If you want to know the most important things about your new arrival you are in the right place.

Here are a few basic aspects you need to be aware of regarding newborns.

Your baby has finally arrived and she is so small you’re terrified to even touch her. Let alone, hold her. Changing her diaper will make you sweat. No worries though. You have no reason to panic. After you read this you will be well prepared and know how to handle your newborn. 

1. NEWBORNS COME WITH A LOT OF HAIR ON THEIR BODY

When my daughter was a newborn, not too long ago, she had so much hair mainly on her face. The hair was extending all the way to her forehead. She was funny looking. There is actually a name for this fine hair. It’s called ‘lanugo’. Don’t freak out. It’s very common and it will fall out by the time your baby reaches 4 months.

2. NEWBORNS MAY APPEAR SWOLLEN

That’s because of the hormone surplus that occurs right before birth. Don’t panic the swelling should go down in a few days. Her face may look puffy as well due to fluid accumulation and the rough process of birth. Yes, it’s hard for us to give birth but it’s as hard for our babies too.

Read Pregnancy Tips – You Must Know This

3. NEWBORNS COME WITH LONG NAILS

Needless to say that a baby nail clip is a must-have for your hospital bag. You want to trim those nails otherwise your newborn will scratch herself. She will not have a pleasant look. If you are afraid to trim her nails you can use mittens. 

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4. DON’T EXPECT ANY FEEDBACK

You should not expect too much interaction at least not in the very beginning. Newborns sleep and eat. Eat and sleep. Oh, and poop a lot. But they still need you in every way possible, physically and emotionally. Still be there for your new bundle of joy and keep talking to her. She hears and smells every inch of you. She needs you to comfort her.

5. BE GENTLE WITH THE UMBILICAL CORD

I did not give a bath to my daughter until after 2 weeks. Newborns don’t get dirty anyways. I wiped her instead. And that was to make sure I kept her umbilical cord dry so I could speed up the healing process. Light bleeding is normal but do monitor the area closely until the area heals.

6. DON’T BE SCARED OF THEIR ‘SOFT SPOT’

Newborns have a soft spot (fontanel), which is, in fact, a very thick membrane, on their heads to facilitate the exit through the birth canal. I was super scared to even touch the area, but my pediatrician advised not to be so afraid. You may feel the pulse if you touch it because the soft spot is right over blood vessels. 

7. WATCH YOUR NEWBORN’S WEIGHT

Newborns tend to lose some weight within the first weeks and should gain it back shortly after. Make sure she’s getting enough milk (whether formula or breastmilk) and keep track of her wet diapers (best choice Pampers Swaddlers with wet indicator). You’ll need to know these things anyways for your doctor’s visits. In the beginning stages, your pediatrician will call you multiple times to check your newborn. Be ready for those trips.

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8. NEWBORNS HAVE DRY SKIN

That’s why they invented the baby oil. Your newborn stayed in your womb for nine months and then came out to face a new environment. You’ll see flakes on her skin and that’s ok. Newborns are sensitive so if you want to use any products on her skin make wise choices. I love Burt’s Bees. I’m their number one fan. It’s the only brand that my daughter can tolerate. Their diaper rash cream is simply the best, no wonder I wrote an entire article about it.

9. IT’S OK TO TAKE YOUR NEWBORN OUT IN PUBLIC

When you do so, make sure you make the right choices though. You wouldn’t keep your newborn around a sick person, right? Also, don’t let people touch her with dirty hands. In fact, it’s better if they touch her feet rather than her hands. Just a way to prevent the spread of infection.

10. GET READY FOR A LOT OF CRYING

Newborns cry a lot and it will take you a while to decipher the reasons. The sooner you find the cause the better you can handle the situation, meaning you’ll know how to soothe her. 

Read more in 12 Reasons Why Babies Cry And How To Soothe Them

11. NEWBORNS TAKE MANY BUT SHORT NAPS

Yes, they sleep a lot but they not for long. They wake up many times because they need to be fed. Like I mentioned earlier they sleep and eat, eat and sleep. That’s pretty much their schedule in the first stages. Yes, you will be sleep deprived but things will get better and it’s totally worth it. Co-sleeping may help. As well as a milk machine.

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Read more in 5 Reasons To CoSleep With Your Baby

12. TIMES FLIES, YOU BETTER ENJOY IT

Newborn stages are definitely not easy and you know better. Those sleepless nights are unforgettable. But don’t lose your sanity … yet. Just take one step at a time, keep calm and enjoy the beautiful moments. Take a lot of pictures and create as many memories as you can. Spend this time to bond with your newborn and be her shoulder to cry on, literally. 

Don’t forget about those pictures.

Until next time,

newborn care
newborn care

Further Resources A Guide For First-Time Parents (For Parents) from kidshealth.org

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