Bringing Home Your Newborn
By Granny Potts
It is quite a daunting experience bringing home your newborn. Your doctor has pronounced your baby fit and well and now the big day is here. You have probably decorated your nursery but you will realize that the crib needs to be with you on your side of the bed. Set up your changing table as a baby station close by, complete with all your essentials at hand, that is, you can reach them with one hand on the baby when he is on the changing table. Essentials such as diapers, wipes, creams, disposable change table linings and anti-bacterial wipes and of course the trash bin should be right there.
So what to do?
Your baby needs feeding. This will be the most likely cause of his crying as a newborn. You want to breast feed? Well good for you and him. Be determined. Feed him on the hour every hour if he demands it. This is particularly important the first week of his life. The more he feeds the more milk you make - this is an indisputable fact. Make sure he latches on properly - baby makes a big mouth and the brown areola of the breast fits in his mouth so the nipple is situated on his soft palate.
Feed him on one breast - alternate breasts at a time and he should get all he needs in twenty minutes of sucking, that is what you are aiming to do, although this will fluctuate. Make yourself a chart so you can check which side you last used, time you started, time you finished and the number of nappies with wee or poo. Don’t worry if it takes 40 minutes to do a 20 minute feed, you are both learning. Sit comfortably and drink plenty of water. Use nipple balm in between feeds.
It is quite possible to avoid giving your baby formula at all, but your doctor will advise you to do this if you are not giving your baby enough breast milk.
New babies can have eight poopy diapers a day and lots of heavy pee diapers, this will help tell you he is getting enough, and of course there is his weight gain. Babies can lose up to a tenth of their birth weight during the first few days which is normal, but their weight should be back up to birth weight by their 10th day. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby.
There is the dilemma of feeding on demand and you getting sleep. Take any help you can get so you can concentrate on the feeding and get into the habit of power naps when he is sleeping. It really doesn't matter if you are still in your dressing gown at 2 o' clock in the afternoon. You really can do without visitors for the first 10 days to get yourself and him sorted, although if you can get a cuddly grandma round to hold your hand or hold the baby while you have a shower it helps. Sometimes sharing a nice cup of tea and a cookie makes all the difference.
Be prepared he may wake two or three times in the night. For now and forever your needs come second to his. Lay him on his back to sleep and know he is safe. Make sure his room is at an ambient temperature and as a rule of thumb he needs one more layer than you have to keep warm. Swaddle him to help him to settle so he will think he is back in the womb.
It won't be a newborn for long. Rest assured there is no one who can care for him better than you. Enjoy your baby. This is real love. Smile and sing to him, dance with him. Do skin to skin. He is waiting to copy every move you make. Miserable mommy makes a miserable baby and you have no need to worry. You are doing everything you can for him and it is enough.
So until next time this is Granny Potts signing off.
About Granny Potts
She is a mother of three and grandmother of two from England, and lives there with her husband. A former midwife, nurse and teacher now retired. She successfully breastfed all her children who are now in turn successful mothers and citizens and for which she feels very blessed.