Pregnancy is an overwhelming experience. Every expectant mother is eager to see how their baby would look-alike or how cute their baby can be. Overall, pregnancy and birth succumb different feelings to excited parents after a nine-month journey.
You might have mixed emotions after the birth of your child. You can either be juggling with stuff for your newborn at the same time, recovering from birth pain.
Having a newborn at home might surprise you. There are many things to expect if you are a first-time parent. Newborns can indeed turn your life upside down in an instant. However, no matter what it takes, our baby is always our bundle of joy.
Here’s a glimpse of everything you need to know about your newborn.
THINGS THAT NEWBORNS DO
Newborn spends their first week of life adapting to their new environment.
Welcoming a baby right after birth gives mothers genuine joy and happiness. However, don’t expect your baby to adapt to your environment quickly. They have been in your womb for 37 weeks or more, so they will still gradually adapt to the noise, temperature, and people they meet. You can help your baby get used to the outside world by giving them warmth, love, and attention.
Your newborn’s head is a bit cone-shaped.
In case you notice that your newborn’s head is a little cone-shaped, that is normal. You do not have to panic over it. Your newborn’s appearance will change over the first week.
There will be swelling around your newborn’s face.
The swelling from a baby’s face after birth is entirely normal. The swelling in your baby’s face and eyes will go down within a few days.
You will also notice that your newborn will sleep all the time.
Your newborn will sleep most of the time. Babies up to 3 or 4 months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep in 24 hours. They will usually wake up every two to four hours for feeds.
Newborn communicate through your voice, touch, sight, and smell.
Did you know that during the first few days of your newborn, you can already communicate with them? As newborns adapt to their new environment, they already learn to interact with you. The newborn can familiarize and know you through your voice, touch, sight, and smell. Often interactions with your baby, especially if they are up, will help them feel safe and secure with you.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON HEALTH CONCERNS IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LIFE?
Aside from knowing the things about your newborn, let us learn about the common health concerns in their first few weeks of life.
What are the possible health conditions that your newborn might encounter at an early age?
A loss of weight during the first five days after birth is normal. It happens due to the loss of excess fluid in their body. However, this weight loss should not be more than 10% of their birth weight.
So if your newborn has lost too much weight and continues losing weight, it is best to have it checked with your doctor.
It is common for newborns to develop sticky or discharging eyes during the first few weeks of life. It is because of a blocked tear duct. This issue usually gets better if you give a gentle eye cleansing or massage. It is also best to have your GP or child and family health nurse check your baby’s eyes.
Newborns can generally develop all sorts of rashes like cradle cap, nappy rash, heat rash, eczema, milia, and dry skin. These rashes are not severe, so you do not have to worry and panic. However, if your newborn has a rash and it seems it does not go away, it is best to have your GP or child and family health nurse check it out.
When do you know if your newborn needs medical attention?
Seek medical help as soon as possible when:
- Your newborn is not feeding– if your newborn is taking half the regular volume or number of feeds in 24 hours or vomits more than half of three feedings in a row, it is best to ask the help of the experts.
- If your newborn has fewer than 6-8 wet nappies per day, it is also a sign of concern.
- Seek medical attention if your baby seems irritable, lethargic, or very tired all the time, or is hard to wake for feeds.
- Ask help if your newborn has pale or yellow skin.
It is vital to know the things that happen to your child, especially to newborns. They are vulnerable, and they need extra attention all the time. So if you feel unsure about your newborn’s health condition or in doubt about what is happening around them, always feel free to ask your family doctor or GP to guide you on what to do and what not to do.