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Your Baby’s First Few Days: What to Expect

Your Baby’s First Few Days: What to Expect

All the worries and fears of childbirth are behind you. Especially now that your little one is wrapped around your loving arms. It’s another adjustment period in this new chapter—feeding the newborn, swaddling them to make them feel safe and secure, keeping them dry in diapers, and taking care of what seems like a million tasks that need to be accomplished.

Yes, it’s not always Instagram-perfect moments. There are many things about your new bundle of joy that might surprise or worry you, but knowing what to expect can help ease your “new mama” anxiety. Remember though that not all babies are the same, so you also have to be flexible.

Here are some things to expect during your first few days with your precious one:

Babies sleep a lot.

In their first few days and weeks, these cute tiny humans are mostly in dreamland. They sleep for about 16 hours in a day! They are still adjusting to life outside the womb, so don’t be puzzled if they do not have a fixed sleep routine. Expect a few (okay, a lot of!) sleepless nights. Do get some rest whenever you can.

Mama Tip: As they will be on the crib most of the time, think safety and comfort when choosing one for your baby.

They feed every 2 to 4 hours

At times they are not asleep, babies feed. They need to wake often to feed because of their tiny tummies. Expect them to be hungry every 2 to 4 hours, so you might need to wake them up to feed if they’ve been sleeping for longer. The World Health Organization advises nursing moms to “breastfeed as often as your baby wants, day and night, at least 8 times in 24 hours.” Some signs that your baby is hungry include being fussy, sucking fingers, or moving lips.

Mama Tip: Breastfeeding can be challenging, but it can be made more comfortable if you have some essentials, such as a good nursing top and a breastfeeding pillow, to help you.

You need to burp a newborn

Whether a baby is breastfed or bottle-fed, they need to be burped to release the gas bubbles that get stuck in their stomach, which can cause discomfort and pain. So how often should you burp a baby? Every after feeding or as regularly as you can. You can rest their head on your shoulder or make the baby sit upright on your lap. Or, you can ask your partner or a caregiver to do this so you can use this time to rest after a feeding session.

Expect a lot of crying because it’s the only way your baby communicates with you.

Your baby will lose weight.

If you noticed that your bubba lost weight during their first week, do not panic, mama! Losing up to 10 percent of their birth weight is normal in most newborns. They will regain this in two weeks. However, if you are concerned about your baby’s growth, you can always consult with your pediatrician.

Keeping the umbilical cord stump dry is important

Do not pull off the stump. It will eventually fall off within one to three weeks after your baby is born. In the meantime, keep it dry by not covering it with a diaper and ensuring it’s dried well after a bath to prevent infection.

A newborn’s skin is prone to rashes

Your baby is still building their immune system, so their skin is very sensitive and susceptible to irritations and infections. Some of the more common skin problems include cradle cap, baby acne, and diaper rash.

While most of them go away on their own, others need treatment so best to ask your pediatrician how to deal with your baby’s skin issues.

There will be a lot of crying

Newborns cry a lot because it’s their only way of communicating with you. They cry when they’re hungry, have a soiled diaper, or feel uncomfortable. So it’s important to understand why they are crying and to respond quickly. Mama, it is totally fine to pick up your precious little one when they cry because it helps them feel more secure and safe!

You’ll learn to communicate with them using different cues

Whether it’s through touch, sound, sight, or smell, you’ll be able to learn how to communicate with your baby using different senses and baby cues. The first few days are crucial to establishing that connection and letting your baby know that this is a beautiful world they are in, thanks to your comforting cuddles.

Learn more about your Baby’s First Year here.

This story originally appeared on Edamama and is re-used with permission:

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Edamama Updated Dec 21, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza