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Bringing a new baby home is such an exciting time! But it can also be kinda scary. Especially if you’re not sure what all to expect. We know the basics like how they poop, cry, and eat. But, what else? I mean, there has to be more to it, right?
So, what all should you know about a newborn baby? What should you expect?
Well below are some things you can expect during the first few weeks with your baby. Along with a little after birth care! Hopefully, this helps you feel a little bit more prepared while you’re waiting for that little bundle of joy!
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What To Expect With Your Newborn Baby
Well, meconium is the name for your baby’s first poop. Something you should know about that first poop is, that it’s gonna be black.
In addition to that, it’s going to be sticky as well.
But no worries! That black-sticky poop is totally normal. Every baby’s first poop is gonna be like that! But their poop won’t be like that forever. Meconium only lasts about 2-3 days.
Now you may be thinking, what exactly is meconium made out of? Well, when the baby was in the womb they ingested skin cells, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, water, and lanugo. So that first doo-doo is made up of all those things!
Lots of Sleep
Yep, newborn babies sleep. And they sleep A LOT. Up to 17 hours a day!
Typically a newborn baby’s sleep pattern consists of them sleeping 2-4 hours at a time. This sleep schedule will continue for the first few weeks after birth.
But use this time to your advantage to get some must needed rest for yourself. Because depending on the baby, they won’t start sleeping through the night till between 6-12 months!
Umbilical Cord Care
After birth, the umbilical cord will get cut. Then all the baby is left with is this little stub. Over time, your baby’s umbilical cord will slowly shrink and dry up. Eventually, it will fall off.
Normally around 2 weeks it’ll dry up and fall off. I wouldn’t be too worried though if the stub ends up falling off early. Unless it’s red, swollen, or is oozing pus, it should be fine! But contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Be sure to keep the stub clean and dry. When you go to clean it, use a cotton swab with warm water and some mild soap. Then gently wipe around that area.
But do NOT pick at it or tear it off! Let it come off naturally. Like I said earlier, it’ll come off on its own. You can learn more about umbilical cord care here.
Breastfeeding will be the hardest at this time.
It can be quiet difficult at first when starting to breastfeed. This can be frustrating for both mom and baby.
But don’t let that discourage you! Just keep trying and be patient. Remember, your baby has never done this before. It’s new to them! As it may be new to you as well.
So, it’s gonna take some practice and a little bit of getting used to it! If you keep experiencing difficulties, you can contact a lactation consultant for some help.
Post You Might like: Breastfeeding: The Secret to Getting the Perfect Latch
Playing with Toys
If you’ve tried giving your baby a toy to play with, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t really show much interest in it.
Don’t worry though, it’s not the toy!
So before you go rushing to the store to buy every toy that you hope might catch their eye. You should know that newborn babies, just aren’t into toys yet!
Even though there are HUNDREDS of toys for newborns, they probably won’t play with their toys for a while. It took my baby about 3 months until she started grabbing and playing with her toys!
Right now, all your newborn baby really wants is food, sleep, love, and you!
Ahh, baby talk!
Who doesn’t love those cute lil Ooo and Coo sounds babies make?
But don’t worry if your baby isn’t making noises just yet! Cause they won’t be making sounds like that till around 2-3 months. And babbling normally starts at around 4 months of age.
The only sound they’re gonna be doing right now is crying.
Baby laughs are the best! Hearing a baby laugh will instantly make you wanna smile and laugh along with them.
But unfortunately, you’ll have to wait! Normally babies won’t start laughing till about 3-4 months. Though it can come earlier or later for some babies.
They are babies, so of course, there’s gonna be crying! Some babies will cry more than others, but don’t let that get ya nervous!
Crying is just how babies communicate. In fact, it’s their only way of communication right now.
Some reasons for crying can include things like letting you know when they’re hungry, tired, bored, or if they have a dirty diaper.
After birth, you’ll notice that your baby’s head is a little…well, odd-shaped.
Their head is probably more cone-shaped than round right now.
The reason for this is cause your baby’s skull isn’t quite formed together yet. So when they were going through the birth canal, the bones in the baby’s skull had to move around and adjust in order to get through.
But in a couple of weeks, that cone-shaped head will start to go away and their head should start to round out.
Waking up at Night
Now, we know newborn babies sleep a lot. But they’re also gonna wake up a lot!
Normally babies will wake up as often as every hour or two to feed at night. This will continue on during the day as well. So get prepared for some longs nights ahead of you mama!
You may notice that the top of your baby’s head has a kinda yellowish, dry, scaly look to it.
Well, that’s cradles cap.
Cradles cap can appear on your baby’s scalp, eyebrows, ears, and forehead.
It’s completely normal and harmless though. In fact, lots of babies get cradle cap!
You can help it to come off by putting olive or coconut oil on their scalp and letting it sit there for about 10 minutes. Then just gently comb it out! You can even buy cradle cap brushes for this exact purpose.
My Thought on Newborn Babies
Something to remember is that ALL babies are different. They will all grow and start doing things at their own pace.
The time spans given are just an average of when you COULD expect it to happen. NOT when it’s supposed to happen.
So don’t worry if your baby starts or doesn’t start doing something at a certain time. Nothing is wrong with them.
But if you think something may be wrong or think your baby has an infection, contact their doctor right away.
(Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. I’m only Mom who is going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here .)
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Anything that surprised you? Or any tips you have about newborn babies? Tell us below in the comments! And if you liked it, give it a big ‘ol share! As always, Baby on ladies!