In the hospital you have lots of help like nurses, lactation consultants and doctors. Then comes the time to take your little newborn baby home. Are you really prepared?
Here are a few great newborn tips:
Everyone tells you that you won’t get much sleep, but it’s worse than you imagine. In addition to needing to feed every few hours, babies don’t know the difference between day and night. So no matter what time he or she rests, you need to take advantage and try and get a nap in too. You can also try to help him or her to get on track by keeping nighttime feeds and changing as calm as possible and wake your newborn every 3 hours of daytime sleep to feed. But as soon as your doctor says he’s gaining weight appropriately and it’s ok to let your baby sleep at night, don’t wake them up at night to feed and enjoy the extra sleep you are hopefully getting.
Babies cry! When they’re not sleeping, eating or pooping, they’re crying! They cry when they are hungry, wet, cold, hurt, or just for no apparent reason at all. You will get to know your little one’s cries and what he or she wants to tell you. If your baby has been fed, changed and checked to make sure nothing is hurting him or her, it’s ok to let them cry for a little while. Often it’s just their way of blowing off steam. So give them the chance to just let it all out. You can try cuddling your little one at your chest, swaddling, rocking or singing to your baby, it may help. If she is truly inconsolable, call your pediatrician.
We know that breast milk is the best nutrition for your infant and you should breastfeed your baby every 2-3 hours or when they seem to be hungry. What you may not know is that although breastfeeding is “natural”, most babies aren’t born experts. Breastfeeding takes a lot of patience and initially a lot of hard work, but if you can keep at it that would be great. It’s worth it for your infant’s health as well as your own. And don’t be afraid to ask your pediatrician or a lactation consultant for help. It usually takes 4 or 5 days for your real milk to come in. Rest, water and a nutritious diet can help. Stress, lack of sleep, dehydration and not enough calories can decrease your milk production. But if you are not able to breast feed for whatever reason do not stress about it! You need to do what is right for you and your family!
Babies poop has a wide variety of colours, consistencies and frequency. During the first 24 hours of life, stools can be thick, sticky, and brownish-black in colours, which is called meconium. After the first few days of life, the stools of breast fed babies lighten in colour from black to brown, green to yellow. They also change consistency from sticky to seedy to cottage cheese-like to looser. Also, when some babies poop they strain so hard their face can turn bright red and that’s ok. And other babies may not stool for a day or two when they first come home from the hospital, while others will poop after every feed.
Most newborns initially have dry, flaky skin that may start to peel after the first day. They also have a wide variety of skin rashes, bumps, spots and even baby acne. Most are normal newborn skin conditions and will go away with time without any treatment needed. I also want to mention to not worry about these skin blemishes and dry spots for your newborn photography session as this is part of what I clean up in the editing process.
Don’t forget that you can always call your baby’s pediatrician, doula or midwife. After all, you can’t be prepared for everything!
If you are looking to book a newborn session or have any questions please contact me and I would love to chat to you about your vision for your baby’s portraits.