In the hospital you have lots of help, but then comes the time to go home with your newborn baby girl or baby boy. Do you think you’re prepared?
Here are a few tips I wish I knew about the first few weeks at home with my newborn.
Everyone tells you that you won’t get much sleep, but it’s worse as babies don’t know the difference between night and day. I know this is harder for some new moms, but try to nap whenever your little one naps. Try to make night time changing and feeding as calm as possible to start getting baby on track.
Babies cry to let you know they are hungry, wet, cold, hurt, or just for no apparent reason at all. You will get to know your babies different cries and what they mean. If your baby has been fed, changed and checked to make sure nothing is hurting him/her, it’s ok to let your little one cry for a little while. You can try cuddling your newborn at your chest, swaddling, rocking or singing, if your baby is truly inconsolable, call your paediatrician.
Breastfeeding takes patience and hard work initially, but keep at it. 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. Your baby will probably feed around every 2-3 hours. If you are not able to breast feed please don’t put yourself down as this is not what makes or breaks an amazing mother. You are doing amazing and don’t let other opinions bring you down.
While your infant may resemble you, his stool won’t look like yours. 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. 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.
Your baby will most likely lose weight the first few days up to 10% of their birth weight. 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 little one at each visit to make sure he or she is on the right track.
The beautiful baby skin does not come until a little later. Most newborns have flaky skin. They might also have rashes and baby acne. They will go away with time and are nothing to worry about. If you are concerned you can always bring it up at one of your doctor visits. If you have a newborn photoshoot scheduled and your babies skin is flaking or your little one has lots of little bumps, don’t worry, that will be taken care of in the editing process.
I hope you found these tips helpful and I would love to meet you and your little one! To book a newborn photoshoot please email me.