let it get wet.
You have to give time to the umbilical cord stump to fall off on its own. Do not pull at it, do not put water on it, nothing at all. When it comes off, there could be some blood on it, but that’s normal. Unless there are definite signs of infection, don’t worry.
Coming to soft spots, we have all heard they are there on the babies’ head. There are two soft spots on their heads. One right at the top centre and the other at the back of the head. Yes, you have to be careful with these soft spots but don’t think these spots are fragile. They are not as sensitive as we may think they are.
At times when I fed my baby, I noticed the soft spot pulsating, out of fear I spoke to my pediatrician who said that since these spots are over the blood vessels covering the brain, you will see them pulsating. And it is more apparent when babies are feeding or crying.
Newborn babies have very, VERY dry skin. Do not even think of removing it, putting oil or cream on it or anything else of that sort. It usually goes away pretty soon once the baby has adapted to the new environment. It usually peels off on its own and will take its own time.
My baby had dry skin patches on wrist, hands, feet and face. It got better in less than a month’s time.
Now that you have a newborn, you must have gotten used to all the crying. There is no other way for a baby to communicate other than crying. Newborns cry and they cry a lot, may be even wake your next door neighbors with all the crying. Lucky are those mums who have quiet babies.
Once you get used to your baby crying, you will also know that there are different types of cries your baby has. By the end of first month I knew when my baby is crying because she’s hungry, when she is crying to get a diaper change, when she is crying to be held in my arms… I just knew it. You will too, just give it some time. You will just know what you baby needs.
The sleeping pattern of newborns can be very weird and erratic. I remember when I just had my baby, she would cry, feed and sleep for a 1-2 hours. Then again, cry, feed, (maybe even poop) and sleep again for 1-2 hours. She would sleep but not for longer stretches. But every week I saw a change in her sleeping pattern.
After 2-3 weeks time, she was sleeping more often. At times she would sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch with no feeding session in between. The point is that you should let your baby sleep as for as long as she wants to. If, however, it has been more than 4 hours of her last feed, gently pick your baby up and feed her. In case she doesn’t wake just ensure she is feeding. Sleep and let sleep!
Now that my baby is 4 months plus, she has developed a routine. This routine came in gradually. I was not strict about making her sleep, feed etc at certain times. She did it all when she had to. Do not try and set a routine for your newborn, let your baby set it for herself.
With a new life and new phase of life, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do and how to react at times because it does take a toll on you. But remember that this phase of life is very fleeting. It will pass soon before you even know it. Make the most of it and remember to love and cherish every moment.
Even though I had sleepless nights and days at a stretch, I did not forget to take pictures of every moment with her.Time flew by so quickly. So don’t stress out, love the time you spend with her!