First Week Of Baby - You Should Begin With All Set | Child Developmental Milestones
Hello New Moms! I know you all are excited to know about your little one. The life that was crawling in your womb a week before is in your hands. The excitement is at its peak, so as the queries. This series will help to make parenting easier.
Let’s find out what things you should keep in mind while taking care of your little one.
Physical Growth and Appearance
Birth Weight: Average weight of the baby is 7.5 lb (3.5 kg) and the Range is between 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) to 10 lb (4.5 kg). Gain in 1st week- Most of the babies lose 7-10% of their birth weight during the 1st week of life but regain it within the next 10 days. Average gain is 1 ounce (30 grams) per day.
Kangaroo Mother Care (combination of breast feeding & skin to skin contact) is necessary for weight gain if your newborn is underweight.
Length: Average length of the baby is 20 in. (50 cm) and the Range is between 18 in. (45.7 cm) to 22 in. (60 cm). Gain in 1st week - 0.4 in. (1 cm)
Skin: Wrinkled, covered with vernix (waxy white substance all over baby’s skin especially under skin folds which is totally normal and will disappear within 2-3 days) and lanugo (fine soft hair).
Position: Your little ones love to rest in a frog-like squeezed position as they were in the womb. They keep their hands and legs in the same way. Don’t worry as it will become normal in the coming weeks.
Swaddle your baby for a better sleep as it will protect your baby from their natural startle reflex and reduce anxiety.
It also calms a colicky baby.
It keeps their hands off their face and reduces the chances of scratching.
Umbilical Cord: Umbilical cord stump will fall on its own during the first week. All you have to do is to check for the signs of infection, contact the pediatrician as soon as you observe any discharge or redness.
Don’t touch it and don’t apply anything over it.
Keep the umbilical cord dry, avoid tub bath.
Sponge baths help to reduce the chance of getting it wet.
Birthmarks: Any coloured mark that can be flat or raised with regular or irregular borders over the skin of your little one is a birthmark. Birthmarks can be temporary or permanent. Some fade within the first year of life and some stays for lifetime and need cosmetic surgeries. But never try to remove or scratch a birthmark.
A one week old sleeps for 16-18 hours a day and wakes up every 1-2 hours.
Why do they wake up so frequently? Because they are not very used to the external environment. They don’t feel the same security. In womb, the rocking movements and the noise because of amniotic fluid movement makes them feel secure and they rest comfortably but here in an external environment when we make them lie on a still surface,they feel different and insecure, they realize that they are not in the womb (second night syndrome). So, they wake up frequently. Don’t worry it will get better with time.
Sleep when your baby is sleeping. Make your baby sleep on their back (Supine position).
Always keep their crib clean and clear. Share a room but avoid co- sleeping.
If you are alone then use a baby monitor to watch over your little one.
Invest in a baby rocker that can create the womb like vibrating motion to put your baby to sleep comfortably. Never leave your baby alone while sleeping.
A new mother should start feeding her baby within 30 minutes after normal vaginal delivery and 4 hours after cesarean section delivery. Feed your baby 2-3 hourly.
Colostrum (first form of milk after delivery) has a high amount of bio-active compounds for your newborn’s immune and gastric function. Colostrum has antibodies to protect your newborn from disease and infections. It helps your baby to pass the first stool (meconium) and to clear excess bilirubin and prevent jaundice.
Sit comfortably taking the support of bed or wall and try to keep your back straight to avoid back pain. Use feeding pillows to make the position more comfortable.
Support the head of the baby properly while feeding. Hold your nipple with 2 fingers and touch your baby’s upper lip, it will help the baby to open their mouth for feeding. If they are not taking initiative, keep repeating it frequently. Tilt your baby’s head slightly back so that their nose doesn’t block while feeding. Their chin should touch the breast and release your breast when they start feeding.
Feed for 15-20 minutes from each breast. In terms of formula feeding, always consult with your baby’s pediatrician about the amount as it will be according to your baby’s birth weight (1-2 ounce as average).
Check for the signs of proper breastfeeding.
Baby may seem settled after feeding.
Breast should become soft after feeding.
Baby pee 8-10 times a day.
Baby poop should be greenish to yellowish and soft seedy in texture.
Always feed your baby in a sitting position.
Put baby to breast frequently to increase milk supply.
Take bath in lukewarm water and eject your milk if your supply is good, it will help to increase supply, reduce breast pain and chances of breast engorgement.
Don’t apply soap on your breast.
If your baby doesn’t wake up for feeding every 2-3 hours, tap at the sole of the baby to wake them up.
Always burp the baby after feeding.
Eat properly and take fluids and milk to increase and maintain your breast milk supply.
