Newborn Essentials For Baby’s First 6 Weeks
Despite all of the baby products on the market, your little one wont actually require a lot of gear. These newborn must-haves will get you through the first few weeks at home.
Have two packages of disposable diapers on hand . Babies go through several diapers daily, so look for sales and stock up whenever possible. Make sure to purchase the right size diapers to avoid leakage.
Disposable wipes are a lifesaver for diaper changes and yucky messes. Avoid purchasing wipes with fragrance to prevent irritating your babys soft skin.
Can Newborns Imitate Us
That isnt clear, but newborns definitely react to our facial expressions and gestures.
Back in 1983, Andrew Meltzoff and Keith Moore performed a landmark experiment. They presented babies with video playbacks of a stranger making faces.
- In one condition, the stranger stuck out his tongue.
- In another condition, he opened his mouth.
The results surprised many people who believed newborns were passive, socially unresponsive creatures: In the 20 seconds following each presentation, babies were more likely to match the action they had just watched .
Subsequent studies have replicated the effect, even in nonhuman primates, like this newborn macaque .
So it appears to be a response with deep evolutionary roots, though human babies have their own, special quirks. Unlike the monkey, our babies are more likely to mirror a tongue out expression when they are lying down or sitting in an infant seat .
Is this true imitation? Maybe not.
When Janine Oostenbroek and her colleagues revisited the phenomenon, they wanted to know if newborns are sticking their tongues out to match us, or doing it as a natural response to face-to-face communication. Maybe babies are just as likely to do it when we smile, or gesture with our hands.
The researchers ran their own matching experiments, adding new controls, and found they were right to be suspicious:
Still, its premature to conclude that newborns cant mimic us at all.
Care For The Newborn After A Vaginal Delivery
Healthy babies born in a vaginal delivery are usually able to stay with the mother. In many hospitals, immediate newborn assessments include weight, length, and medicines. Even the first bath is done right in your room. As quickly as possible, a new baby is placed in your arms. Often, the baby is placed skin-to-skin on your chest right after birth. Some babies will breastfeed right away.
In the first hour or 2 after birth, most babies are in an alert, wide awake phase. This offers a chance for you and your partner to get to know your new baby. A baby will often turn to the familiar sound of the mother’s voice. A baby’s focus of vision is best at about 8 to 12 inches–just the distance from the baby cradled in your arms to your face.
This first hour or 2 after birth is also the best time to start breastfeeding. Babies have an innate ability to start nursing right away after they are born. Some medicines and anesthesia given to you during labor and delivery may affect the baby’s sucking ability. But most healthy babies are able to breastfeed in these first few hours. This first feeding helps stimulate breastmilk production. It also causes your uterus to contract. This can help prevent too much bleeding.
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Something To Take Them Out And About
Only use car seats and sitting devices with a 5-way safety harness to prevent your baby falling out. Car seats must be safe and suitable for your baby’s height and weight.
Don’t buy or use second-hand car seats unless you are completely sure of its safety history.
Pushchairs and strollers are only suitable for newborns if they recline fully.
Most carriers or slings are attached by straps and your baby is carried in front of you. Many babies like this because of the sensation of being close to you and warm. Make sure you use them correctly for your baby’s safety.
To take your baby out and about, you’ll need a:
- car seat
- sling or baby carrier
What Will My Newborn Baby Look Like
When your baby is born, their skin might be blue and mottled. They are likely to be covered in amniotic fluid, blood and vernix, which is a cheesy white substance. This is normal.
Their skin will start to become pink as they start to breathe which is about a minute after birth. Your babys hands and feet may still appear blueish for several hours.
The amniotic fluid and the vernix are there because they were there in the womb. They are important for your baby to be able to smell and taste after birth. These familiar things help your baby to feel secure outside the womb.
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How Much Should You Actively Engage With Your Child
Children are innately curious they want to explore their environment. Everythings so new, its a big world out there and so parents shouldnt get in the way of that. What they should do is make sure the child is perfectly safe.
Dont try and structure the child too much. But there are many learning opportunities, for example, sing to the child, read to the child, take the child for a walk down the street theres a tree, theres a doggie, theres a car, theres a house.
So there are lots of those things, but dont get in the way of the child because children are naturally very curious.
Physical Exam Of The Newborn In The Delivery Room
A brief, physical exam is done to check for obvious signs that the baby is healthy. Other procedures will be done over the next few minutes and hours. These may be done in the delivery room, in the nursery, or in your room, depending on the hospital policy and the condition of the baby. Some of these procedures include:
Measurement of the temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate
Measurement of weight, length, and head circumference. These measurements help find out if a baby’s weight and measurements are normal for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Small or underweight babies and very large babies may need special attention and care.
Cord care. The baby’s umbilical cord stump will have a clamp. It needs to be kept clean and dry.
Bath. Once a baby’s temperature has stabilized, the first bath can be given.
Eye care. Bacteria in the birth canal can infect a baby’s eyes. Your baby will be given antibiotic or antiseptic eye drops or ointment either right after delivery or later in the nursery to prevent eye infection.
Footprints. These are often taken and recorded in the medical record.
Before a baby leaves the delivery area, ID bracelets with matching numbers are placed on the baby and on you. Babies often have 2, on the wrist and ankle. These should be checked each time the baby comes or goes from your room.
