With labour quickly becoming a dim and distant memory and a beautiful baby in your arms, leaving the hospital to head home with your newborn baby is an exciting time, but it’s also a bit of a worry.
After all, to become a parent you don’t need to take a test or get a qualification. All of a sudden, you are responsible for a little life and so it’s completely normal for new parents to feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety.
This is especially the case for first time parents as they are effectively walking into the unknown.
We’ve got some great tips and suggestions on how to make those first few nights at home with your little one as calm, stress-free and enjoyable as possible
On the very first night back at home, how do you prevent anxiety setting in?
If your baby has been discharged from the maternity ward this means that your little one is in good health. There is, therefore, no reason to be worried. If the baby cries, hold them in a way so your skin is touching. Be aware that midwives are more concerned about a baby that doesn’t cry, than one that does.
Should I feed my newborn baby immediately if they cry?
Not necessarily. There are many reasons why babies cry and you will quickly learn to recognise the different types of their baby’s cry.
They may, for example, just need a bit of need comforting, they may need winding, they may be too hot or they need their nappy changing. Crying triggered by hunger is usually more ardent and, shall we say vocal.
Meanwhile, if your baby’s nappy is clean and they have been fed within the last 2 hours, your baby could be in a phase of ‘restless sleep’, a normal phase that is characteristic in the first few months.
How do you cope with crying during the night?
It’s a classic scenario, newborn babies crying at the crack of dawn. It can be exhausting but it is important to remain calm and remember it will stop.
Do not leave your baby to cry in its bed as this will only cause undue stress for you and your child.
Place them in a baby carrier or in a wrap and carry on with what you were doing. Prepare dinner, set the table, give your eldest child a bath.
Your baby will be calmed and reassured having had contact with you. Above all, stay active, as this will help to cradle and calm them further.
How do you make the transition on to 4 feeds a day?
Once your baby has finished with 180ml bottles and weighs around 5 or 6 kilograms, they will naturally move to requiring 4 bottle feeds a day.
But what matters is the quantity taken in every 24 hours. In general, babies require 4 feeds around the age of 4 months. This transition shows that you should shortly be introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet.
How do you protect your newborn bab from illness during their first winter?
It is best to avoid public places and refrain from using public transport. Always wash your hands well before holding your baby and consider wearing a protective mask if you become ill yourself. It may seem unnatural to do this but it will help prevent germs from spreading.
Do I need to burp my baby in the middle of bottle feeding?
If they are drinking their bottle peacefully, without squirming, there’s no point. On the other hand, after feeding, a burp is advisable.