Baby booties and bibs with adorable sayings may flit through your mind when you think about the arrival of your new baby. But as the birth draws nearer, you may also be overwhelmed with worries about sleepless nights and countless new responsibilities. The joy of a new baby comes with many unknowns. Here are some tips for what to expect during the first week with your newborn.
What will baby do during the first week home?
Your newborn baby will eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and cry. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you breastfeed if possible and have baby sleep on his or her back without any toys, blankets, or bumpers in the crib to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The first few feedings may be challenging as you and your baby adjust to the routine. As a result, you might want to sleep in the same room with the crib during the first few weeks. Your baby should always be dressed for the weather since their ability to regulate their temperature is still developing. Your baby will also need to be seen by a physician frequently to check for weight gain and to receive all of the recommended immunizations. Baby will be adjusting to life outside your cozy womb, too, so cuddle him or her as often as you can to create a safe and secure environment.
What should mommy do during the baby’s first week home?
Expect a great deal of bonding, cuddling, feeding and changing during your first week home. You will only need to bathe your baby once every few days since his or her skin is very delicate. Follow your doctor’s instructions for umbilical cord stump and circumcision site care. Be patient with feeding and find a quiet, comfortable spot in your home each time you breast or bottle feed your child. Moms can expect some pain from birth, bloody discharge, difficulty with bowel movements and breast discomfort. Many mothers also experience a range of emotions. This is normal as every mother is sleep deprived, overwhelmed with joy and anxiety and experiencing postpartum hormonal changes. If you have any concerns about your emotions, or if you feel exceptionally sad or depressed, be sure to consult your doctor right away.
What can family members do during the baby’s first week home?
Dad, siblings, grandparents, and other loved ones may have different advice, opinions, and feelings about the new baby. During the early weeks, be sure to accept the help when you can. But be sure to decline any unwanted visits and advice without feeling guilty. Introduce pets and siblings in a gradual and comfortable way. Let your family know how they can help and when you need time to yourself. This is a period of adjustment, so don’t try to do too much in the first week.
Every baby is a unique individual, so consult with your doctor if you have any concerns, especially in the first week. The most important thing to do during your first week home with your newborn baby is to enjoy this special time together.
Arlington Medical Center has an extensive Women’s Services center offering everything from childbirth classes and resources to help with breastfeeding, infant care, and even sibling classes. We want to be a part of your growing family. Visit us online or contact us today at (817) 465-3241 with any questions.