Taking care of newborns - Ready for the challenges of being a new mom?
This page about taking care of newborns is a guide on basic baby care that may help new parents with the challenges of parenthood during the first weeks of baby's life.
As a mom of two and a nurse, I can tell you that it is not always easy those first weeks at home, with a new baby. This helpless little human being will be completely depending on you. Every baby is different, and it takes some time for every new mother to learn to understand her baby.
What do you need for your newborn?
By the time you come home with your newborn baby you have probably already bought the basics.
Baby stuff can be very expensive. For a complete newborn checklist you can download our free printable list of baby needs. Prepare yourself for the arrival of your new baby with the help of this shopping list for baby essentials.
The first weeks the only thing your baby will do is eat, sleep and cry. Newborns cry because that is the only way they can tell you they are unhappy. They may be hungry, tired, have colic (abdominal pain) or just need their diaper changed.
Sometimes babies cry a lot. Taking care of newborns that cry more than usual can be very exhausting for mom especially when this happens during the night and she doesn’t get enough sleep.
It is heartbreaking and upsetting to hear your newborn crying all the time.
The hormonal changes in a your body, sitting on swollen, painful stitches and lack of sleep can make you very emotional, tense and nervous.
You can expect these “baby blues” about three days after your baby is born. Crying for no reason and being edgy is normal and part of being a new mom.
If these feelings continue for more than a week consult your midwife or doctor. Postpartum depression occurs in 10% of all new mothers. If you feel you can not cope or are afraid you may harm your baby seek help right away.
It is very important that you also take care of yourself. When friends and family offer help, accept it. Here you can read more about how to deal with the emotional exhaustion of pregnancy and birth.
Newborn weight gain
Most newborns loose weight during the first week but at two weeks they are usually back up to their birth weight.
How much weight a baby gains each month depends on more than just baby’s diet.
Your doctor will use an Infant weight chart to compare your baby's measurements with those of other children in the same age group.
There are different charts for boys and girls because their growth pattern is different. Is your baby not gaining weight as much as he should?
Often there is no real need for concern. Read about common problems that may affect baby's weight gain.
Colic a widely discussed topic that affects about 20% of all newborns.
It usually causes a lot of gueswork for new parents with no real answers. Why is baby crying? Is he in pain, is he hungry or just asking to be held by his mother?
Are you looking for a way to soothe your infant's colic? For now, there is no fixed colic therapy yet. Here are a few tips to calm colic that have proved to be helful to many parents and may help your baby. Just remember that every baby responds differently to each of these methods.
Taking care of newborns with skin conditions
Baby has very delicate skin and is more prone to certain skin conditions. Click on the following links and read how you can cope with common baby skin rashes like:
cradle cap - baby acne - baby sunburn - diaper rash - heat rash - eczema
Breast milk is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Though many breastfeeding mothers will encounter certain difficulties in the beginning. Read our information about taking care of newborns with the following breastfeeding difficulties.:
Baby formula feeding
Baby formula feeding is a very personal choice. Breast is best, but unfortunately not possible for all of us. Here are some tips and guidelines for the safe preparation of bottled milk to get bottle feeding moms started.
Baby soft spots or fontanels
Baby soft spots allow the brain to grow during the first year of baby's life. A sunken soft spot or sunken fontanel can be a sign of dehydration. If for any reason you are worried about your baby's fontanel, read more detailed information about baby's soft spot.
Taking care of newborns is challenging but ever so rewarding. Appreciate those precious moments because little babies grow fast.