Congratulations on your new baby! The first few weeks of parenthood can be a whirlwind of emotions, from excitement and joy to exhaustion and anxiety. It’s a time of great change for both you and your baby, and it’s helpful to know what to expect.
Feeding and Sleeping
One of the biggest adjustments you’ll make as a new parent is to your baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Newborns need to eat frequently, so you can expect to be feeding them every 2-3 hours during the day and night. Breastfed babies may cluster feed, which means they’ll feed for longer periods of time at certain times of day. Oh, and I do believe that a baby can still suckle when they are asleep, I saw Pam do it many times.
Newborns also sleep a lot, for about 16-18 hours per day, at some time when they are toddlers if they copy what Pam did, they will start sleeping 9 to 12 hours each day, which is what she does until now, age 4.5. However, their sleep is often interrupted, so you may find yourself getting up several times a night to feed them when they are babies.
It’s important to create a comfortable and consistent feeding and sleeping environment for your baby. This may mean setting up a nursery or designated feeding area in your home, this we failed to do and are still fighting with Pam to this day about when she should be eating, and I now think this may backfire on us when she goes to school next year, we fed her when she wanted to eat and still do, if she wants food she gets it, if she wants junk she doesn’t get it and she knows all that now so she tries to make deals so she can get the junk eventually. It’s also helpful to establish a bedtime routine to help your baby wind down and get ready for sleep.
Development and Milestones
In the first few weeks of life, your baby will be developing rapidly. They’ll learn to suck, swallow, and breathe on their own. They’ll also start to develop their senses, and they’ll be able to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.
Some of the milestones you can expect your baby to reach in their first few weeks include:
Holding their head up for a few seconds
Turning their head from side to side
Making cooing sounds
Following objects with their eyes.
This one was one I did not know back then. I thought when Pam started following my hands move, especially when I was eating, that she wanted what I had. So, guess what I did, at around four to five weeks I started giving her tastes of the food I was eating, she seemed to love most of them, Maryann noticed the main change soon enough, Pam’s crap now smelt much stronger and she wondered why.
It’s important to talk to your baby and interact with them as much as possible, Maryann has always sung to Pam, I read her stories, or make up stories for her. This will help them develop their language and social skills. You can also start to read to your baby and play simple games with them. Pam had another advantage in that we had a dog, a greyhound called Katie, Katie turned out to be a godsend, she taught Pam to walk among other things, no crawling for this bub, straight to walking at eleven months old, holding onto Katie, using Katie to stand up by hanging onto her and then Katie would slowly stand up.
Tips for New Parents
Here are a few tips for new parents:
Get help from family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner, parents, siblings, or friends. They can help you with feeding, bathing, and changing diapers (I do not recommend asking friends to change poopy diapers, unless you don’t want them as friends anymore, LOL). They can also give you emotional support.
Take care of yourself. It’s important to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise. This will help you stay healthy and have the energy to care for your baby.
Trust your instincts. You know your baby best. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and talk to your doctor.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many resources available to new parents. Your doctor, local hospital, or parenting website can provide you with information and support.
Having a newborn baby is a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging. By knowing what to expect, you can be prepared for the ups and downs of this new chapter in your life.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
The American Academy of Paediatrics: https://www.aap.org/
The National Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/
Parents Magazine: https://www.parents.com/
What to Expect: https://www.whattoexpect.com/
We hope this blog post has been helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions.