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What do I need to know about newborns?

Posted by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM
  • 9 Replies

I am 16 and tomorrow marks my first day of 35 weeks!:) I've been around babies a lot! I have a 4 year old nephew, and a one and a half year old niece. They are always at my house. I am taking my labor and delivery class on April 27th ( Hopefully I make it that long, it's only two weeks befor my due date) and I wanted to try to take the infant class, but the only class available is three weeks after my due date..): So I was just thinking, I don't really know much about newborns. I'm going to breastfeed. I know I should put them on there backs when sleeping. I am living with my parents, and my mother is going to teach me alot. But any advice?

CafeMom Tickers
by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM
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jojo_star
by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

My advice, read as many parenting books as you can. Not all the information is good, but you can decide for yourself which parts to follow. If you have a boy, you have to decide about circumcision, there is cord care, bathing, eye care, nail care. Your mother teaching you is awesome, I was 13 when my son was born and my mother and father helped me out more than I can say and taught me just about everything I know, but, they also made me read parenting books. I strongly recommend The Baby Book from the Sears Parenting library, it is very comprehensive and geared toward a more natural, attachment parenting type style. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me, a lot of my patients don't have much education about infant care, so I've had a lot of practice teaching it. Good luck!

Annettey19
by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Put them on their backs when sleeping.

They cannot be spoiled until they're past six months, so don't be afraid to cuddle that baby all you want!

Swaddling can help make a happy baby. Ask the nurses at the hospital to show you how.

If you're going to breastfeed, it can help to feed on one breast for two feedings, and then switch to the other side for two feedings. When they're small because they don't eat much and you need to make sure your breasts are fully drained so they know to produce more. It helped stimulate supply for me.

When they're newborn it is WAY easier to wipe them off with a damp cloth instead of actually bathe them. Babies are slippery and don't like sliding everywhere in the tub. You don't even need soap or lotion since they're so little. I only wiped my son down once a week, and then around two months started giving regular baths every night before bed.

Make sure they're always in the carseat with the crossbar thingy up to between their armpits. It tends to slide down, but for proper protection it needs to be up higher.

Other than that I can't think of many other basics right off the top of my head. I'd say just get a parenting book or two from the library and read through those. It's great for getting general knowledge. :)

Ollysmama08
by Alexia on Apr. 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

back to sleep all the time!

read books and honestly i know it sounds bad but google can be your best friend! if you have specific questions ask here, google or call a DR!! no question is stupid. 

The nurses and doctors will guide you a lot and honestly youll get a crash course on parenting (at least i did with DD1). good luck everything will be fine!! 


Alexia proud mommy to Olivia Paige {12.O1.2OO8} and Charlotte Jane {O3.15.2O13}


wolfybaby
by Member on Apr. 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM
2 moms liked this

books! books!! start reading yesterday!!

i highly suggest following your instincts. basically, if it kills you to hear your baby cry, dont let her! you *cannot* spoil a baby. dont let your baby cry all by herself to "teach" her to fend for herself. as dr. sears says, "spoiled food results from being sat on a shelf and forgotten about" [similar to letting baby cry-it-out or intentionally not holding or carrying baby around].

im very glad to hear you are going to breastfeed. i wont lie, it can be rough in the beginning. but you can meet with a lactation consultant and she can help you through all of your troubles! we are here for you, too. :P

if you are having a boy, i want you to check out http://www.circumcision.org/and http://www.thewholenetwork.org/

times are changing and it is not in your baby boys best interest to be circumcised, as it was previously thought during your parents time. there truly is no reason for your sons foreskin to be cut off, not even if his father is circumcised [because honestly, thats kind of weird that anyone should insist they "match"]

infant walkers are another thing you need to decide on. excessive use can damage their legs. half an hour each day is totally fine. dont worry, your baby will learn to walk all by herself. she wont need "help" from walkers and being carried upright.

another piece of advice: babies *love* being carried! like i said earlier, it will not spoil the baby. the only effect it will have on the baby is that she will cry a whole lot less. that is just good all around. :] wraps and slings are the best for newborns [and it makes breastfeeding while wearing them much easier]. as she grows, a carrier that is a style like an ergo is the best. do not get a cheap carrier that allows the baby to forward face, this is not good for their hips. if a babys legs hang straight down, find a different carrier. the legs should be in a manner where the baby looks like its sitting [hence why these better carriers do not allow forward facing, but you can wear baby on your back].

the rules on shoes have also been changing. tight, flat, thick-soled shoes have been found to cause foot problems in people as they grow older. cotton booties, soft leather booties, or, better yet, no shoes at all is the most healthy way to go. in the even you need your child to wear shoes, like at an unfamiliar park or where there is sharp beauty bark or pebbles, the soft leather booties should suffice. of course wearing regular shoes or boots sometimes isnt going to compromise the feet, and those are necessary at times. its when the baby is wearing shoes all hours of the day, even inside her own home..thats *not* necessary!

i suggest you start reading now about carseat safety. you have a long time before you are going to get pestered by the older folks in your life about "turnin' her around!" but rear facing to age 2, or better yet, 3, is proven to be significantly safer. and lets face it, car crashes are not something you plan. head-on-collisions are by far the worst in any case, and this is why rear-facing children are safer. "broken leg, cast it. broken neck, casket."

