Your child gets hungry every two to three hours and it’s then time to feed him or her, with breast milk or formula. This need continues even at night.
The fact that your baby quite naturally finds the nipple or the bottle is due to the searching and sucking reflex. As soon as you touch your baby’s face with your hand, it will turn to you and open its mouth, ready to suck.
In between feedings, your baby mostly sleeps. Newborns sleep up to 16-17 hours a day. When sleeping, your child is processing all the new impressions it has gained, and there are quite a few of them. Your baby will also grow while sleeping; you won't see anything of that on the surface, but growth hormones will be released that will build up the muscles and strengthen the immune system. For most newborns, sleeping isn’t a problem.
Some newborns cool off some right after birth. It is therefore important to dress your baby warmly and keep an eye on his or her temperature.
After about 24 hours after birth, your baby may start to look jaundiced. This will increase during the first few days, peaking at around four days after the birth. From then on the jaundice will gradually decrease. In most cases, it will have disappeared after two weeks. You can’t really prevent jaundice, but it is important that the baby drinks well. Contact your doctor if your baby is looking jaundiced within 24 hours and is also drowsy, not drinking properly or is still looking jaundiced after three weeks.
Congratulations on the birth of your child! You've accomplished an enormous task and brought new life into the world. After you have achieved this top performance of bringing your baby into the world, a lot of information will be coming your way. Thankfully there are people to help you with this: you can, for instance, involve your partner in taking care of your baby, but most likely your family members, friends and health professionals are there to show you the ropes in this first week after the birth.
During the pregnancy your body worked to get ready for this birth. Now that the baby is here, a new adaptation process begins: recovery after the delivery. After the delivery, your hormone levels drop fast, causing you to feel emotional, anxious or moody. This is normal and is sometimes also called the baby blues.
However, if these feelings persist for more than a few weeks, it is important to discuss this with your doctor immediately, as you may have postpartum depression.