Bringing home a new baby is overwhelming. Stay sane with these tips on caring for your new bundle of joy.
You have finally given birth and now you’re home with your new little person. You’re nervous and anxious. The baby is sleeping, of course, because being born is a stressful event. It’s the first night and all of the fears of being a new mom are coming to the surface. Care for Mom is putting your mind at ease by guiding you through the first night with your new baby. Once you conquer the first night, the rest will be a breeze.
Taking Care of Baby
Getting acquainted with your new baby may feel intimidating. Now that you are home, it is time to let this baby know that they are in a safe place and will be well taken care of. They just spent nine months inside the best place on Earth. To be listening to sounds and feeling life outside of the womb is traumatic. If you gave birth in a birthing center, you will be at home in bed with your new addition. If you gave birth in the hospital, the first night will most likely be in the hospital room. Either way, keeping the baby close with skin-to-skin contact is one of the best baby care methods to put to use. Skin-to-skin contact has many benefits. According to Breast Milk Counts, skin-to-skin contact calms you and baby, helps baby regulate body temperature, boosts baby’s immune system, and gives you a chance to take a break.
Your new baby needs to nurse within the first hour of life. Skin-to-skin helps with their first feeding. If there are issues with latching, a lactation consultant or doula can help correct the issue. Kelly Mom suggests breastfeeding often in the early weeks. Feedings should happen at least every two hours or as often as the baby wishes to nurse. The baby is setting up their supply and nurses often to do so. While this is exhausting, it is normal. If breastfeeding, avoid bottles for the first four weeks to detour nipple confusion. Your baby is getting colostrum at first. Milk comes down within a couple of days after birth. Nurse when the baby shows signs of hunger. A baby may root (move their head around looking for your nipple) or have their hands in their mouth to show that they are ready for another feeding.
Diapers are scary, especially if you don’t have much experience changing them. Change wet diapers every two to three hours. The first bowel movements will be very dark. This is meconium. It is what the baby has taken in while in the womb. After about four days, this changes to normal stool, a mustard yellow in color. Change your baby as soon as possible after bowel movements. Cold, wet wipes often startle newborns. Some mothers use a wipe warmer at night or hold the wipes in their hand to warm them before using them on the baby.
The American Pregnancy Association gives thorough steps on changing a diaper for beginners. Here are the basics:
- Lay the baby down on a changing table and unfasten their onesie or sleeper.
- Undo dirty diaper and cover the baby, especially boys, with a birth cloth or small towel to avoid getting sprayed if he urinates during the change.
- Wipe your baby clean. Use the front to back method when changing girls and be sure to clean inside skin folds where moisture loves to hide.
- Unfold a clean diaper and replace the dirty diaper.
- Apply baby balm or diaper cream, again, paying attention to the skin folds.
- Bring the front of the diaper between your baby’s legs and place against their tummy. Undo the tape on one side and attach to the front of the diaper. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Check the diaper to make sure it fits okay. Your finger needs to comfortably fit in the front of the diaper and along the legs. Babies are great communicators and will let you know if they are uncomfortable.
- Snap up the baby’s onesie or sleeper.
- Pat yourself on the back. You just changed a diaper. Go you!
Checklist of items to help survive the first night:
- Burps cloths
- Blankets for swaddling or to keep your baby warm
- Onesies and pajamas
- Diapers, baby balm/diaper cream, and wipes
- Food and water for you and daddy. You have to stay fed and hydrated yourself.
Tackling your first night as a new mom does not have to cause a nervous breakdown. With these tips, you will make it to the next morning with very little war wounds. The consultants at Care For Mom are here to help with services and classes to guide you through parenthood. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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