Last updated on Feb 17th, 2021 at 08:43 am
You attended all the prenatal classes. You read the magazines, you checked the blogs and you consulted every person you knew who had any baby experience. But somehow a few things seemed to have slipped through the cracks.
Here are a few things that you never knew about babies until you had your own.
1. Babies can come out looking a little weird.
The vision of a peaceful, pink, cherub-lipped angel is what you expected, but in reality your baby may look a little different. He may have a substantial amount of pasty white stuff all over him. This is called vernix, a substance that nourished and protected your baby’s delicate skin. His eyes may be a little swollen because of the pressure of delivery. He may have a slightly cone-shaped head. This will settle in a few days or weeks and is the result of being squeezed through the very snug birth canal. Of course you will still think he is just perfect.
2. Babies cry a lot. It’s their only way of communication, so be prepared.
You will be told that you will be able to understand just what your baby needs fromnthe pitch of his cry. But realistically it takes a good few weeks to fully get it. Eventually you will decipher if it is a hungry cry or tired cry.
3. Babies eat a lot. It may actually feel like all you do is feed your baby.
A newborn baby’s tummy is small and needs to be filled often, and by often I mean every 2 to 3 hours to begin with. Don’t worry, the feeding does settle after a while. Your baby is working hard to make sure there is a good supply in the milk bank. Your baby needs to double his birth weight by 4 to 6 months. He will also go through intense growth spurts during the first few months and it will seem like he is feeding non-stop.
4. Babies poo a lot. You may actually be fooled into thinking your little guy has diarrhoea.
He may poo after almost every feed, sometimes twice. His poo can range from a small smudge to an explosion. It is usually yellow in colour and very loose in consistency. It can appear watery with a curd-like resemblance. After around 6 weeks, this can start to settle and he can range from pooing once every 7 days to 7 times a day. So be sure to stock up on lots of newborn nappies.
5. Babies shed.
Well, not exactly, but their skin does get pretty flakey just after birth. After swimming in amniotic fluid for 9 months, the skin after birth dries and flakes off. It is more noticeable on the hands and feet. Don’t worry about it. It will resolve in a few days. Use a good-quality non-perfumed cream or lotion to keep his skin baby soft.
6. Babies sneeze a lot.
You may actually think your newborn has a cold, as he seems to do a lot of sneezing for such a little guy. This is simply a way for him to clear his nasal passages. He can’t sniff or blow his nose at this tender age, so he needs to sneeze to move any mucus. You can help him along by regularly putting plain saline drops in his nose. You can also gently use a nasal aspirator to clean away any stubborn mucus. Remember, if a baby’s nose is blocked, he will not be able to feed well.
So there you go: a few things to put your mind at ease. Do you have any interesting things you may have noticed about your newborn that you would like to share with us?