First 10 Days
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 who are held more than two 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 paediatricians 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
An ideal baby product should not irritate your baby’s skin or eyes, dry out your baby’s skin or disrupt the skin’s natural pH. Importantly, it should be effectively preserved to help maintain the quality of the product during normal use.
Many first-time parents are surprised by how many nappies they go through in a day. To make life easier for yourself, have plenty of nappies on hand before you bring your baby home. It’s also helpful to learn how to change your baby’s nappy ahead of time (and even practise).
Most babies cry for an average of two hours a day in the first three 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 nappy 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 and 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
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 about 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 her growth.
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 sleeps changes as she grows. Newborns sleep a lot during the 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 six to eight weeks.
As your baby develops and starts to consolidate her sleep into night-time sleep with fewer daytime 'naps', you can help her gradually develop a sleeping pattern, learning that night-time is for sleep, and not play.
Learn more about helping your baby sleep better with the JOHNSON’S® 3-Step Routine.