I love seeing new moms and babies in the first few weeks after birth. New parents are filled with so much awe and amazement. But, there is always a level of uncertainty, as mom and baby don’t understand each other fully yet.
Here are some answers to concerns that I hear frequently:
1. Is my baby getting enough milk?
Feed your newborn on demand. If he has plenty of wet and dirty nappies, settles for two to three hours between feeds and is gaining weight, you are doing well.
2. How much weight should my baby be gaining?
Most new parents are obsessed with weighing their baby just to be sure that all is going well. I suggest only weighing your baby weekly unless your doctor or clinic sister advises otherwise. Most babies gain 150-200g per week in the first six months.
3. When will the umbilical cord fall off?
It should separate after a week to 10 days if cleaned regularly with surgical spirits or graze and weeping wound powder.
4. How do I wind my baby?
Winding your newborn can be quite tricky. It is easiest to either lift him up over you shoulder or sit him on your lap. Firm upward rubbing on his back will help bring the wind up. Your baby will be calmed, settled and happy once he is fully winded.
5. How much should my baby sleep?
Newborn babies sleep all the time. Most can only cope with 45 to 60 minutes of awake time. This gradually increases as your baby gets older.
6. What should I dress my baby in?
To be safe, bank on adding one extra layer to what you are wearing. Remember that newborn babies can’t regulate their own body temperature. But you don’t want to overdress your baby.
7. How often must I bath my baby?
You don’t need to bath a newborn every day. Top and tail your baby (wipe his head and face, and clean his genitals and bum area) and you can do a full bath every couple of days. Babies don’t really get dirty.
8. Do I need to stimulate my newborn baby?
Newborn babies don’t need a lot of stimulation. In fact, this can exhaust them. The only stimulation they need to begin with is your smiling face.
9. Does my baby have diarrhoea?
Newborn babies poo a lot. Watery, explosive, bright yellow stools are normal for a newborn. On the flipside, some babies can poo seven times a day, while others can poo every seven days. Look at the consistency of the stool rather than the frequency.
10. Will I ever get the hang of this mothering thing?
Yes! Each mom finds her feet at her own pace.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood. Learn more about Pippa Hime