Your Newborn’s First Four Weeks
As a first time mom, you probably have tons of questions about everything from sleep patterns, to eating habits, to poop color. And it’s easy to understand why, new mommies just want to ensure that their babies are growing strong, healthy and on target. To ease frayed nerves, we’ve compiled some answers to some of the most common concerns about baby’s first weeks of life.
Normally, the first vaccine your baby receives is the hepatitis B vaccine, which is first administered within hours of birth. Babies will often follow a vaccination schedule, which ensures that they will receive the right vaccination at the right time. That said, your baby’s vaccination schedule may vary according to your doctor and your baby’s individual medical situation.
Helping your baby establish a healthy pattern of eating and sleeping is important to both baby’s health and wellbeing, and your sanity. As a general rule, newborns should be fed every hour and a half to three hours. However, sometimes newborns eat a little more frequently, or they can well eat in the evening and prepare themselves for a longer stretch of sleep – sometimes four to five hours. In a period of 24 hours, if a baby has slept four or five hours without eating it’s usually ok, unless your doctor has expressed concern over the baby’s weight or advised against it.
It’s been found that newborns pay more attention to the visual contrasts. This is why newborn toys, décor and accessories in colors like black, red and white have become popular. You can find engaging toys like mobiles, rattles and play mats (perfect for tummy time) in these colors.
During the first month, babies can’t typically focus on anything more than 8 to 10 inches away. It’s only after their third month that baby’s eyes start to work together better. Before then the eyes work independently and therefore seem to stray from one focal point.
One of the most distressing things for new parents is to listen to their baby cry. It can be hard to figure out why the baby is crying and frustrating when you can’t seem to ease their distress. But check this list of helpful tips to help you calm both baby and your nerves.
Some of the most common newborn questions revolve around poop. What’s normal? How often should they go? Is this what it’s supposed to look like? If you want to know if all is well, we suggest analyzing the newborn’s diaper. Breastfed babies’ poops will look different from formula fed babies’ poops, and they may also have different consistency – so there is a wide range of what falls into the “normal baby poop” category. If ever you’re in doubt or suspect diarrhea (which could lead to dehydration), a call to your doctor will set you at ease.
It’s not commonly known, but hearing problems in babies are very common and they are thankfully easy to detect. So, we recommend reading this article discussing the importance of having your baby’s hearing checked.
Breastfeeding brings up a lot of questions. Pediatricians agree that breast milk is nature’s perfect baby food, but for many women breastfeeding isn’t easy. And some new moms lack basic knowledge about nursing. Figuring out how long you need to nurse your baby will alleviate a lot of concerns. You can also refer to this handy article to for answers to some of the most frequent breastfeeding questions.
In these first four weeks, your baby will grow and change so much. They’ll be those times that you swear you saw them smile (even though that cute expression is more likely due to a reflex as babies aren’t able to really smile until two months). Even though they might not be real, those precious newborn smiles help you fall more and more in love with them each day. We wish you so much luck in this wonderful new stage of life. We hope we’ve answered some questions and settled some nerves for now. There’ll surely be more questions to come.