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Your Ultimate Checklist Of Baby Essentials
There are a ton of to-dos when prepping for babys arrival, and shopping for all the baby essentials is not least among them. From setting up the nursery to gathering the gear for sleeping, eating and diapering, its easy to keep busy buying baby must-haves. After all, the amount of baby supplies a newborn requires can take any mom-to-be by surprise. But how do you figure out which are the baby items you can forget about, and which are the essential baby items you cant live without? Dont stress: Were breaking it all down for you. Read on for a complete list of things you need for a new baby.
In this article:
What Other Sounds Do Newborns Prefer
Studies show that newborns prefer the sound of human-like voices including monkey voices to synthetic sounds . Its a helpful bias to have if you are trying to learn language. Pay more attention to noises that come from a primate vocal tract.
But newborns show an additional bias thats even more helpful. They like to listen to a special style of talking that researchers call infant-directed speech.
This is a style of speech that adults frequently adopt when addressing a baby. We begin to speak more slowly. Our tone becomes more varied, exaggerated, and musical. We tend to emphasize certain words when we talk, and repeat these words over and over again.
As I explain elsewhere, its way of talking that makes it easier for babies to interpret our emotions. It may also help babies learn to talk. So its pretty interesting that babies show a preference for infant-directed speech so early in life. Researchers have documented the bias in babies who were just 2 days old .
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Transcript Of ‘7 Questions About Babies Every New Parents Asks: Mini Parenting Master Class’ Video
Did you know that your baby is developing memory from as young as two or three weeks of age?
A baby as young as two or three weeks will remember your smell.
Youve asked me lots of questions that many parents have about their young child growing up and Im here to answer them.
Hi, my name is Professor Frank Oberklaid and this is my Mini Parenting Master Class.
Best Swaddle: Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle
Another popular style from the brand Halo, this sleep sack is a great way to prevent startle reflex thanks to its swaddling wings. When your baby is ready to transition to an arms-out sleep sack, simply tuck the wings under their arms and around their waist. It’s made entirely of cotton, has an inverted zipper, and comes in a variety of colors. Many shoppers say it has helped their baby sleep better, and one mom claims, ” hands down the best purchase that I made for my baby.”
To buy: $28
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Feeding And Sleeping In The First Week Of Life
Your newborn will sleep most of the time, waking up every few hours to feed. Newborns cant sleep through the night. They have tiny tummies, so they need to wake and feed often.
Most newborns feed every 2-4 hours, and they have around 8-12 feeds every 24 hours. Sometimes feeds might last up to an hour, especially if your newborn is breastfeeding.
Newborns usually wake for feeds. But some might need to be woken for feeding for example, newborns who have lost a lot of weight, are very small, or are jaundiced.
Its likely to be a while before you see a pattern or routine of feeding and sleeping.
In the first few weeks, looking after yourself is important. This means eating well and doing some physical activity, and also resting when your baby sleeps, which will help you catch up on sleep. Getting help from family and friends can make a big difference too.
What Does A Night Nurse Do
You may have heard about night nurses. A night nurse gives your baby bottles and changes their diapers overnight.
If youre breastfeeding, a night nurse may bring baby to you to feed, then change them and put them back to sleep. Or you can choose to pump and have your night nurse give your baby bottles overnight if you choose.
The cost for a night nurse may range from $25 an hour to several hundred dollars per hour, depending on your location and the experience of the night nurse.
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What Should You Do If You Think Your Babys Not Eating Enough
As long as your little one is continuing to grow at a healthy rate read: along her own personal growth curve , which your pediatrician will measure using a growth chart shes probably getting enough to eat.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
What Essentials Do You Need For Your Newborn
Having a few essential items on hand for the hospital and when you bring your newborn home will help ease the transition.
Make sure you remove these items from their packaging. Familiarize yourself with the instructions and assemble them, if necessary. This will ensure theyre ready to use as soon as you need them.
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What Will My Newborn Baby See Hear Smell Taste And Feel
Your baby has been listening to your voice for the last half of your pregnancy and will recognise it when you speak to them after birth. Your partner or support persons voice may also be familiar if they have also been talking near your baby. Your baby will feel secure when they hear your voices and may respond by turning their head towards you. Your baby will also be able to hear your heart beating as they did in the womb.
Your babys vision is blurred at birth but they will be able to focus on your face from about 30 centimetres away. This is called the cuddle distance. It is roughly the distance from your breast to your face. Your baby will make the connection between what they hear and what they see.
Your baby will smell and taste the amniotic fluid and your colostrum, which has a similar flavour.
How To Save Money On The Baby Essentials
Preparing for your babys arrival can quickly become expensive. If youre trying to stick to a budget, take a look at the tips below. They can help you save money while still getting everything you need to be prepared for delivery day.
- Create a registry before your baby shower, and put all the baby essentials on the list.
- Ask for baby essentials as gifts for your birthday or Christmas.
- Check with family, friends, and colleagues for hand-me-down baby essentials.
- Have a look at thrift stores to get the larger baby essentials, like furniture and strollers, for cheap.
While purchasing all the newborn baby essentials may be pricey, it doesnt even compare to the joy and fulfillment of giving birth and bonding with your baby. You cant put a price tag on love!
Start with the basics like a crib, diapers, Cleansing Wipes, and Gentle Cleansing Gel then go from there. With this baby essentials shopping list, youll have everything you need to be fully prepared for your little ones arrival!
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