5 Things You Need To Know About Your Newborn
When you're pregnant there's so much to think about and so many changes to get on top of. What clothes do you need, setting up the nursery, when and how much leave to take.
But, your mind wanders to the part where you get to hold your baby. You feel the excitement and the love. You might also be feeling worried about looking after this little creature. Firstly, I want you to know that it's really normal to feel that way. There is a lot to know and it can feel really overwhelming so here are a few things to know about your newborn that will make the first few weeks a whole lot easier.
- On the second night your baby will feed every 2 hours. Nothing is wrong. It’s totally normal. It's all to do with your baby signalling your body for your milk to come down. The key here is to expect it and get support. I only learnt about this tidbit with my second baby. The midwife came in and said "this will happen tonight. I'll be coming in every 2 hours to support you and if needed I'll take bub for a bit so you can rest." It was the best and most useful support. So if you're in hospital on night 2 ask the midwife for help with managing the frequent feeding. If you're at home, share it with you partner (or whoever it there) and work out a plan to get through the night.
- Your beautiful baby won’t know the difference between night & day for 4-6 weeks. This means you probably will have long nights and calm days. There is no way to change this or "train" your baby. Just know that it will pass. This is why people suggest you sleep when the baby sleeps. Now, I know that in reality that isn't always practical (someone has to cook/ clean/ have visitors). But I do recommend going to bed at night when your baby does to get a head start and schedule in one nap each day. Then, help bub to figure it out by setting up a general routine that you follow each night.
- Cluster feeding is normal and okay. My babies would feed pretty much non-stop for 2-3 hours in the evening for the first couple of months. But then they'd sleep for 4-5 hours. With my first baby I'd try to minimise it, seeing it as drain. But by the time bub two came along I decided to just settle into in. And then it became a beautiful cuddly time my baby. I recommend drinking lots of water and have snacks ready. Or, even better, get your partner to feed you, and well, cater to your every whim!
- Your bub will be tiny and might feel really fragile, but babies are super resilient. You will not break your baby. Yes, obviously there are lots of considerations to protect them, like having their sleeping arrangements SIDS friendly and holding the baby's neck well. However, you don't have to worry all day that you'll stuff this parenting thing up all together. You've got this mama.
- If you're breast feeding, or trying to, please know that it can feel really hard at first. And if it hurts, or your milk doesn't come down quickly, or getting the latch right is frustrating, you are not doing it wrong. You are not a failure. It's really common and completely normal. It can also be really common to get mixed advice and a whole lot of pressure. Get the right support for you and listen to your intuition.
Most importantly, enjoy the baby love.