Baby should be vaccinated with vitamin-K, Hepatitis-B and BCG at birth or within 5 days after birth.
Pee - Your baby pee 8-10 times in a day that is totally normal and a sign that they are eating well. Colour of urine is colourless to yellowish.
Change your baby’s diaper every 2-3 hourly or every time when the baby poo.
Use coconut oil to reduce the chances of diaper rashes.
Clean your baby with baby wipes or water, avoid alcohol based wipes or products.
Use diaper rash creams for rashes.
I personally tried many expensive creams when my baby had rashes and nothing worked well until my pediatrician suggested a cheaper yet the most effective one (Dermadew Diaper Cream).
You can also buy these essential products:
Dermadew Diaper Cream
Portable Baby Seat
Poo - The first stool is called Meconium that is greenish in colour, thick in consistency and contains dead cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid that the baby ingested when he was in the womb.
After a few days the poo will turn yellowish, colour also depends on hydration, whether the baby is taking breast milk or formula milk. The consistency is thin but seedy in appearance.
Most Important Points To Remember
Your baby is trying to adjust to the external environment and learning that he is not in the womb anymore. Baby can see 25 cm in front of them, that is the distance between your face and their face while breastfeeding.
Baby tries to recognize the mother's face and smell. Baby is trying to link the sounds and smell he trusts with your face. That is the reason that you find them staring at your face most of the time. Your baby knows your voice and recognizes it soon after birth.
They don’t know the difference between day and night, so don’t expect night time sleep from them.
Almost all babies have hiccups and this is normal. You can’t do much about this so don’t worry.
Baby’s only mode of communication is crying, the cry when they are hungry, when the diaper is wet, when they have gastric problems and soon you will learn all these gestures.
Your pediatrician will check for the Reflexes and you can also check some of them at time.
Your baby’s skull may look longer than it did when the baby passed through the birth canal. It is normal and will get better within 4-5 days.
White or colorless Discharge from baby’s breasts (Witch Milk) or swollen genitals are because of maternal hormones that are present in the baby and this is temporary yet normal.
White spots (Milia) over baby’s cheeks are because of entrapped keratin (protein) and they will disappear on their own with time.
Care of Baby
Baby’s head coordination is poor so they always support their head. Trim baby’s nails every week as they may scratch their face.
Baby’s eyes roll back when they are sleepy. Eye discharge is also normal but it shouldn’t be excessive, clean it with a sterile cloth or cotton from inner to outer side of eye.
Jaundice occurs in 60% of the babies on the 2nd or 3rd day and lasts for the 7th -8th day. It may go on its own. You can’t prevent it, all you can do is to observe the signs at earliest- yellow appearance on face, near nose, eyes, palms or other parts of body. In mild to moderate cases, keep the lights on in your room, expose your baby to sunlight in early morning, breastfeed your baby and keep them hydrated. Get a bilirubin test done in severe cases and further treatment.
Care of Mother
A mother is also born with the birth of a baby. Everything is new, exciting and exhausting too. Sleepless nights, diaper changes, pain and discomfort and a lot more is happening. You must be struggling but you will overcome it. You are trying your best to take care of the baby but don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Try to sleep whenever your baby is sleeping to avoid tiredness. Take nutritious food and plenty of fluids, milk, clarified butter to reduce the chances of weakness. Take easily digestible fiber-rich food to avoid constipation.
Take a sitz bath (use betadine or potassium permanganate in water) for recovery of episiotomy sutures and apply antibiotic lotion over the sutures as suggested by your obstetrician. It will recover within 3-4 weeks, apply coconut oil after 3 weeks.
In case of cesarean stitches, use a pillow while sitting or feeding. Take extra care and keep the stitches dry, check for the signs of infection.
Pump out the milk if your supply is excessive to prevent breast engorgement in lukewarm water.
Blow dry your hair after bath and don’t breastfeed your baby when your hair is wet.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself, take help from others in taking care of the baby and don’t forget to remind yourself that you are trying your best and no one can do it better than you.
Be aware of your feelings - you can be sad, happy, irritated, exhausted, surprised, anxious, or paranoid. All of this is real, it occurs because of hormonal changes, you can have baby blues (mood swings) 3-4 days after the birth of your baby when mature milk comes. You can have Postpartum Depression which is real and you have to consult with your obstetrician or gynecologist for this, never ignore this if you are feeling exhausted.
Ventilate your feelings and talk with your partner, family or friends about your feelings. Make your bond strong with your baby with eye contact, breast feeding, cuddling, kissing. Spend some time with yourself also and let your partner take care of the baby.Let me tell you that you are the best mother, soon this little bundle of joy will tell you that ‘You are the best Mom’. No one can do it better.
Categories: Child Development