When your baby isn’t eating, it is sleeping. This sleeping happens in time spans of several hours, in between feedings. This counts for nights as well. This may make you feel like you are constantly “on call.”
It is best to simply accept this. A baby requires all your attention those first few weeks, which is normal. Follow his or her rhythm, sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t worry about being tired. Console yourself with the thought that this is only temporary. In a few months it will be over and you will have forgotten this.
The first days with your baby A baby comes out of the safe uterus into the world. This is a serious adaptation for him or her. But you, as a brand-new parent, also need some time to get used to this. Whether it is your first child or your fourth, it is always a new baby, a different situation and partly unexplored territory.
Eating, sleeping and crying are about the only things your baby does those first few days. And still, this can cause many doubts. Especially the feedings can cause problems. Breastfeeding is a very natural process, but we have become quite far removed from our nature and instincts. It may therefore take some time to figure this out.
Ask for help on time. Mothers who have the courage to admit that they will not succeed by themselves and to ask questions will be more successful in breastfeeding. Learn everything you can while you are still in the hospital. There you will still be cared for and you have help immediately at hand. This will be more difficult when you get home.
Help, my baby is crying!
All babies cry. This is normal. Yet it can cause a lot of concern, stress and differences of opinion. Especially when you’re not sure why your baby is crying and you start to feel powerless. Here are several reasons why your baby cries and what you can do.
The only way for your baby to let you know that he or she needs something, is by crying. But there are other signs of hunger you can observe before the crying starts, such as whining, becoming restless, putting its hand in its mouth and turning its head towards you when you caress its cheek.
A dirty diaper
Some babies can barely stand something in their diaper, other babies don’t really mind.
As soon as your baby is several weeks old, it will want to see and discover the world. This can be tiring for you.
Too much stimulation
Just like there are babies who require constant stimulation, there are also babies who need time to process experiences. These babies will be very happy with a moment alone or very close to you.
Pain or illness
A baby can be in pain but cannot tell you. Being ill can also be very hard. Here counts, always follow your instinct. As a mother you know ‘something’ isn’t right, regardless of what others may say. Call in the help of an expert in a timely manner. It is better to react too early than too late.
Hopefully you were able to practice the diaper changing technique, as you are now on your own. Don’t panic: it is not hard and you will have plenty of chances to perfect your technique. Use wet wipes but make sure these are dermatologically tested for babies. Choose a reliable brand, some cheaper brands contain chemicals that can irritate the skin. Always change diapers in a place where your baby is entirely safe and make sure you have everything you need on hand. Never leave your child on the changing table unattended, an accident can happen quickly.
If you gave birth in the hospital, your baby will probably have had its first bath. Ask a nurse or your obstetrician for tips on how to safely bathe your baby at home. This includes the right technique to hold your baby. You also need to learn how to test the temperature of the bath, which should only be slightly warmer than your body temperature. If you are getting maternity help at home, he or she can of course teach you as well.
Don’t overdo it with bathing, this isn’t good for the skin’s natural protective layer. Twice a week is more than enough. In between, it is enough to clean the areas where your child sweats a lot or has become soiled, with a wet cloth and special baby soap.
Do not hesitate to ask a professional for advice when in doubt: obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses and maternity care givers can undoubtedly give you many practical tips from their professional experience. Eventually, your maternal intuition will help you sense what the best way of care-giving is.
And the most essential thing your child needs? Of course this is and remains a mother’s love…