So many of you pinged & asked how am I managing the newborn alone and how we are taking care of her without elders’ support etc.. Thought of writing a post in detail about newborn essentials & tips on how to manage them. This might help expectant mothers i believe ☺️
This will be a three part series first one being general care for newborn, second one will be about my postpartum diet and third one will be breastfeeding. Its just 9 weeks with her. It will be too early for me to give tips about BF. so probably breastfeeding post shall be updated after another 4-8 weeks atleast ☺️
Disclaimer : We are first time parents and have never dealt with newborn kids before. The tips, the info i shared here is based one & only on my experience with Aadhu. Yours might have been different. So kindly don’t judge us by this post
The moment we came to know that we will be taking care of Aadhu alone post delivery, me & S made a pact that our priority should only be her & not to worry much about house being messy,kitchen sink is full etc ☺️ The first four weeks were the toughest for us. My body was undergoing healing process, I had a second degree tear & on top of it there was bleeding for about 5 weeks post delivery. While I took care of her completely, S took care of cooking/kitchen/cleaning department until he was in paternity leave.
PATIENCE & TOLERANCE :
Two important essential qualities to take care of a newborn. They will poop when you are having food, they may spit milk at you, they may pass urine in your hands while you are changing diaper 😬 its all part of their growing up phase so please have patience & tolerance.
Newborns’ behaviour varies from one another. So keep in mind that baby’s sleeping pattern, feeding pattern, weight gain & other general growth related things may vary. Donot compare your kid with others’ and unnecessarily waste your time.
How to identify baby’s crying & needs?
Babies cry a LOT. Once you are able to identify the reasons for their crying, managing a baby becomes easier. It does take time to understand that pattern. All you need to do is keep observing their activities, pattern of crying, what makes them comfortable, what pacifies them ☺️
Aadhu mainly cries for the following reasons.
1. Hunger : She gives us cues by opening & closing her mouth continuously, sticking her tongue out, searches me, shakes her head uncontrollably, try to suck her fingers, mild crying to call me. I immediately feed her taking the cues but at times if i miss it, she starts crying uncontrollably, her face turns red. After lot of cuddling & kissing she latches for feeding and then stops crying
2. Burrp & Gas : After every feed I make sure that she is burrped properly. But at times if she dozes off in my lap, I wont disturb her. Once she wakes from that ten minute nap she cries mildly. Putting her on my shoulder I will wait until she burrps or farts.
3. Wet Nappy : If she cries after being fully fed & while playing means its becoz of wet nappy. She might have pee’d or poop’d. Once i change it she will stop crying.
4. Temperature : Most of the days I dress her up only in vests or cotton onesies. Being summer here it will be sufficient for her. There are days when she needs an extra layer of clothing or she needs fan. We generally touch her tummy and check. If its too hot will switch on table fan. This will pacify her. If her tummy is very cold I wrap her tightly. Both these things will mostly calm her down
5. Chellam Konjardhu (needs cuddles & kisses) : I feed her and after ensuring her tummy is full I move onto kitchen/household duties. Somedays she stays calm in playmat for about 20-25 minutes. But there are days when she feels like clinging to me all day. That cry will be very low in voice, it wont show distress on her face but she will have a longing look. Once I lift her, she will be extremely happy and smiles at me like an angel
6. Sleep : She goes restless after a feed. Shakes her head a lot, eyes will be wrinkly and cries.. Gently patting on her tummy will help. Sometimes whitenoise or any mild music will put her to sleep.
Your child could give you different signals or might cry for different reasons but whatever it is make sure they are first held in your hands, assure them that you are nearer to them.
Never ever be careless when your newborn cries. They don’t know to express themselves and crying is their only way of communication. So be patient and try to find out what action pacifies them.
Hair Care :
I use coconut oil, Burt Bees shampoo for her hair. For the past two weeks she is having cradle cap. I am gently massaging her scalp while bathing her and later using kids’ brush to remove the dry white patch. I use MotherCare’s brush & comb.
Skin Care :
I was advised by the midwives here to not to use any products (baby lotion/moisturizer/bath lotion) on baby’s skin for atleast 6 weeks. As soon as she was born there was lot of dry scaly patches on her skin which is common for newborns. Everday we used to mildly massage her with coconut oil and the dry scaly patches slowly disappeared
At around 6 weeks she was badly affected by heat rash. Her whole body had mild red pimples and she couldn’t sleep all night. We were worried whether it could be Eczema but the doctor here said that this neonatal rash which is caused by mother’s hormones. He prescribed a liquid to be added to her bath water & an Emollient cream to be applied as a moisturizer. The cream he prescribed didnt help. Aveeno Moisturizer did the trick. Those rashes vanished in a week.
I highly recommend Oilatum bath liquid, Aveeno moisturizer if your baby has dry skin
Bathing Routine :
I gave only sponge bath until her umblical cord came off. Later we got a newborn baby bathtub from Mothercare that can be used from birth till 3 years. Somehow I don’t like fo clean her in prefilled bathwater. Instead I fil a bucket with warm water, place her in the bathtub, clean her and then empty the dirty water
– We bathe her everyday in the evening & wash her hair with baby shampoo on alternate days.
