My Baby – Week 1
Congratulations! You did it! Those long months of pregnancy are behind you and you’ve welcomed your little one into the world. Even with the most routine labor and delivery, you may still be feeling exhausted, sore, exhilarated, and overwhelmed. In a moment, everything has changed and this new person, who can barely seem to stay awake, has become the most fascinating thing you could imagine. Enjoy these first days of inspecting her tiny fingers and toes, watching for those twitching sleep smiles, and cuddling your little bundle of joy.
You may be surprised to find that your new baby is just as exhausted as you are. In fact, newborns only spend 10 percent of their time awake.
Your baby should be sleeping most of the time. Diaper changes are frequent, as are feedings; so, what should you be concerned about? While most babies spit up, if you think your baby is spitting up frequently, this may be a sign of acid reflux and is something you can speak with your physician about. Also, pay attention to your baby’s color. You may have heard of babies being “”jaundiced.”” Jaundice is caused by excess bilirubin in the bloodstream. If your baby looks more yellow than when you brought him home from the hospital, speak with your physician about some simple treatments to help.
Your baby’s arms and legs might not fully extend, even looking scrunched up, for a while – she was inside of your uterus not too long ago! It takes time, but don’t worry. Your baby will stretch out soon enough.
Some parents worry about their child’s first bath; but like most things in life, the key is preparation. Get everything ready before you start the bath, it will be both easier and safer. You should give your baby sponge baths until his umbilical cord falls off; and if your baby was circumcised, it’s important to stick with sponge baths until he has entirely healed. Even with a sponge bath, it’s important to test the temperature of the bath water with your wrist or elbow, because your baby can be scalded easily.
To give your child a sponge bath, prepare a bowl of warm water and a clean washcloth. Put the washcloth into the warm water then squeeze it out until it is just damp, not dripping. You can then use the washcloth to gently clean your baby behind her ears, between fingers and toes, and anywhere that her diaper covers. Try to keep the parts of your baby you aren’t washing covered with a dry towel. This will help your baby stay warm during the bath.
Remember that newborns do not need a sponge bath every day, though you should keep their faces, necks, and bottoms clean whenever they are dirty.