the day your baby is born, a nurse will ask you when you want her to be given the hepatitis b vaccine. you have every god-given, parent-given right to refuse this and any other vaccines your baby will be faced with in her life. at the 2-month well checkup, the doctor is going to want to give her 7 different vaccines in the form of 3-4 shots and an oral dose. if you feel this is too much, speak your mind and spread them out. delay them, be selective, or dont do them at all. you can delay as long as you want until you have done enough research from enough resources to feel completely comfortable with whatever you choose. try to not let your parents coerce you into doing the vaccines, as the vaccine schedule was very different even 16 years ago. your child *will* be able to go to school without a single vaccine. dont let anybody tell you differently! state vaccination waivers are accepted by any and all public daycares and public schools. 

if i could go back in time and do anything differently, i would have started co-sleeping sooner. i started at 5 months and just couldnt believe how much more sleep both baby and i got. i had the bassinet put against the bed so i hardly had to get out of bed before, but theres just something about co-sleeping that just makes parenting blissful. it is not dangerous if it is done safely. and honestly, adults dont like to sleep alone; we wouldnt imagine sleeping without our significant others. why in the world would a baby, new to this scary, cold world, want to sleep by herself?

i think ive covered most controversial topics. if you have questions, just ask me. ive read just about every book there is. Natural Child and Baby Care is a wonderful book. steer clear of BabyWise unless you want a socially isolated, emotionally shut-down child. 

KylersMom8-16-7
by Gold Member on Apr. 7, 2013 at 4:34 PM
Congratulations! Good for you making the choice to breastfeed! It can be hard in the beginning but it's totally worth it.

Here's some good information:

Breastfeeding your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks

SEPTEMBER 2, 2011. Posted in: BREASTFEEDING BASICS,WHAT IS NORMAL?

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

The First Week

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 10 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first–wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom’s milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains 6 oz/week (170 g/week). Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or beginning of the second week. Consult with baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). After day 4, stools should be yellow and baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.

Wet diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). Once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

Breast changes

Your milk should start to “come in” (increase in quantity and change from colostrum to mature milk) between days 2 and 5. To minimize engorgement: nurse often, don’t skip feedings (even at night), ensure good latch/positioning, and let baby finish the first breast before offering the other side. To decrease discomfort from engorgement, use cold and/or cabbage leaf compresses between feedings. If baby is having trouble latching due to engorgement, use reverse pressure softening or express milk until the nipple is soft, then try latching again.

Call your doctor, midwife and/or lactation consultant if:

Baby is having no wet or dirty diapers Baby has dark colored urine after day 3(should be pale yellow to clear) Baby has dark colored stools after day 4(should be mustard yellow, with no meconium) Baby has fewer wet/soiled diapers or nurses less frequently than the goals listed here Mom has symptoms of mastitis(sore breast with fever, chills, flu-like aching)

Weeks two through six

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. Most newborns need to nurse 8 – 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often—you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)—don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy—wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking baby and nurse on baby’s cues alone.

The following things are normal:

Frequent and/or long feedings. Varying nursing pattern from day to day. Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal “fussy time” that most babies have in the early months. Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 – 10 days, 2 – 3 weeks and 4 – 6 weeks.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: The average breastfed newborn gains 6 ounces/week (170 grams/week). Consult with baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: Expect 3-4+ stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is yellow and loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy. After 4 – 6 weeks, some babies stool less frequently, with stools as infrequent as one every 7-10 days. As long as baby is gaining well, this is normal.

Wet diapers: Expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet. After 6 weeks, wet diapers may drop to 4-5/day but amount of urine will increase to 4-6+ tablespoons (60-90+ mL) as baby’s bladder capacity grows.

Milk supply?

Some moms worry about milk supply. As long as baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers will indicate that baby is getting enough milk.



Quoting Samantha.Stetka:

I am 16 and tomorrow marks my first day of 35 weeks!:) I've been around babies a lot! I have a 4 year old nephew, and a one and a half year old niece. They are always at my house. I am taking my labor and delivery class on April 27th ( Hopefully I make it that long, it's only two weeks befor my due date) and I wanted to try to take the infant class, but the only class available is three weeks after my due date..): So I was just thinking, I don't really know much about newborns. I'm going to breastfeed. I know I should put them on there backs when sleeping. I am living with my parents, and my mother is going to teach me alot. But any advice?


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Lillysmommy0113
by Bronze Member on Apr. 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM

i am 17 had my dd 3 months ago. i didn't know much before i got pregnant so i read every book and web site i could find so i had has much info as possible. ask your dr anything and everything there are no stupid questions. if you disagree with your dr do research and find somethings out then talk to your dr to see if its ok or better that's what i do.

sunshine86912
by Dawn on Apr. 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

 looks like you have all kinds of helpful info here

SabrinaLC
by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 9:02 PM

It's mostly instinct.

Babies cry when they need something.  When the baby cries there is a good chance they need changed, fed, are too hot/cold, etc.  Go through a little mental checklist to make sure everything that could be needed is taken care of. 

Love and snuggles go a long way :-)

Good luck!

cemcnair
by Courtney on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM
Try not to stress over every little thing-it will make you crazy. Take care of yourself too. Healthy momma=healthy baby.
Other than that, you've been given great advice!

Also, ask us. Ask any question at all! No question is too stupid, I guarantee one of us had the same concern at one point and can help :)
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