Deep breath, mama! You made it through nine months and now giving birth. You are a Rockstar for many reasons, but now caring for your new addition makes you even more amazing. There may not be a manual that comes with your newborn, but there are some things you need to know.
Here are 5 that can help:
1. Don’t bathe your newborn until the umbilical cord falls off
Most parents can’t wait to give their newborn a bath, but until the umbilical cord stump falls off, it’s best to default to sponge baths. This is because the stump will fall off faster (usually within two weeks of birth) if it’s kept dry. While newborns don’t usually get too messy, you can give your baby sponge baths until you’re in the clear.
2. Relax about the newborn soft spot
The soft spots are spaces between the bones of the skull where bone formation isn’t complete. Newborns are born with two major soft spots on top of their head, and they should be handled with care. However, new parents are often nervous and avoid that area altogether. It’s okay to gently touch this spot or comb your baby’s hair. As long as you’re cautious, there’s no reason to worry.
3. Newborns don’t smile or coo until around the 6-week mark
When you think about hanging out with your baby in those early weeks, you look forward to the bonding moments with plenty of smiles and sweet baby sounds. Well, unfortunately, those don’t often occur until about a month and a half in. However, just because you don’t get that confirmation or positive reinforcement doesn’t mean that your newborn doesn’t feel comforted, loved or bonded with you. These are just fine motor skill they haven’t quite reached.
4. Be smart with your newborn, but don’t isolate yourself unnecessarily
Being a new parent is isolating enough, but it becomes even more so when you’re told that you can’t go out at all with your newborn. All commonsense rules should still stand. You shouldn’t go to crowded places, put your baby in the sun, be around sick people or let people who haven’t washed their hands hold your newborn. That said, you should continue to live your life and integrate your baby into your routine as much as possible.
5. Don’t panic about the crying
Newborn babies cry…a lot. This can be distressing to parents and even older siblings for a variety of reasons. Yet, realize that this is how your baby communicates with you, and you’ll learn to read their cues over time.
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As you prepare to welcome a newborn, your life will change, but only for the better! As you get to know your newborn, these basics can help you care for them in those first few months. You’ve got this!