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What to Expect in the First few Days of Newborn Baby

The first few days of a newborn can be both exciting and exhausting. Newborns often need to eat every 2-3 hours.
Newborn Baby: What to Expect in the First few Days

The first few days of a newborn can be both exciting and exhausting. Newborns often need to eat every 2-3 hours, which means that parents may have trouble getting much sleep in those first few days.

Newborn Baby: What to Expect in the First few Days is here to answer all of your questions about what you should expect during those early days!

Feeding and sleeping patterns

Most babies sleep for less than 4 hours at a time then they wake to feed. Most newborns will sleep for about 16 hours every 24 hours.

Every baby is different, so you shouldn’t impose rigid schedules in the first few months. This helps your baby get what they need.

It also enables you to establish your milk supply by feeding whenever your baby wants to feed for as long as they wish. The ‘feed, play, the sleep cycle is better for you and your baby than following a rigid schedule.

Make sure you always sleep the baby on their back with their head and face uncovered. The safest place for them to sleep is in a safe cot next to your bed. Never let the baby come into contact with cigarette smoke.

Bathing

Bathing your baby can be an absolute pleasure, even if it can be nerve-racking at first. Cleaning your baby in the evening can help calm your baby and settle them.

But you don’t need to bathe your baby every day if you don’t want to. A bath every few days is enough. Just make sure their nappy area is kept clean and dry. You’ll soon find what you and your baby prefer.

Your baby will have part of the umbilical cord still attached. Please keep it clean and dry, and allow it to heal naturally.

If you haven’t bathed a baby before, Raising Children Network has some handy illustrations to guide you.

The first few days of a Newborn can be both exciting and exhausting. Newborns often need to eat every two to three hours, which means that parents may have trouble getting much sleep in those first few days.

Newborn Baby: What to Expect in the First few Days is here to answer all of your questions about what you should expect during those early days!

Hearing and blood tests

You will be offered some tests for your baby in the first week. You’ll be asked for permission before these tests are done.

Your baby will have a non-invasive hearing screening test and a heel prick blood test — the neonatal screening test (NST).

Weighing, measuring, and baby health check

Your baby will be examined and weighed by maternity staff soon after birth and a few days later. This is to make sure that your baby is healthy and has not lost too much weight.

Typically babies lose some weight during the first few days, then start to regain the weight. They should be back to their birth weight within about two weeks.

If your baby loses too much weight in the first few days, you may be offered extra help.

Your baby will have a complete examination to check the shape of their head, their eyes and ears, the roof of their mouth and tongue, their genitals, skin, hands and feet, spine, and hips.

In the rare event that any problems are found, the doctor or midwife might order further tests.

Infant Health Record

All babies in Australia are issued with an Infant Health Record at birth. Each state has a different colored cover of the Infant Health Record. E.g., ‘Blue book’ in NSW, ‘Green book’ in Victoria. This will be your baby’s primary health record until they start school.

Your baby’s first health check is usually in the first 1 to 4 weeks, with a follow-up at 6 to 8 weeks. At these appointments, your doctor or maternal child health nurse will check your child’s development, including their height, weight, and head circumference growth, and examine their body.

Vaccinations

The first dose of your baby’s hepatitis B vaccinations will be offered to you in the hospital. The hepatitis B vaccination is an injection in the baby’s thigh.

Your local child health nurse will help you schedule the next round of vaccinations — due at six weeks to 2 months of age.

What’s in a nappy?

Your baby’s poo changes quite a bit in the first week. Monitoring these changes is one way to see whether your baby is healthy and well-nourished.

Baby’s poo gradually changes from black and sticky on the day of birth to mustard yellow when your breast milk comes in on days 3 to 5.

Your midwife will check to see if your baby has weed and pooed at least once on day 1. After that, you can expect two wet nappies on day 2, three wet nappies on day 3, four wet nappies on day 4, five wet nappies on day 5, and six wet nappies a day after that. Frequent poos are common in the first week.

You can aim to change your baby’s nappy every time you feed them unless you notice that the nappy is very wet or dirty in between feeds.

What to prepare to take your baby home

To take your baby home, you will usually need some nappies, a set of clothes (a singlet, a grow-suit, and perhaps a warm hat), a warm wrap, and an infant restraint for the car.

Ask your hospital for a list of the things for your baby in the hospital and for going home.

Young babies do not need very many belongings. Mainly, they want to be fed, kept warm, have their nappy changed, and spend lots of time with you.

A simple cot or bassinet set up safely, nappies, six changes of clothes, and some wraps are a great start.

Listen to Dianne Zalitis, midwife and Clinical Lead at Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby, talk about what to expect when bringing your baby home on the Babyology podcast.

Conclusion:

This post is about Newborn Baby: What to Expect in the First few days. Newborns are born with a lot of fluid that they lose during the first few days after birth; this causes them to seem lighter than usual, but it’s just temporary and regular.

Newborns should regain their weight within two weeks from when they were born. Doctors or midwives give newborns a complete examination to check the shape of their head, eyes and mouth, ears, genitals, skin, hands and feet, and spine at birth to identify any problems that may exist if discovered.