Many newborn mothers have heard or tend to think that during the first few days a baby usually drinks milk, poop, cry and sleep like an angel. But actually, it is not as simple as it looks. However, getting to know what to expect from your newborn early will make your bonding and first few days together less stressful.
Newborn babies usually sleep 16 to 18 hours per day. A baby bassinet is an essential item for a newborn as it will keep baby snug and convenient for the mother too. They sleep well when they are snug fit as close confines remind them of your womb. This is also one reason why babies love being swaddled. However, wherever your baby sleeps, ensure to keep them on their back and remove all loose, blankets, pillow, quilts, bumpers and toys to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Newborn babies drink small amounts of milk frequently consisting of 2 to 3 ounces as their stomachs are very tiny. Each baby is different to one another as some may nurse or have a bottle every two to three hours and others get hungry more often. This is where a breast pump comes in handy as you can always pump early and keep a bottle ready to feed if your baby is too hungry or beginning to need more.
Baby’s hunger could be identified by strong cries, quiet hints such as sucking the hands, smacking the lips or rooting which is when a baby turns the head towards the bottle or breast.
It is normal for a baby to lose about 7% of their body weight in the first few days and then it is recommended to feed your baby every two hours or so until the baby is back to the birth weight. Newborns are usually sleepy all the time, so it becomes necessary to wake them up and feed gently encouraging them to stay awake while feeding. This could be done by rubbing their head or back or talking to them.
Burps, Hiccups and Spit-ups.
Most newborn babies have to be burped often, while some burp on their own and need a little help from you. If your baby is fussy or uncomfortable during or after a feed, it’s a hint to burp. Spitting up during or after feeds which may look like the entire feeding is also quite normal.
A newborn who is breastfed will need to be changed at least five times a day in comparison to a formula fed baby who may have to be changed up to ten times a day.
The first bowel movement of a newborn is called meconium. It is black and almost tar-like consistency. In the following few days breastfed babies poop are greenish, light brown or mustard yellow. Formula fed babies stools are pastier and vary in colour. Show baby to a pediatrician if you find red flecks or whitish mucus in baby’s stools.