Babies are truly a blessing for so many women. A first-time soon-to-be mom can read every book that has ever been written about newborns and still not know everything there is to know about caring for these itsy-bitsy creatures. There is some useful information that doctors and nurses share with a new mom before she brings her little one home, but there are still plenty of things that doctors don’t tell soon-to-be moms about the first week with the newborn. Things like knowing what to expect the first time a newborn goes potty, how far they can really see, and the fact that newborns aren’t supposed to be bathed for a little while are just some of the things that many doctors neglect to tell soon-to-be moms.
20 The First BM Will Surprise You
A newborn’s first few bowel movements are called meconium and they look almost black and tar-like. Try not to let this catch you off guard or make you feel like something is wrong with your baby because it is completely normal! The meconium consists of amniotic fluid, mucus, and whatever the baby consumed while still in utero.
19 The Baby Will Eat… A Lot
After you bring your newborn home it may feel like all you’re doing is feeding your baby. Some new moms are surprised by how often they are feeding their little one. Newborns generally eat roughly every 2 to 3 hours. This would equal out to be about 8 to 12 times in one single day; a full 24-hour period.
18 Newborns Really Don’t Do Much
Some new moms come home from the hospital with their newborn and expect their baby to be extremely playful. But, in all honesty, newborns really don’t do much except eat, sleep, potty, and cry. But don’t worry, because even if your baby does not play with all the fantastic toys that you purchased just yet, you will still love to just cuddle your little one every chance you get.
17 The Umbilical Cord Stump Will Still Be There
A tiny portion of your newborns' umbilical cord stump will still remain for about a week or two weeks after birth. It is known as the umbilical cord stump. It will dry up on its own before finally falling off naturally. You should never pick at or “help” the stump to fall off.
16 The Baby Can’t See Very Far
Many soon-to-be moms don’t realize that when their baby is born, he or she can only see about 8 to 15 inches away from their face. That is about the distance from the newborn looking up at their moms face while they are being cradled in her loving arms. Newborns also only see in “black and white with shades of gray,” according to Webmd.com. Around about 4-months-old is when a baby’s colors will start to develop.
15 Your Taste Buds May Still Be The Same As During Your Pregnancy
Creative food concoctions or aversions during pregnancy are common for many soon-to-be moms. However, what plenty of moms are unaware of is the fact that their pregnancy cravings and aversions don’t always so away immediately after giving birth. Some women may have these issues beyond that, according to Webmd.com, and they can also “go away and come back” at random.
14 The Baby Won’t Sleep Through The Night
If a soon-to-be mom thought that sleeping during their third trimester was challenging, just wait until they bring their newborn home. Newborn babies almost always never sleep through the night, and they shouldn’t be left to sleep all night either. This is because they have to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, including during the middle of the night. Add on the frequent diaper changes and it’s no wonder new moms are so sleep deprived.
13 Hearing Your Baby Cry Will Make You Feel Helpless
First-time moms typically have no idea what they are doing when they bring their newborn home, and they aren’t expected to know either. That is why many new moms have the tendency to feel helpless when their little one starts to cry; especially since they usually have no idea why their baby is crying at first.
12 Bathing Has To Wait
Many new moms think that once they get their newborn home, it is safe to give their baby their first real bath. However, bathing a newborn has to wait until their umbilical cord stump naturally falls off. The stump area should be kept clean and try to prevent infections of that area. It usually falls off within the first week or two after birth.
11 You Will Constantly Be Checking On Your Baby While They Sleep
New moms are often overly cautious with their first child. Some moms find that they are constantly checking on their newborn while they are asleep. There is not a set amount of times that you need to check on your baby while he or she is asleep. But if you find yourself feeling the need to check on her/him every five minutes, investing in a video baby monitor may be able to help you relax a little bit better.
10 There Is No Sleep Schedule The First Week With Your Baby
If you think you will have your baby sleep trained within their first week of life, you are so very wrong. You should wait until your baby is at least 2-months-old before you try to get him/her on a sleep schedule. However, most babies don’t start becoming more consistent until between 3 and 4 months of age.
9 Hearing Your Baby Cry CAN Make You Lactate
Hearing your baby cry can actually make some moms start to lactate. It sounds like an old wives tale, but, according to Lifehacker.com, it is so much more than that. Some moms only feel their let-down reflex as a warm, tingly sensation. But for other moms, even so much as looking at a picture of their baby can be enough stimuli to actually start lactating because it can trigger the production of the hormone oxytocin.
8 The Baby’s Head Could Be Shaped Funny Still
It’s no secret that babies have soft spots on their head – two to be exact. But if you have had a natural birth, there is a good chance that your baby may have a misshapen head. This is because of something known as molding. The first soft spot is on the back of a newborns head and usually closes by 6 weeks. The more commonly known soft spot on the top of a baby’s head usually doesn’t close until sometime between 10 and 18 months of age. Needless to say, the oddly shaped skull that many babies have will not be gone within the child's first week of life.
7 Breastfeeding Really Does Burn Calories
Producing breastmilk alone can burn some calories, but combining it with breastfeeding can burn even more calories. “On average, breastfeeding can burn between 200 and 500 calories per day,” according to Verywellfamily.com. That is more than walking an average of 30 minutes a day! If a mom were to exclusively breastfeed, she would burn closer to the 500 calories a day.
6 Newborn’s Gums Need To Be Cleaned
Some moms believe that just because their child has no teeth, their gums don’t need to get cleaned. But that is a very unhealthy misconception. Every time your newborn eats, you should really be cleaning their mouth and gums with a warm, damp washcloth. They also sell a gum cleaning slip that goes right over your finger that is ridged if you would prefer to use that instead.
5 The Newborn's Skin May Peel
It is common for newborns skin to be dry and have some peeling. When a baby is inside the womb, there is a thick coating of something called vernix on their skin that helps protect them from the amniotic fluid. The more of this coating there is on a newborn’s skin, the less likely they are to have dry, peeling skin. This means that babies who are born after the 40-week mark are more likely to have peeling skin than premature babies.
4 Breastfeeding Might Cause Cramps
Breastfeeding can actually cause something known as “nursing cramps” for a few days post-delivery. The reason behind this is that nursing releases hormones that can actually help a mom’s uterus return to its normal pre-baby size. Using a heating pad or taking over the counter pain medications can help ease the pain a bit.
3 The Baby Can Identify You By Smell
Newborns not only recognize their mother by the sound of her voice but by her scent as well. By the time a baby reaches their third day of life, they can already tell the difference between their mother’s breastmilk versus a stranger’s just from their sense of smell alone. Around the same time is when they can identify their mom by how she smells.
2 Your Hormones Are Still Running Wild
Just because you have given birth does not mean that your hormones will return to your pre-baby days right away. On average, it can take anywhere between 6 and 8 weeks for your hormones to level out and return to normal. For some moms, it could take even longer than that, especially if they are breastfeeding their little one.
1 You Won’t Know Everything About Being A Parent And That’s Okay
Some soon-to-be moms read every parenting book known to man and assume that when they bring their newborn home, they will have all the answers to parenting. But they really won’t. Even childcare experts don’t know everything there is about parenting. You don’t have to know it all and that its completely okay, and some things will come naturally.
References: Parent24.com, LifeHacker.com, BabyCentre.co.uk, HealthyChildren.org, Healthlinkbc.ca, WebMD.com, Babycenter.com, VeryWellFamily.com, Parents.com, Parenting.com