Babies do not come with a set of instructions. It can be, at times, exhausting and relentless. It is very easy during this time to forget your needs, and neglect to maintain basic hygiene as days seem to run together and you lose track of time.
You must remember that, if you want to provide the best care for your newborn, you MUST take care of yourself first. If you are fortunate enough to have some help from family and friends, accept it.
I think the most difficult adjustment was learning to function while extremely sleep deprived. All 3 of my sons did not sleep through the night until 1 to 2 years of age, and my daughter did not sleep through the night until around 9 months old. Raising children is also a normal part of life. But when you have your first baby, your life will change dramatically. You’ll suddenly go from pregnancy to having a newborn baby to care for. A new infant needs constant care and nourishment, which brings many changes to a woman’s life.
Tips for Women with Newborn Children
One way to make the transition and adjustments easier is to prepare for the baby before you give birth. Your health care giver can help you learn about newborn infant care. Also, read books and gather information from newborn-focused magazines for women. Have your baby’s newborn clothes washed and ready to wear, and keep plenty of diapers and bottles on hand.
If you are going to breastfeed your baby for the first time, ask questions of both your caregiver and other experienced women. Some babies sleep longer between feedings than others, and some will take to a set schedule right away. There is no definite course for feeding, because babies differ in their habits. Newborn babies may also have differences in their digestive functions. Some babies spit up after eating or even after burping; some may vomit and some never do.
Caring for Your Newborn Baby
Many times women are fearful to give a newborn baby a bath. Babies seem very fragile when they only weigh a few pounds. As the baby grows, these tasks will be easier.
Sometimes a woman’s greatest fear is illness in her newborn. Newborn screening is important, because the caregiver can detect any problems early. Newborn jaundice is common among small babies but can be easily treated when caught early.
Even if you are a first-time mother, there are ways to tell if your newborn is sick. Some signs to watch for are: a change in behavior, crying or irritability, a change in digestion, constipation, diarrhea, or extreme vomiting, runny nose, coughing, congestion, trouble breathing, or fever. Arrange to have the baby seen as soon as possible.
Having a newborn is a wonderful and sometimes tiring experience for women. In these early days of your baby’s life, you will build a bond of love that will last a lifetime.
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