I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in
those first few weeks at home with my newborn.
Overwhelming, unconditional love.
The intensity of emotion was
more than I expected. But as intimidating as the whole journey
seemed, instinct kicked in, and being a parent quickly became the
most natural thing in the world. Of course, I was tired from
labor and delivery, but somehow it didn’t matter.
As new parents, we were 100% focused
on taking care of our new baby. Obviously, I tried to rest when my son
rested, to eat well, and be smart about visitors.
I got some great advice from more
experienced moms and I learned a ton every day as our baby started
growing, changing, and discovering his new world.
I thought I’d pass along some of the
tips that were most helpful to me.
Now I hadn’t held a newborn in a
while, and I was surprised how unsteady he was at first.
I had to fully support his head and neck
until he developed the strength to hold it up by himself.
I found that just cradling his head in
the bend of my arm or with my hand worked as a comfortable position.
Now whether you choose to breastfeed
or bottle feed, just remember that this will be a big part of the
time you spent together in the first few months.
I found I was feeding every couple
of hours around the clock. Using a support pillow and trying to
take time to mentally relax when feeding really helped.
Now I mainly breastfed, and although it
was harder than I thought, we got the hang of it pretty quickly.
Getting the position right and finding
a comfortable latch was tough, but after just a few feeds, we seemed
to figure things out. But we also bottle fed.
And bottle feeding gave me a chance to
share the special time with dad and with his grandparents as they were
able to take over feeding from time to time.
The first poop was also a surprise.
It was thick, dark greenish,
almost tar-like. It’s called meconium, and it fills the
intestines before birth and usually expels in the first 24 to 48 hours
after the baby arrives. It was sticky and tough to clean, but
gentle baby wipes definitely helped. Once it cleared his system,
things were more normal. His poop slowly became softer,
lighter in color and more watery, so don’t be alarmed.
This is all quite normal.
Now as rule of thumb, plan on changing
diapers after every time he sleeps and after every feed, in addition to when
they’re wet or have pooped. I found if I kept a wet diaper on him
for too long, his skin was likely to get irritated.
Changing him regularly and using Pampers
kept him dry and protected his delicate skin.
Pampers pull and lock away newborn’s
wetness and liquid poop, leaving his skin dry.
They even have this blue line, which
appears when he’s wet, letting us both know that he might need to be changed.
The umbilical cord just fell off by
itself after a couple of weeks. But before it did, we kept it dry mainly
by keeping the diaper from covering it.
Our doctor recommended we swab it with
alcohol every few days to clean it. Be sure to check with your doctor
to get their recommendation. Now if the cord becomes smelly, oozing,
or mushy, you should see your doctor right away.
There was one other big surprise
those first few weeks. How much he slept.
He slept a lot, but it was more like two
to four hour naps and then wake up to eat, which I learned
is perfectly normal. My other children did the same thing.
As babies sleep, their minds work on the
things they’ve done that day, and there’s so much brain and
physical development happening while they sleep.
I looked forward to our mornings
together and realized how important it was to get an uninterrupted
night’s sleep. This is just a bit of what I’ve learned
about these incredible first weeks with a newborn.
It can seem like a lot,
but don’t worry. The love and care you give them
is just what they need. You’ll find your own rhythm
and routine in no time. Visit Pampers YouTube channel
for more parenting tips.