You’ve had a baby! All the anticipation, the labor, the joy, and now your little one is home with you. No book or blog can perfectly explain your new baby, but as you get started on this adventure, let’s cover the basics of what to expect in this first week of your life together.
Your newborn will sleep a lot, up to 16 hours a day, but often just one to two hours at a time. Fortunately, by six months, most babies sleep six hours a night. When your baby fusses at night, listen and wait for a couple of minutes to see if she can soothe herself back to sleep. During nighttime feedings and diaper changes use dim lighting and be as quiet as possible so your baby gets used to sleeping during night.
Your newborn will need food every two to three hours. She’s getting enough to eat when she spends around ten minutes at each breast or drinks two to three ounces of formula each feeding. She’ll also have approximately six wet diapers and two dirty diapers every 24 hours.
To begin to bond with your newborn, talk baby talk! Whisper, coo, sing, and babble to your newborn, who adores the sound of your voice. Spend as much skin to skin time as you can, holding your infant close while feeding or cuddling.
Bathe your baby about three times a week as more can dry out your infant’s skin. Wipe him clean with a wash cloth, but make sure the umbilical cord stump stays clean and dry until the stump falls off. If your baby cries out
when the cord is touched or it looks red, she might have an infection, and you’ll want to visit your pediatrician. If your son is circumcised, his penis will be red for several days, but should return to normal within a week. You can place a dab of petroleum jelly on the tip to keep the diaper from sticking. If the redness doesn’t go away after a week or you’re concerned, call your doctor.
Cherish this time with your child! Remember to always place your baby on his back to sleep. Don’t sleep or snooze in the same bed, and keep your baby’s sleeping area free of toys and pillows. Prevent overheating by not overdressing. Finally, visit your pediatrician sometime in the first week to make sure everything is still going well with development, growth, and behavior.