What New Moms Need To Know About Their Newborns

By Edeline Anne Goh

If you are about to have a baby or if you are a brand new mom, it is only normal to feel a little anxious or worried because you have no idea what to expect.

You have probably been doing a lot of reading and staying up late at night just to go through parenting books. You have also probably received countless words of advice from those who are already mothers (and you might even be a little overwhelmed and confused!)

While it is important to prepare for the big day when your newborn child arrives, it is also important to keep your mind and heart open so you are prepared to face the unpredictable life of a parent.

If you are a new or soon-to-be mom, here is a quick, useful guide on the essentials you need to know about your newborn child.

NURSING 101

You know the benefits of nursing, you have made up your mind to nurse your baby and you have read a whole lot of useful information on breastfeeding. However, reading is one thing and doing is another! As a new mom, it takes a while to get the hang of nursing. You may not get it right during your first few attempts and you may even experience some pain. There are also other possibilities such as your baby drinking too much milk, which may cause him to throw up. To ease your tension and worry, seek advice from your hospital’s lactating consultant or maternity nurses and they will be more than happy to give you guidance. A useful tip?  Have a feeding schedule and your newborn will eventually adapt to it.

CRYING ALL THE TIME

Sometimes, when you are caring for your newborn, you may feel helpless — especially when your baby cries for a long period of time. However, do not be hard on yourself if you are unable to instantly soothe him. It is important to understand that your child is experiencing a shift in the environment around him and it is only natural for him to take a while to adjust. The first thing to do is to be patient. You can try snuggling, feeding or changing him. You could also try wrapping him up nice and cozy with a blanket to help calm him down. It may take awhile but as you and your baby get more connected to each other and your baby learns to adapt to his new environment, you will discover wonderfully effective ways to calm him.

READING THE SIGNALS

Newborns are unable to communicate through words and even if they did know how to, you would need to understand baby talk to know what they want! While they lack verbal skills, little ones are certainly good at sending non-verbal signals. For instance, they have different kinds of cries and prominent facial expressions that you will eventually learn to understand. For example, your baby may pout to indicate that it is nursing time. It might be a little difficult to catch on at first but spending lots of time with your baby will eventually help you to read these signals in a jiffy.

BE GENTLE

All new parents worry that their babies are fragile and might “break.” It is not hard to understand the source of this worry as all newborns have that teeny tiny, body! The truth is, babies are not as fragile as you think they are so there is no need to be overly cautious. However, it is important to note that a baby’s bones are not yet fully developed so there is a need to be gentle. When carrying your newborn make sure you support his neck, head and spine especially during the first few months.

AQUATIC INSTINCT

Did you know that newborn babies are natural swimmers? Up to the age of 6 months, a baby, if submerged in water, will naturally be able to hold his breath. In fact, babies have an innate aquatic instinct that keeps them alive under water much longer than adults. Besides the fact that infants are able to hold their breath under water, their heart rate also naturally slows down to conserve the oxygen supply to the heart and brains. So don’t hesitate to have a little underwater fun with your little one! However, please consult your doctor first.

DRESS RIGHT!

Just like adults, comfort is essential to newborns. While that cute little ladybug costume is irresistible, it is important to choose the right fabric for the right weather to ensure your baby feels relaxed and happy. During hot, sunny days, cotton is most suitable. However, it is always safer to bring along a few extra pairs of clothes and a blanket that will keep your baby warm in case the temperature drops. Another key point to remember is that headpieces such as a cap or a hair band may be cute but may not be a very good idea as these items can cause discomfort especially if your baby has sensitive skin.

BABY FACTS THAT MAY SHOCK YOU!

  1. Baby’s sense of smell is much stronger than yours
  2. Babies have more bones than adults!
  3. Baby’s brain will develop to half its final size during the first year.
  4. Babies do not have knee caps and will only develop them after 2 to 6 years.
  5. Babies prefer human speech compared to any other sound.

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