How do you really take care of a small baby? The time you've been looking forward to for so long is finally here, with a lot of new things happening in a short time - and a lot of questions along the way. It's time for you and your baby to get to know each other, which can be overwhelming as a baby develops at a rapid pace. We are here to guide you through everything that happens during the baby journey and hope that we can support, help and be there for you during this life-changing period.
In this information, we share general tips and stages of development. Remember that all children develop individually.
The change from womb to world
Inside the womb, the baby was in a protected, warm and confined environment. Suddenly they were born into a world full of life and movement. That's why it's both common and natural for your baby to want to be close to you a lot in the early days, because that's the kind of security they are used to and know. You can help your baby feel safe by offering lots of closeness, preferably skin-to-skin, as often as possible.
The mororeflex, also known as the clinging reflex, causes the baby to react to different loud noises and movements by lashing out with their arms and legs and then gathering themselves together again. The reflex is instinctive in babies but has no specific function. However, the same reflex is found in baby monkeys where the purpose is to quickly cling to the parent! One tip is therefore to cradle your baby firmly in the pram, bed or nest so that your baby can more easily hold its arms and legs together. These jerky movements can cause babies to wake up easily. This is something you'll probably notice in the first few weeks, and it's perfectly normal. The reflex then disappears around 6 months of age.
Routines with an infant
The first few months are usually about finding a new rhythm that matches the baby's schedule. Babies are not born with a feeding and sleeping clock, but eat, sleep and poop alternately. Some babies want to eat every 15 minutes and some less often, and it can also vary a lot from day to day, both in terms of the amount of sleep and food. This can be challenging at first, especially if your baby's schedule involves waking up at night. Try to be open to adapting to your baby in the first few months and reduce the demands you usually make on yourself and your home. The rhythm you are used to will return!
Baby's first poo
A baby's first poop is called a poop, and is similar to black tar that can be difficult to remove from the skin. Washing with lukewarm water and a little oil usually makes it easier. Approximately two to three days after birth, the poop will become more green/yellow and then become more and more mustard yellow and have a gritty texture.
In the beginning, it is common for the baby to poop several times a day, often quite loose poop. Sometimes there may be several days between poopy diapers and if you are breastfeeding, it is quite normal for the baby not to poop for up to ten days. Babies on formula should poop every three to five days, as formula can be slightly constipating and cause a more sluggish stomach than a breastfed baby. As long as your baby does not appear to be in pain or distressed, there is no need to worry. However, if you are concerned about the color, texture or smell, you can always contact your BVC nurse for advice.
Baby care: bathing
The first bath is something a lot of parents look forward to, it's often a really cozy moment for the whole family. At least for those babies who love bathing, and then there are those who hate it - or need a few times before they start to appreciate the procedure.
From around a week old, you can take your first bath, and after that, bathing about once a week is enough. Before that and in between, you just need to wash your baby in all the folds: such as the neck, groin and armpits. This is easily done with a washcloth and some lukewarm water. If your baby is dirty or you want to bathe more often, that's fine, but your baby's delicate skin can easily become dry if you bathe too often. A few drops of baby oil in the water will usually do the trick.
When bathing your baby, it is important that the water is at a comfortable temperature - think body temperature! As your own hands are often hot or cold, it can be difficult to find the right temperature if you put your hand down to feel it, instead you can put your elbow in the water. Use a few drops of baby oil in the bath to keep your baby's skin moisturized.
From when your child turns one week old, it is time to start giving liquid vitamin D. You will be given a bottle at the BVC at the first visit and the pediatric nurse will then continue to provide you with vitamin D until your child is 2 years old. The drops are given on a small spoon in the mouth, five drops a day.
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