The newborn stage is hard! Your body is recovering from a natural but intense ordeal, you are sleep deprived, and your whole life has just turned 100% upside down! But in my opinion, the newborn stage is the absolute best! It is the time for cozy snuggles, taking it easy, and soaking in every single newborn moment.
For the purpose of this post, we will consider the newborn stage as the time from birth until the first 6 weeks. During this time you and your baby are going through a lot of changes. Read all about surviving the 4th Trimester!
Newborn Tip #1: Sleeping
Newborn babies sleep ALL. THE. TIME. This is hands down the best part of having a newborn! You get to snuggle and hold them and they just peacefully sleep.
Smart Mama Move: Have several options for where baby can sleep. I highly recommend the following products for having lots of options for where your baby can sleep.
Recommendation #1: Dock a Tot
Recommendation #2: Ring sling or Soft Carrier
Having a soft carrier was the literal best thing during the first 3 months. (Actually, I still wear my daughter at almost a year as well) I loved this ring sling and this baby wrap. By placing your newborn in a wrap you can do most things that you need to do around the house. You can even relax with wearing them.
Recommendation #3: Rock and Play
The Rock and Play can easily be moved from room to room when you are getting things done around the house. You can also have
Recommendation #4: Baby Swing
Having a Swing can be such a lifesaver when Baby is fussy or feeling a little bit moody. I would put my daughter in the swing if she started getting fussy and holding her wasn’t helping. The swing would usually calm her down within minutes if not seconds.
Recommendation #5: Bouncy Chair
This recommendation is similar to the Swing and Rock and Play. It is just another option for a place that baby can hang out while you are getting things done. I am a big fan of this chair because it is relatively small and folds flat for storage.
Newborn Tip #2: Eating
How often should you breastfeed?
Breastmilk is very easily digested and so your newborn will be nursing frequently. Be sure to nurse on demand during the first months. Nursing on demand ensures that your baby is getting enough nutrients and that your milk supply is built up correctly.
During the first month, a newborn should be eating 8-12 times a day.
I had a very sleepy baby and would often have to wake her up to nurse. I only did this during the first month. Under the advisement of my midwife if I needed to wake my daughter up to nurse I did that every 3 hours to nurse during the day and every 4 hours at night.
Once they hit a month a newborn will be eating 7-9 times a day.
How to know if your baby is hungry?
One big sign is how long its been since the last feeding. Remember newborns should be eating around 8-12 times a day that’s about every 2-3 hours. Other signs include:
- Opening their mouth
- Sticking out their tongue
- Turning their head side to side
- Nuzzling the breast
- Sucking on their fingers or hands
Smart Mama Move: Try to catch the hunger signs before your baby starts crying. This will keep your baby calmer overall. If you wait until your baby starts to cry it can be difficult to calm them down enough to eat and can lead to an over-hungry and distraught baby. Do your best to watch out for the above signs and give them the boob or a bottle before they start to cry.
How to count breastfeeding intervals?
When counting the time before the next feeding, be sure to start your timer at the beginning of the feeding rather than at the end. So if you start
Newborn Tip #3: Playing/ Activities
You can start doing tummy time from the very beginning. Gently place your baby on her tummy so that she can begin strengthening her neck muscles. This is hard work for a baby! Don’t expect her to be able to hold her head up for long at all in the beginning!
Smart Mama Move: You can also count the time you hold her in her carrier or on your chest as tummy time if she is raising her head to look around or look up at you.
You can also begin placing your baby on a play mat and dangle things for her to look at. During the newborn stage, your baby’s eyes are not very well developed so strong contrasting colors like black and white work best.
Newborn Tip #4: Bathing and Hygiene
According to the Mayo Clinic, you do not need to bathe your baby every day. Doing so can dry out his skin. You can stick to bathing three days a week.
Remember, do not submerge your baby’s body in water, until the umbilical cord has fallen off, around 7-10 days.
Smart Mama Tip: When you are going to give your baby a bath make sure you have all items ready and nearby, this includes soap, lotion, towel, sponge, diaper, clean clothes, etc.
Newborn Tip #5: Diaper Changes
Expect to change a lot of diapers!
In the early days expect to have a wet diaper for every day of life, until day 6 when it should even out and baby should be having 5-6 wet diapers every 24 hour period.
Wet diapers should look something like this:
Day 1– 1 Wet Diaper
Day 2– 2 Wet Diapers
Day 3–3 Wet Diapers
Day 4–4 Wet Diapers
Day 5+– 5-6 Wet Diapers/ day
In the early days expect 1 dirty diaper per day of life until day 4 when it should even out to 3-4 dirty diapers a day.
Day 1: 1 Dirty Diaper
Day 2: 2 Dirty Diapers
Day 3: 3 Dirty Diapers
Day 4+: 3-4 Diapers/day
Around 4-6 weeks dirty diapers may ease off a bit. For some babies, it’s even normal to only have a bowel movement every 7-10 days. If this happens with your baby just be sure that they are gaining weight normally. If so, then lucky you! I was not so lucky!
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