First 10 Days of Baby Care
As a new mom, you’ve read, watched and scoured the Internet to learn all you can—but when the new baby arrives, you may want a cheat sheet. To help you get off to a good start, we created this quick guide for navigating the baby basics.
Your newborn may feel fragile and delicate to you, but don’t be afraid to touch, handle or hold your new baby! In fact, studies show that babies that are held more than 2 hours per day thrive better and cry less.
Because your newborn’s neck muscles are not yet developed, you will need to support her head whenever you pick her up. You should also support your newborn’s head against your shoulder or with your opposite hand while carrying her.
Some pediatricians recommend cleaning your baby with a sponge bath until the umbilical cord heals and falls off (usually in a week or two). Make sure you have all of the necessary bathing supplies ready before your baby arrives, so you don’t have to miss a moment with your new little one.
Learn how to give your baby a sponge bath.
How to Choose Products for Your Newborn
Ideal baby products should not irritate your baby’s skin or eyes, dry out your baby’s skin or disrupt the natural pH of baby skin. Importantly, baby products should be effectively preserved to help maintain the quality of the products during normal use.
Many first-time parents are surprised by how many diapers they go through in a day. To make life easier for yourself, have plenty of diapers on hand before you bring your baby home. It’s also helpful to learn how to change your baby’s diaper ahead of time (and even practice!).
Most babies cry for an average of 2 hours a day in the first 3 months. So while it may be disconcerting, it’s also normal.
To comfort your baby, first try to determine the cause of your baby’s discomfort. Is your baby hungry? Does your baby have gas? Does your baby’s diaper need changing? Is it time for a nap? Is your baby overstimulated by noise, lights or activity?
To help soothe a sleepy or overstimulated baby, hold your baby on your shoulder while gently rocking her. Sing or speak softly to your baby—reassure her with a calm voice. It can also help to rub your baby’s back as you do so. Try different positions to find one that’s comfortable for both of you.
Something else to consider: Your baby doesn’t have much mobility in the first few weeks and may cry for help if she is lying uncomfortably in the crib. You can help your baby get comfortable by gently shifting your baby’s position. But for safety, always place your baby on her back for sleeping.
The First 10 Days of Your Baby Can Mean So Much MoreTM
By age three, 85% of your baby’s brain is developed; every experience leading up to this time helps to shape your baby’s brain. Multisensory experiences that are repetitive, consistent, predictable and nurturing can help your little one’s healthy development.
So don’t worry so much if you’re doing things “right,” what matters most is that you spend a lot of time with your new little one, engaging her sense of touch and smell, helping the two of you bond, while nurturing baby development.
Research has shown that massage can relax babies, improve their sleep patterns and calm them when they are irritable. Giving your baby a massage is also a great way to bond with your baby, and it’s easy to do.
Many healthcare professionals agree that nothing is better for your newborn baby than breast milk. Nutritionally speaking, it’s tailor-made for your infant. Of course, sometimes mothers cannot breastfeed, due to medical problems or other special circumstances. Discuss with your pediatrician how best to feed your newborn.
No matter how you decide to feed your baby, always be sure to hold your baby while feeding. The cuddling that comes with nursing and feeding helps to build a strong, loving bond between you and your baby.
The way your baby tends to sleep changes as she grows. Newborns sleep a lot throughout the 24 hour day, waking up often throughout both day and night. Even so, you can still begin to develop a bedtime routine for your baby, even as early as 6 to 8 weeks.
As your baby develops and starts to consolidate her sleep into nighttime sleep with fewer daytime “naps,” you can help her gradually develop a sleeping pattern, learning that nighttime is for sleep, and not play.
Learn more about helping your baby sleep better with the JOHNSON’S® 2-Step Routine.