Bringing Home a Newborn Baby
Congratulations! Newborns are squishy little people that need us for everything. They rely on their parents (and/or Postpartum & Newborn Doula) to feed them, diaper them, snuggle them, and soothe them.
Your newborn may have a coat of fine hair covering their body. This is normal and called lanugo. Your newborn may have a misshapen head due to their journey through the birth canal. Your newborn may also have a puffy face and goopy eyes. Remember, birth is a big ordeal and they just spent the past nine months or so, curled up in a warm sack of amniotic fluid. Soon enough, your little one will be graduating High School.
Smiling and cooing doesn't typically begin until your infant is about six weeks old. Though, I've seen plenty of smiling newborns and I'm fairly certain it wasn't gas related! Think of that umbilical cord stump as a scab. A little blood or wetness is normal for healing. Keeping it dry will speed up the process of it detaching. For now, give baby sponge baths. Is baby's fontanel giving you the creeps? That soft spot can be scary, but know that it is there because your baby's skull needed to fit through a pelvis and birthing canal to be born. Soon, the plates of their skull will fuse and you won't have to worry about that soft spot ever again. It's perfectly fine to comb your baby's hair and it's also perfectly normal to see the spot pulsating, as it's over a network of blood vessels covering the brain.
Is my baby eating enough?
They will let you know. Baby needs to be eating every two to three hours. If you're nursing it is hard to tell how much your baby is consuming. Keep track of wet diapers. Since a newborn will likely be sleepy the first days after being born, it might be difficult to gauge. After that, 5-8 wet diapers, and 1-2 soiled diapers is the norm. If baby is inconsolable and you feel (with a clean finger) that their tongue and mouth is dry, this is an indication that the baby may be dehydrated and you'll want to feed them right away. Your baby will tell you it's time to eat by rooting or bobbing their head on your shoulder. They may also try sucking on anything they can, an arm, a cheek, a chin or even a nose! If nursing or bottles are not working, contact an IBCLC near you for support. Your doula will have recommendations.
My baby has acne!
This is normal. This can look like tiny pink, white or no-color bumps. Baby's skin often dries out after being enveloped in fluid for nine months. Try a little coconut oil after you give the pediatrician a call.
My baby won't stop crying!
Crying is the language of babies. They are communicating with you that they need to eat, they need a fresh diaper or they need to be held. Since newborns need these things every two to three hours, you are likely feeling the strains that lack of sleep can do to your body. It's okay to ask for help.
Hire a Postpartum & Newborn Doula. They can work during the day, overnight and they can even bring a suitcase and stay the weekend or even the week. Providing you with support and comfort knowing your newborn is in the hands of a professional while you can shower, eat, and sleep through the night is just what you deserve.
Charlotte Doulas is a professional doula agency serving families throughout the Metro-Charlotte area. They provide certified: birth doulas, postpartum & newborn doulas, and childbirth educators. Your CLT Doula supports every type of birth and works cohesively with your care provider. Give us a buzz, we're here to help.