A guide to caring for a newborn in the 1st month
For a first-time parent, looking after a newborn can be overwhelming. It is definitely beautiful, but also exhausting, exhilarating and even scary at times. The idea of parenthood cannot be fully understood by someone without experiencing it. The reason being that only a parent knows how utterly dependent the baby is on their care. And this is a humbling feeling.
The first month is the most essential time of all as the world is a stranger to the baby and he or she will only get used to it slowly. During this time, all they need is your love, care and attention.
What all a baby can do in the first month?
It is magical to see how babies can do so much in the first month. The baby is born with a wide variety of innate reflexes. They can try to suck your finger if you touch their cheek, close their fist around your finger and hold it, latch on to a breast or nipple for feeding with little help, respond to loud noise in some way and even move their arms and legs a little.
When should you seek medical help?
Every child is unique and grows at their own pace. There are no rigid timelines when it comes to your baby’s growth. But if you notice some irregular signs, it is better to consult your paediatrician. Notice if your baby is not eating or sleeping well or isn’t moving their legs or arms a lot. Keep in check if they cry more often or always seem tired and sleep more than 18 hours a day. Be vigilant if they do not respond to bright light when they see things or they are not able to hear things If you happen to find any such signs, be aware and receptive to it.
The curious case of the baby’s weight
Do not fret when you notice that your baby loses weight in the initial time. Babies are generally born with extra body fluid. They usually lose up to 10% of their birth weight before things get stable and they begin gaining again. After two weeks, babies start gaining their birth weight and promptly gain up to half an ounce to an ounce a day. For keeping your baby’s health in check, it is important to visit a doctor who can compare your baby’s weight with a growth chart. This can ensure that they are growing in a healthy way.
Sleep care for your baby
The way your baby sleeps, curling their little body, can be soothing to watch. Up to the first 3 months, your baby may sleep 8 to 18 hours a day. They mostly sleep in short stretches because they need to be fed and changed regularly. When lulling them to sleep, it is essential to put your hand under their head as your baby’s neck isn’t developed and needs extra attention. Also, the baby’s mattress and blanket should be extra soft to ensure they sleep comfortably.
The importance of playtime
You can spend time with your baby by talking, reading and telling them stories. This helps them get accustomed to sounds and words. They can even recognize your voice from afar when you speak with them a lot. To make a deeper connection with your baby, you can look into your baby’s eyes as it can help you bond with them. Playing with your newborn can be extremely fulfilling. It helps your baby’s brain grow and may help you find your new self.
The first month is the most delicate time in your baby’s life and requires all your love, care and affection. Be vigilant of any irregular signs, celebrate the little milestones and take care of your baby because only you can give them the comfort they need.
- Smarth Chugh