Reviewed by: Dr. Travis Satnarine BSc. MBBS.
Welcome to parenthood, we know you have a lot of questions, concerns, and anxieties, hopefully, we can help you. As new parents this period is a time of transition, so don’t be too hard on yourselves, it is tiring and tough, but you will get through it.
So, your baby is here, he should be nice and pink, he probably does not look exactly as you quite imagined. Maybe his head a bit pointy, skin a little wrinkled and there is some scaly stuff covering his head, do not worry, this is all temporary.
Getting used to life outside the womb is just as much a transition for baby as it is for new parents. Your baby needs you; he has no neck strength, his movements are random and jerky, his eyesight is blurry, and he is near-sighted. Your baby can only see about 30 inches and sees best from 8 to 12 inches, but babies love to see faces. His sense of smell is developing, and he is fond of sweet scents.
Your baby will usually feed every two hours and may sleep at least 12 – 16 hours a day, but all babies are different. Baby’s first month is basically a cycle, eat, sleep, cry, poop and repeat.
Within the first two weeks after birth, some babies tend to lose some weight, but by the end of month one, it is expected that your baby will gain 2 pounds more than his birth weight and grow approximately 1 ½ inch in length.
Stares at faces
Responds to parent’s voice
Begins to coo and make other sounds
- Milestones are just a guide; babies do different things are different times. If you have concerns talk about it at the next visit with your pediatrician.
Once mom and baby are cleared by their healthcare professionals, they can leave the hospital, and be one your way home with your little bundle of joy. Baby’s first check-up is usually around two weeks after delivery done privately or six weeks at the public hospital. The doctor will do a routine check taking the height and weight of the baby, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, lungs, and chest. Also, the neck, groin, armpits, eyes, ears, and mouth will be examined. The doctor will assess the fontanels and baby’s reflexes. The belly button or umbilical cord, if still attached, will be checked for signs of infection or hernia.
Take to your pediatrician about baby’s vaccination schedule for his first year. At 2 months your baby will get his first set of vaccines.
- Cradle Cap – a thick, scaly substance on your baby’s head, a rash caused by the hormonal reaction. Although it may look unpleasant, it is common and not harmful or contagious.
- Gas and Burping – babies may experience painful gas by swallowing air or due to something Mumma has eaten. While babies are small and cute, they are gas machines. Stopping to burp baby during feeding and after every meal helps to settle their tiny stomachs before putting them down.
- Jaundice – is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, this is seen in babies between the 2nd and 5th day after birth. This usually clears up in the first few weeks, talk to your healthcare professionals about the condition for guidance.
- Poop – You will learn more about poop than ever before, you will spend time analysing poop every day, and nothing worries a mother more than a baby who isn’t pooping much. Right after birth, Baby’s first bowel movements will be black (sort of like tar), this is known as meconium.
- Moaning and groaning baby – babies can be loud even when sleeping, they groan, moan, and grunt for many reasons.
- Baby’s vision is black and white and will slowly start to develop his colour vision around month 4
- If you have a baby boy lookout for those erections, yes, there have them from day one.
- Baby acne, some babies develop baby acne within the first few weeks after birth, and it may stay for some time, while it is not painful or harmful for baby, many parents may be uncomfortable and concerned. Speak to your doctor about treatment to soothe and/or reduce this.
- Babies can get all the nutrition needed for the first six month of life from breastmilk, no water or solids is required.
- As new parents, you may have a lot to ask. Even if it means sticking up a question sheet on your fridge, write down all of your questions as soon as they come to mind and ensure that you ask your health care provider at the next visit.
- Bathing a newborn is challenging and sometimes a daunting task, getting the right bathtub is helpful or simply sponge baby until you feel comfortable enough to use a tub.
- In less than two weeks the umbilical cord will fall off. Caring for the umbilical cord is of utmost importance. Doctors advise against using rubbing alcohol, but hydrogen peroxide is routinely advised. Be sure to keep the umbilical cord dry after baths. Fold the diaper down if necessary so it does not get hooked and be sure to watch for infection.
- Feeding the baby is a long and tiring process for both mother and baby. A baby may take about 20 minutes to feed each time, and usually feeds every two to three hours.
- Accept help from others, your health (mental and physical) is important. Take a break. Parenting is overwhelming so if you have support, accept it.
- Graciously accept or refuse advice from others everyone has advice and an opinion it can be frustrating at times.
- Talk to each other. A new baby is a transition for parents, but more so for a husband and wife and their relationship. Dynamics change, you both may be physically, financially, and emotionally drained.
- Understanding the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression is important. Talk to someone or seek the advice of health care professionals.
- Consider sleeping when the baby sleeps, it’s probably the only time you will get rest. Baby should not sleep on their tummy, as recommended by doctors, be sure to ask your health care professional about this.
- As a parent your instincts will guide you, you learn and understand your baby without being able to talk to them, you can differentiate the cries and console them.
- It’s okay to not be okay, to be tired to be frustrated and to feel overwhelmed.
- Baby’s first visit to the doctor, 2 weeks or 6 weeks after delivery depending on if your baby was delivered at a private facility or a public facility.
- Get advice on nutrition and feeding.
- Remember to schedule your baby’s two-month check-up.
- The best part of all, create and keep the memories and be sure to take baby’s one-month-old photo.