Here are a few important tips parents tell me they wish they had been told about the first few weeks at home with their newborn.
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 rests, you need to take advantage and nap too. You can also try to help him get on track by keeping nighttime feeds and changing as calm as possible. You can start a night time routine so baby starts to get to used to it.
Babies cry! They cry when they are hungry, wet, cold, hurt, or just for no apparent reason at all. You will get to know his or her cries and what they mean. If your baby has been fed, changed and checked to make sure nothing is hurting her, it’s ok to let him or her cry for a little while. You can try cuddling your little one at your chest, swaddling, rocking or singing to your little newborn baby, it may help. If your baby is truly inconsolable, please call your paediatrician.
We know that breast milk is the best nutrition for your infant and you should breastfeed your baby every 2-3 hours or when she seems hungry. Breastfeeding takes patience and hard work initially, as the baby still has to learn themselves of how this all works. If your little one has a tough time, don’t be afraid to ask your paediatrician or a lactation consultant for help. Rest, water and a nutritious diet can help. Stress, lack of sleep, dehydration and not enough calories can decrease your milk production. If it is not possible for you to breast feed your little one or you just decide this is not the way to go for you, that is ok as well! There are great supplements available nowadays!
Babies poop a wide variety of colors, consistencies and frequency. During the first 24 hours of life, stools are thick, sticky, and brownish-black in color—called meconium. After the first few days of life, the stools of breast fed babies lighten in color from black to brown to 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. These faces make for great mug shots during your newborn sessions!
Your baby will most likely lose weight the first few days. Within the first week of life, they start gaining weight back and reach their birth weight by around 2 weeks of age. Your paediatrician will weigh your baby, plot and follow her growth at each visit to make sure your baby girl or baby boy stay on track.
Most infants 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 acne. Don’t worry, having baby acne doesn’t mean more acne as a teen. Most are normal newborn skin conditions and will go away with time—no treatment needed. Your doctor can take a peek at the next exam. Also don’t worry of your little one has any rashes or pimples for their upcoming Newborn photoshoot as that is what I am here for and will clean all that up in the editing process.
By no means will this completely prepare you for life with your newborn. You will have new questions every day. Write them down as you think of them and take them with you to your infant’s check-ups. Don’t forget that you can always call your baby’s pediatrician if something is urgent or you’re unsure of what to do.
Should you be ready to book your Vancouver Newborn photography session I am happy to chat and answer any questions you might have.