Getting everything ready for the moment you bring your precious baby home has been a buildup of stress, anxiety, and excitement. Whether you have been redecorating a room to turn it into the nursery and preparing yourself for the birth, this is just the first part of the journey. When you bring the baby home, the first few weeks can be very scary. But let’s show you what you should expect during the first few weeks of your baby’s life and how to cope with the stressful times.
Your Baby’s Breathing
One of the biggest anxieties for any parent is thinking that their baby has stopped breathing. It’s one of those things that even if the baby is asleep you will toss and turn worrying about. The best thing for you to know is that pauses of approximately 6 seconds and less than 60 breaths every minute is absolutely normal. However, you need to make a note of any rapid breathing or wheezing, as this could present a respiratory problem. It could very well be a case of baby congestion. In which case, there are a wide variety of baby congestion causes and treatments you should take note of. There is so much concern about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to breathing obstructions, and it can take a while to get used to this. Always make sure that you place the baby on their back to sleep and let them sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months.
The Diapers and the Poop
Arguably one of the most surprising parts of diaper changing during the early days is the color of the baby’s poop. At the very beginning, the baby’s poop is a black/green type of color, and this gradually changes to different types of greens, yellows, and browns. The most important thing to remember is that this is all normal. Due to the meconium in your baby’s intestines during the pregnancy, this comes out after they are born. So you shouldn’t worry about this, but as an extra bonus, baby’s poop doesn’t smell until they start to pass regular bowel movements! So if you are worried about all the diaper changes and are concerned about various types of poop, it gives you a couple of weeks to get used to the poop that we all recognize!
Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, because a baby cannot hold much milk, they need to be fed often, which is one of the main reasons they wake so often. This can be a massive shock to the system, however, getting through the night is all about establishing routines as soon as possible. You may very well feel that you want a quiet life because you are exhausted, but the best thing you need to do is to get into the same routine. This means bathing them, dressing them, playing with them, and taking them for strolls at the same time every single day to establish a strict routine. You also have to remember that they spent so long in the womb that this big wide world is scary. This is why you need to swaddle the baby to make them feel secure. The best thing that you can do if you feed the baby during the night is to keep it brief and as sleepy as possible. No talking or interacting while you feed, and keep the lights out. You need to make it as boring as possible.
Looking After Yourself
It is the biggest shock to the system you will ever have. The physical recovery from giving birth, as well as the lack of sleep, can make you struggle in a mental and physical sense. The best thing you can do is a handful of simple things:
- Sleep when you can. While this is difficult the most important thing is to remember that when the baby sleeps, so should you!
- Eat as best as you can. Take out is tempting, but focus on foods that give you energy rather than deplete your energy stores.
- Ask for help. Whether it’s asking dad for more help or your parents just to look after the baby so you can sleep for a couple of hours, it is essential.
- Take a break. You might not feel you get a break, but when you take 5 minutes away, it is going to benefit your sanity.
The first 3 weeks of your baby’s life is scary, exciting, and everything in between. You will have a lot to learn, but this is why you need to realize what is normal, but also make sure that you look after yourself as well.