Guest post by Jane Taylor
Being first time parents is a very exciting experience, but at the same time it is an equally terrifying experience.
Such a great responsibility in your hands!
Most of it is going to be a trial and error experience, but you’ll still be given advice by the hospital and other family members.
You don’t have to follow all of it, but rest assured you won’t be without guidance of some sort in this new endeavor.
Live-saving tip: trust your parenting instinct!
1. Why do babies cry?
This is a common question that most first time parents have.
But alas — there’s no single answer for that!
Babies are all different and even their needs are different. They may cry for various reasons.
Mostly, babies cry because they are hungry.
There is only so much space in a new born’s little tummy, so they need to be fed every 2 hours.
Actually, instinct plays well on this field: a new mother will soon get accustomed to the 2 hourly cries and she knows the magic answer.
When the baby cries even after feeding, new parents find it alarming. Most of the time the reason is that they don’t feel comfortable.
The bed cloth might be wet, or harsh on its delicate skin, maybe it is too hot or cold. Since they cannot talk, you have to check on all the possibilities that maybe uncomfortable for your little one.
A gassy stomach is another common cause that makes some babies cry.
That’s why it’s a good idea to gently burp the baby after each and every feeding.
Other times, no reason is the reason why babies cry.
(Yes, I know…)
According to pediatricians, some babies cry because that is all what they know to do.
You can try to calm the baby by carrying them around or playing some music or showing a pet to distract them from the crying reason.
2. Breast Milk or Formula?
Obviously mother’s milk is the best nature-created food for the baby.
Especially when the baby is fed for the first time after birth, mother’s breast milk contains fats and antibodies that give the baby a first immunization against the germs in the environment.
But there could be times where breast milk is not an option.
Or maybe certain occasions where the mother can’t be with the baby at all times and her supply dries up.
In such occasions, formula feeding shouldn’t be seen as a problem. In fact, it is advisable to feed the baby a bit of formula time to time so when the mother returns to work or has to be away from the baby for a few hours or days, the baby is used to formula.
Another important thing to remember is that feeding the baby is a time consuming task and the mother must be prepared for that.
The good thing is that this also works to the advantage of both mother and baby, as it gives them a chance to know each other.
Maintaining eye contact during the feeding helps to bond mother and baby.
3. A baby does not sleep like a baby
Even though babies seems to be sleeping all the time, they take cat naps instead of long comfortable sleeps.
So that contradicts the phrase “sleeping like a baby”: since they get hungry every 2 hours, its inevitable that they have to wake up.
Newborn babies don’t understand the difference between day and night, since it was the same when they were inside the womb.
So make sure your babies are in well lit rooms in the day time, and dim lit rooms when it gets dark.
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Image credit: Pawel Loj