Looking After Your Newborn Baby In The First Week

After the excitement of the birth, reality usually hits you as you walk through the door with your baby for the first time – you are a parent! Here is some help to make your first days back home a little less overwhelming.

When can I take my baby home?
New mothers generally spend around 2-3 days in hospital, during which the maternity nurses are available around the clock to look after your baby’s every need to give you some much needed rest after birth. Once you take your baby home, it’s up to you to care for your little newborn.

How often should my baby feed?
Because their stomachs are so tiny, newborns need to eat small amounts often, usually every 2-3 hours.

If your baby seems uncomfortable during or after a feeding, try burping them by using a gentle circular motion or soft pats on the back to bring up the bubbles. Hiccups or a little posseting, which is when your baby regurgitates food, is normal.

How often must I change my baby’s nappy?
A new baby has between 5-10 wet nappies a day. Follow our nappy changing basics guide to get you started.

I don’t know why my baby is crying!
There’s no getting around this one: Babies cry!

Many newborns are remarkably quiet and sleepy. But by two weeks old, a typical baby may cry quite often. The most likely causes are dirty nappies, hunger, overtiredness, discomfort, or just too much activity. For some more reasons why babies cry, and how to decipher the cause, have a read of our ‘Why Do Babies Cry?’.

Identifying your baby’s reflexes
Your newborn has some fascinating reflexes: Stroke their cheeks and they turn their face towards you (rooting reflex). Hold them with their feet touching the floor and they move their legs up and down (stepping reflex). Latching and sucking are also natural reflexes, which you most probably have already picked up whilst breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

When can I take my baby out of the house?
There’s no medical reason to keep a healthy baby in the house. Just avoid crowds and sick people to limit exposing your baby to unwanted germs.  Make sure anyone who touches your baby washes their hands. Take nappies, extra clothes, and feeding supplies when you leave the house.

Baby bathtime and umbilical cord care
Choose a quiet time of day for bathing baby. PURITY® & Elizabeth Anne have a range of gentle pH-balanced products that will clean baby’s delicate skin without drying it out. Treat your little one to a soothing bath and a chance to splash and wriggle in the warm water. To learn how to bath your newborn safely and efficiently, read our article on baby bath basics.

After every nappy change and bath, ensure that the umbilical cord is clean and dried thoroughly. There is no need to use any product on the cord, just allow it to dry up and fall off naturally – usually within 7-14 days.

Yes, it gets easier!
You will definitely feel tired during the first few weeks from lack of sleep and as you recover from the birth. Ask for help from your partner and family and try to nap whenever baby sleeps. It will get easier as you adjust to your new routine and gain confidence in yourself as a mom!