- Family and Parenting
New Babies - A Beginning Owner's Manual
Baby in the Hospital
Babies are born every day, but yours is certainly different. How do you deal with this wonderful new miracle? Labor, delivery and the hospital stay are the beginning for you and many will tell you what to expect but you can't necessarily depend on that. What about the first day at home? Do you know what it is really going to be like? Settling in with your new baby can be easier than you think. In this hub I will lead you lightly through these happenings.
Labor and Delivery
Miraculous! You are having a baby. What a wonderful miracle is about to unfold in your life. Along with that miracle will come a myriad of advice. As soon as people hear you are pregnant they will begin to recount their own labor and delivery stories. You'll hear about Aunt Lulu's thirty-five hour labor ordeal and cousin Joe's sister-in-law's sister who delivered her baby in the cab on the way to the hospital. You'll hear all the stories, good and bad, and everything in between. What you should notice is that each one is different and that is because each labor and delivery is different. Even when you have your own children, no two labor and deliveries are alike. The best advice is to listen to your doctor, read reputable books or medical sites on the Internet and be prepared for anything to happen.
Once labor begins there is no turning back, this is the moment you have been waiting for for nine months. Whatever pain you experience, and there will be pain unless you have been drugged, it will all be worth it.
During delivery, again, unless you've been drugged, you will be aware of everything going on as your baby begins its journey through the birth canal to the outside world. As the doctor holds up your baby you will experience a love like you have never known; an instant bonding with this beautiful new baby that is yours!
The Hospital Stay
The hospital stay is usually about three days. I know you are anxious to get your baby home but trust me, don't rush it. The three days you spend in the hospital are your last three days of peace.
- There are nurses to take care of your baby if you are tired,
- there are nurses to change and dress your baby but best of all,
- there are nurses to take your baby if your baby is crying and doesn't seem to want to stop.
These are no small feats. Being relieved of a crying baby is a very good thing and something you will come to long for in time. Sleep as much as you can either at night or during the day, it doesn't matter which. You are fortifying yourself for taking that beautiful new baby home.
Baby at Home
The First Day at Home
You're bringing your baby home at last! What a wonderful time. Everything is ready with more gadgets, do dads, clothes and contraptions than anyone could ever need. The most important things to have when your baby gets home are a crib, a changing table, a baby bathtub and a baby. Of course a carriage is nice too but not absolutely necessary. What about the baby swing and all those musical things and on and on? Not necessary. I'm not saying you shouldn't have them but as your home begins to get smaller and smaller it is best to start with the essentials for this new little baby.
Once you are home the baby is all yours. When the baby starts to cry it is usually time for the baby to eat. You may find this is not as easy at home as it was in the hospital. No one will be preparing the bottle for you, you will have to get the formula in the bottle and the bottle warmed. Certainly easy to do, but a little more difficult when the baby is screaming. Remember to always have a clean bottle ready. The last thing you want to have to do is wash a bottle while your baby is screaming to eat. If you are breast feeding, you have an advantage here as long as the baby has latched onto the breast. They can sometimes be a little stubborn (not wanting to latch on) causing you anxiety and sometimes pain in the process.
When you finally get the baby settled and the baby is eating, looking into that beautiful little face is euphoric. This isn't so bad you think. Technically it is not, but it has just begun. When the baby has finished eating it is time to change the baby's diaper. This is a feat you may not have been prepared for. Babies will invariably move their legs in the opposite direction you want them to be. They are tiny little legs and though fragile, unless you twist and bend them, you will not break them.
Once you've managed to remove the dirty diaper you must clean the baby's bottom thoroughly. A little easier to do with boys than girls. Always remember when cleaning a baby girl's bottom "front to back". Once the baby's bottom is clean you can put on the new diaper, that is unless the baby has pee'd all over itself while you've been cleaning its bottom. Trust me, this will happen and for a while may happen often. Now you will need to change the baby from head to toe, wash the baby, and start the diapering process all over again. When you've finally got the baby clean, dressed,diapered and warm, you put the baby down to sleep.
So what do babies do?
Hmm, the baby doesn't want to sleep? Well, there are four things babies do,
- and cry, not necessarily in that order.
That is what baby's do. No one told you that? Well, prepare yourself because babies cry a lot and often for no apparent reason. I don't care what the book says, you may just have a crying baby. You do the check off list; the baby ate, was changed, is warm, oh wait, did the baby burp? Did you forget to burp the baby? That is a must during and after every bottle or breast feeding.
I recommend using a burp cloth because if you don't the baby will definitely spit up on your nice outfit and or that baby's nice outfit. Hold the baby up to your shoulder with the baby facing your back and gently tap on the baby's back and/or rub the baby's back until the gas is expelled. This could be some burping and or some farting. Once that is done things should be okay, but, not always. Sometimes the baby will keep crying. You stop and go over the check list again, eat, burp, change diaper, what could be wrong? In many cases nothing. Sometimes the baby just wants to snuggle, sometimes the baby just wants to cry. Where's that binky (pacifier) they gave you in the hospital? You did bring it home, right? Now would be a good time to use it. At first you may have to hold it in the baby's mouth as they may not seem to want it but if you hold it in the baby's mouth as you gently jiggle the baby up and down a bit the baby may latch on to it and begin to sleep.
Hang in there, tomorrow will be a better day, that is after the two a.m. feeding.
Baby and Cousin
Settling in with the New Baby
You begin to establish a routine and recognize your baby's cries. You know when a cry means the baby needs or wants something and when it is just a cry. You get better at the diaper changing routine and can move the baby's legs around gently and get them in a position that actually allows you to change the diaper. You put a tissue or paper towel under the baby (girl) or over the baby (boy) as you change the diaper so you don't have to change all the clothes each time there is a diaper change. Burping does well with each bottle. The baby sleeps on and off all day and all night. Well, almost. The two o'clock feeding is the worst.
As you come to terms with being awakened in the middle of the night try not to blame your husband. He does, after all, have to get up early and go to work in the morning so you are blessed/stuck with the two o'clock feeding. It seems though as the days go on this is the time the baby wants to fuss, cry, or just not settle down. It will shift back; for some the baby will sleep through the night by two months, for others it will be two years. Hope that yours is two months. Happy mothering. Take lots of pictures and enjoy that new baby!
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