After having given birth to three daughters, I feel like this is my ‘need to know’ for expecting mamas who need to know.
Bring Vaseline To the Hospital
Use vaseline on baby’s bottom immediately after birth, because his/her first bowel movements will be sticky like tar (it’s called meconium) and the vaseline will make it easy-peasy to wipe up that tiny bum quickly.
Feed, Cry, Repeat.
Right after birth, your baby will sleep for a long period of time. Let her. Sleep & rest yourself, because after that comes the period when she will be bringing in your milk. She will then be nursing, well, constantly. She will feed, cry, feed some more, sleep a little in between, and then feed again. The nursing, and feeding on colustrum, helps to bring in your milk. When it does finally happen, (and your milk is in, perhaps with some engorgement) plan to spend 8 hours a day feeding your new bundle of joy. Think of it as your new full time job for the foreseeable future (a few weeks).
Days and Nights
Some say it’s because he has his “days and nights mixed up” but it really just means your baby has no need for “days and nights” and will sleep 18 hours a day for the first few weeks without regard for what time it says on a clock or whether its light or dark outside. This is why they say ‘sleep when baby sleeps’.
Buckle Your Baby
I still remember the day I used my stroller for the first time, without the car-seat. I walked over to a friend’s house in my neighborhood with my six week old. I set up the stroller to lie flat and facing me, bundled up my baby in her swaddling blanket and fleecy and plunked her into the stroller and began my walk.
I remember thinking “what if I tip the stroller walking off the sidewalk?” “What if the stroller rolls away from me?”
Luckily nothing happened that day, but it occurred to me that I was silly for not having buckled her into the stroller properly, even though she was just lying still as a newborn.
Buckle your baby. Buckle her at all times – in the carseat very snuggly (underneath any fleecy’s or jackets), and in the stroller. At all times.
There will be Fussy Times of Day
After the first couple of weeks of nonstop sleeping, your baby will begin to fuss more. The ‘witching hour’ – late afternoon/early evening – can be a time when your baby will cry and cry, daily. Find some ways to help soothe him (here are 40 ways to soothe baby) just understand that it’s normal. According to purplecrying.info, babies begin crying more around 2 weeks of age, and should peak at around 4-6 weeks.
Growth Spurts Cause More Fussy
When you’re baby is going through a growth spurt, he or she may exhibit more crankiness, cluster-feeding (aka feeding nonstop for hours on end), sleeplessness and of course, crying. Growth spurts typically occur at 1-3 weeks of age, 6-8 weeks of age, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months. These periods typically only last a few days but can be exhausting.