Having a newborn in the family can both bring excitement and stress in your life. Regardless if you are a veteran or a first-time parent, you can expect fatigue due to the whirlwind of duties and responsibilities that a baby needs.
For a first-time parent, there are a lot of things to consider and be done when it comes to taking care of the newborn, and most of the time, they have no idea what is going on which can make them feel bad and frustrated. Don’t worry, it’s very common for new parents!
In order to execute this job properly, parents need to be well equipped and prepared for each situation that will come. When there is a newborn, expect that all of your time will be dedicated to this little human and it can be the most challenging phase of being a parent. The newborn phase requires unending nurture and the support of the parents as it affects the developmental stage of the baby’s growth.
It is important to conduct research and familiarize yourself on what to expect from a newborn especially on the phases they will go through such as:
- teething which includes a lot of crying, irritability, drooling, biting, changes in eating and sleeping routine, and cheek rubbing and ear pulling.
- rolling over a nap which includes a lot of movements during sleeping
- nap elimination, or removing their nap time little by little.
But before these phases, we needed to take note of the basic routine of the babies when they are born which includes: sleeping (a lot), eating, and lastly, urination and pooping.
Reasons for Diaper Change
Newborns are normally sleeping 14-17 hours a day however, it splits into a short 2-3 hours sleep. They are waking up constantly due to the fact that they need to be fed as they only have a small tummy. After this, they might be straight up reverting to sleep or stay awake for a couple of minutes for a brief playtime.
Every baby have a different sleeping pattern, while some might be awake and stay alert for an hour, some babies literally are asleep all the time. Newborns do not have a concept of day and night which is why even in the dawn they are waking up a lot.
As time goes by, babies will start to have a longer sleeping period and wake up less often but still expect that your baby might still wake up in the middle of the night. This is a challenging phase for parents, as they might get tired from not getting a full night’s sleep but for the baby it is very essential to assist them in this phase as sleeping is an important factor for their growth.
Just like sleeping, this is very crucial to a baby’s growth, and feeding them, especially newborns, is an all-day, all-night job. You can also consider it as the best time to build and create a special bond with the family’s newest member.
For the very first weeks of feeding a newborn, it is important to take note of the signs or movements that indicate whether the baby is full or hungry. It includes movements of hands to mouth (sucking fingers), smacking of the lips, agitated movements, and crying. The earlier you notice the signs that the baby is hungry, the smaller the chance you’ll need to soothe a crying baby.
When you notice that your baby’s sucklings stop, they begin to close their mouth off or fully twist away from the bottle or nipple then the baby might be taking a pause or just simply full. Attempt to offer the breast or bottle once again to check if they are full. As time passes and the baby gets old, they may consume milk more in a reduced amount of time when feeding.
Babies that are breastfed should be fed at least 8 to 12 times a day for 10-15 minutes in each breast while babies that are formula-fed should be fed at least 6 to 10 times a day.
When your baby reaches 6 months old, they will start to eat solid foods which will lead to drinking less milk.
Urination and Pooping
This is probably the most challenging part of the baby’s routine. Newborn poop frequency is related to whether they are breast-fed or formula-fed. For babies who are breastfed, usually have plenty of bowel movements compared to formula-fed babies who are usually fewer.
If you ever think of shifting from breastfeeding to formula-feeding or the other way around, you will notice a difference in the stool’s consistency as well as the frequency in diaper changes which has an average of 5-6 urine-filled diapers everyday. As for bowel movements, you can expect at least 1 to 2 of it a day. The more the baby matures and eats more, the number of bowel movements will be lessened.
Here are the signs that a baby needs a diaper change
There is a most common thing that all parents of babies hate and it is changing diapers. However, how do we spot them? Are there signs that we should look for to know that the diapers should be changed?
There are a lot of reasons why a baby cries. They might be sleepy, hungry, hurt or they need their diapers to be changed. As the time goes by and you have spent a lot of time with your baby, you will learn to know the differences of their cry. Crying is the only communication a baby can do within their ability.
Sudden weight changes
When you soothe a baby while they are crying or when you are trying to make them sleep, and they suddenly become heavier then you could guess that they have done their thing and need their diaper to be changed.
Diapers Moistness Indicators.
Plenty of diapers change in colors when it feels moisture from urine and feces however, it should be plenty to trigger these changing color diapers.
The most common indicator is that your baby needs a diaper change. If the smell becomes strong enough that you can trace it across the room then the diaper should be changed.
The baby tells you!
It can be by hand gestures or by intently staring at you or agitated movements and reactions from them.
If you notice your baby is grunting, whimpering, making a face, or straining themselves then don’t panic as it is how babies typically poop as they are still not strong enough for smooth elimination of feces,
Diaper changes are considered as the least favorite responsibility of a parent to their newborn however, the baby care package is not complete without it. It is important to notice and be familiar with the time and pattern in which the baby needs a diaper change as it might cause diaper rash and irritation.
Diaper change, either wet or messy, frequently (sometimes hourly) happens to the newborn babies, and here is how to get into the diaper changing process much more easily.
What Do You Need for a Diaper Change?
Prepare a few spare pairs of clean diapers just in case something messy will happen.
Wipes, washcloths, and cotton balls.
For a newborn with a diaper rash under 1 month old, we needed to use cotton balls and warm water to wash the baby off and dry them off with a washcloth. For those who don’t have a diaper rash you can use a hypoallergenic wipes to clean the baby.
Clothes. Changing diapers can be quite messy and sometimes it leaks and when it does we might need an extra pair of changing clothes to speed up the diaper changing process.
Ointments for diaper rash.
These rashes are the most common type of skin inflammation that appears on a baby’s bottom as patches of red bright skin. You can use ointments for these rashes but in moderation as the baby’s skin is still sensitive.
Most of the time, babies are making movements when you’re changing their diapers. They grab whatever things they see around you which is why it is important to keep in light their favorite toy for distraction.
Babies are very attentive to their surroundings whether it is a sound, a thing or touch. Touching the baby gently can make diaper changing a lot easier as it makes the baby calm.
Once everything is ready, it is highly recommended to properly wash your hands and dry it afterwards as we need to protect their delicate skin as they are prone to bacteria.
Babies are a blessing from God. It may take a lot of hardships on raising one however, it is definitely worth it. All sacrifices made by the parents will be paid off for as long as the baby grows healthy and happy.
For new parents out there, please know that being tired, frustrated and feeling that you are not good enough is totally normal. No one is perfect and as long as you give your all to make sure that the baby is safe and well then you are the best parents for them.