The initial days after having a child are equally terrifying and beautiful. This new experience feels like a roller coaster ride, full of highs and lows. A lot happens which gets you excited and exhausted at the same time. Your baby has sleeping, feeding and bathing schedules that need to be taken care of. You feel that suddenly your life has changed and you now need to start planning your life around your baby’s needs.
If you have recently become a new mom, here’s what you can do to survive during the first 30 days.
#1. Physical Touch
Babies are still used to the warmth of the womb when they come out of the womb. They crave physical attention, love, and touch from their parents. This initial contact aids in promoting healthy and overall development in infants.
Breastfeed your child in a position that is convenient for you and your baby. Sit with pillows propped in your lap for a comfortable experience. Heating helps in the case of breast engorgement and blocked ducts. Use a heating pad or a warm, wet washcloth to calm your breasts. While heating also helps the milk flow, try a cold pack if your breasts are sore after nursing. Using nipple shields and protectors may help in case of latching problems due to inverted nipples or the baby being tongue-tied.
#3. Signs Your Baby Is Hungry
Newborns need to eat frequently but in small amounts. While some babies cry loudly when they feel hungry, others might just show subtle signs like sucking on their hands or smacking on their lips. Since newborns are sleepy, you may need to wake your baby up for feeding or make them stay awake while eating. Try talking to your baby, undressing your baby to the diaper or rubbing the head or back to prevent them from sleeping.
#4. Ask For Nursing Advice
Asking for help always works in case you have decided to breastfeed your baby exclusively. Stay in touch with lactation consultants or any other nursing mothers who will be able to help you in cases of issues like engorgement, clogged ducts, etc.
#5. Newborn Burps
Some newborns need a little help from you to burp while some others may need to burp frequently. If your baby seems uncomfortable during or after feeding that might be a cue to burp him. Assist your baby in burping with a gentle circular motion or soft pats on the back. You may burp them while switching breasts or after feeding, whatever is comfortable with your baby.
#6. Keep A Changing Station Ready
A breastfed baby will need at least 5 wet diapers. Stash up on baby’s diapers in order to be able to change diapers frequently to prevent germ growth in the baby’s bottom area or the inside of the thighs.
It maintains the baby’s hygiene and keeps them free from diaper rash, redness or itchiness along with keeping the child smelling good. Clean your baby’s bottoms after every diaper change with a cleansing wipe and apply diaper rash cream to prevent diaper rashes.
The color of the baby’s poop changes with age. A breastfed new born’s first few stools vary from black to dark green in color. After a few days, the color changes to a lighter shade of green. As the baby gets older, the poop color turns yellow and to a seedy texture.
You should look for sudden changes in your baby’s poop. This might indicate a specific issue. Check with your doctor if you find whitish mucus or flecks of red in your baby’s poop.
Don’t bathe your baby until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Giving a sponge bath to your baby is enough for the first week or two. Frequently bathing your baby could lead to skin dryness. Use unscented wipes to gently clean around neck folds and other areas where breast milk might accumulate. Finish with the genitals and apply some diaper rash cream if you see some redness in that area.
#9. Massage Your Baby Every Day
Massaging always helps in soothing babies and helps in the positive social and psychological development of the baby. It also improves the blood circulation in babies and builds bone and muscle strength for babies.
It can even give your baby great relief from acidity or congestion. Ensure that your baby is rested and alert when you give him a massage. The best time to do is between two feeds when your baby is neither too full nor hungry.
#10. Warm Babies’ Wipes
In some babies, diaper changes are coupled with a lot of crying. It is better to warm wipes with your hands every time you change diapers to prevent sudden dramatic crying. Babies like to stay in a warm environment which is why cool wipes may cause irritation and trouble in some babies. You can also buy an electric wipe warmer for a sensitive baby.
#11. Soothing Infants
The best way to calm a crying baby is to mimic the womb. Swaddling, swinging, allowing babies to suck and holding them on their sides may soothe an infant. If the baby has started rolling over, it would be better to not swaddle him or monitor him and put the baby on his back every time he rolls over, while sleeping. Sometimes playing tunes also help to soothe a baby.
Newborns may sleep as long as 16 hours in a day but in shorter durations of 1-2 hours. The old adage “Sleep when your baby sleeps” holds completely true. Take naps together and go to bed early to avoid sleep deprivation and tiredness for mothers. Deva Ahuja, mom of a girl child says massaging in a warm and dimly lit environment always made her baby sleep peacefully.
#13. Ask Your Partner For Help
Take turns with your partner in taking care of the baby. Ask him to take some time off from work and be there for you. This will also help them to develop a healthy bond with the baby.
There will be days when sailing through parenthood will be difficult. But you can ease the process to some extent just by following these tips.
Have a happy parenting!