Tips for new parents to care for their newborn

Newborn baby's first week: growth and development

Newborn babies take a while to adapt to the new environment in the first week after birth. They will discover that the new world outside is very different from life in the womb. After all, the environment in the mother's womb was dim, the temperature was constant, and the sounds were muffled. Help your newborn adjust to the outside world by giving them warmth, love, safety, attention, and lots of hugs and smiles.

The appearance of a newborn baby's body changes during the first week, and any swelling around the face and eyes will subside within a few days. If your baby has bruises on their face or head, they may be at risk of jaundice.

A newborn baby's umbilical cord will typically dry out, turn black, and fall off within the first 10 days. Try to keep the umbilical cord as clean and dry as possible. Tell your midwife, doctor or nurse if the area around the umbilical cord looks red or is sticky.

Newborn babies may have one or more birthmarks after birth, which is very common and usually does not require special medical attention.

Newborn baby's first week: Feeding and sleeping

Newborn babies sleep most of the time, waking up every few hours, and can't get a good night's sleep because of their tiny tummy, so they need to wake up and feed frequently.

Most newborn babies need feedings every 2 to 4 hours, with an average of about 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours. Newborn babies usually wake up to feed on their own, but some babies may need to be woken up to feed, such as underweight or newborn babies with jaundice.

It may take a while for you to see your new baby's eating and sleeping patterns or routines, so in the first few weeks, you need to take care of yourself too, eat well, and do some simple exercise. When your baby sleeps, you need to rest too.

Newborn baby's first week: bodily reactions and reflexes

Spend time with your newborn every day, they learn a lot from their parents. As they see, hear, smell and touch the world around them, their brain is also growing and developing.

Newborn babies will involuntarily close their fingers in a grasp, be startled by sudden loud noises, and may also make sudden movements while sleeping.

Make your baby feel safe through a gentle touch, or by cuddling, smiling and gazing. You can also communicate with your baby through voice, touch, sight and smell. During the first week after your baby is born, moms can learn more about what expressions or body language your baby uses to communicate with others.

Newborn babies: Common health issues

Weight loss
It is normal for newborn babies to lose weight within the first five days after birth, this is because they lose excess fluid, and most regain their birth weight after2 weeks. If babies lose too much weight, they may have to be readmitted to the hospital until they can eat well daily and gain weight.

Sticky eye
It is also common for newborn babies to have sticky or watery eyes in the first few weeks of life, mainly due to blocked tear ducts. It usually gets better on its own, you can ask a doctor or nurse to check your baby's eyes for inflammation.

Newborn babies may develop all sorts of rashes, which are usually not serious. Common rashes include nappy rash, eczema, and dry skin.

Don't be afraid, seek medical help

If your newborn baby is crying constantly, try feeding them, changing diapers, cuddling, talking or singing in a soft voice, or giving them a warm bath. If your newborn is crying a lot, remember that it's normal for them to do so. Comfort them to make them feel safe.

If you think your baby is crying too much or if you can't cope, get medical help as soon as possible.

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