– Use cotton to clean the neck folds, eyes, armpits, bum area & ears . Dirt get stuck there & we need to make an effort to clean them.
– I use Burt Bee’s bathing lotion. Its very gentle not much of fragrance and doesnt dry their skin much.
– The temperature of water is really important. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. If you dip your elbow or wrist it shouldn’t hurt much
– Also keep your towel, changing cloth & diaper ready
– Once she is taken out from water I pat dry her & feed her immediately
– She enjoys bathing but cries a lot when we take her from water 😂 Feeding pacifies her
Diaper Usage & Taking care of that precious Bum 😉 :
From the day she was born, I have been using diapers. The weather here is crazy and I cant use cloth diapers. Also the cleaning part is bit difficult. A pack of Panpers costs £8 and now I realize why people are using cloth diapers. Its an one time investment & economical in long run
After trying various brands finally Pampers suit her the best. So far there has been no diaper rash *touchwood* Also for cleaning I gently soak cotton in warm water & clean her bum. Though most wipes say they are chemical free, fragrance free , I dont want over use wipes and irritate her. I use wipes only at night when she poops and when we go out. Here is the routine i follow
– Change diaper frequently. Pampers has an indicator line which turns from
yellow to blue. This helps me to change the diaper immediately. The longer they are in that dirty, there are higher chances for infection
– Apply coconut oil in the bum everday & massage for a minute or two
– After every diaper change let the area dry completely before you put the new diaper
– I use Burt Bee’s barrier cream once a week just to make sure there is no redness or soreness in the bum area
– If possible everyday have atleast 15-20 minutes diaper free time. This would avoid & minimize diaper rashes on your baby’s bum
Infacol drops (Remedy for Gas) :
When she ws just 15 days old, she cried nonstop for two hours at night, her face turned red & she kept bringing her legs to tummy,squeezing it and was trying so hard to pass wind. We tried every pacifing solution nothing worked and took her to emergency unit and was kept in observation for 6 hours just to make sure that nothing else is the problem.
– Poor kid was suffering from colic pain & they prescribed Infacol
– From then if she cries in pain trying to pass wind I just give her two drops of Infacol before feeding her.
– I avoid gassy vegetables in my food.
– Also massaging her tummy with warm oil relieves pain..
– Doing cycle exercise with her legs helps too
Calpol drops :
If your baby has fever or cold this is the best solution. Just check with your Paed on its dosage & give accordingly. After her first vaccination she had mild fever for two days and this drops helped a lot
Washing Baby’s Clothes :
We use washing machine to wash her clothes. Though back home people insist on washing baby’s clothes with hands, its practically impoosible right now ☺️
I use Non-Bio Fairy detergent since its gentle & doesn’t have harsh chemicals like other detergents. I wash her clothes separately. Also donot add fabric softner like Comfort while washing their clothes. Make sure to select “Extra Rinse” option to just make sure there is not much effect of that detergent on their dress
Hand Sanitizer :
Always clean your hands before cleaning the baby. Also when you are coming straight from kitchen, please make sure you wash your hands, sanitize it and then touch the baby. We don’t the heat of spices & our dirt on baby’s body
Invest in a good :
– baby thermometer,
– syringe (to fill medicine & to give them),
– nail cutter. When they take nap gently cut their nails. Aadhu hates mittens and even if I miss one or two days to cut her nail she will unknowingly scratch her face.
– Ear Buds
Swaddling & Muslin Clothes :
Babies need to be wrapped & kept mildly warm until they adjust to our outside temperature. Invest in good soft swaddling blankets. In the initial days swaddling helps a lot to pacify them. Now she is moving her legs a lot so I swadle her only at night for few hours. I bought my swadle blankets from T.K Max
I have a dozen muslin clothes that I purchased from Primark. They are handy multipurpose clothes that I use to
– cover her during breadtfeeding in public
– To wipe her face & neck when she spills milk, since its too early for a bib
– When she is unwell I dip muslin cloth in warm water & wipe her body
– When we take her in pram, i place this cloth on the seat & then keep her..
For the first few weeks she was sleeping separately in her Chicco cotbed. Since she was too tiny we were scared to cosleep with her fearing we might roll over 🤣🤣 After 5 weeks she is cosleeping with us in our bed. She wakesup atleast 3-4 times at night & it is a lot easier for me to pick her up & feed her. Also new babies has tendency to reflex action when they hear a mild movement or sound. Aadhu throws her hand & leg sometimes at middle of night & wakes up immediately.. So we gently pat her and make her sleep.
She loves sound. So whenever she cries we use comforters, turn on cot mobile , will keep talking or singing to her. This pacifies & distracts her a bit. When your baby cries try to distract them , calm them first and then start feeding them
Its been an amazing experience so far. If elders were here we wouldn’t have got an opportunity to bond with her well but now its like me & my husband almost understand every action of her. She communicates with us so well with her smiles & actions.
Newborns love cuddles & kisses. So give them that , it reassures them that there is someone to care for us and they wont be in distress. Try to treat them gently and keep in mind that this tiny little human being is entirely dependent on you ☺️ Keep talking to them, play with them, enjoy every precious moment.Happy parenting. Hope this was helpful