Holding your baby in your arms for the first time is a life changing experience. Not everyone knows what to expect when they first have their baby. Hopefully if you don't know what to expect you have amazing doctors and nurses, who will guide you in what you need to know. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. They won't answer questions that are not asked. So what are some good questions to ask your doctor and know before having the baby?
How much and how often does a newborn baby eat?
The simple answer that you may receive in return would be "every baby is different" well yes this is true but where do you start? Newborns will usually start off with a half oz their first feeding. For their first feeding don't go overboard. If they will take a full oz then give them a full oz. Their second feeding gradually increases to an oz or an oz and a half. The next feedings may only be an oz or 2 at a time or less. Breast fed babies need to eat every 2 hours while most bottle fed babies need to eat every 3 hours at first.
A good goal would be by the age of 2-3 days to be eating 2-3oz every 3 hours. By the time they are a week old a good goal would be 4 oz every 3 hours. Every baby is different, but by gradually increasing the amount of formula during feedings will encourage the baby to eat more. Also depending on the size of the baby also depends on how much they need. A ten pound baby might eat more at first then a 6 pound baby.
They also need to be burped every half oz. A baby that needs to be burped can be very fussy because their belly is upset. Babies need to be burped to release the bubbles from their bellies that they can not release themselves. Don't assume after the first burp they are all done burping. Some babies need to burp more often then others. How to burp a newborn? Everyone has different styles that they are comfortable with. Always make sure their head is fully supported and they are comfortable with the position they are in. Some positions include holding them against your shoulder, or sitting on your lap against your chest. Always make sure the baby can feel you there. Don't hold the baby away from you while you burp them. Hold them close for security and bonding. Have a blanket in between their back and the hand that burps them. It cushions their back and makes them more comfortable with being burped.
Okay the baby is crying, what do I do?
A newborn needs to feel love and be cared for the second they start to stir. A baby will make noises before they start to scream. Little noises to let you know they need something will start and if their not picked up right away will turn into loud cries or screams. Getting to the baby and picking the baby up before they are crying will help build security and aid in bonding. Do not let the newborn cry. They need to learn that their caregiver is always going to be there for them to feel safe.
1. The baby just woke up and is starting to stir
2. Pick the baby up and hold the baby close to your chest. Reassure the baby that you are there and they are safe.
3. Talk to the baby as you change their diaper.
4. Feed the baby a bottle, burping every half oz.
5. After the baby is done eating make sure their clothes are clean, if not change them. Keep them dry by using a bib during feedings and burp cloths to wipe their mouths.
6. Swaddle the baby. Wrapping the baby up in a blanket using the swaddle method will keep them feeling safe and secure.
7. Hold the baby till the baby falls back asleep and then after they are sound asleep put them in their bassinet.
Newborns sleep quite a bit. Most will wake up for a diaper and feeding then fall back asleep. They don't need to be woken for a feeding, but they will need a diaper in between feedings. You can try to change them without waking them up, but they will most likely fall back to sleep after being held or rocked if they are not hungry again.
What kind of diapers should I use?
The Pampers Swaddlers work the best because they have a yellow line on the front of the diaper that will turn blue when the baby is wet. They are also incredibly soft. Huggies little movers work really good when they get bigger. Don't be tempted to buy cheap diapers. The price really isn't much different and if your baby has sensitive skin, forget about it. They will end up with an irritated rash and be rather fussy and uncomfortable because of it. Pampers are the softest diapers I have ever used for my babies.
How many diapers does a newborn baby use?
A newborn baby will go through at least 10 diapers a day. So be prepared. Have plenty of size 1 and size 2 diapers ready before they are born so there isn't any last minute runs to the store with a newborn. Don't forget to get some newborn diapers as well. If you're expecting a smaller baby have plenty of newborn diapers. You never know how long a baby will be in a newborn diaper for. Fold the top of the diaper down to prevent the diaper from rubbing against their umbilical cord. Newborn Pampers Swaddlers are made to avoid the belly button area.
When will the umbilical cord fall off and how to treat it?
Keep their cord dry. They used to recommend washing it with alcohol wipes, but you don't need to unless there is an infection or the doctor says otherwise. Keep it dry by giving the baby sponge baths until the cord falls off, on its own. When the cord will fall off is different for every baby. It will usually fall off before or sometimes at their 2 week appointment. Emma's fell off at her 2 week appointment and Mya's fell off around 2 weeks as well. After the cord falls off, it's time for their first full bath in the baby tub. Signs of infection include redness, or bleeding. If you have any concerns it's important to call your doctor before using any kind of ointment or you have any questions.