Congratulations on your new baby! You have just brought your
baby home and are pretty excited about everything. Perhaps
you don't even mind the fact that getting a good night's
sleep is getting tougher by the day.
Getting into a routine
This is not easy, but rest assured, it will happen. By the
end of the first month, new parents discover that their baby
lets them slip into a comfortable (but exhausting) routine.
If this is your first baby, you probably feel totally
amateurish. Relax, let your baby's cues guide you and very
soon you will be a seasoned pro!
Your baby will probably sleep 12-18 hours a day between
regular feedings. If you are lucky, your baby will sleep for
longer stretches at night. Do not let your one-month old
baby sleep through the night. At this age, infants need to
feed at least every 2-3 hours for healthy development.
Regular feeds are also important in stimulating your milk
supply, which will get established during the first month.
Baby is growing
By the end of one month, your baby should be able to focus
on faces, lift his head briefly when on stomach, and
probably startle in response to a loud noise. All babies
reach developmental milestones at a genetically set time,
which differs with every baby. Do not expect your baby to go
by the book. Your baby's weight might decrease in the first
few days as he loses fluids postdelivery. Most newborns stop
losing weight by the fifth day and surpass their
birthweights in about fifteen days.
Cause for concern?
More than fifty percent of babies develop newborn jaundice
because their immature livers cannot handle the extra
bilirubin (the yellow pigment) they produce. Mild to
moderate physiological jaundice requires no treatment.
Others might require medical attention in the form of
Babies born by normal deliveries usually have misshapen
heads. Your baby's head will gradually attain a regular
shape; you can prevent flattening by giving her a little
'tummy time' everyday.
Colic and continuous crying are things that most parents
dread. Hours of dealing with a crying baby coupled with lack
of sleep and exhaustion can drive anyone crazy. It is vital
to seek help and give both your baby and yourself a break
during spells of colic. Time tested methods such as rocking,
"the colic carry", swaddling and soothing music can work
wonders on a baby who seems to be screaming his lungs out.
Ouch! It hurts
Your baby will receive a Hepatitis B shot in the first month
of life. This shot is not known to cause fever. Your baby
will probably cry for a few minutes and that will be all.
Allergic to milk?
Milk allergy is the most common form of food allergy in
infants. Frequent throwing up, loose watery stools and
wheezing might be signs of a milk allergy. If your baby is
intolerant to milk, try another formula before switching to
Explosive bowel movements and frequent passing of gas are
common in infants and will disappear once the kinks in his
bowel get straightened out.
We are different
All new parents have numerous questions lurking in their
minds, especially first time parents. No book or article can
explain everything about your baby, who like all babies is
different from the rest. Write down the specific questions
you have about your baby to ask your healthcare provider.
Enjoy the time you spend with your baby and make the best
out of your first month together. The first month is the
perfect time to forge a bond with baby, a bond for life.
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