Every newborn is a mystery, and even seasoned parents need time to understand and respond to a new baby. So, if you have just had a baby, you will most likely have many doubts and concerns about your child’s health, sleeping and feeding patterns, and general well-being.
Fortunately, you are not alone!
Let us look at some of the usual questions you may have as the parent of a newborn and find the answers to them.
1.Is it normal for my newborn to sleep for several hours a day?
Yes, a newborn baby sleeps for 16-20 hours every day. However, he will wake up every 2 to 4 hours for a feed. By the time your baby is 3 weeks old, you will be able to recognize his sleep pattern. Use it to schedule your activities. However, until you reach this stage, take short naps whenever your baby sleeps to get the rest you deserve and avoid exhaustion.
2.Am I feeding my baby enough?
Many new mothers fret over the feeding habits of their children. The best way to recognize if your baby is well-fed is to look at how he is doing. If your baby gets enough milk, he will have six or more wet diapers in a day. If your baby starts gaining weight after the first week of birth, he is receiving an adequate amount of food.
3.How should I clean my baby’s belly button?
Avoid bathing your baby until his umbilical cord falls off. Until then, keep the area clean with a sponge bath by simply cleaning your baby with a damp washcloth, and carefully drying him afterward with a soft towel.
If you observe any discharge, foul smell, blood, or swelling in this area, seek medical attention. This could be because of an infection, which should be promptly treated.
4.When can I take my baby out to public places?
Although there is no harm in taking your baby out for occasional walks, avoid crowded places until your child is at least 6 to 8 weeks old.
Remember that your baby does not have a fully developed immune system and he is vulnerable to airborne germs. So, stay away from sick people and avoid public places during the cold and flu season. Always check with your doctor!
5.Isit normal if my baby spits up?
It is normal for babies to spit up their feed until they are 12 months old. This usually happens when your baby feeds very quickly or swallows air while nursing. However, it is not normal for your baby to spit up forcefully or throw up yellow or green fluid. Seek medical attention if you observe such conditions.
6.How do I know if my baby is running a fever?
Unlike older children and adults, babies do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature. So, any temperature above 99 °F (armpit temperature), 100 °F (oral temperature), or 100.3 °F (rectal temperature) should be considered as a fever in a baby (0 – 12 months old). You can also suspect that your child is ill if he looks unwell, has difficulty feeding, sleeps less than usual, or is irritable. Use a thermometer to check the temperature and contact your doctor if it is higher than normal.
7.How often should I bathe my baby?
You can start bathing your newborn once the umbilical cord falls off, and the area has healed. During the first week after birth, three baths a week are enough for your child. Nevertheless, you can bathe him more often if you prefer. Baths do not have to be long processes. You can complete your child’s bath in five to ten minutes.
8.Does my baby recognize me?
Yes, your baby will begin to recognize you within a week of his birth. Although his vision is still fuzzy, he will identify you by your scent and voice. By the time your infant is six weeks old, he will easily recognize you and will even expect you whenever he wants to be fed or held.
9.What do I do when my baby cries excessively?
All babies cry when they are hungry, tired, frightened, or uncomfortable, and they will settle down when you address the cause of their discomfort. However, if your baby cries inconsolably, it could be because he is unwell or colicky. Check with your doctor if your child shows symptoms of any illness. If your child cries excessively for hours, it could be due to a digestive condition called colic. Have this checked by your doctor and follow instructions to handle it.
10.Is it normal for my baby to have hiccups?
Yes, hiccups are perfectly normal in newborns. Babies even have hiccups when they are in the mother’s womb. They occur due to the contraction of the diaphragm and sudden closing of the vocal cords. Although hiccups do not usually disturb babies, you can get rid of your child’s hiccups by gently rubbing his back or burping him.
11.How do I know if my baby’s bowel movements are normal?
The frequency of passing stool varies from one baby to another. So, what is normal for your child may not be the same for another baby. In general, watch out for hard stools and signs of straining that signal constipation problem in your newborn. Other warning signs to look out for are stools that are green, white, black, or bloody. Also, suspect a problem if your baby has a bout of diarrhea or there is a sudden increase or decrease in the number of bowel movements.